Insta360 X3 Review

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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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I’ve been testing out the Insta360 X3 and it’s by far the most fun and versatile action camera I’ve used. In this in-depth review, I’ll take you through everything this brilliant little gadget can do.

I’ve been testing out the X3 and it’s by far the most fun and versatile 360 camera I’ve used. In this in-depth review, I’ll take you through everything this brilliant little gadget can do.

Insta360 X3 Overview

The Insta360 X3 is the latest generation of consumer 360 camera from Insta360, building on the popular previous 1X2 model. It captures full 360 video at up to 5.7K resolution with improved image quality thanks to larger sensors. Some of the standout features include:

  • Dual f/2.0 lenses each record a 180° hemispherical view that is stitched together in-camera to create seamless 360° capture.
  • Up to 5.7K 360 video resolution at 30fps, and 4K at up to 60fps. 72MP photos.
  • New half-inch sensors offer better low light performance with less noise compared to previous models.
  • 4 microphones for immersive 360° audio recording.
  • In-camera horizon leveling stabilization keeps footage steady even if you tilt and angle the camera.
  • Touch screen control plus voice control options.
  • Waterproof design rated to 10m/33ft depth.
  • Compatible with a huge range of mounts and accessories including selfie sticks, invisible sticks, suction cups and more.
  • Integrated quick-release mount connects directly to GoPro style accessories.
  • Includes a tall 3m invisible selfie stick for capturing unique top-down or drone-like angles handheld. Can be extended to 1.5m or 0.8m lengths too.
  • New AI-powered editing features in the Insta360 app and desktop studio software make reframing shots easy. Track subjects, change speed and more.

Insta360 X3 Features & Benefits

Image and Video Quality

Let’s take a closer look at image and video quality from the X3’s new dual f/2.0 lenses and larger sensors…

5.7K 360 Capture

The headline specs are 5.7K at 30fps in 360 mode. This spreads a very decent resolution across the full 360° field of view, giving you flexibility to punch in and reframe shots later without losing critical detail.

I shot side-by-side with the GoPro Hero 10 Black in its max 5.3K single lens setting, and unsurprisingly the Insta360 couldn’t match it for outright crispness and resolution when viewing both at 100% zoom.

But for sharing online and real world use, 5.7K gives high enough quality 360 capture to make editing easy without any discernible lack of detail. Slow motion modes go up to 4K at 50/60fps which is ample for good quality slo-mo too.

Low Light & Dynamic Range

The new half-inch sensors are a big upgrade over previous Insta360 cameras. Combined with an f/2.0 aperture lens, the X3 performs well in low light conditions with usable footage even when shooting handheld at night.

Noise is very well controlled up to around ISO800, beyond which you’ll start to see more speckling and loss of detail in shadows. The active HDR mode was a little inconsistent in my testing, sometimes overexposing brighter parts of the scene to pull out shadow details. I found leaving it off gave the cleanest results.

HDR is useful for balancing mixed lighting conditions indoors though, like if you have bright light coming through a window but want to capture detail of darker furniture for example.

Stitching & Artifacts

In general the stitching between both hemispherical lenses is excellent, with seamless blending throughout most clips. You may notice a faint vertical line between lenses on some shots, but it’s only visible when looking very closely on high contrast edges.

There can be more obvious stitching artifacts and doubling of elements along the stitch line when shooting fine detailed repetitive patterns, like brickwork or roof tiles. The latest stitching algorithms in the editing software do a good job at minimizing these though.

4K Single Lens Mode

The X3 has a Single Lens mode that records regular wide angle 4K video from one of its lenses, essentially turning it into an action camera. Quality is perfectly good, on par with something like the GoPro Hero 10 shooting in 4K.

You can switch between lenses to capture frontal or rear views. And the wide 180° field of view gives a nice immersive perspective. Simple editing options are available like adjusting FOV, stabilizing footage and adding acceleration or deceleration ramps.

For more advanced editing of single lens clips, you’ll want to use a separate video editor.

Shooting Modes

As well as various combinations of resolution and framerate for standard 360 capture, the X3 has a bunch of creative shooting modes…

Bullet Time

Attaching the optional Bullet Time accessory lets you spin the camera on a string to create snazzy Matrix-style slow motion shots. Just secure the string in the holes and gently swing the camera around you.

You’ll need a reasonable amount of open space to avoid smashing anything! But the results when slowed down are fantastic. You can record bullet time at up to 4K 120fps for smooth sweet shots.

Steady Cam

The Steady Cam mode uses motion sensors to keep your horizon perfectly level. This massively reduces the jello effect you often get with traditional gimbal stabilization on jerky handheld shots.

You don’t need any accessories, just hold the X3 and walk around to record stabilized first-person footage. It works shockingly well even over rough terrain.

TimeShift Hyperlapse

Hyperlapses are sped-up time lapses, and Insta360’s TimeShift tech lets you flexibly control the playback speed from 2x to 50x faster than realtime. This reveals patterns in motion over time in a whole new way.

It’s easy to capture hyperlapse clips handheld, mounted to a vehicle, or from a static position. I’m looking forward to using TimeShift for unique cityscape hyperlapses.


Take magical timelapses of the stars and Milky Way at night with long exposure times of up to 30 seconds per frame. This brings out details and colors in the night sky that our eyes can’t perceive.

The X3 handles long exposure shots amazingly well with very little noise thanks to the larger sensors. Just be sure to find a truly dark sky location away from light pollution.

Deep Track

Insta360’s AI tracking algorithms can automatically keep a subject centered, even if they move around. Simply draw a box around whoever or whatever you want to track.

It worked pretty reliably in my testing, intelligently panning and adjusting the frame as I moved around. You can then refine tracking during editing too.

Driving Mode

Specialized dash cam and motorcycle helmet cam modes are tailored for attaching the X3 to vehicles. Options like looping recording, collision detection to save important clips, and auto-start when the engine starts make this a versatile action cam.

Video quality stood up well to high speeds and vibration when I strapped the X3 to my mountain bike. The stabilization kept footage impressively stable even over very bumpy ground.

Photo Modes

The X3 brings 360 photography up to a seriously impressive 72 megapixels. Here are some of the unique ways you can capture and share photos…

72MP 360 Photos

In 360 mode you can capture huge 72MP photos that record a staggering amount of detail across the full 360 scene. Viewing these full resolution shots digitally lets you zoom way in to check out small elements.

There’s a tripod mount socket on the base of the camera to keep it perfectly still for hi-res multi-shot composites. A remote control option minimizes any camera shake too.

180° Wide Angle Photos

The 18MP wide angle mode uses one of the lenses to take regular framed photos. It’s a great option for standard shots where you don’t need the full surround view.

Quality is excellent, with punchy color and plenty of detail that makes the X3 just as capable as a standard action cam. You can switch between the frontal and rear lenses to snap selfies too.

Crystal Ball, Tiny Planet & VR Photos

Insta360’s editing app makes it easy to get creative with 360° photos. Applying the Crystal Ball effect frames shots in a glass orb. Tiny Planets wrap the upper and lower image areas into a circle for a cool retro look.

You can also view photos in VR goggles for an immersive experience. The app guides you through positioning your phone in a VR viewer to check out your shots.

Design, Controls & Accessories

The X3 maintains the signature Insta360 dual lens design, now with a slimmer body and intuitive touch screen control…

Design & Build Quality

An aluminum alloy shell feels solid and durable while still keeping weight down to just 166g including the battery. Rubber sealing maintains the waterproofing up to 10m/30ft depth.

The raised lens covers add thickness, making the X3 just over 4cm deep. But the compact 5.5cm width means it actually feels smaller overall than previous versions.

Touch Screen Control

A new 2.29 inch touch screen on the rear replaces the basic monochrome display used before. The responsive interface makes changing modes and shooting settings super intuitive.

You can also easily review shots, check battery level and storage space available at a glance. It’s much nicer than constantly relying on the app or vague flashing LEDs to monitor capture status.

Quick Switch Button

While the touchscreen works great, you’ll probably want to use gloves in cold weather which reduces functionality. A large Quick Switch button on top lets you conveniently cycle through the main shooting modes even with gloves on.

Voice control is another handy option for switching modes and starting recordings hands-free.


The base has a standard tripod mount for using the X3 with any tripod or mount kit.

But one of the best accessories is Insta360’s own invisible stick – a telescoping selfie stick that can extend from 0.8m to 3m length! This gives awesome top-down angles handheld.

You also get a short 0.47m mini invisible stick for more stable handheld shots. Plus a string attachment point for bullet time spins.

Connectivity & Ports

There’s a USB-C port for charging and wired transfer of footage, plus Bluetooth and WiFi for wireless control from your smartphone through the Insta360 app.

MicroSD memory cards slot into the side. I’d recommend a top quality card rated for at least 100MB/s write speeds to handle the high bitrate video files without any lag or glitching.

Software & Editing

Reframing 360 footage is where the Insta360 ecosystem really shines. Their app and desktop software both make editing an intuitive process.

Insta360 Mobile App

The free app for iOS and Android devices provides full control over camera settings and modes, with minimal latency when using a Bluetooth connection.

It’s also where the magic happens when retouching your 360 content. An array of powerful editing tools let you reframe shots, track subjects, adjust speed, apply neat perspective effects and more.

Insta360 Studio Desktop App

For next-level editing finesse on a computer, Insta360 Studio brings additional pro-level features. Multi-clip editing, color grading tools, and more advanced tracking give full creative flexibility.

I especially like being able to use keyboard shortcuts for more efficient editing workflow compared to working on a touchscreen device.

Convenient Auto-Editing

If you just want to quickly share clips straight from your camera, the Insta360 app’s Auto Editor analyzes footage and automatically generates edited highlights ready for export.

It does an impressive job pulling out the best shots and adding smooth transitions and music. The algorithmic editing won’t replace a pro editor any time soon, but it’s great for social sharing on the fly.

Export Flexibility

Once you’ve creatively edited your 360 content, you can export the end results in a huge range of standard and 360 formats. These include MP4, MOV, JPEG, equirectangular, tiny planet, VR180 and more.

Insta360 also offers cloud storage and sharing options, so you can upload clips for friends and clients to view online from anywhere.

Pros & Cons

Let’s summarize the main positives and any potential downsides of the Insta360 X3’s design and performance…


  • Captures high quality 5.7K 360 video and 72MP photos
  • Very effective built-in stabilization keeps footage steady
  • Intuitive touch screen control plus voice commands
  • Huge range of accessories and mounts for capturing unique angles
  • Comprehensive yet user-friendly editing options
  • Waterproof, durable design


  • Visible stitch line can appear between lenses in high contrast areas
  • No adjustable aperture or advanced manual controls
  • Requires ample ambient light for best image quality
  • Slow motion limited to 4K 120fps
  • Lens covers are slightly protruding and vulnerable to damage

Who are the Insta360 X3 Review for?

Final verdict on the Insta360 X3

Despite a few minor nitpicks, the Insta360 X3 represents a massive leap forward for consumer 360 cameras. Image quality, creative capture modes and intuitive software are all top-notch.

It brings an exciting new dimension to action sports and travel adventures, offering both 360 immersion and the flexibility to frame cool standard shots after recording.

For content creators and social media users, the versatility to completely control perspective and composition in post makes this a powerful filmmaking tool.

While the X3 may not shoot the absolute highest resolution video or most detailed still images, it’s the total package as an easy-to-use creative capture device that lets you shoot first and think later.

If you’re an action sports enthusiast or self-shooter who has been curious about 360 cameras, the Insta360 X3 is quite simply the most fun and capable option out there. It could make you rethink how you shoot travel adventures, events, sports and more.

For under $500 it’s very competitively priced against premium single lens action cams. And the possibilities are endless when you can capture entire scenes in high resolution 360.

So if you want to take your videos and photos to the next level, be sure to check out the game-changing Insta360 X3! Have you tried shooting with 360 cameras before? I’d love to hear your experiences and any questions about the X3 in the comments below!

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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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