Insta360 GO – Unboxing and first impressions. Should you buy one?
The Insta360 Go is the latest camera from the company, offering a sub-20-gram fisheye action camera that is so tiny you’ll probably be terrified of losing it. But don’t let that put you off from picking one of these up. In Insta360’s unique an intuitive way they have somehow made this tiny champion a GoPro contender for social media creators.
What’s in the box?
- Insta360 Go Camera & Charging Pod
- Magnetic Pendant Necklace
- Cap Clip
- Selfie Stick & Tripod Housing
- Selection of Magnetic Mounts
- Micro-USB Charging Cable
- Micro-USB to USB-C Data Transfer Cable
- Insta360 Stickers
It’s not a bad selection of accessories for a $ 199 / €229 device that you’ll find crammed into a box smaller than the one your mobile phone came in. The styling of the accessories is modest with grey ABS plastic all round which I think is great as I’m not sure I’d want to draw any more attention to this already tiny and unusual looking camera. All the accessories are magnetic too, which makes them even more secure.
The Insta360 Go works right out of the box and paired effortlessly with my Android phone. However, I would recommend getting a full charge into the camera so you can begin setting up and using the camera to its full potential.
The Insta360 Go has it’s own dedicated app from Insta360 and is easy to navigate and set up. Make sure you create a user account as you can earn Insta360 Gold that you can exchange for accessories or discount vouchers for various cameras that the company offers.
As expected, the Android app does not have all the features that you might find on the iPhone version. The most noticeable omission is “Flashcut” and AI-controlled film studio that takes your clips and makes mini-movies that include a backing track and synced video transitions.
The Good Points
- Fast to set up and get shooting right away. Within 5 minutes of tearing off the cellophane, I had taken my first picture, video and started shooting a hyper-lapse.
- Ultra stable video with Insta360’s Flowstate stabilization. Insta360 has understood that ultra-smooth video is important to creators and it shows. Flowstate isn’t a new feature but it’s great to see that they have chosen to include it in the devices at the cheaper end of their product line.
- Slow-motion & Hyperlapse modes. I’m a huge fan of hyper-lapse, so this is so nice to see included in the camera modes. The Go takes a time-lapse and adds stabilization which isn’t a conventional hyper-lapse. But it works well and I can’t really fault it.
- Unique POV footage and unique shooting angles. Having the complete freedom of both hands while shooting stills and video is great. With the included clips and mounts you can literally stick this anywhere or clip it to your cap and create true POV content.
- It’s magnetic. The camera back is magnetic so you can pop it on almost every metal surface and operate the camera from your mobile or using the self-timer. The accessories are all magnetic too.
- Bluetooth wireless operation up to 10m. It’s not something I’m likely to use as the Insta360 Go is designed for speed of use and all the camera modes are customizable. But if you find yourself in a situation where you have some extra time to set up a shot, you have a fully-featured Bluetooth remote via your mobile phone.
- 16:9 horizontal 9:16 vertical or square output from the same video or photo file. The Insta360 Go shoots in full 180 degrees circular fisheye which means you can select various aspect ratios for editing. The single fisheye lens also allows for easy keyframing of videos within the range of approximately 30 degrees in any direction.
On a full charge you will get around 25 videos of 30 secs each, or 100 videos of 15 secs each However the Insta360 Go can be recharged in its case in approximately 18 minutes. The Charge Case can recharge the GO up to 2.5 times when fully charged. I assume the intended workflow is to keep the camera in the charging case when you are not using it and keep the charging case on charge when you are using it. For this, I’d recommend a portable battery to make sure you always have enough power to keep creating.
It’s a blessing and potentially a curse. I have to be honest within the first 30 mins of use I dropped the camera twice. Luckily it’s robust enough to withstand a few drops of my kitchen floor but I wouldn’t want to fumble and lose grip when I was outside. However, I’ll say that the size is generally a massive positive. Just be careful.
This is something I’m sure I’ll get used to over time but my initial thoughts are that the idea is very intuitive. I have the camera set up so that with one press it starts shooting video in 30-second clips, two presses will take a photo and three presses will start a 15 minute timelapse. You can set up the camera modes to suit your own needs. Slow-motion is an option along with various duration options within the settings menu on your mobile phone.
Should you buy one?
In my opinion, the Insta360 GO is a fantastic camera for photography enthusiasts, thrill seekers and social media creators, especially: Youtube, Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories. In these use cases, the GO makes it easy to capture multiple spontaneous moments, without having to fumble for your phone or bulky camera and then transform them automatically into a mini-feature film. The Insta360 GO is not a substitute for a 360 camera but it isn’t advertised as such. It is, however, a great compliment to your camera bag it just doesn’t feel as indestructible as a GoPro for example and the exposed fisheye lens is sufficiently scary at times. The recording capacity is limited however if you use it as intended — as a camera for capturing candid POV shots, it works really really well and the image quality is great as well.
So should you buy one? If you have a love for interesting ways to shoot video and photos, absolutely yes.
Price and availability.
Insta360 GO is available for purchase now for $ 199 / €229 on Amazon. It is also available directly from Insta360 – Amazon tends to ship faster and has easier returns, you may be better off getting from Amazon.
Sample Video and Images