The new Insta360 X3 360-degree action camera is an easy-to-operate device with equally easy-to-use software that lets you create and edit professional-quality videos. The new X3 has an easy-to-use 2.29-inch touchscreen, high-resolution 48MP half-inch front and rear sensors, four microphones with built-in intelligence to filter wind noise and retain engine sounds, and the artificial intelligence editing software you need. you can use on your smartphone, all for a starting price of $450.Each Insta360 camera model and editing software is truly an intuitive upgrade from the previous version. This is our third review of an Insta360 unit. Previously, we’ve been impressed with the performance of the One X2 and One RS. The new X3 sets a new standard of quality. I am primarily a local weekend adventure cyclist with the occasional long distance ride who enjoys documenting the highlights of my adventures in the ultimate motorcycling Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Bike. After just a few test drive videos, I found that the best placement for my 360-degree camera is attached to the front engine guard and extended on its invisible selfie stick to the top of my windshield. The mounting clamp of the original Insta360 motorcycle kit was not secure, so the selfie stick’s mounting ball slipped on rough ground. The new motorcycle kit ($64), the mounting clamp, and the selfie stick base have been redesigned with dimples so they stay secure on most terrain. The kit includes adapters to connect the X3 to your helmet for a personal perspective. I found that adding a piece of inner tube to the clamp firmly secures the bike stand to the engine guards.360-degree recording means you capture every direction. Then you aim your shots in the edit. I generally run the X3 continuously in loop recording mode. I power the unit through its USB-C port, as the built-in swappable battery runs out in just over 70 minutes. a “Sharp Curves Next 100 Miles” sign, or an interesting conversation at a gas station, I keep the previous few minutes of the already recorded video. A quick press of a start/stop button will save the last recorded segment, which can be set from 1 minute to 30 minutes. Press Record to resume loop recording until the next interesting event happens, either one minute later or five hours later. There are many recording and photography modes available. In loop mode, you’re always recording the world around you, albeit without using memory, until you save the segment in 5K at 30fps.There are 4 ways to control your Insta360 X3:
- Use the barely-glove-fit home button on the front of the X3.
- Use your voice to tell the X3 to “Start recording” or “Stop recording”.
- Use the Insta360 mobile app for Android or iPhone.
- Use the new and improved Action GPS Remote ($80)
To add interest to your videos, you can add an overlay of your exact speed, grade, route, and GPS coordinates. You will need to record video when connected to the Android or iPhone app, or the Action GPS Remote. The Action GPS Remote uses American GPS, China’s BeiDou and Russia’s GLONASS global navigation satellite systems to provide accurate GPS data overlay for your videos on any continent.The Action GPS Remote is useful while driving. It will run for around eight hours before needing a 60-minute recharge. It can also be powered during use through its USB-C port. Because the X3 can be instantly activated by GPS remote control or phone app when you choose the X3’s Bluetooth activation function, you can record or take photos without waiting for the X3. startup routine.When taking high-res photos or short videos intermittently on a trip, I can get about five hours of battery life by using the action camera remote to turn on, record, stop recording, and let it sleep. The Insta 360 X3 records continuously for around 70 minutes on battery alone and recharges in around 90 minutes. As long as the redesigned, removable USB-C port door is closed, the X3 is waterproof to 30 feet. The new Action GPS Remote is waterproof to 15 feet when the rubber cap is secured over its USB-C port.I plug the GPS remote into the middle of my handlebars and use the large glove-friendly recording start/stop button to control the camera while riding. The GPS remote comes with two straps: one to mount on the handlebars and the other to wear on the wrist, like a smartwatch. However, the band is not long enough to secure it on my wrist and over my riding jacket. Although the other buttons on the GPS remote aren’t glove-friendly, they shouldn’t need to be pressed while driving. Bluetooth GPS remote pairing with the X3 is tricky. There are only three buttons, and a few presses make their function obvious. I found that on boot up since both were off, the fastest connection was to “Forget” the GPS remote in the X3’s settings and then find it again, which happens instantly after that procedure.Always protect exposed lenses from scratching. Do not place the camera on a table or the ground unless you have placed the lens cap on it. I’ll be riding through the Mojave desert later this year; if the wind blows, it will carry sand. Insta360 X3 Adhesive Lens Protectors ($20) will pop up to protect lenses from scratches. If you scratch a lens, there is no going back. If a blemish is evident in your videos, the only remedy is a full price replacement camera. If you want to impress your friends with a slow-motion jump whip, you can set your X3 to 3K at 100fps, or you may just have a slow-motion footage of a garage sale.Ever wanted to take one of those amazing starry night videos where the stars revolve around a single point? The X3 has a Starlapse mode just for that. There are many ways to creatively enhance your X3 videos. Some filters and effects can be added after stopping recording with just a few button presses on the phone or desktop apps.Editing on the smartphone app is easy and convenient. However, saving or uploading the edited video to social media can take hours. You’ll learn from experience what takes a long time to export and what doesn’t. Multiview, which puts you and what you’re looking at in the same frame, takes a long time to export from your phone. On the contrary, simply adding the GPS information (speed, route and other data) exports quickly. When you stop at a panoramic viewpoint, you can detach the X3, unscrew it from the selfie stick, switch modes to the front lens, and take a photo. a 36MP photo or take a 72MP 360-degree photo. Another option available to an X3 camera owner is to travel to the edge of the overlook, record the stop in loop recording mode, and then stop the recording to save it. Then, when you get a chance later, open that 360-degree video segment on your phone, find the best viewing angle, and save a screenshot of the app. The single screenshot is about 1/60 the size of the 360-degree image. While it won’t be high resolution, it will be a memory shot.I installed a 500GB microSD card in our Insta360 X3 test unit, which will support up to 1TB. 500GB is enough space to store 8.5 hours of 360-degree, 5MP video captured at 30fps. If you want to record your epic road trip in four-second time-lapse increments, you can save 45 eight-hour days to a 500GB microSD card for your closest friends to enjoy. The motorcycle mount kit includes a 64GB card that comes very close to a 70 minute battery life. Driving down Main Street in Sturgis or Lakeside Avenue in Laconia, there’s just too much going on for your passenger to capture it all on a smartphone. With the Insta360 X3 handheld on the selfie stick or mounted somewhere on your bike, not in the way of your handlebars, you can capture 100 percent of the emotion around you. The X3 frees you or your designated videographer to enjoy the sights and sounds of your journey or destination and not be distracted by having your view blocked by your hand holding a smartphone.