Let me spoil this review right at the very beginning—the new Insta360 X3 is by far the most fun camera I have ever used! There are just so many things that you can do with it. It’s a 360 camera that also works as a regular action camera. And don’t even get me started on how many creative shots and perspectives you can create from it!
The Insta360 X3 costs Rs. 66,500 here in Nepal, $450 in the US, or some Rs. 43,000 in India. I got the standalone version for myself which comes with the camera and the charging cable only. It made sense for me because I already had a few Insta360 One X2 accessories lying around, like the extended selfie stick/tripod and the bullet time cord, so I didn’t go for other versions.
And you must know that if you get the additional accessories, using this camera is going to be so much more fun and you’ll be able to get the most out of it. But of course, you’re gonna have to pay extra for each accessory. Ooh, almost forgot to mention one thing. Starting with the X3, Insta360 has decided to drop the “One” sub-brand in its “X” lineup of consumer-grade action cameras.
Insta360 X3 Review: Specifications
- Body: 114 x 46 x 33.1mm, 180 gm, IPX8 waterproof (up to 33 ft)
- Display: 2.29″ touchscreen, Tempered glass protection
- Camera: 48MP ½ inch sensor, f/1.9, 6.7mm focal length (35mm equivalent)
- Exposure: 100 – 3,200
- Shutter Speed:
- Photo: 1/8,000 – 120s
- Video: 1/8,000 – to the limit of fps
- White Balance: 2,000K – 10,000K
- Stabilization: 6-axis gyroscope
- Photo Resolution: 72MP (360°), 18MP (regular photos)
- Video Resolution:
- 360° Mode: 5.7K @ 24 / 25 / 30 fps, 4K @ 30 / 60 fps
- Single Lens Mode: 4K @ 24 / 25 / 30 fps, 3.6K / 2.7K / 1080p @ 24 / 25 / 30 / 50 / 60 fps
- Photo Modes: Standard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Starlapse
- Video Modes: Standard, Active HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording
- Color Profiles: Vivid, Standard, LOG
- Maximum Video Bitrate: 120 Mbps
- Connectivity: Dual-band WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE)
- Ports: USB Type-C (wired connection only available on Android devices), exFAT microSD card slot (up to 1TB)
- Battery: 1,800mAh (up to 81 minutes)
- Charging Time: 90 minutes (15W)
- Companion App: Insta360 (Android | iOS)
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 66,500
Insta360 X3 Review:
Let’s start with some technical details first. The Insta360 X3 comes with a whole bunch of features like a 48MP ½ inch sensor that can shoot up to 5.7K videos. And there’s the single lens mode with which you can shoot up to 4k 60 fps footage, which I like to call the Action Camera mode. Then there is the 360 Active HDR mode while the X3 lets you take 72MP photos and 8K 30 fps timelapses too.
As I said, a whole bunch of features!
Now, setting it up is fairly easy, you just need to turn it on, go through, and be done with a couple of updates, connect it to your smartphone and that’s it!
Design and Build
- 14 x 46 x 33.1mm, 180 grams
- IPX8 waterproof (up to 33 ft)
The first thing I love about it is the form factor. It’s a tiny camera that easily fits in my pocket so it’s very handy. And the biggest upgrade this time in terms of the design is the larger screen. So, unlike the Insta360 One X2you don’t need your smartphone to clearly see what you’re shooting.
With the X3, you can directly interact with the screen, look at what you’re shooting, change photo/video modes, and basically do everything with the camera itself—as a standalone device. All without having to go through the hassle of connecting it to your smartphone.
And there’s also a dedicated record & end button here. Just beside them is the button with which you can change between three lens modes: 360 mode (which is self-explanatory), then there’s the option to shoot from either the front or the back lens. This does not create a 360 video, but rather it gives a wide-angle perspective in case you want to shoot regular-ish videos at high resolution.
- 48MP ½ inch sensor, f/1.9, 6.7mm focal length
- 6-axis gyroscope stabilization
But what you need to know is that the single lens mode does not shoot beyond 4K 60 fps videos like the 360 lens mode does. And more importantly, it does not support Active HDR either, which I really hope it did. The Active HDR mode, which is only available in the 360 mode makes your videos look so much better, especially if you are shooting against harsh sunlight. It balances the shadows and lights to deliver a more pleasing output.
When shooting in the 360 mode, I mostly kept the Active HDR option turned on, because I feel like the videos from the normal mode look a bit dull in comparison. But the downside to this is that your file size increases drastically, so when I used to shoot for an entire day, I would have 20-25GB files which take quite a while to copy onto my MacBook.
Now, getting to the good parts, I’ve had a blast shooting 360 videos with the Insta360 X3. I feel like if you are someone who travels a lot, or if you like adventures and you make videos about it, this is a very good camera for you.
Usually what happens is, with a regular camera or even an action camera, you need to keep flipping the camera to shoot yourself and show what’s going on at the same time, you need to keep readjusting the frames, which can be tedious. But with this camera, you can just point to whatever direction when shooting and readjust it later, easy-peasy! So, if you are a vlogger, searching for an easy-to-use camera and you’re looking to spice up your videos with unique perspectives, you should definitely check out the Insta360 X3.
So. many. creative choices
Talking of unique perspectives, you can create so much fun stuff for social media or your vlogs with the Insta360 app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
All you need to do is extend its selfie stick, and you can generate clones of yourself, a Flash-like speedrun effect, or stop motion videos—all of which are super easy to create. Just head to the Short Labs option inside the app, choose your desired effect, follow what the tutorial says, and BAM—you have your content for social media.
With the rise of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, you will not be short of interesting content to post on social media with this very camera.
One of my favorite effects is the one called “Freeze Throw” where you just throw the camera up in the air and it creates a cool slow-motion effect showing everything that’s around. I think it looks really cool. Another effect that I love is “Nose” mode, which looks something like this. And I find it hilarious! Remind you of anything, Attack on Titan fans?
Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg though. There are tons of such effects that you can choose from and make your content more interesting. Insta360 also has a desktop app called “Insta360 Studio“, which gives you the flexibility to edit from your desktop, if you don’t prefer editing from your phone.
What about the audio quality?
The Insta360 X3 includes a total of 4 microphones onboard, and their quality is not that bad. Unless you’re in a really windy environment or something. You also have the option to connect an external microphone if you’d like.
You can take the Insta 360 X3 for a swim or a dive too. It is IPX8 waterproof up to 33 feet, so you can create cool videos underwater. Sadly, I can’t swim, so I couldn’t try it out, but if you decide to get this camera and know how to swim, there’s yet another way you can get creative with your videos.
- 1,800mAh battery
- Up to 81 minutes of runtime
Finally, with the increased battery size, the Insta360 X3 has been able to provide good battery life in my use. I never shot continuously day and night with this camera, but I did take it during my road trips and the time I went ziplining while turning it off when not in use. And under this, it lasted me an entire day.
Also, if you want to extend its battery life even more, I would suggest you lower the display’s brightness as well. And charging it is not a big hassle either. It connects via a USB-C port and takes about 1 and a half hours to go from 0-100%.
Insta360 X3 Review: Conclusion
Okay, as I have said many times throughout this review, the Insta360 X3 is a very fun camera to use. With its petite size and incredible capabilities, I also found it to be incredibly practical. But there are a few things I wished were better here. Like its app for example. I’ve had issues with rendering long videos here, while it would just crash out of nowhere while exporting too. And this holds true for both the mobile app and the desktop one. So, I definitely see room for improvement there.
And I wish they would change the placement of the SD card slot too. You literally have to take off the battery each time you need to take off the SD card to copy footage or swap it with another one. Goes without saying that if there was a separate memory card slot, it would have been a lot easier!
Next, I found that the Active HDR mode does not work well during slightly low light conditions either. I’m not talking about nighttime scenarios, but come sunset time, you can notice a lot of motion blur here.
And because the Insta360 X3 only has a ½ inch sensor, its performance in nighttime conditions is also not that good. You can switch to the manual mode and tweak some settings to get a somewhat better output though. So, if nighttime performance is important to you I would suggest you get the Insta360 One RS 360 camera that comes with a much bigger 1-inch sensor instead!
But if you don’t care about low light performance so much and you’re just looking for a good 360 camera, the Insta360 X3 is definitely worth it. You can even get its predecessor, the Insta360 One X2 if you are slightly low on the budget since their recording capabilities are quite similar. But if you can afford the X3, then its upgrades such as a bigger screen, bigger battery, and Active HDR mode come really handy!
- Watch our video review of the Insta360 X3
Insta360 X3 Review: Pros & Cons
- Large 2.29″ touchscreen
- Pocketable design
- Active HDR produces great videos
- Versatile recording options
- Decent battery life
- Not many big upgrades over One X2
- Some issues with video rendering
- SD card slot is placed weird
- Not the best results during low-light