Insta360 X3 Review: the perfect waterproof 360 camera

“The Insta360 X3 is a highly versatile camera able to capturing high-resolution 360 footage.”


  • Excellent image quality
  • Large, beautiful touchscreen display
  • Creative and fun modes
  • Waterproof


  • Some features don’t work well in lowlight situations

Making your videos stand out in an age where tens of millions of individuals are striving to do the identical on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram is not any easy task. That’s where the Insta360 X3 is available in. The X3 is the newest in Insta360’s line of versatile 360 cameras, and it’s more of an all-in-one solution that’s also compact and waterproof. It’s full of features aimed toward expanding your creative horizons. Can the X3 deliver on its promising potential and earn a spot in your camera bag?

Insta360 X3 design

The updates to the X3 are immediately apparent, because it now contains a big, beautiful 2.29-inch touchscreen on the back. The older X2 camera implemented a tiny little circular display that, while very interesting and usable, may be very hard to return to after using the X3 display. Navigating menus, changing settings and modes, and reviewing footage are a lot easier with a big touchscreen.

The X3 also has more physical buttons, which I actually appreciate. It’s way easier now to begin and stop recording or to swap between 360 and single lens modes. There’s also a recent quick menu button that allows you to easily save and access presets. An extra improvement is a hatch for the USB-C port. It’s more robust and easier to open or close.

The control buttons and screen of the Insta360 X3.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The design of the neoprene sleeve for the X3 has been altered in order that there’s now a hole that permits access to the USB-C port without having to remove the X3 from the case. Little quality of life upgrades like this are very much appreciated.

Though the X3 is barely larger than the X2, it’s still a highly compact device that’s easy to suit into most pockets. The small size is great because it makes it more likely that I’ll commonly carry the camera around along with my other gear.

Image quality

insta360 x3 vs X2 vs RS vs 1-inch 360 edition – Video Quality Comparison

The X3 offers a major boost in image quality over the X2, which is great since disappointing image quality was my one big criticism with the X2. The X3 has a rather larger sensor and a rather brighter lens, and the difference is form of incredible.

The X3 delivers really good-looking video that’s sharp and clean. It could shoot 360 video at 5.7K resolution at 30 frames per second (fps) or 4K at as much as 60fps. In single-lens mode, it captures 4K at 30fps and as much as 60fps should you drop all the way down to 3.5K resolution. Slow-motion can also be available at 4K at 120fps or 3K at 180fps. This implies the X3 is an upgrade over its predecessor but doesn’t quite approach the GoPro Hero 10 Black when it comes to slow-motion and single-lens resolution.

Due more likely to the larger sensor and aperture, the X3 now performs higher in lowlight situations. I used it within the dappled forest and still got good-looking footage, though a few of the special modes like bullet time need plenty of light to operate properly. The video it produces isn’t quite up there with the far more expensive Insta360 One RS 1-inch 360 edition, and that camera will still be my go-to as best-of-the-best option for 360 capture, particularly for astrophotography.

The X3 really shines when its high-resolution sensor is put to full use. It could shoot 72MP 360-degree photos and film time-lapses at as much as 8K. This makes the camera an incredible alternative for realtors creating VR experiences of properties, or for landscape photographers who need to record a time-lapse while they’re shooting still photos with a DSLR.

Extra features and accessories

The Insta360 X3 with accessories on a picnic table.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The X3 comes full of a wide range of specialised modes and accessories for achieving different effects. My favorite of those, as with other 360 cameras, is star-lapse mode, through which the camera captures star trails for incredible cinematic night sky shots. As a result of the all-encompassing field of view, you’ll be able to get your complete sky within the shot, after which pull several different shots out of a single 360 video. I like sticking these star trail shots into travel and adventure videos for an enormous boost of the “wow factor.”

One very practical recent feature of the X3 is a 4K single-lens mode through which the camera uses only one in every of its two lenses to provide a more traditional motion camera-style video straight out of the camera. With this mode, you’ll be able to choose from the default field of view (FOV), and FOV Plus, which enables a 170-degree field of view for ultra-wide shots, though these wider shots should have 360 horizon lock and flowstate stabilization applied in postprocessing within the Insta360 app or studio.

You may get your complete sky within the shot, after which pull several different shots out of a single 360 video.

The so-called invisible selfie stick lives as much as its moniker by completely disappearing in your photos and videos when used with the X3. Over the past 12 months, it has develop into my favorite selfie stick because of its long reach and durable construct quality.

I had the chance to check the X3 with the bullet time cord accessory, which, when combined with bullet time mode, means that you can spin the camera around you to create crazy slow-motion shots that will otherwise require a highly expert FPV drone pilot to tug off. This might be really cool, but you actually need strong daylight for the 4K 120fps slow-motion video to look good.

The Insta360 X3 sitting on a tree branch.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Two recent modes  on the X3 are Me Mode and Loop recording. Me Mode is designed for vlogging or other activities through which you wish the video to center exclusively on you. Loop recording repeatedly records footage, but only saves the last 1 to half-hour of the video. One potential application of loop recording is to utilize the X3 as a dashcam for a motorbike or bicycle.

Other optional accessories include a fast reader and an external microphone adapter, each of which attach to the USB-C port. Also available is a 3-meter-long prolonged selfie stick for capturing drone-like shots.


The Insta360 X3 on a pebble beach next to the sea.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Despite long recording sessions in warm summer conditions, I never experienced overheating with the X3, and it stood up well to chilly nights capturing star-lapse videos. The camera easily shrugged off a dunk within the ocean and put up with rough-and-tumble mountain climbing excursions. I did, nevertheless, run incessantly right into a problem through which the camera would freeze up on me, often during startup, and I needed to pop the battery out to get it up and running again. Nonetheless, it’s essential to notice that I tested the camera using prelaunch firmware, and the camera never froze while recording.

By way of battery life, I discovered that the X3 could get me through a median day of recording on a hike, though, as with most 360 and motion cameras, it’s only good for a single star-lapse on a charge. For multi-ay backpacking trips, you’re definitely going to want a number of backup batteries.

The camera easily shrugged off a dunk within the ocean and put up with rough-and-tumble mountain climbing excursions.

Insta360’s FlowState stabilization and 360 horizon lock are as impressive as ever on the X3, so it’s easy to capture smooth footage.

The camera is waterproof all the way down to 33 feet, though for seamless 360 stitching underwater (in addition to deeper dives), you’ll have to purchase a dive case. Should you’re going to make use of the camera underwater so much, I’d recommend a dive case anyway, if only for an additional layer of protection. The X3 is fairly rugged and impact-resistant, but as with every 360 camera, you’ve got to watch out of those two bulbous lenses. As I’ve unfortunately experienced previously, you don’t want these lenses to come back into contact with abrasive substances.


Insta360’s mobile and desktop applications are very accessible ways to review and edit 360 footage, plus they provide a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro. There are easy options available to simplify the method for novice editors and lots of depth for seasoned content creators to dig into.

The Insta360 X3 sitting on the branch of a tree.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Price and availability

The X3 is out there now and retails for $450, which is roughly within the ballpark of a GoPro Hero 10 Black or the DJI Motion 2. Though it’s barely pricier than either of those motion cameras, it also offers a greater level of creative versatility. For a 360 camera, the X3 is a remarkably inexpensive option.

A wonderful waterproof 360 camera that won’t break the bank

Insta360 offers an intensive lineup of 360 cameras, yet the X3 still manages to face out with clear benefits and its own area of interest. It’s a serious upgrade over its predecessor and offers great value for money. Perhaps most significantly, it’s a ton of fun to make use of, in addition to an incredibly versatile tool, because of its extensive range of shooting modes and options. As a compact and waterproof all-in-one package, the X3 is straightforward to hold with you and quick to tug out and begin filming.

While the modular RS system that Insta360 also produces is a gorgeous alternative, particularly with the 1-inch 360 camera attached, the simplicity of the X3 has distinct benefits. The relatively low price point for a 360 camera can also be highly appealing, and for most individuals, the X3 is probably going the perfect 360 camera to decide on.

Editors’ Recommendations

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Elgin Shopping Mall
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart