Forget 8K, the Insta360 Titan records 11K that can still play back on smartphones

Insta360, the company behind cameras like the Insta360 One X, is aiming to redefine cinematic 360 with 11K footage captured by larger Micro Four Thirds sensors. On Monday, January 7, Insta360 unveiled the Titan, a cinematic 360 camera that the company says is the first standalone 360 camera to shoot in 11K. The Titan also uses the largest sensors for a standalone 360, Insta360 says, with eight Micro Four Thirds sensors.

The Titan, designed as a high-end cinematic virtual reality camera, captures 11K at 30 fps in the 360 format or 10K at 30 fps in the 3D format necessary for VR. The camera can also drop the resolution for faster frame rates, including 8K at 60 fps and 5.3K at 120 fps. Insta360 says the Micro Four Thirds sensors are essential to capturing a cinematic quality, since many use smaller sensors like the ones inside smartphones and action cameras.

But every high-resolution camera begs the question, how do you watch the footage without an 11K monitor? The Titan uses Insta360’s ClearView, which only loads the part of the 360 view that the viewer is actually looking at — keeping in mind that 11K resolution is stretched across the entire 360 view. That allows the software to playback high-resolution segments of that 11K, even on smartphones.

The Titan also supports 10 bit shooting for greater flexibility in post-production. FlowState Stabilization, which Insta360 compares to a 9-axis gimbal, is also built in, which uses that immersive view to steady any shaky footage.

Insta360 also included Farsight, the company’s live monitoring system. The transmitter and receiver uses a phone or tablet to monitor the footage remotely, allowing filmmakers to control the camera while staying far enough away to stay out of the shot.

Unveiled during CES 2019, Insta360 is taking reservations for the Titan beginning today. The camera is expected to start shipping in April, with a pilot program with select filmmakers ahead of that official launch date. The Titan isn’t a consumer camera like the Insta360 One X, however. As a high-end cinematic camera, the Titan is a camera that more people will view the results of than will actually get to shoot with it — the Titan is expected to retail for about $15,000.

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