How to get Laowa probe-like macro shots with the Insta360 GO 2 and a 10ft selfie stick

May 25, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to get Laowa probe-like macro shots with the Insta360 GO 2 and a 10ft selfie stick

May 25, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Video sequences with a camera seeming to fly through tiny spaces isn’t a new idea. Certainly not when Laowa’s been using them to market its 24mm f/14 probe lens for the last several years. But do you really need to buy a $1,500 lens to get this type of shot? Well, it turns out that no, you don’t, not if you can shrink the camera itself down to the size you need, as Luke Edwin proves in this video.

Luke takes the recently released Insta360 GO 2 (review here) and attaches it to a 10ft long selfie stick, making a form of DIY slider, powered by a cordless drill (don’t worry, it all makes sense when you watch the video). The whole setup works simply because of the GO 2’s tiny size and the fact that it contains the same image sensor found in many flagship action cameras.

Using a selfie stick with a drill to create a constant smooth movement over such a long distance is a stroke of genius. And it’s one that’s only really possible with a camera this small. You couldn’t exactly do this with a big heavy DSLR or even a mirrorless camera – even if it could fit through the spaces you want to move it, it’d just be way too front heavy and unstable.

With a small, lightweight camera like the Insta360 GO 2, though, it’s easy to counterbalance that weight on the end of a long selfie stick, and you won’t get much of that inherent wobble while the stick’s being pulled closed by the drill, either.

It may not quite be true macro and the Insta360 GO 2 is definitely larger than the probed Laowa lens, but at 1/5th the price, it’s a fantastic alternative for a lot of shots where you don’t need true macro and will let you get shots that even the Laowa can’t easily get in a single take.

Now I’m going to have to add a real long selfie stick to my shopping list and try this with the GO 2 for myself.

Side note: While we’re on the subject of Insta360, they just released a new firmware for the ONE R to add loop recording, car-multiview, horizon levelling and a bunch of other features. So, if you’re an Insta360 ONE R owner, you can download the new update through the app or from the Insta360 website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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