Insta360 launches its second-generation Insta360 ONE RS modular action camera

Mar 22, 2022

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.

Insta360 launches its second-generation Insta360 ONE RS modular action camera

Mar 22, 2022

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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Insta360 has today announced the new Insta360 ONE RS modular action camera. The Insta360 ONE RS is the follow up to the popular Insta360 ONE R released in 2020 and brings with it a new 4K Boost module capable of shooting 48-megapixel stills with a new 1/2″ sensor and even boasts a 6K 2.35:1 cinematic mode. There’s a new Core module, offering better in-camera stabilisation and audio.

Being modular, the new 4K boost lens can be swapped out for the pre-existing 360° module or the 5.3K Leica 1-inch module. And, of course, the new 4K Boost lens is compatible with the ONE R core unit and the new ONE RS core unit is compatible with the old 4K module as well as with the previously released Quick Reader for the Insta360 ONE R.

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Like its predecessor, the Insta360 ONE RS is IPX8 rated down to 5 metres (16.4ft), although you’ll want to use the dive case if you’re going deeper or in rough weather conditions. But it has a new microphone for crisper audio, 50% faster WiFi for mobile transfers, an Instant Zoom function that lets you digitally zoom up to 2.7x while recording and a quick menu for easy access to preset shooting modes.

The Camera itself looks largely the same as its predecessor, but with a little bit of a sleeker look and a rearrangement of the microphone holes and a very slightly thicker battery. The thicker battery bumps the 1,190mAh of the original ONE R battery up to 1,445mAh in the new ONE RS battery. It is worth noting, though, that the slightly larger battery of the ONE RS means it doesn’t fit into ONE R cages.

And speaking of cages, one feature that’s been redesigned with the ONE RS – and I’m so glad that it has – is the bracket for mounting the camera to a tripod, selfie stick or GoPro style mounting system. Gone is the old clamshell top clamp style cage in favour of one very similar to the SmallRig vlogging cage for the Insta360 ONE R. Only, in plastic. If you do have that SmallRig cage I mentioned, you can still use the ONE RS inside it, you’ll just have to use the older, slimmer battery.

When it comes to the specifics, The new Insta360 ONE RS and 4K Boost module has a 16mm equivalent lens with an f/2.4 aperture (about a third of a stop increase over the old 4K module) and allows you to shoot images at up to 48-megapixel in JPG or DNG raw format. For Video, you’ve got 4K UHD at up to 60fps, 1080p at up to 200fps or you can go with a 4:3 4,000×3000 mode at up to 30fps or a crazy 2.35:1 aspect ratio ultra-wide 6K mode at 24 or 25fps. Do be warned, though, when shooting 6K, you get no stabilisation whatsoever.

For 4K, though, you actually get FlowState stabilisation in-camera. No more of that somewhat robotic-looking “Simple” stabilisation that the ONE R had. FlowState provides a more pleasing and natural-looking stabilisation while still giving that feel of real movement you get from a moving action camera that makes you feel like you’re really in it. Of course, if you want to do your stabilisation in post, you can shoot Pro Mode and then stabilise in the Insta360 smartphone app or Insta360 Studio on the desktop.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have also spotted the little white and red “Active HDR” on the side of that new 4K Boost module. Unlike other HDR systems, Insta360 says that this is designed specifically for action with a moving camera and moving subjects and doesn’t suffer the ghosting of traditional more traditional HDR methods that depend on having static cameras and subjects to prevent ghosting. Insta360 says this stabilises as you move to bring out more details that other systems miss. Of course, you can still shoot LOG footage, too, for grading in post.

Modularity and compatibility was the promise when the original Insta360 ONE R first launched, promising a system that you could upgrade a piece at a time as new modules were released that better suit your workflow. And Insta360 seems to have made good on that promise, with everything on the ONE R and ONE RS being forwards and backwards compatible with each other.

The Insta360 ONE RS is available to pre-order now for $549.99 (B&H) in the Twin Kit variety including the RS core, 4K Boost and 360° modules, $299 for just the RS core and 4K Boost module, or $549 for the RS Core and 1″ Leica module.

Don’t forget to check out our complete review of the Insta360 ONE RS here.

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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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