The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition (here) is a game-changer in the world of low light photography. With its advanced technology, this camera is capable of capturing stunning images even in the most challenging lighting conditions. It’s not new on the scene, but I wanted to test it in challenging conditions. In this blog post, I’ll explain how this camera helped me shoot the northern lights in 360.
I recently spent 80 days in the Arctic. One of the goals I had was to photograph the aurora borealis in 360. I tried this before with other 360 cameras, but now it’s easy. The tech packed into the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 edition helped to achieve my goal with these awesome features:
Large 1-Inch Sensor
One of the key reasons why this camera is so good at taking photos in low light is its large 1-inch sensor. A larger sensor means more light can be captured, resulting in brighter and clearer images. The 1-inch sensor is four times larger than the standard sensor found in most action cameras. This allows the camera to capture more light from the low levels available from the moon and aurora.
Another important feature of the Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition is its fast aperture. The camera has an aperture of f/2.2, which means it can capture more light in low light conditions. A wider aperture also allows for a shallower depth of field, which can create a beautiful bokeh effect in your photos.
Advanced Image Stabilization
The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition also comes equipped with advanced image stabilisation technology. This feature helps to minimize camera shake, resulting in clearer images even in low light conditions. With its FlowState stabilisation technology, it can stabilise footage even when the camera is moving, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving action in low light. The Insta360 Selfie Stick is good, but this helps to deal with any movement.
The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition also features HDR imaging, which allows the camera to capture a wider range of light and dark tones in a single image. This means that the camera can capture more details in both the bright and dark areas of an image, resulting in more balanced and natural-looking photos.
Night Shot Mode
Finally, the Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition also features a Night Shot mode. This mode is specifically designed for low light conditions and allows the camera to capture brighter and clearer images even in the darkest environments. The Night Shot mode combines multiple exposures to create a single, well-exposed image, resulting in stunning photos even in the most challenging lighting conditions.
When I shot myself under an arctic sky using this camera, I used the manual mode. The Night Shot mode is good, but I just wanted to be able to make my own decisions. Here’s a re-framed shot of me shooting on a cold, moonlit night in Lofoten, Norway.
Take a look at an immersive, 360˚ image from this same evening on my Facebook:
About last night 💚I was getting some shots for my WANDRD Fernweh review and decided the Insta360 should get involved 💪
Posted by Dave Williams on Friday, January 6, 2023
The photos are outputted from this camera via the Insta360 App and, and when they’re flat, they look like this:
And with the editing tools available within the app, you can make adjustments to the colour and lighting, and perspective. It’s possible to create tiny planets like this:
And it’s also possible to make rabbit holes like this:
Why did I want to do this?
The reason I was so keen to test this camera under the aurora is because 360° photography allows viewers to experience a location or object as if they were actually there, providing a sense of immersion and presence. Unlike traditional photographs or videos, 360° images can be manipulated by the viewer. This gives them control over what they see and how they see it. The immersive and interactive nature of 360° photography makes it a powerful tool for capturing the attention of viewers and keeping them engaged. Overall, 360° photography is a powerful tool for creating immersive and interactive experiences that can be used in a variety of contexts, from entertainment and tourism to marketing and advertising. I wanted to give the audience that followed my journey a feeling as if they were there.
The performance I got from the Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 edition, even down to -20˚c (-4˚F) was incredible. I set the exposure settings and fired the shots using a countdown timer. Please excuse the noise on this BTS photo shot on iPhone:
Here’s another equirectangular projection of a 360˚ shot from this camera.
The reason I wanted to show this particular photo is the moon. It’s a full moon and despite that powerful light in contrast to the less powerful aurora, and the shadows in the foreground, the resulting exposure is well balanced. You can see this photo in 360˚ on my Facebook, here:
The result of my experiment with this camera is that I’m very impressed. The Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 Edition performed incredibly under dark skies and well-lit skies with northern lights. The power of the AI tech inside the camera that creates this image with no noise and blur is phenomenal. At $799.99 it sits at a fair price point, considering its ability. The only real competition it has is the Ricoh Theta Z1, which is priced higher at $1,046, and, with my tests, doesn’t perform as well in these conditions. I used to be of the opinion that Ricoh were better at photo, whilst Insta360 were better at video. That’s now changed with the huge advances Insta360 are making, particularly with the AI algorithms that drive their gear.
I think Insta360 are creating the best 360˚ cameras out there. What do you think?
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