Insta360 Ace Pro Review: Is Your Next 4K FPV Drone Camera?

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RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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The Insta360 ACE PRO was released about 2 months ago and has quickly become one of the most talked about new action cameras on the market.

As a 4K camera designed specifically with drone pilots in mind, it offers some unique features not found on other popular models like the GoPro Hero 12.

In this in-depth review, we’ll take a close look at the ACE PRO to see how it stacks up for FPV drone use and help you decide if it’s worth upgrading from your current camera.

Overview of the Insta360 ACE PRO’s Key Features

Before we dive into image quality comparisons and sample footage, let’s do a quick rundown of the ACE PRO’s key features:

  • 4K 60fps video – Records smooth, stabilized 4K footage at up to 60 frames per second
  • Low light performance – Excellent low light capabilities thanks to the large 1/1.3” sensor and f/2.0 aperture
  • Built-in screen – A 2.25” touchscreen allows monitoring and playback directly on the camera
  • Stabilization – Utilizes Insta360’s advanced FlowState stabilization for smooth videos
  • PureShot mode – Special low light mode enhances stabilization and reduces noise
  • Clarity zoom – Allows 4K digital zooming up to 4x while maintaining full 4K resolution
  • 180° fisheye lens – Captures a wide 155° field of view for immersive FPV footage
  • 5.7K 360 mode – Can also record 360° video at up to 5.7K resolution
  • AK real-time stitching – Stitches 360° footage instantly for instant previews
  • Smartphone editing app – Makes editing and sharing easy with a mobile device
  • Compatibility – Works with most FPV drones including custom built quadcopters

The ACE PRO is feature-packed but also weighs around 50g more than a GoPro. We’ll look closely at how the extra weight impacts flight performance on racing drones. First though, let’s take a hands-on look at the camera itself.

Hands-On With the ACE PRO

My first impressions taking the ACE PRO out of the box were that it’s considerably larger and heavier than a GoPro Hero 12. The camera feels extremely solid and durable though thanks to its alloy metal frame.

Some of the extra bulk comes from the built-in 2.25” touchscreen which flips out to the side. For FPV, having a screen right on the camera is incredibly handy for framing shots and reviewing footage without needing an external monitor or phone. The brightness is decent and it remains visible even in sunny conditions.

Navigation is simple with either the touchscreen or two physical buttons on top. By default, it powers up in video mode so you’re ready to start recording instantly whenever the opportunity arises.

Innovative Magnetic Mounting System

Another standout feature is the magnetic mounting system which feels super solid once attached. It uses an alloy locking frame that slides onto the bottom of the camera. Magnets then hold it firmly in place.

To remove it, you simply press the release tabs on each side of the mount. This gives a very satisfying click when reattaching as the locking mechanism engages. Once mounted, there is no chance of the camera falling off accidentally.

This mounting system is a genius improvement over the traditional GoPro style. The camera can be attached and removed in seconds without fiddly plastic housing doors to worry about.

Included in the box are several mounts including a flat sticky mount, curved sticky mount, and adjustable pole mount adapter. For drones, you can use any existing GoPro style mount. I used a basic flat mount stuck to the top plate which worked perfectly.

Image Quality

Now for the most important factor – image quality! How does the footage stack up compared to other popular action cameras like the GoPro Hero 12?

I put the ACE PRO through extensive testing under all different lighting conditions. Here are my impressions of the video quality:

Daytime / Good Light Performance

During the day, or in any well lit conditions, the image quality is excellent but quite similar to a GoPro or Insta360 One RS. The large 1/1.3” sensor captures crisp, sharp 4K footage with accurate color reproduction.

There isn’t a mind blowing difference compared to other high-end action cameras in good light. The extra size and weight don’t seem to provide a substantial quality improvement.

That said, the footage remains very impressive with lots of fine detail and smooth motion thanks to the great stabilization. Here’s a short clip showing daytime video quality:

Low Light Performance

Here’s where the ACE PRO really shines – low light shooting. The combination of a large sensor and f/2.0 aperture allows it to capture remarkably clear, colorful footage even in very dim conditions.

Shadow areas retain good detail and noise levels are kept impressively low. The PureShot mode enhances this further by optimizing the settings specifically for low light scenes.

In side by side comparisons, the ACE PRO easily beats the Hero 12 in dark environments. There is noticeably less noise, better dynamic range, and richer colors.

Stabilization also seems to work better in low light compared to a GoPro which can sometimes get “shaky” looking footage as shutter speeds increase.

Check out this clip showcasing the low light capabilities:

While the regular video mode works well in dim conditions, the PureShot setting takes it a step further. This engages some additional processing specifically for low light scenes to further reduce noise and improve stability.

It’s impressive how clean the PureShot footage looks even when it’s almost completely dark. If you frequently fly at dawn, dusk or indoors, this mode will provide a big advantage.


Along with outstanding image quality, the other hallmark of Insta360 cameras is advanced stabilization, which helps smooth out video from fast moving drones.

The ACE PRO offers two options for keeping footage buttery smooth:

FlowState Stabilization – Insta360’s proprietary stabilization tech that removes camera shake and vibration. Works well for standard video.

Gyro Overcapture – Additional stabilization method that uses motion data from the camera’s sensors to further refine and steady footage. This produces incredibly smooth results when used with the Insta360 app or desktop software. The effect is gimbal-like stabilization even on rough flights.

Gyro overcapture requires some post processing but creates the absolute smoothest results. When recording 360° video it can completely steady the horizon regardless of drone orientation. This helps remove the jitteriness you sometimes see in FPV footage.

Here are two clips showing how Gyro Overcapture can improve stability in post:

This powerful stabilization is a major advantage of the ACE PRO for FPV use. The built-in FlowState works very well already, and the Gyro Overcapture takes it to another level.

Extra Features

Beyond just shooting standard video, the ACE PRO has a few bonus features that add additional creative options:

360 Mode – This uses the full circular fisheye lens to capture 5.7K 360° video. The 360 footage can then be reframed in any direction in post to pull out standard HD video. This allows you to effectively “aim” the camera long after the flight.

AK Real-Time Stitching – When shooting in 360 mode, the footage is stitched instantly to preview a tiny planet or flat panoramic view on your phone using the Insta360 app. This is hugely helpful to frame 360° shots.

Clarity Zoom – This allows zooming in up to 4x at the full 4K resolution thanks to the extra data from the 1-inch sensor. This gives you a way to get closer to subjects without physically moving the drone.

Starlapse – Takes timelapses of the night sky as the stars move overhead. Could produce some epic aerial timelapses.

AI Cam – Uses artificial intelligence to create short edited videos complete with music and effects from your clips. Kind of a novelty but fun to play around with.

Bullet Time – Uses multiple ACE PRO’s at once to orbit around a subject for dramatic “bullet time” shots. Difficult to pull off from a drone but an interesting concept.

While I likely wouldn’t use these modes much for FPV, they demonstrate the versatility of the camera. The 360 and zoom capabilities in particular can enable creativity beyond traditional action camera shooting.

Using ND Filters

One essential accessory for getting the most out of the ACE PRO is ND filters. These reduce light entering the lens so you can shoot at ideal shutter speeds.

ND filters become critical on sunny days to avoid overexposing footage and having a “strobe effect” from the props. They also allow using lower ISO and shutter speeds for sharper, cleaner looking video.

Insta360 includes a nice set of ND filters in the box (ND 4, 8, 16, and 32 stops) that just press into the lens cover. Make sure to pick the right level of ND filtering for the lighting conditions so footage isn’t too dark or bright.

I found the ND 8 filter perfect for flying around sunset time. ND 16 or 32 are necessary on bright days to sufficiently cut light.

The filters fit securely onto the lens cover without any vignetting. Just be sure to press them in evenly all the way around.

FPV Flight Testing

So far we’ve focused on the ACE PRO’s design and video capabilities. But how does it perform when mounted to a racing drone?

I extensively tested the camera on the BetaFPV 95X V3 to see if the extra size and weight posed any issues:

Weight – At 155g with a battery, the ACE PRO weighs about 50g more than a GoPro Hero 12. This is a significant increase for a tiny 95mm whoop style drone. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the 95X could still fly smoothly and respond quickly with the added weight. There was only a minor loss of agility and speed that was hard to notice.

Size – The larger camera body did not cause any issues with mounting or visibility for the 95X. Since it replaces a GoPro style camera it fits where most drones already have space allotted. No part of the drone needed modification to fit the camera.

Vibrations – Despite the heavier weight I did not observe a large increase in vibrations compared to a Hero 12. Footage remained smooth without any vibration induced jello effect or distortions. The excellent stabilization built into the camera likely helps minimize the impacts of weight.

Flight times – With the same 850mAh 1S battery, flight times dropped from about 5 minutes with a Hero 12 to roughly 3.5 minutes with the ACE PRO. This is an expected consequence of the increased payload weight.

Overall, the 95X had no trouble handling the ACE PRO and I imagine most 5” drones would fare even better. The only real downside is reduced flight time. For cinematic flights this isn’t a huge deal, but for freestyle it means less rip time.

Pros and Cons Summary

Here’s a quick rundown of the main benefits and drawbacks I found using the Insta360 ACE PRO for drone FPV:


  • Outstanding low light video quality
  • Clean stabilization even in dark settings
  • Awesome built-in touchscreen for framing shots
  • Innovative magnetic mounting system
  • Gyro Overcapture provides gimbal-like stabilization
  • ND filters included for proper daytime exposure
  • More versatile than a GoPro with 360 and zoom modes

Potential Cons

  • Significantly heavier than a Hero 12 or Runcam camera
  • Bulkier size can obstruct lower camera views on some drones
  • Reduced flight times due to weight
  • Not a major video quality boost in bright lighting

Is It Worth Upgrading?

The ACE PRO brings some excellent new features to the action camera space that can benefit FPV pilots. But is it worth ditching your GoPro or Runcam to upgrade?

For most pilots, I don’t think the upgrade is mandatory. If you primarily fly in good daylight conditions, you won’t see a massive improvement in video quality. The exceptional low light performance is the main selling point.

If you often fly in low light or indoors, the ACE PRO is a worthwhile upgrade for the much cleaner looking footage it can produce in dim conditions. This applies to cinematic videos around sunrise/sunset as well.

For hardcore freestyle pilots, the shorter flight times from added weight may be a dealbreaker. But for more cinematic, flowing flights the ACE PRO produces great looking and stabilized videos.

If you don’t need to upgrade yet, the ACE PRO is certainly still worth considering for a future purchase as action cam tech continues advancing in interesting ways.

Final Thoughts

The Insta360 ACE PRO brings some of the best low light recording abilities I’ve seen from an action camera along with excellent stabilization. If these aspects are important for your style of FPV flying, it’s a fantastic option that outperforms the latest GoPro models.

While the video quality in ideal conditions doesn’t blow other cameras out of the water, the exceptional performance in low light conditions along with the awesome built-in touchscreen make the ACE PRO a compelling option for drone pilots.

It does come at the cost of reduced flight times and a bulkier footprint on your drone. But for pilots who prioritize great looking video under any conditions, the ACE PRO delivers amazing results.

I’m happy to recommend the ACE PRO for any drone filmmaker who flies frequently around sunrise, sunset, indoors or through bands of light and shadow. The ability to keep footage clean and smooth in dim lighting can really take your videos to the next level.

Have you flown the Insta360 ACE PRO on your FPV drone? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below! Feel free to ask me any questions too.

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Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

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