Insta360 One R 1 Inch Mod Review: A Tiny Powerhouse

8th September 2020

The Insta360 One R was launched late 2019 as a modular camera with both 360 and normal video capabilities. The promise of more lenses came true a few months later with the release of the 1 Inch Module which Insta360 claims offers the best quality video and photo of any compact action camera.

I’ve been using the 1 Inch module for the past month or so and I’m here to tell you everything about it. In this review I’ll take you though the specs, video and photo quality, comparison with the other Insta360 One R lenses and an honest opinion on whether it’s worth buying.

This review is focused entirely on the 1 Inch module rather than the Insta360 One R as a whole. Check out my full review of the camera if you want to know about all the other lenses.

One R 1 Inch Mod Review

8.5 Total Score
1-Inch Mod Review

The 1-Inch Mod turns the Insta360 One R into a high quality action camera that shoots super high quality video.

  • 5.3K Resolution
  • Excellent Dynamic Range
  • Best Quality in an Action Camera Body
  • RAW and LOG Mode
  • Smooth Stabilization
  • Awkward Design
  • Expensive
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One R 1 Inch Mod: Specs

Specs1 Inch Module
Aperture F3.2
Bit Rate 100MBPS
Format insv, LOG
Modes Standard video, Timelapse mode, TimeShift mode
Coding H.264, H.265
Audio x 2 Microphone
Livestream No
  • 5312 x 3552 (3:2)
  • 5312 x 2988 (16:9)
  • Auto
  • Shutter Priority
  • ISO Priority
  • Manual
Format JPEG, RAW
Exposure Modes Auto, Manual (Shutter 1/8000s-120s, ISO 100-3200), Shutter Priority (1/8000s-2s), ISO Priority (100-3200)
White Balance
  • Auto, 2700K, 4000K, 5000K, 6500K
Waterproof Yes - 5ATM
Battery Still image: Approx. 260 photos - Video: Approx. 70 minutes
Special Features 1 Inch Sensor
Where to Buy Amazon
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One R 1 Inch Mod: Video

The main point of the Insta360 One R 1 Inch module is to provide high quality video in the action camera format. The name of the lens is also its best feature; the 1 Inch sensor allows the camera to capture excellent dynamic range, low noise in low light and excellent light capture. Check out this video review to see the lens in action.

The lens has been co-designed with Lecia who have decades worth of experience creating high quality optics. The technology in the lens is impressive, particularly when you consider it’s all still in an action camera format. Compared to the standard Insta360 module (and all other action cameras) the 1 Inch lens sensor is three times larger.

In practise this allows the 1 Inch lens to perform much better in low light situations compared to other action cameras. You’ll also notice superior color capture and finer details in shadows. Overall the quality of the video is noticeably better in all situations but particularly so when shooting at night.

1-inch lens review insta360 one r

The maximum resolution of the lens is 5.3K which allows for exceptionally sharp footage. This also allows you zoom into your video without losing too much quality. Again, I don’t know of any other action camera that can shoot video at this sharpness.

insta360 one r 1 inch review

1-inch mod review insta360

Insta360 has become synonymous with excellent stabilization thanks to its Flowstate software. The stabilization works best when using the 360 module as there’s more footage for the software to play with. Never the less the 1 Inch Mod still enjoys excellent stabilization and you’ll be able to get some decent action shots at a quality you’ve not experienced before.

Frame Rate Choices

One of my favourite ways to shoot with the 1 Inch Mod is to switch up the frame rate to 60fps at 4K resolution. This allows you to slow down your video but still keep everything super smooth. Other resolution options include 2.7K @ 120fps for even more extreme slow motion.

The One R is more than anything a video camera and with the 1 Inch lens it becomes a pretty powerful one. The video is the best I’ve ever seen of any camera of this size. Compared to the 4K module of the One R and even the GoPro Hero 8, the 1 Inch lens knocks it out of the park.

Insta360 One R 1-Inch Mod
Insta360 One R 1-Inch Mod
Amazing quality video and photo in an action camera form factor. Unbeatable quality and stabilization.
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One R 1 Inch Mod: Photo

While the One R as a whole is definitely designed fist and foremost for video the photo capabilities are also not to be forgotten. The 1 Inch sensor that allows the 1 Inch Mod to shoot such excellent video also allows it to shoot high quality photos.

Photos shot with the 1 Inch Mod tend to look great, once again performance in low light conditions is the stand out. Night Mode allows you to achieve amazing quality even in the most challenging conditions thanks to the cameras ability to combine multiple exposures in the camera. The camera can also shoot in RAW if you want to get the absolute best quality possible with some post editing.

One Inch Mod Night Shot

Will it be able to match up to a mirror-less camera or DSLR? Probably not, but once again it’s the quality you can get in much a compact design that makes it worthwhile.

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One R 1 Inch Mod: Design

A modular design allows the Insta360 One R to feature multiple lenses which makes it one of the most versatile cameras ever. There is a downside to this design however. Every time you want to change the lenses you need to remove the outer case, unscrew the lens cap, take the camera apart and then put it all together again. When out on a shoot this can be very clumsy and sometimes a frustrating process.

Another problem is that it’s very easy to get your fingerprints on either the lens or the lens cover, if you don’t clean this off then it will cause issues when you shoot your video. Even with a lot of cleaning with a micro-fibre cloth I found myself getting the odd smudge on the lens.

1 inch mod review

The One R itself is about the size of a GoPro Hero camera which makes it compact and easy to carry around. The case features a mount common with all popular action camera accessories. The modular system also allows you to switch the touchscreen around so it’s front facing; this makes the One R a great vlogging camera.

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One R 1 Inch Mod Review Verdict

I’ve shot a lot of footage with the 1 Inch Mod before making this review and I’ve found it to be an extremely capable camera. Never before has an action camera featured a 1 inch sensor and it really does make a tremendous difference. Mixed with the great stabilization and compact design makes the One R + 1 Inch Module the best action camera of this generation.

The main downsides of the lens is the awkward way in which the camera must be assembled, a less than stellar battery life and the need for the fastest SD card. If you can get passed these issues then the only remaining one is price.

The 1 Inch lens is not cheap. You should consider whether you really need the extra quality that the 1 Inch Mod provides. For more casual shooters it might be a bit overkill, but if you want a more professional look for your vlogs or action shots then it’s the perfect addition to an already great camera.

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Where to Buy

Insta360 has several options on their website for the One R. You can choose from multiple “Mods” or just one. Click the button to be taken to the right page.

Go to Insta360

Owner of Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express. 

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