-November 12, 2021 at 7:33 a.m. Pacific Time
The sports camera market is very competitive, and GoPro is the undisputed leader-but Insta360 Go 2 brings interesting new products to the market. Apple is obviously a fan of the company, because Go 2 is the sixth Insta360 camera sold in the company's online store.
There are GoPro clones of various price points, and it doesn't make much sense to produce one more. So Insta360 chose a quite different camera with very different advantages and disadvantages...
The first and most obvious difference is the size! GoPro is not big, but this thing is really small, as you can see in the photo above, next to Hero 5.
The camera is almost two inches high, with a width and depth of less than an inch. It weighs less than an ounce!
It is a pill-shaped white unit with a black camera lens on the front and a miniature LED indicator below. The back of the device is black with gold charging contacts.
However, although this is the size when using the camera, it will be different when you carry it. The camera is equipped with an AirPods-style charging box, which has almost the same width and height as GoPro, but is thinner.
The camera shoots at 1440p at up to 50fps on the 1/2.3-inch sensor, or up to 120fps at 1080p.
It offers three aspect ratio options: 16:9, 9:16 and 1:1.
There is a built-in electronic stabilization function-including the ability to edit the horizontal angle in the later stage. Provides Timelapse and Hyperlapse modes, as well as AquaVision mode, to get more pleasant colors underwater.
It is waterproof to 13 feet, provides Wi-Fi live view for iPhone, and the charging case can also be used as a remote control.
The total shooting time is 150 minutes, but there is a big limitation, which we will introduce later. The camera can be fully charged in 35 minutes. If you want to power the camera with a mobile power supply when shooting, you can use the power supply to install accessories.
There is no free lunch in the world. Shrinking the camera to this size requires some major sacrifices. Compared with GoPro, there are three major disadvantages.
First, there is no built-in screen. The only way to see what you are shooting is to pair it with your iPhone and view it live there. This is actually not as big as you think, as we will see in the "In Use" section below.
Second, record the time. It is impossible to have a miniature camera without a miniature battery, but the compact size also greatly reduces the heat dissipation capacity of the camera. This means that the maximum continuous recording time in professional video mode is 10 minutes, or 15 minutes in standard mode. Whether this is a problem depends on your intended use.
Third, built-in storage. On the bright side, there is nothing to buy. Of course, the disadvantage is that when you want to shoot more than the 32GB or 64GB capacity provided (depending on the version you purchased), you cannot change the card. However, you can wirelessly transfer the material to the iPhone and then format the camera.
Action cameras are of course mainly used for point-of-view (POV) lenses that capture adrenaline movement. Parachuting, skiing, skateboarding, jet skiing, rock climbing, abseiling, etc.
For some such uses, a recording limit of 10-15 minutes is okay. Shooting a jump from an airplane, a skiing, a rappelling, etc. You are not watching a long recording.
However, the second method is to let the camera run throughout the event and then find the bright spot afterwards. A GoPro or clone camera usually takes about an hour to shoot, and it is trivial to carry and replace one or two spare batteries. This means you can easily capture a whole day of skiing or snowboarding, for example, and then find the best clip. Although you can put it back in the charging case to charge it between shots, the Go 2 absolutely cannot be used for this type of use.
For some of us, there is a second use of action cams. I have a GoPro mounted on the handlebar on my bike and I have to run it every time I travel.
This is not because commuting across London is usually an adrenaline-stimulating exercise, but because it happens occasionally. You may encounter some aggressive drivers putting you in danger, and I find that if I know that I have video clips, I am more capable of letting go, so I can report to the police or embarrass them on YouTube if I want. I almost never do this, but having this ability really allows me to get rid of it and continue my day.
For me, a typical practical ride takes about 25 to 45 minutes, which is within the range of a single GoPro battery, but far beyond the capabilities of the Go 2.
For me, this is a tiny camera used for very specific activities, such as the charity rappelling I did for an air ambulance in London. You may have seen this video in a recent MacBook Pro Diary article, and I noticed that the M1 Max machine allows me to edit two 4K video streams without remote heating or even turning on the fan. If not, here is:
I said that the lack of a screen is not a shortcoming you think. There are two reasons for this. First of all, all sports cameras have a wide-angle lens. This is to allow them to incorporate as many activities as possible into the frame, and also because for speed-related stimuli, a wider angle will bring a greater sense of speed.
So for my rope video, I know that as long as the camera is centered on my helmet, not tilted to one side, and the front/rear angle is correct, everything will be fine. I only use the iPhone Live View to set the forward/backward tilt of the stand, and then blindly shoot.
For this, I used the self-adhesive snap-on helmet mount provided. However, I have learned from experience that organizations that hold such events are always aware of the potential risks and responsibilities of unknown kits. Even a lightweight camera may hurt people if it falls from a height of 300 feet, so I adopted a belt and bracket method and added a lot of general engineering tools #2.
If it gets stuck and shouldn't get stuck, use a hammer. If it is not stuck and should be stuck, use tape.
The second reason why the screen is not a problem when using Go 2 is that the company comes from the background of a 360-degree camera, which is actually shooting high and wide-angle lenses and then cropping them to the traditional landscape format. If you choose Pro Video mode, you can adjust the horizon while editing, so left/right tilt is not a problem.
In addition to the helmet mount, you can also get two other mounts. The first is a spring clip, which you can attach to a seat belt or something. The second is pure genius-at least in summer! This is a pendant that you can wear around your neck under a T-shirt or similar clothing. Then the camera is connected magnetically. Because the shirt is sandwiched between the pendant and the camera, it will not swing around.
It’s pretty cold here. I can’t shoot bike rides or similar demo shots, but I just walked around in the apartment to test it. This would be a good way to take a walk.
The charging case also has a clever built-in mini tripod.
Finally, if you already have a bunch of brackets or just want more flexibility, there is also a bundle that includes a GoPro adapter.
The company’s own demo video illustrates some other ways to use the camera.
You can find more examples on the company’s YouTube channel.
I tested the Insta360 Go 2 camera set sold on the Apple website. This is a 32GB model with the above bracket, priced at $300. You can find more bundles and accessories on the company's own website and on Amazon.
If you haven't read the "Utility" section above, you will want to read it because it will tell you if this is suitable for your action camera. For me, it is not the only thing I need, but I do like it, one of the main reasons is: weight.
Mount the GoPro on the helmet and you will really know it is there! I don't like the pre-heavy feeling this gives. In contrast, Insta360 Go 2 is so light that you can't feel it. If you just want to shoot short videos, this is undoubtedly the best helmet camera I have ever used.
I also like pendants. For example, I can definitely see myself using it to take super long shots when exploring new cities in the summer—for example, it can record up to 110 minutes of 7-minute video. Portability and built-in tripod mean that it is also a very practical way to shoot time-lapse photography-of course, the iPhone can do this, but many times when I wait for the time-lapse photography to complete, I want to pass the time by using it ...My iPhone.
Most importantly, I will keep my GoPro, but now this is my default helmet camera, and I will carry it with me when I travel for super convenient time-lapse photography and ultra-time-lapse photography.
Insta360 can be purchased from the Apple Store, and more options can be purchased on the Insta360 website and Amazon.
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Ben Lovejoy is a British technical writer and EU editor for 9to5Mac. He is known for his column articles and diary articles, and has explored his experience with Apple products over time to get more comprehensive reviews. He also writes novels, there are two technical thrillers, a few short science fiction films and a rom-com!
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