Insta360 One X vs GoPro Fusion: Which is the better 360 camera?

Two of the best 360 cameras ever are the GoPro Fusion and the Insta360 One X. Both can shoot among the best quality 360 video and have awesome overcapture features which allow you to create super smooth cinematic video. If you are looking for a good 360 camera, either for action shots or for creating VR video, these are two of your best options; but which would is better? I’ve shot in various locations with both cameras in order to produce a side by side comparison of their respective video quality. I’m also going to show you the strengths and weaknesses of both cameras

Insta360 One X vs GoPro Fusion

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Specifications

Specifications

Specs Insta360 One X GoPro Fusion
Lenses 2 x f/2.0 2 x f/2.0
Video Resolution 5.7K @ 30fps – 4K @ 50fps – 3K @ 100fps  5.2K @ 30fps
Photo Resolution 18 MP  (jpeg & RAW) 18 MP (jpeg, RAW)
360 Live-Stream Yes – 4K No
Stabilization “Flowstate” 6 Axis Stabilization 6 Axis Image Stabilization
Waterproof With waterproof case (added extra) Fully Waterproof up to 10ft
Shockproof No Shock Resistant Casing
Memory Up to 256GB Micro SD 2x up to 256GB MicroSD (at least 90mbps)
Battery 60-80 Minutes of Video 1 Hour of Video
Sensors Gyroscope Gyroscope, GPS
Audio x2 Microphone x 4 Microphone (ambisonic audio)
Compatibility iPhone & Android Android/Apple
Other Features HDR Photo and Video, Freecapture Mode, Slow Motion Overcapture, 360 Time Lapse
Price $399 $699 – $720
Where to Buy  Insta360 Website Amazon

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Specs Analysis

These are two of the most powerful 360 cameras ever released to consumers; they can both shoot very high resolution 360 video and have excellent potential to replace an action camera. If you are reading this then you’re probably trying to work out which one to buy, the answer will depend on what you are going to use it for. Carry on reading as I take you through the differences between the two.

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Design

The GoPro Fusion is a rugged device with a tough exterior and waterproof design that means you can take it under water up to 10 meters. The camera is on the thick side and has a small LCD screen where you can change camera settings using a few manual buttons.

In comparison, the Insta360 One X is smaller, lighter, easier to use but doesn’t come with the tough materials or water resistance. You can buy an extra waterproof case that will allow you to take your One X for a dip, but without this your camera should stay on dry land.

If you are looking for user friendliness above all else, then the One X nails is. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and very easy to control without a connection to your phone. The Fusion will be more suited to hostile environments and is more likely to survive a drop, but otherwise it can be cumbersome.

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Video Quality

The all important question is which of these cameras produces the best 360 video? The answer isn’t completely clear cut, but take a look at the video comparison below and you can make your own judgements.

The Insta360 One X footage in this video was shot in LOG mode with some color correction applied. LOG mode takes out a lot of color but maintains the highest level of detail, which may explain the difference between the two. You can of course add more color to your footage if you are able to in Premiere Pro. The Fusion footage was shot in Protune mode, which is also the best quality mode for this camera. The Fusion footage did no receive any color correction in this comparison.

Last updated on 20th November 2018 2:58 am

When all is said and done I think the Fusion produces slightly better looking video right out of the camera, but with some color correction, the Insta360 One X will be able to match it in terms of detail and overall attractiveness. The One X can shoot at a resolution of 5.7K at 120mbps, whereas the Fusion shoots at 5.2K at around the same bit rate. The slightly higher resolution will help the One X when viewed on larger screens, but the superior lenses in the Fusion allow it to shoot better low light and indoor video.

It’s not all about 360 video though, both of these cameras are designed for overcapture (or freecapture) which allows you to manipulate your 360 video into cinematic 1080p videos. This is much easier to achieve with the Insta360 One X, which has a very intuitive editing App that allows you to create awesome videos like this:

The Fusion for its part also has an editing app, but it’s not as easy to use and sometimes refuses to ever work on my phone, however if you prefer desktop editing then GoPro has you covered with specialised editing plugins for Premiere Pro.

Overcpature is a new amazing way of creating video that means you don’t have to worry about where to point your camera while shooting. It’s mostly achieved through amazing stabilization software which both of these cameras possess. Unlike normal action cameras, both the Insta360 One X and GoPro Fusion can create VERY smooth video in challenging conditions without the need for a mechanical gimbal. I’ve attached both cameras to a bike and rode as fast as I can down a bumpy road, the result in both cases looked completely smooth.

So which is better for video? If you want the absolute best quality in all situations, then the Fusion is still king, however it’s difficult to use and edit. The One X produces similar quality but at a lower price and easier to use package, it also has the advantage of a range of frame rate options which allows you to easily create slow motion video.I should also mention that the Fusion is better equipped to record its own sound, with 4 microphones creating 360 ambisonic audio, whereas the One X has a more basic setup.

Insta360 One X
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Photo Quality

Both cameras are much more suited to shooting video rather than photos, but they can also both produce good results in the right circumstances. The Fusion can shoot photos at just over 16mp in size, whereas the One X shoots 18mp images. Let’s take a look at a photo comparison:

As you can see there is a slight size difference in the photos, but not really enough to make a huge difference in terms of sharpness. What’s far more important it how each camera captures color and light. It seems that the Fusion captures deeper colors with more contrast, whereas the One X shoots brighter images with slightly more detail. You can of course edit color, contrast and light in post, but right out of the camera I’d say the One X image looks slightly better, even if the colors don’t quite match reality.

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Software

Software plays a big part of using a 360 camera, more so than other cameras. All 360 cameras have a dedicated app, some more complex than others, some that are down right useless. Insta360 has created one of the best apps for editing 360 video and turning it into “normal” video. You can sit down and create some really awesome footage that allows you to choose exactly where the camera it pointing while combining slow motion and hyperlapse. This might sound complex but the Insta360 One X app is easily learn-able in under half an hour.

You can connect your camera via WiFi or manually through a USB cable included with the camera. Connecting manually is faster and saves battery, but its good to have the option of wireless transfer. You can also adjust color, light and contrast settings and export your video with these adjustments. The only limitation is that you can’t export te max 5.7K resolution, for this you need to use the desktop software. Insta360 have put a lot of effort into their software and it’s starting to pay off.

The Fusion got off to a very bad start when it was released, with many people experiencing severe issues with the software. I couldn’t even get the app to connect to my modern Samsung phone, and the desktop software took FOREVER to render video. Things have improved over the past year, but there are still some issues.

The App isn’t as intuitive or easy to use as the Insta360 and you won’t be able to create overcapture footage as quickly. If the Insta360 One X is a mobile experience, then the Fusion is more suited to desktop. The Fusion Studio desktop app has a lot of options for adjusting and rendering your video, although you’ll have to deal with very big file sizes when using the best settings.  If you are a Premiere Pro user then I recommend downloading the GoPro Immersive Plugins, which is how you’ll create awesome overcapture footage with the Fusion.

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Conclusion

Choosing between these two cameras isn’t easy. Both shoot very good 360 video with amazing stabilisation and either could replace an action camera for shooting actual action shots. If I had to recommend one to the average consumer it would be the One X simply because it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Fusion, although that camera has received a recent price cut. If you were looking for a pro-level 360 camera but you didn’t want to pay pro-level prices, then the Fusion is the better option, but for most of us the One X is good enough.

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See Also

Insta360 One X Review

GoPro Fusion Review


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360 camera expert, 360 photographer and lover of banoffee pie. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for awesome 360 content.

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