Chinese camera manufacturer Insta360 has devices to cover almost every eventuality and budget, from compact handheld consumer cameras like the diminutive Insta360 One all the way up to the colossal £15k GBP Insta360 Titan which can shoot at 11k resolution. For those filmmakers who don’t want the excess of the latter and need more than the former, there’s the Insta360 Pro 2, which professional videographer Phillip Bloom took around London, UK, offering some hand tips for budding 360-degree users.
Insta360 Pro 2 arrived in 2018 offering 8k resolution from its six F2.4 fisheye lenses, capable of shooting 8K 3D at 30fps, 8K monoscopic at 60fps, 6K at 60fps or 4K 3D at 120fps. Other features include a live monitoring system allowing for low-latency remote monitoring, ideal for when you need to record a scene without actually being in it – rather tricky when shooting 360 videos.
It’s these techniques and problems Bloom addresses in his video, noting how 360 content needs to be recorded in high resolutions like 8k so that it looks good in virtual reality (VR) headsets after processing. It’s not just about 360 either, he records a 180-degree sequence whilst walking across Millenium Bridge.
On the topic of not appearing in your own video Bloom has several suggestions. There is Insta360’s Farsight remote viewing system which works up to 300m away but as he notes, in the middle of a city leaving such expensive hardware on its own may not be safe. On a bridge this can be tricky, so as long as there’s a crowd simply blend in.
VRFocus’ video producer Oliver Townsend had a chance to play with the Insta360 Pro 2 recently, finding that: “The Insta360 was very simple to set up and featured helpful guides to assist the whole process. The stitching software was easy to locate and download. As someone with no previous experience in filming in 360 or stitching video or images together, it was overall very easy to work with.”