Insta360 finally has some serious competition with the release of the GoPro Max, the second generation GoPro 360 camera. The GoPro Max ($499) features many of the same features we’ve come to love with the One X, along with a few unique features of its own. The One X ($485) has been heralded as the most user friendly 360 camera ever, something which the entire industry has struggled with. GoPro have clearly paid attention to this and modelled their new GoPro Max around ease of use. So should you choose the GoPro Max or the Insta360 One X? In this post I’ll be comparing the specifications, features, image quality and user experience to see which comes out on top.
GoPro Max vs Insta360 One X
|Specs||Insta360 One X||GoPro Max|
|Lenses||2 x f/2.0||2 x f/2.0|
|Video Resolution||5.7K @ 30fps – 4K @ 50fps – 3K @ 100fps||5.6K @ 30fps – Hero Mode 1440p @60fps|
|Photo Resolution||18 MP (jpeg & RAW)||16.6 MP (jpeg)|
|360 Live-Stream||Yes – 4K||Yes – 1080p|
|Stabilization||“Flowstate” 6 Axis Stabilization||“Hypersmooth” 6 Axis Image Stabilization|
|Waterproof||With waterproof case (added extra)||Fully Waterproof up to 16ft (no case required)|
|Shockproof||No||Shock Resistant Casing|
|Memory||Up to 256GB Micro SD||Up to 256GB MicroSD|
|Battery||60-80 Minutes of Video||1 Hour of Video|
|Sensors||Gyroscope, Wifi, Bluetooth||Gyroscope, GPS, Wifi Bluetooth|
|Audio||x2 Microphone||x 6 Microphone (ambisonic audio)|
|Compatibility||iPhone & Android||Android/Apple|
|Other Features||HDR Photo and Video, Reframe App, Slow Motion, 360 Time Lapse, Bullet Time||Reframe App, 360 Time Lapse, Time Warp, Single Lens Hero Mode, LCD Screen|
|Where to Buy||Insta360 Website||Amazon|
Just looking at the raw specs it seems that the two cameras are fairly evenly matched; in fact the Insta360 One X has slightly better video and photo resolution. Bare in mind that the quality of the sensors in the lenses can make a big difference in the quality of the video. GoPro usually use superior sensors and processing chips in their cameras. The two cameras are targeting the same user base with an easy to use 360 camera that also be used to create “normal” video using a mobile editing app.back to menu ↑
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The two cameras have completely different designs and you should pay close attention to how this affects usability. The Insta360 One X is a small candy bar shaped device with a small, basic screen with a few manual buttons for shutter and power control. You can change some settings on the One X using these buttons however you’ll need to connect to the app for full control.
The GoPro Max is a thicker, square shaped camera which features a full LCD screen, similar to what you would find on a GoPro Hero. The screen allows you to fully control the camera without the need to connect to a phone app. You can also preview photos and videos before and after shooting them, whereas with the One X you need to connect to a phone or desktop before seeing your images.
The GoPro Max is also fully waterproof and features a shock proof casing. The One X requires an extra case to become waterproof and is unlikely to survive a fall from height. Overall the GoPro Max has the superior design thanks to its screen.
The thickness of the Max does mean that there is a more obvious stitching line between the two lenses when you get closer to the camera. The thin body of the One X allows it to maintain a more seamless stitch even in difficult circumstances.back to menu ↑
Video and Photo
The GoPro Max can shoot 5.6K 360 video at 30fps whereas the Insta360 One X can shoot 5.7K at 30fps. You might conclude that the One X must shoot slightly superior quality video, however resolution isn’t everything. The GoPro Max not only uses superior quality sensors in its lenses but also a next generation chip for processing video inside the camera. In most situations, particularly low light, you’ll find that the GoPro Max is likely to shoot superior quality video.
As you can see from the above comparisons, the GoPro Max shoots richer, more colorful video. The clarity of the video is pretty equal with both however the Insta360 One X seems wash out colors and slightly overexpose lighter areas. The GoPro max is producing deeper blacks and the color balance is more accurate to reality.
Where the One X does seem to have the edge is video options. The Max only has one other video mode which allows you to use just one lens to shoot 1440p “normal” video, similar to a GoPro Hero. The One X doesn’t have this feature, but it has the option to shoot 4K video at 60fps and 3K video at 100fps. The GoPro Max seems to lack these options.
Both cameras are designed primarily to create re-framed video. This is where you shoot 360 video and turn it into a super smooth, cinematic flat video using an app. Both cameras have video modes that let you take advantage of this, for example timelapse and hyperlapse. It seems that when it comes to shooting video the GoPro Max has a slight edge over the Insta360 One X in terms of quality, even if the One X has more shooting options.
When it comes to photography it seems the One X has the edge. Not only can it shoot higher resolution images (18MP vs 16.6MP) but it also has the option to shoot RAW images, allowing the maximum amount of detail to be captured. The GoPro Max lacks this feature currently but it could be added in a future software update.
One unique feature the Max does have in the photography department is PowerPanos. these are wide angle panoramas shot instantly with the Max. They don’t require any stitching and can be uploaded right away. I’ve found them fun to shoot and you can get some awesome photos using this feature.
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Both the Insta360 One X and GoPro Max are targeting people who want to shoot action shots which is why they both feature advanced software stabilization. Insta360 calls their software “Flowstate” and GoPro calls is “Hypersmooth”, but they achieve the same effect. You can attach your camera to a bike, surfboard, car, motorbike and regardless of how bumpy your shot seems to be the stabilization software will smooth it out. It really does work in most cases and it seems like both companies are pretty equal in how well their stabilization software works.back to menu ↑
While it may not seems as important as video and photo quality, sound can make all the difference in the overall quality of a video. The GoPro Max is the clear winner in terms of audio quality, featuring 6 internal microphones providing ambisonic audio and near shotgun mic quality. Such high quality audio means you can use the GoPro Max as a vlogging camera without any extra audio equipment. The One X has woeful audio quality in comparison with only two microphones.back to menu ↑
Connectivity & Sensors
The Insta360 One X features WiFi and Bluetooth for connection to your phone and a gyroscope for stabilization. The GoPro Max features the same but with the addition of GPS for tracking locationback to menu ↑
Livestream: The Insta360 One X can livestream 360 video at 4K resolution whereas the GoPro Max can only livestream 1080p.
Battery: Both cameras can shoot video for just over an hour continuously and both have replaceable batteries.back to menu ↑
An incredibly important aspect of any 360 camera is the software that accompanies it; without good software it’s hard to create good quality video. The first GoPro 360 camera, the GoPro Fusion, features excellent hardware but difficult to use software which led to mixed reviews. The Insta360 One X features an excellent app for quickly editing video and is a big reason why it is the most popular 360 camera.
GoPro Max Software Tutorial
GoPro have revamped their editing app for the Max, making it easy to create reframed video from your phone. Both companies now use similar techniques for editing however Insta360 has had longer to add features and perfect their software.
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The One X and GoPro Max are probably the best two consumer 360 camera out right now and you’ll likely be pleased with either of them if you are looking to shoot awesome stabilized action shots. You can also use these cameras to shoot 360 VR video and photos. The GoPro Max features a superior design and slightly higher quality video whereas the Insta360 One X has more shooting modes and high quality photography capabilities. The GoPro Max is the more expensive device, however it si waterproof without a case. The Insta360 One X with a waterproof case put it at roughly the same price.
The Max is certainly the more modern device but it does lack some basic features at launch. The One X has had longer to add these features and has a huge user base already.
- Superior Video Quality
- Excellent Sound
- Rugged Design
- Lens Protection
- Dual Video Modes
- Power Panos
- Touch Screen
- Desktop Software Not Ready
- Buggy App
- No RAW Capability
- No HDR
Insta360 One X
- Wide Range Of Video Modes
- Slow Motion Capture
- HDR Video
- DNG RAW Photos
- Excellent App & Desktop Workflow
- Thinner Design
- Not as User Friendly When Shooting
- Lower Quality Video
- Vulnerable Lenses
Where to Buy
The GoPro Max is available to order from Amazon worldwide. You can also check the GoPro website.Check Amazon
The Insta360 One X is available from the official website where you’ll also receive a free invisible selfie stickInsta360 Website