Insta360 continues to add to the modular One RS family with the introduction of its latest camera, the One RS 1-inch 360 Edition.
This time, the brand has teamed up with the imaging experts at Leica to develop a 360 module with dual 1-inch sensors.
Its large bulbous lenses and Leica branding give the appearance of a serious image-making tool, but how does it perform in the real world?
We’ve been putting it to the test in an effort to find out.
The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition is without a doubt Insta360’s most impressive 360 camera to date.
Along with the image quality, though, comes a serious price tag – and that’s sure to put a lot of potential customers off.
If you’re producing 360 content commercially – for real estate purposes or virtual tours, say – then the 1-inch edition makes a lot of sense. For the average consumer, it’s hard to justify.
The decision to make this camera a part of the One RS modular family is a bit of a puzzling one, as well. The engineering behind the new form factor is impressive, sure, but the upgrade cost for existing users is substantial since only the core is compatible.
Regardless, if you happen to fall within this camera’s somewhat niche target market, the low light performance is seriously impressive and the increased resolution makes a big difference in sharpness. It’s a great camera – it’s just for a very specific type of user.
The design of the 1-inch 360 Edition is seriously clever. It utilises the same Core module as the Insta 360 One RS but configures it in a vertical format that’s more akin to the brand’s non-modular 360 cameras.
The reason for the orientation change is simple: the lenses are far too large to fit the standard configuration without looking extremely lop-sided and off-balance.
In this vertical format, the Core can’t be powered by the same battery terminals, so Insta360 has developed a USB-C battery module that essentially acts as a power bank. The battery and core can be slid in and out of a plastic frame, and the oversized camera module securely clips into the top with two retaining latches. When assembled, the camera feels reassuringly sturdy, and the new form factor feels natural to hold.
There is a downside to this new configuration, though. Removing the SD card now requires disassembly, as the port is sandwiched between the battery and core modules in the middle of the frame. It’s not the end of the world, and probably takes the same amount of time as opening the fiddly door on the standard One RS, but it’s a bit more of a hassle than we would like.
The camera module features two bulbous lenses that measure over an inch in diameter. They are encircled by Leica Super-Summicron branding, which inspires confidence in the optics. It’s hard to say how much involvement Leica has actually had in the development, obviously, but its approval is a good sign.
On the sides of the camera module, meanwhile, are glossy plaques that advertise the 1-inch sensors and FlowState stabilisation. These look like OLED displays at first glance, but they are, in fact, just shiny plastic. It’s a bit of an odd choice. It doesn’t look bad per se, but it might look better without them.
The 1-inch 360 Edition is IPX3 certified (when assembled), so it’s safe to use in light rain or snow, but it’s not submersible like the standard 360 module. However, that’s no major loss, as 360 videos don’t tend to work very well underwater.
Insta360 doesn’t recommend the 1-inch 360 Edition for action-sports usage, either. Instead, the new model is designed for travelling content creators, tours and real estate.