Insta360’s new teaser says they’re entering the gimbal market
The teaser above was just posted to Insta360’s YouTube channel. In it, we can see various close-ups and details that all lead towards one conclusion. Insta360 is entering the gimbal market. It seems to take a few pointers from other gimbals on the market, such as a magnetic mount, while managing to retain what appears to be a very unique appearance. And appearance with lots of sleek curves.
Given the talk of helping you “master your mobile shots” in the video description – not to mention the aforementioned magnetic bracket at the end – this suggests that this is a gimbal for smartphones and not the action or 360-degree cameras we’ve become familiar with from Insta360.But we’ll find out soon enough, as it’s expected to be announced on March 29th at 9am Eastern.
One thing that stood out to me in the teaser above, with regards to the gimbal’s design… There’s a lot of transparent plastic on there, letting you see through to the circuit board underneath. I hope this is in the final model and not just an aesthetic for the teaser. I’ve missed that classic 90s transparent tech look! It has an interesting looking control pad. Not a single physical button in sight, except for what looks like a joypad in the middle.
What we can see on the controls is that it’ll offer at least Follow, Pan-Follow and FPV modes, along with “Auto” mode – whatever that is. We also see the two arrows spinning around in a circle, reminiscent of the little button in most camera apps that you press to switch between your phone’s front and rear cameras – suggesting it will communicate with your phone, perhaps over Bluetooth. And on the left we see a big bright red splodge that’s presumably a start/stop record or shoot a picture button.
Gimbals is an interesting market for Insta360 to enter, given the existing competition. There are a lot of big names out there in gimbals now, with the biggest being DJI and Zhiyun. Is Insta360 really looking to compete against them?
While I have no inside knowledge of Insta360’s future plans, I suspect that they’re not going to fully enter the gimbal market. At least, not in the near future. Given the small stature and portability of their existing camera systems, like the ONE RS, the GO 2 and the X3, I think Insta360’s focus will stay on the small. They’ll stick to action and vacation shooters who want to pack as light as possible. And when you’re not using an action or 360 camera for the random stuff, or you just need to quickly add an extra camera, your phone’s often the go-to.
So, while an interesting decision to enter the gimbal space, it’s also not an entirely surprising one. As well as the bracket shown at the end of the video, the other thing that really suggests that this is a gimbal for smartphones and not Insta360’s array of cameras, is that their cameras don’t really need it. They all have Flowstate stabilisation – either built-in or through the app – so it doesn’t really make much sense to release a motorised mechanical stabiliser for them.
It’ll be nice to see another big name joining the gimbal world. Right now, there are less than a handful of known trusted brands in the gimbal space – and many random generic unknown copycats. Even if Insta360 does only end up sticking to smartphone gimbals and not branch out into larger rigs for mirrorless and cinema cameras, it’ll still be good to see some new competition.
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.