Standing out as the ultimate GoPro competitor, the Insta360 One R is so versatile in its everyday usage.
Launched in January 2020, the One R has a good modular design and is made up of a lens Mod, a Battery Base, and the Core.
I liked what was offered in the Insta360 One X model and I can tell you for a fact that my expectations are very high for the One R camera.
In my Insta360 One R Twin Edition review, I will break down everything you need to know about this camera and help you make that crucial decision of whether to buy it or not.
I wrote a detailed comparison of the One R and One X, you can check it out here.
Being the world’s first action camera to offer interchangeable lenses, the One R can fit up to 3 lenses; the regular 1-inch wide-angle lens (with Leica branding), a wide 4K lens, and the 360-degree dual lenses.
If you have ever used a 360-degree action camera, you will agree with me that versatility and quality are key in going that direction.
The One X together with the GoPro MAX has killed it in their different spectrums.
Getting a modular action camera that allows 360 degrees shooting is something that checks a big box at least to the people I spoke to.
We all like to have the choice of what we do with our cameras and the One R gives you that choice.
Would you spend an additional amount of money and get yourself the One R Twin edition? Let me take you through this rundown to give you a glimpse of what to expect in this camera.
Insta360 One R Twin Edition Specifications
|Spec||4K Lens Mod||360° Dual-lens Mod|
|Video||Maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000 @30 fps||Maximum resolution of 5760 x 2880 @ 30 fps|
|Video Format||INSV, MP4, LOG, and HDR||INSV, LOG, and HDR|
|Video Codec||H.264 and H.265||H.265|
|Video Bitrate||100 Mb/s||100Mb/s|
|Photo Resolution||4000 x 3000 (4:3) and 4000 x 2250 (16:9)||6080 x 3040 (2:1)|
|Photo Format||JPG, Raw (DNG)||INSP, Raw (DNG),|
|Dimensions||2.8 x 1.9 x 1.3 inches / 7.2 x 4.8 x 3.2 cm||2.8 x 1.9 x 1.7 inches / 7.2 x 4.8 x 4.3 cm|
|Weight||4.3 oz / 121 grams||4.6 oz / 130.5 g|
|Compatible mobile Operating Systems||iOS A11 or Above, Android Kirin 980 or Above, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, and Exynos 9810 or Above|
|Memory Card||Yes, micro SD Card Slot up to 256 GB.|
|Bluetooth||Yes, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, 5 GHz|
|USB Interface||USB Type C|
|Battery Capacity||1190 mAh|
|Charging Method||Type C|
|Charging Time||65 Minutes|
|Operating Temperature||-4 to 104°F / -20 to 40°C|
|Retail Box Weight||1.25 lb|
|Retail Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||9.1 x 4.4 x 2.3 inches|
Three Quick Differences between Insta360 One R and GoPro MAX
|Insta360 One R||GoPro MAX|
|Supports a number of video formats from the two codecs (H.264 and H.265) hence giving you more editing powers||Has only the MP4 video format from one codec, H.264|
|Does not have ISO tuning for both photos and videos.||Has ISO range for both photos (100 – 800) and videos (400 – 6400)|
|Has 2 microphones which perform averagely.||Has 6 microphones that produce high quality audio.|
For more details, have a look at my GoPro Max vs Insta360 One R comparison.
What’s in the Box?
I got myself the Twin Edition and I had an amazing unboxing experience with my retail package. I found the following:
- 1* 4K Wide Angle Mod
- 1* Dual-Lens 360 Mod
- 1* Core
- 1* Battery Base
- 1* Lens Cap
- 1* Finger Mount
- 1* USB type C cable
- Lens Cloth
- 1* Camera Frame
- Paper Work
Design & Components
Weight and Dimensions
Being a modular action camera, the Insta360 One R has different weights and dimensions depending on the mod you are using.
Using the 4K wide-angle lens mod, the camera weighs 121 grams with a dimension of 2.8 x 1.9 x 1.3 inches.
The dual-lens 360 degrees mod will give your camera weight of 130.5 grams with a body dimension of 2.8 x 1.9 x 1.7 inches.
Finally, the 1-inch lens will give your camera weight of 158.2 grams and a camera dimension (W X H X D) of 3.1 x 2.1 x 1.9 inches.
Processor & Image Sensor
The Insta360 One R packs a high-efficiency Ambarella processor which does a very impressive job in giving crisp images and videos.
Insta360 partnered with Leica in producing the image sensor for the 1-inch lens mod.
The display part of this camera is contained in the core attachment which also houses the processing unit.
The display is tiny and many have named it as one of the major downsides of the One R.
The 1.3-inch square display is an OLED touchscreen that can be used to navigate through the different settings and interface.
It will also show you the mode you are currently using, battery status, and live monitoring of your footage.
Shooting with an aspect ratio of 16:9 will give you an even smaller display and you may easily miss out and lose focus on your live monitoring.
Insta360 has a lot of work to do in the screen department, at least to accommodate everybody.
Insta360 One R is a modular camera that supports up to four different types of lens mods that will help you capture in the taste you wish. The Mods are:
- Dual-Lens 360 Mod: Takes 5.7K footage in a 360-degree view.
- 4K Wide Angle Lens Mod: Takes 4K wide-angle scenes
- 1-Inch Wide Angle Lens Mod (co-built with Leica): Take 5.3K wide-angle content on a premium 1-inch sensor
- Split-Lens 360 Mod: 5.7K 360° Mod that can be separated in two and used with a Drone Mount. Have in mind that this lens is not waterproof, unlike the other three.
These are the different builds you can do with the One R Twin Edition:
Tip: To protect your lens from scratches and dents, use the lens guards provided by Insta360 to cover the dual-lens when in action. You can also get a suitable and genuine lens protector/cover for any of your lenses. I bought this one for my Dual-Lens and it helps out a bunch.
Ports and Sockets
On the right side of the camera, there is a small door that encloses both the memory card slot and the USB type C port.
The USB charging cable is supplied in the retail box but you will have to buy a memory card separately.
The supported memory card size is a micro SD type and can be of a maximum capacity of 256 GB.
Insta360 advises the use of MicroSD cards of speed classes UHS-I and V30 for guaranteed optical performance. You can get the SanDisk 256GB Extreme Micro SD card.
Before using a newly bought memory card, be sure to format it. The formatting option is provided in the camera settings.
Insta360 One R Camera Frame
There is a camera frame that is provided by Insta360 right within the box of your retail purchase.
To insert your camera in the frame, just open it up and make sure your camera faces the right direction, then slide it smoothly.
The frame provides finger mounts at its bottom, similar to what we saw with the GoPro Hero8 Black even in the structure which means you can mount this camera to many of the GoPro accessories that you already have.
When the camera is not in use, use the lens protector provided to cover the lens and keep your camera safe. The Lens protector only covers the Dual-Lens 360 degree mod.
Microphones and Audio
The One R has two microphones to record your audio. This is three times less than what we get with the GoPro MAX 360 camera.
One microphone is located between the shutter and the power button on top of the core and the other microphone is located on the right side of the core adjacent to the USB lock cover.
The audio quality is good in the One R camera and it met my expectations in that department.
There is a noticeable improvement from the Insta360 X camera and that is always a step in the right direction for any camera upgrade.
There is no dedicated port that can support an external microphone in the One R.
However, Insta360 has made an adapter that can connect to the USB C port on your camera and offer you a 3.5mm mic port on the other end.
The Insta360 One R Mic Adapter is currently unavailable from Amazon, but you can purchase it directly from the official Insta360 site.
Using an external microphone has always been my option especially if I am out doing some Vlogging in a noisy area.
One big advantage is that the external microphone is always at proximity to your mouth hence the audio clarity is maintained.
Using Apple Airpods to record Audio
Yes, you read that right, you can now pair your Airpods to the One R via Bluetooth and use the Airpods’ internal microphone to record audio.
The audio quality from this recording is not better than having an external microphone but it is a lot more convenient to use.
There is an option to use noise reduction with the One R. when filming in windy areas, I would suggest you keep this setting on so that your audio can be enhanced a little bit.
However, the noise reduction performance is average and well below my expectation from Insta360.
The Insta360 One R is waterproof without the need for waterproof housing. This is an improvement from the preceding One X model which lacked waterproof capabilities.
The camera is IPX8 rated, meaning you can use the camera for your underwater adventures up to a maximum depth of 5 meters / 16.4 feet.
If you are a scuba diver, you can consider getting the VGSION Waterproof Housing Dive Case for your desired Lens Mod which is usable for up to 60 meters / 196.85 feet underwater.
Always rinse and dry your camera after every water adventure, and always test your waterproof housing before using it.
Controls and Buttons
On the top side of the core part of the One R camera, there are two buttons; the record button and power button.
You can access the menu of the One R by swiping down the touchscreen where a list will show up.
The touch screen sensitivity will greatly reduce when you are underwater. Be sure to have the correct settings before making that dive.
The One R has many modes to choose from thanks to its modular design.
To change between modes once your camera is on, tap on the lower-left corner of the screen. The main modes are photo/video/preset.
Under the photos mode, you can choose between any of the following; standard photos, HDR photo, Burst photo, Interval photo, and Night Shot.
Under video mode, you get the following sub-modes in each Lens Mod:
- Dual-Lens 360 degrees Lens Mod: Standard, HDR, Time-lapse, and Bullet Time.
- 4K Wide Angle Lens: Standard, HDR, TimeLapse, and Timeshift.
- 1 inch Wide Angle Lens: Standard, Timelapse, and Timeshift.
After you have selected your desired mode, you can then choose your shooting parameters.
The One R supports voice control where you can use your voice following the predetermined voice commands to control your camera.
This feature allows me to control the camera when my hands are engaged in other activities during action filming.
To activate this feature, you swipe down to open the menu list and swipe once to the left. Tap to turn on voice control then choose settings to select your language choice.
Apart from using the touch screen and buttons to control the One R, there are two additional ways to do that. One is by the use of a GPS remote control, and second is the use of a smartphone app.
Using a GPS Remote Control
This remote does not ship with the camera and you will have to buy one separately if you intend to use it.
Unlike the version we get with other action camera brands like Akaso, this remote features a status screen.
It has two buttons, shutter/ enter, and power/switch buttons. There is a status indicator on the upper left side of the status button as well as a micro USB charging port at the bottom side of the remote.
Before using this remote, make sure your camera runs on the latest firmware. If not, be quick to make that update.
To connect the GPS remote with your camera, first, turn on the remote then go to Bluetooth remote setting on your camera.
Select the ‘Insta360 remote’ and once the connection is successfully made, the remote screen will display ‘connected’.
Once connected, you can use the remote to control your camera.
The smartphone App by Insta360 is very swift to use thanks to the updates.
To use this App make sure your phone’s processor is iOS A11 or above, Android Kirin 980 or above, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, and Exynos 9810 or above.
Older processors may show laxness in linking between the phone and the camera.
To connect the two devices, turn on Wi-Fi on your camera and select ‘connect now’.
After that, open the App on your phone and connect it to the Wi-Fi. There is also an option to manually connect the two via a USB cable though I do not use that.
Once connected, you can use the phone to navigate through your camera.
Every lens mod in the One R has its resolution counts and capabilities. The following are the resolutions in each lens mod:
- Dual-Lens 360° Mod: 5.7K and 3.8K
- 4K Wide Angle: 4K, 3.8K, 2.7K, and 1080p
- 1-Inch Wide Angle Lens: 5.3K, 3.8K, 2.7K, and 1080p
The pixels widths and heights for each resolution are as follows:
- 5.7K: 5760*2880
- 5.3K: 5312*2988
- 4K: 4000*3000
- 2.7K: 2720*1530
- 1080p: 1920*1080
Filming with the Insta360 One R is very enjoyable since all the video outputs met my expectations.
Re-framing footage I shot with the 360 degrees lens gave me a 1080p output which is generally an impressive quality.
The colors are very sharp even without tweaking the color plus option which is provided by the Insta360 One R.
I have not noticed any oversaturation with my One R so far. This was a big issue to me especially with the GoPro Hero 6 Black, which overdid red and blue colors in the daytime shooting.
Night shots are not so good compared to the day time shots, but it does better work than most action cameras out there.
Generally in the video department, I would say that you will get exactly what you pay for.
Here’s a video shot by Gunnar Biniasch showing the 4K video quality of the One R:
Another video shot by Engearment showing the 360-degree video quality of the One R:
The One R presents 120fps as the highest frame rates which are only found with the one inch and 4K wide-angle lenses available with a resolution of 1080p.
120 frames per second is very ideal for shooting in slow motion, it gives you 4X slow-motion videos.
The lowest frame rate is 24fps which is available in all the lens mods and is compatible with all resolutions.
Other available frame rates are 25, 30, 60, and 100fps.
The videos captured by the One R have a bitrate of 100Mbps (megabits per second).
This high bit rate means more writing speed that will then produce better quality videos.
However, my usage of the 4K lens shows that the bitrate used was between 75mbps – 85mbps, the one inch and 360 degrees lens both showed a bitrate of 90mbps.
The One R uses both H.264 and H.265 video codecs to encode your videos shot using the 4K wide-angle lens.
The 360-degree dual-lens also supports both but uses the H.265 which is particularly important in encoding videos shot in a resolution of 5.7K.
Using the newer H.265 codec will produce files in smaller sizes hence taking up less space in your memory card.
It also gives you more editing powers in post-production. However, be sure that you have a powerful PC that can handle videos encoded with H.265.
It is very much possible to shoot in slow motion thanks to the high frame rates of 100 and 120fps provided by the lenses.
Shooting in slow motion with the 360 degrees lens in 50 fps will reduce your video resolution to 4K and 3K when you use 100 fps.
When in 3K, I was able to notice the drop in resolution, but it was not a big deal for me.
In the 4K lens, shooting in slow motion will lead to image cropping. I used the option of 2.7K100fps which gave me a softer film but the performance did not meet what I can get with the Hero8 Black.
When filming a slow-motion action, I recommend that you move as close to the action as possible.
Here’s a video shot by Luke Edwin showing the slow motion quality of the One R:
You get an option to shoot Time Lapse footage with the One R. The rule of the thumb in this mode is to always keep your camera in a still position and avoid any manner of shakings.
Also, note that audio is not recorded in this mode.
Here is a 360 time-lapse video made by Gimbal Guru:
You can read through this tutorial by Insta360 on TimeLapse and learn the different modes available in this shooting.
This feature that came with the Insta360 One X is also made its way in the One R model.
Timeshift is only available with the 4K and One-inch wide-angle lenses, in the 360 degrees dual-lens, it has been replaced with Bullet Time.
I enjoy using the time shift to create amazing scenes, and you can read this tutorial to get yourself started on how to use this feature.
The One R is probably the best action camera I have used for stabilization.
Calling it the FlowState stabilization, Insta360 has done a very good job of letting you extract a smooth HD video from 360-degree footage.
With the One R, you will have no worries in doing more intense and rugged activities.
The One R has various modes to choose from when capturing your photos. They are Standard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Night Shot, and Star Shot.
Photo Resolution and Aspect Ratio
Depending on the mod you are using, you will get different resolutions and ratios for your photos.
- Dual-Lens 360° Mod: 6080*3040 with a ratio of 2:1
- 4K Wide Angle Lens: 4000*3000 with a ratio of 4:3, and 4000*2250 with a ratio of 16:9
- One inch Wide Angle Lens: 5312*3542 with a ratio of 3:2, and 5312*2988 with a ratio of 16:9
The One R also supports several photo formats available with its various Lens Mods.
- Dual-Lens 360° Mod: Insp and RAW
- 4K Wide Angle Lens: JPG and RAW
- One inch Wide Angle Lens: JPG and RAW
Please note that you will need a desktop software to edit files saved in the RAW format. I personally use Abobe Premiere.
This format is very versatile when it comes to editing powers because they are not compressed and I prefer using it.
Photos shot by the 360 degrees dual – lens and saved in the Insp format can either be exported through the App or studio.
The 4K lens presents a very impressive day time image quality that can rival what we get with the Hero8 Black.
It captures a lot of details with great sharpness and I was so impressed with the results.
The 360 degrees dual-lens on the other hand gives the GoPro MAX 360 a tough competition. The day time images appear very bright and stunning, to say the least.
However, the low light scenes did not look so good which is expected for an action camera.
Here are some photos shot with the Insta360 One R, a 360-degree photo and a normal photo:
The battery forms the base of this modular action camera. To detach it from the core, you will slide the battery buckle slowly to avoid breaking it.
The battery is a rechargeable Lithium Polymer with a capacity of 1150mAh which is slightly more than what we get with most action cameras, but a bit less compared to the Hero8 Black.
As expected with such a capacity, it is impossible to complete an entire day without charging in your camera.
I got 40 minutes filming in 4K before the juice ran out.
To charge up this battery, make sure you use a compatible 5V/2A power adapter to avoid damaging your power source.
If you are an intense camera user, you need to get a spare battery base from Insta360 to ensure your recordings are uninterrupted.
Pros and Cons of the Insta360 One R
- Excellent video stabilization
- Detailed videos
- Good modular design
- Waterproof capabilities
- Improved phone App with new AI
- Average battery performance
- Few bugs
- Tiny screen
Is the Insta360 One R Worth it?
The Insta360 One R performed exceptionally well in many departments and I was much impressed.
First of all, having a modular design camera that gives you 360 degrees shooting capabilities is a huge plus.
The image stabilization works very well to ensure you get smooth footage.
Other convenient features like being able to connect your One R to an Apple Airpods and Apple Watch is a step that Insta360 took in the right direction.
I hope to see these cool features being maintained and hopefully other brands should learn something as well.
The Audio quality is not the best, but I was impressed by Inta360’s action to make an adapter that will permit you to attach an external microphone.
Insta360 should improve the battery life by increasing the capacity. I would also wish they included their fast charger in the box.
For now, you have to purchase that separately. Also, the screen size is very small.
Should you buy the Insta360 One R? I would say yes, based on what you are looking for in an action camera.
For most people, this camera checks most of the boxes and the only stumble to buying it is the price.
If you are also coming from the Insta360 One X, the One R model is a worthy upgrade.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Insta360 One R Twin Edition review and found it useful!
If you have any questions or comments about this camera, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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