Insta360 Pro is an affordable 8K, 360-degree camera for VR content creators

insta360 pro v2 firmware update featured
Insta360‘s 8K six-lens camera geared towards professionals kicked off pre-orders today, April 21. Called the Insta360 Pro, the $3,499 virtual reality camera debuted at CES earlier this year and launched pre-orders during the NAB conference.

Looking a bit like a basketball with corners cut out of it, six lens modules surround the camera and work together to produce spherical stills and video. Each lens features an f/2.4 aperture for good low-light performance. Still images can be saved in RAW format with high dynamic range (HDR) support for maximum detail and quality. Video can be recorded in either H.264 or H.265 formats, the latter providing an increased quality to file size ratio.

Updated on April 21, 2017: New information on pricing and availability.

While shooting 360-degree video at 8K is possible at 30 frames per second, 4K video can be recorded at an impressive 100fps, suitable for slow motion. The camera also features an intervalometer mode for 360-degree time-lapse experiences.

In addition to standard 360-degree images, Insta360 says the Pro can shoot 3D 360-degree content at 6K resolution and 30 FPS. Sample footage, like the video below from National Geographic, offers a glimpse at the camera’s capabilities.

One of the camera’s key features is support for both live stitching and live broadcasting in 4K. Via an Android or iOS device, video can be live-streamed over Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. While the camera supports Wi-Fi and 4G wireless tethering, it can also be connected over Ethernet for increased reliability.

“The VR industry needs steady content from a strong base of creators to keep growing, but before now, high-performing cameras have been overly complicated or cost-prohibitive,” said JK Liu, founder and CEO Insta360. “With the Insta360 Pro, we’re giving broadcasters and creators the tool they’ve been asking for. We can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

If the Insta360 Pro lives up to its promises, it could be a very compelling buy at $3,499, though that price is $500 more than the estimate when the camera was announced earlier this year. That’s still significantly cheaper than Facebook’s open-source Surround 360 (which costs up to $30,000) and even less than GoPro’s $5,000 Omni. The Insta360 Pro is currently on available for pre-orders directly from the manufacturer.

This article was originally published on January 5, 2017. It was updated on April 21, 2017 by Hillary Grigonis to including new pricing and availability.

Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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!
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.