Photo and film enthusiasts who are serious about it have a lot to carry around.
A solution is actually obvious, which Insta360 is now bringing onto the market.
With the Insta360 One R, the manufacturer transfers the principle of interchangeable lens cameras to the ActionCam.
It works a bit like you know it from the Lego bricks: You simply assemble the camera you need at the moment.
In the tested One R Twin Edition, this is either a 4K ActionCam with a wide-angle lens, or a 360-degree camera for all-round shots.
Three parts are always put together: the flat battery, the control element with a small display and the lens, which is roughly the same size, with a built-in photo sensor.
In the end, the camera is the size of a gopro.
Insta 360 ONE R
Buy Insta 360 ONE R action camera online now
Order at Amazon Compare prices at Idealo
Water resistance is only enough for snorkeling
The assembly is basically simple, but still not completely harmless.
Because it can quickly happen that you drop the lens and damage the lens.
Despite the plug connections, the Insta360 One R is waterproof to five meters.
That's enough for snorkeling, but not for diving.
However, there are optional accessories that divers can also use to take the camera deeper.
Insta360 thought of a lot in its concept.
The control element can be plugged onto the camera in such a way that the display is facing forward directly next to the lens.
This is very convenient for video bloggers because they see each other while recording.
Normally, however, the module would be plugged in so that the display is on the back so that it can be used as a viewfinder.
Once the camera is assembled, it has two buttons on the top: one to turn on, the other to release.
Everything else must be set on the display.
Insta360 One R: The screen is only about the height of a thumb
But there is a weak point here.
The screen is about as high as a thumb, so it is not easy to always select the settings accurately.
This is no longer possible under water.
A button here would not be bad to at least be able to switch between video and photo.
Apart from the service, there is hardly anything to complain about.
Technically, the One R shows maximum performance.
Videos with the wide-angle module are recorded in high 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.
30 frames per second are then still in HDR mode, in which bright areas of the image do not outshine and dark areas still show details.
The camera also allows some functions that are triggered by voice, including pressing the shutter button.
However, this only works in English and Chinese at the moment.
On the one hand, the battery is charged via the USB-C port, on the other hand, an external microphone can be connected here with an adapter.
According to the manufacturer, Apple's AirPods can also be connected to the camera, which then allow the user to control the recorded sound while recording a video.
However, we did not succeed in such a connection in the test.
The camera takes photos and videos in very good quality.
The better the ambient light, the better the results.
This is true for all cameras, but it is especially true for ActionCams.
The video stabilization that Insta360 calls "FlowState" is very powerful and also produces good results.
In the twin edition, the second lens is a double lens that is oriented forwards and backwards.
This will cause the camera to take a 360-degree photo or video that will be automatically stitched together.
Even a selfie stick to which the camera is attached is automatically retouched.
All of this works well when the subjects are not too close to the camera.
Sharpness cannot be compared with HD film
The 360 gad image can be viewed in the small display before the image is taken.
Such a recording is possible up to a resolution of 5.7K.
That sounds like a lot at first, but it extends over the entire 360 degrees.
If you look at the result on VR glasses, for example, you will notice that the sharpness cannot be compared with an HD film on the television.
Insta360 does not advertise the 360 degree picture as an all-round view.
Rather, users can subsequently generate an HD video from the format and choose the perspective freely.
This works best in the Insta360 smartphone app, which allows a variety of editing options.
Video tutorials in the app explain this very clearly.
For example, a person in the video can be tracked regardless of how the camera was held during the recording.
The app has a lot of effects and also an automatic cutting function, behind which artificial intelligence is supposed to be.
However, the results are better if you lend a hand yourself.
Conclusion: Users who want to film with both an ActionCam and a 360-degree camera have exactly the right camera with the Insta360 One R.
There is also an optional additional camera module with a one-inch sensor that was developed together with Leica.
However, if you are looking for a pure ActionCam, you are better off with a current Gopro or the DJI Osmo Action, even if both manufacturers with their smartphone apps do not come close to the quality of the Insta360 application.
Unfortunately, 360-degree videos are downscaled by the smartphone app and not exported in the full 5.7K resolution.
To do this, users have to install the free computer program Insta360 Studio on their computer, which is, however, very cumbersome to use and also allows much fewer functions than the smartphone app.
Incidentally, the camera takes 360-degree photos with 18 megapixels, which is not really a lot for an all-round view.
Unfortunately, the camera always triggered with a delay in the test.
This is hard to forgive, especially with ActionCams.
However, a software update should solve the problem here.
The Insta360 One R costs 510 euros in the Twin Edition.
This article was first published in March 2020.
This article was first published in March 2020.