Insta360 Go : We’ve been here before…


Screen-less, Monitor-less, Clueless shooting of video on a 1st generation 1080P camera. Been there with the HD Hero, Tachyon XC, Polaroid Cube, etc… bunch of early generation cameras where you spray and pray videos and hope that something came out, or in the case of the Insta360, you hope that you even pressed record in the first place… Can the Insta360 Go differentiate itself from all the others who have been here in this field of slightly too small, slightly too useless cameras?

Pro’s

  • Small and light
  • Gyro based EIS software stabilization

Con’s

  • Random Freezes
  • Almost zero interface
  • No Screen
  • No Live View in app
  • Confusing tap/click/press interface instructions
  • no audio feedback
  • no voice interaction
  • App is unintuitive
  • Go App filled with ads to buy Go
  • Get double the camera for $14 less with the Insta360 One

Specs

  • Video Resolution
    • Standard: 2720×2720@25fps(Captured)/1080@25fps (Exported via app)
    • Interval Shooting: 2720×2720@25fps(In Camera)/1080@25fps (Exported via app)
    • Static Timelapse: 3040×3040@30fps(Captured)/1080@30fps (Exported via app)
    • Hyperlapse: 2720×2720@30fps(Captured)/1080@30fps (Exported via app)
    • Slow Motion: 1600×900@100fps (Captured) /1600×900@25fps (Exported via app)
  • Video Bitrate
    • 40Mbps (In camera) 30Mbps (Exported via app)
  • Video Duration
    • Standard: 15, 30, 60 seconds. Run time of 60 minutes (with Charge Case)
    • Interval Shooting, Slow Motion: 15 or 30 seconds
    • Hyperlapse: Adjustable interval, record up to 30 minutes to produce a 5-minute video
    • Static Timelapse: Adjustable interval, record up to 8 hours to produce 9 second video (24 hours option is coming soon)
    • Interval Shooting: Adjustable interval, record up to 7 days
  • Photo Resolution
    • 3040×3040 (Captured)
    • 1:1 Exported at 2560×2560
    • 16:9 Exported at 2560×1440
    • 9:16 Exported at 1440×2560
  • Charge Time
    • Insta360 GO approx. 20min
    • Charge Case approx. 1hr
  • Run Time
    • 60 minutes of run time for standard video (GO + Charge Case). Equivalent to 200 clips a day, averaging 18 seconds a clip.
  • Weight
    • Insta360 GO 18.3g
    • Charge Case 43.3g
  • Dimensions
    • Insta360 GO 49.4×21.4×14.85 mm
    • Charge Case 50.46×59.76×25.5 mm

Whats Included

  • Insta360 GO
  • Charge Case
  • Magnet Pendant
  • Easy Clip
  • Angle Wedge
  • Sticky Base
  • Pivot Stand
  • Pivot Stand Base
  • Charge Cable Type-A to Micro-USB
  • Android Adapter Cable Micro-USB to USB Type-C
  • Quick Start Manual

Real world usage

I found the size of the Go so small and the case so slippery that holding it hand held was really an issue, its very slippery and hard to hold, there is no hand grip included so sticking it places is your only real option.

Too slippery to hold handheld

Next up was wearing the necklace and sticking it in front of your shirt which apparently unless you wear bright white tshirts all the time will have every single person you meet come up to you pointing at your shirt saying “what is that?” not exactly gonna capture candids this thing but oh well. Next was trying it with a half zipped sweater, slightly more inconspicuous but after dropping off my daughter at school I had found out that even though I thought I was taking videos and photos apparently I was not.

Digital Stabilization is give take, you can have a level horizon but the foreground gets extra shaky.

A quick trip to Costco allowed for another test of the necklace mount, I was wearing a black polo shirt and the camera stuck out like a sore thumb for sure with people staring at me crazy. The stabilization works really well for background items but you can tell the foreground is extra shaky as typical with EIS stabilizers you get one or the other but typically not both.

Exciting life captured.

The Sticky Pivot stand was really stable once mounted to a solid surface like the windshield of the car, the ball joint was nice and stiff making positioning a bit difficult but preferred in my opinion since it will keep the mount from vibrating out of position once mounted. The reusable adhesive is similar to a phone mount that was used before where it was very gummy but over time of installation and removal it gets dull and no longer sticks anymore, washing it with water sometimes helps but after a while it will be useless unfortunately. the screw mount from the ball joint to the sticky base is about 5-6mm in diameter and unfortunately doesn’t seem to be a 1/4-20 mount which leaves mounting the pivot base to other items out of question.

More EIS issues, background looks great, foreground looks …

The Angle wedge mount fit onto the brim of my hat but faced the camera downward, an angle i didn’t think was very useful. Flipping the hat around seemed a better option with the camera facing forward, however this was another case of where having no audio indication makes using this frustrating. What was thought to be several videos being saved ended up being zero videos being saved again.

Every, Single, Time….

Bugs, Freezes and Connectivity issues.

Below is really what initiated the thought to just return this camera. The consistent string of issues with a device that felt Beta at most.

1. On multiple occasions I tried to use this camera only to plug it in and see that there was no videos on the device.

2. Multiple times i plugged the case into my phone (after having to remove my case because the lightning connector is too short) and nothing happened no camera showed up, no files transferred, nothing but what it did do was make my iPhone XS really hot around the apple logo.

3. Multiple times I plugged the camera into the charge case and the light was stuck on white with no flashing or indication, the camera just got really got to the touch and no response was available on the camera. Tapping or clicking did nothing. (after a few times i found out that long pressing the back button for maybe 30s seemed to restart the device.)

4. Bluetooth connectivity never automatically worked, you click connect and it would say fail, then you would have to select Manual Connection, then go through the Bluetooth pairing procedure again, every time.

First page of app, AD, then video from a different model of camera.

Cluttered, un-intuitive app

We have been eyeballing the Insta360 Cameras for a while. The selling point over the Fusion was seemingly the software. What was seen as intuitive and easier to use than GoPros frustrating garbage software that consistently crashes and overheats the camera mid transfer, has really ended up being an OK to use software albeit being very cluttered with tutorials and other peoples video clips, and worst of all ads. OK I bought your camera, open the app, and the first thing I see is an ad to buy the camera, second thing I see is a video from a Insta360 OneX, something completely different than what I just bought, and almost so as to make you feel like, aww that looks so much better, I should have bought that instead.

second page when there is no content, how about another ad?

Next screen, there is no content, so what else to put, another AD and push for you to buy the camera you just bought.

Tutorials are useful sure, but why a second button click for camera connection?

Third click is the camera button, you would assume it would go directly into the camera via live view and if not yet connected then it would go into the connection screen, right? No. You are taken to a screen full of tutorials (handy and useful yes) distracting from what I clicked this button for. Now if I wanted to go to the actual camera control screen i have to click another floating button on the bottom, then that takes you to the infamous waiting room where you wait and get these familiar messages, get used to them, you’ll see them every time…

So you hold the back button down, get two vibrations, select Manual Connection on your device, wait for the connection and what do you get when you finally connect to your camera?

That’s it?

A Screen with no Live Preview, no Photo Modes besides “Standard”, a Timer, and a Shoot button, That is it.

Conclusion

A headless 2.7K camera with 1080P crop for EIS is a bit of a jump to say “glorified Polaroid Cube” however its hard not to feel that way. This camera is in a way worlds above say a GoPro Hero2 with no stabilization and minuscule form factor. But in away at its essence I cant help think “glorified Polaroid Cube” Sure its got EIS from a 2.7K crop using Gyro Data, is it better than the DJI Osmo Pocket with Physical stabilization but for twice the price? hard to say. The Go does have its $199 price going for it, this is until you realize you can get the Insta360 One for $14 cheaper at a measly $185 you get 4K 360° Video

$14 cheaper you can get the big brother and shoot 4K 360° Video

If you really wanted to upgrade from the Go you could look at its really big brother, sure its double the price at $399, but you do get 5.7K 360° Video. not exactly a “wearable” and definitely Apples to Oranges but the main takeaway im trying to give here is there is better cameras to spend your money on from the same manufacturer, especially with the One being cheaper than the go itself and both include the ” FlowState Stabilization”

You can always go all in for double the money!

or you know, wait until the end of the month for GoPro’s new stuff 🤦‍♂️

Mic Photo Gallery

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