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Insta360 X4 announced with significant resolution increase to 8K30p 360 video

Insta360's new X4 360 camera.
2 minute read
Insta360's new X4 360 camera.

Insta360's new X4 360 camera promises to be a big step up in performance and resolution over previous models.

360 cameras, particularly in the consumer realm, have been around for what seems like donkey's years now, but they have always been limited by the sensors that have been available to them. For the most part, once you've performed the flat reframe, you're limited to a 1080p output, and even then the image can still suffer from artefacts of some sort or another.

Insta360 X4-Snowboarding
Insta360's new X4 promises a serious bump in specification over previous 360 cameras. Image: Insta360

Insta360 X4 announced

However, now Insta360 has announced the X4, a 360 camera with what looks to be some impressive new specifications over the X3. To begin with, the X4 utilises 1/2" sensors, that when stitched together produces 8K 360 video up to 30p; a world first in a consumer spec 360 camera. The larger, higher resolution sensor means that the X4 can now output 2.7K resolution reframed video, or 170-degree FOV 4K "single-lens" flat footage right out of the camera. Additionally, it can record 11K time-lapse videos, up from 8K on the X3. Stills wise, the camera is capable of capturing a whopping 72MP 360 panorama.

If you need to shoot in lower light or need higher frame rates, the X4 can shoot 5.7K 360 video at up to 60fps, or 4K up to 100fps. All of this means that users will have much more flexibility when it comes to reframing and zooming in on footage and images, overcoming some of the main drawbacks of 360 cameras until now. Okay, so those are the headline image specs, what else has changed on the camera?

The X4 and X3 look almost identical, but there's been quite a few tweaks to improve the design. Firstly, the X4 now has lockable lens protectors rather than the previous sticky ones. Two different types are available, standard, which come with the camera, and premium, which is available separately but have little effect on image quality. The X4 features a similar 5nm process AI chip to that found in the company's Ace Pro action camera, not only allowing for better image processing, but much more accurate voice and gesture controls.

Insta360 X4

Designed to be tough

According to Insta360, aside from the significant resolution bump, increasing the toughness of the camera was at the heart of its design decisions. In addition to the new lockable and scratch resistant lens protectors, the X4 is designed to cope with water depths of 33ft without a housing, whilst using the camera inside the Invisible Dive Housing it can be taken down to 164ft. Temperatures down to -20 degrees centigrade can apparently also be handled with ease by the device. A new 2290 mAh battery is designed to run the camera for up to 135 minutes in 5.7K 30p mode and 75 minutes in 8K mode, while the 2.5" LCD display is constructed from Corning Gorilla Glass for scratch and impact resistance.

Other features include a 4K "Me" mode. Me mode makes full use of the Invisible Selfie Stick to allow a user to use the camera without having to be concerned about reframing the video afterwards. Me automatically keeps you in the frame, which will be incredibly useful for Vlogging style walking or running shots, drastically reducing the amount of time you have to process the footage afterwards. Me mode can also be recorded at 2.7K resolution for 120fps slow motion.

Insta360 X4 front view

While timelapses can be recorded up to 11K, the X4 can also produce 8K time shift footage. What's the difference, you ask? Well, timelapses are generally static, while time shift takes a moving timelapse, such as walking around a city or a landmark, and so the camera has to employ stabilisation techniques to keep the footage smooth, hence the slightly lower resolution.

The X4 also has some convenient physical features, such as a quick select button to quickly change picture modes, with users being able to set up their own custom profiles.

We've been out testing the X4 in the wild, so we'll be bringing you our full thoughts on the camera in our forthcoming review very soon.

The Insta360 X4 is available now for US$499.

Tags: Production 360 cameras Insta360 NAB 2024