Bullet time on a budget: Insta360’s $400 One X camera is ready for action

insta360 one x news camera

Insta360, the 360-degree camera company, is back with a follow-up to the Insta360 One, called the Insta360 One X. The new model has a different design and a variety of features that further explore how the 360-degree camera can act like a drone, or re-create effects previously only possible with multiple cameras and a Hollywood-scale budget.

Let’s talk specification first. The dual cameras have an f/2.0 aperture and can shoot 5,760 x 2,880 video footage at 30 frames per second (FPS), or 3,840 x 1,920 at 50 and 30fps, or even 3,008 x 1,504 at 100fps. Insta360 calls these resolutions 5.7K, 4K, and 3K, respectively. Stills are 18 megapixels and 6,080 x 3,040.

Made for action footage, the camera has its own stabilization feature which Insta360 calls FlowState. It claims it’s robust enough to smooth out footage taken without a gimbal, even if it’s attached to something that moves about a lot, such as a helmet. All this helps three very cool features come to life, which adds to the enjoyment of using a 360-degree camera.

While two are enhancements of features seen on the Insta360 One, TimeShift is new to the One X. Once video has been recorded, you can slow down or speed up the footage during key scenes using the Insta360 app, ready to create a dramatic and cinematic effect. Like with previous cameras, the focal point is adjustable to keep the action in-shot. TimeShift leads to an improved Bullet Time feature, which replicates the famous effect from The Matrix, and is recreated here using a special selfie stick and handle accessory. Spin the camera round in the air for an orbiting shot, and then slow it down in the app. Bullet Time video is now captured at 3K and has a wider field of view than before.

10-foot selfie stick

Insta360’s own extending, 10-foot selfie stick is essential for this feature and drone-style shots, as the camera digitally removes it from the scene. This gives the impression of a flying camera tracking your moves. All the One X’s special features require some practice, artistic skill, and patience to get right, plus the right environment, but get it right and you’ll be surprised by the results. Videos and stills are transferred over to your phone using Wi-Fi or an included cable and not a direct connection to your device, which is a considerable improvement. But you’ll have to pay extra for the selfie stick, the bullet time handle, and a series of cases made for more extreme camera use.

The app includes editing features, while there is a manual mode on the camera, an HDR setting, and the chance to shoot live 360-degree video too. The camera is now a flat rectangle, rather than the cylindrical Insta360 One, with two buttons on the front, and a small display to provide at-a-glance information about mode, battery life, and shooting time. A MicroSD card is required to store your footage. If there is a downside, it’s that the 1,200mAh battery sounds quite small and is only expected to provide 60 minutes of use.

You can purchase the Insta360 One X for $400 from the company’s website or selected retailers.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Master your new LG phone with these V40 ThinQ tips and tricks

With five cameras and awesome specs, the LG V40 ThinQ is one of the most innovative phones of 2018. While the V40 can get a great shot in any scenario, it's capable of so much more. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks.
Product Review

LG's new V40 has 5 cameras, but ThinQ twice before you buy

The LG V40 ThinQ has five cameras -- three on the back and two on the front. This makes it one of the most versatile camera phones LG has released to date, and it’s creatively fun to use. Read on for more in-depth analysis.
Mobile

Huawei and Leica’s monochrome lens is dead, so we celebrate its life

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro do not have a dedicated monochrome camera lens, unlike the P20 Pro, and various Huawei and Leica phones before it. It's the end of an era, and also the start of a new one, as Leica has worked on its…
Smart Home

Keep an eye on your kingdom with the best home security cameras

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Wearables

NYPD pulls thousands of body cams after one explodes

The NYPD has recalled thousands of body cameras after one of them exploded during an officer's shift on Sunday, October 21. No one was injured in the incident, which is thought to have been caused by the device's battery.
Photography

Which landmarks are searched for most by creatives? This list has some surprises

What video and images of popular landmarks are creatives looking for most? A recent study by StoryBlocks analyzed search trends to dig up the most requested landmarks on the stock platform. While some are expected, others are surprising.
Cars

Protect yourself (and maybe capture something crazy) with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Photography

8 weird, useful camera accessories for your iPhone or Android

With the rise of smartphone cameras comes an explosion of accessories aimed at enhancing your photography skills. Here, we take a look at a few, from add-on grips to entire camera units designed specifically to work with iOS devices.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

Here's how to make a watermark on any computer or smartphone

People copy images from the web every day. If you want to protect your photography from the prying hands of content thieves, consider adding a watermark. Here's how to make a watermark to keep your work from being shared without due credit.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your photos off the 'gram and saved elsewhere. But Instagram has recently launched a tool that lets you download all of your…
Photography

Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

The extreme mountain biking action of Red Bull Rampage is coming to your living room thanks to the power of augmented reality and 360-degree video that lets fans load a scale replica of the course right in their phones.