(Please note that this article is about the flagship Insta360 Ace Pro, and is different from the entry level Insta360 Ace camera)
Insta360 has dubbed the Insta360 Ace Pro as a “do-it-all camera” At first I had to ask myself if this was because of the 8K video resolution. The size of the camera? The new pause recording feature? Or the vlogger-friendly flip-screen similar to what we have on the Insta360 GO3? Or perhaps it’s the all-around detail that has been put into making this the camera.
I want to dive deep into real and relevant reasons why you should buy the Insta360 Ace Pro and also share some concerns I had.
4 reasons why you should buy the Insta 360 Ace Pro
The increasing need for quality content.
It’s 2024, if you’re not vlogging or filming short-form content then you’re documenting your 30 countries before 30 series on YouTube. Content is everything and capturing it at the highest quality will continue to be important. In South Africa users are spending an average of 3 hours, and 44 minutes daily on social media platforms, inevitably knowing how to produce high-quality content will separate the good content from the great. The Insta360 Ace Pro is one action camera that undoubtedly produces great content.
It is made for action.
Insta360 has consistently shown up as a brand that cares about design; I first experienced this with the Insta360 Flow - this is a device that made me feel like it was designed for me, a content creator looking to film videos as simply and quickly as possible. I have a very similar feeling towards the Insta360 Ace Pro as well, it was designed with the creator in mind. Let’s unpack:
- The inclusion of a large 1/1.3” sensor and a 5nm AI chip for extra power for noise processing means they understood that I need to film at night too - low light should not be a limitation for capturing my nighttime adventures.
- A 2.4” flip screen that rotates at 180 degrees to face me, help me nail the shot, and see myself from every angle.
- A hydrophobic lens co-engineered with an expert in the lens-making industry, Leica is just the cherry on top.
In current times, where cameras are competing with smartphones, as well as other cameras, Insta360 has made a conscious decision to pack a whole load of features into a small action camera body that weighs 179.8 grams (0.1798 kg) and supports microSD cards up to 1 TB. I don’t know about you but I love that this is another camera that will come with me anywhere I go and fit into any bag that I am carrying.
I am stuck in the middle with this one but there’s the elephant in the room that we have to address - the 8K video resolution available on the Insta360 Ace Pro when shooting at 24 frames per second. My initial thoughts were, “Where am I publishing an 8K video? And how long will it take to edit the footage?!” But the video-obsessed-nerd version of me had a contrary thought - this has never happened before! With the 8K video resolution, I can use a feature called Clarity Zoom, which allows me to 2x zoom without compromising the quality (shown on the right in the video above). For the first time, I can get closer to any animal without sacrificing the video quality or scaring the creature away.
Accessories inside the box
Fortunately, the Insta360 Ace Pro does come with dedicated accessories inside the box such as a standard mount and a flexible adhesive mount; these are easy to use for everyday scenarios and will allow you to put the camera on most surfaces. However, I do wish they would have packed more accessories inside the box. For content creation such as vlogging, you will have to get an extended tripod/ selfie stick or the new multi-mount which is a combination of both.
Although it is a rugged small camera the lens is non-removable, which can lead to scratches on your lens. That said, Insta360 has promised to replace any lens scratches that might occur within the first year of purchase. While this brings some relief, I still can’t get over the feeling that I might scratch the screen or lens because of how clumsy I get with my current devices. Still, there are benefits. The non-removable lens coupled with the camera's water resistance means that you will never face foggy lens issues if you're shooting in wet or humid areas.
So, is it worth it? Should you get the Insta360 Ace Pro? This is a camera that is fully packed with everything that you need to create video content successfully. I don’t see how an outdoor - travel vlogger could be disappointed by the Insta360 Ace Pro, it’s a do-it-all camera. Sure, there are concerns around the lack of in-box accessories, the non-removable lens, and the absence of a standalone HDR mode, but all of these are resolvable.
You can get all the Insta360 Ace Pro accessories you need from 180by2. The camera is extremely durable and so it's highly unlikely that scratches will be an issue, and even if the lens gets scratched you can get them fixed for free within the first year of purchase. While there is no standalone HDR mode, the auto-HDR feature does a stellar job of resolving the bright and shadowy areas without a loss in detail.