Insta360 EVO review: Hybrid 3D action camera brings new depth to content

Insta360 EVO review: Hybrid 3D action camera brings new depth to content

Insta360 have today launched their new hybrid 360 and 3D action camera called the EVO.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been getting hands on with the foldable creation that looks set to shake up the VR community.

So Insta360 have a reputation for creating great 360 cameras and the speed that they release new iterations.

Barely a year passed between the release of their Insta360 ONE and the more recent Insta360 ONE X. And the jump between the models was significant.

The new EVO camera combines 360 and 3D
The new EVO camera combines 360 and 3D (Image: Insta360.com)

Specs on the new hybrid are pretty impressive, capturing video footage at 5.7k resolution and 18 megapixels for photos.

The on-board Flowstate stabilisation keeps video footage incredibly smooth and, as with the ONE X, a variety of shooting modes like timelapse and the Matrix style bullet time.

 

The new EVO takes immersive content creation to whole new level by combining a 360 action camera with a stereoscopic 3D mode.

Essentially, the two fish eye lenses fold out to create a 3D shooter – which means photos and videos now get a true sense of depth.

Insta360 EVO folds out into 3D shooting mode
Insta360 EVO folds out into 3D shooting mode (Image: Insta360.com)

While 360 content is coming on leaps and bounds, when viewing in a headset like Google Cardboard or Oculus Go – you’re still aware that you inside an artificial environment that remains flat to look at.

Using the two lenses in stereoscopic mode creates a 180 view but with the sense of depth more natural to the human eye.

Pop your phone into a VR headset and the quality is excellent. But the EVO really comes into its own when viewing on a higher end VR system like Oculus Go or Samsung Gear – as the higher resolution screens really show off the detail of your shots.

While more platforms and social networks are natively supporting 360 content, sharing and viewing that content can still be a bit clunky. So Insta360 have also released their own app for VR systems.

Supported at launch for Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus and Samsung Gear VR, the app allows for seamless sharing between the camera and viewer, and sharing with friends and family.

The EVO out in the field
The EVO out in the field (Image: Insta360.com)

A nice touch for people without VR headsets is the new 3D viewer phone case, dubbed HoloFrame.

The transparent case looks like any other protective cover, but when you reverse it so it covers a phone screen it effectively makes it into a 3D viewer – with an effect not disimilar to a Nintendo 3DS screen.

As you move the phone, the image shows off the 3D effect.

The HoloFrame cases are an additional accessory available for iPhone X and up. An additional version for Samsung Galaxy S8 and up will be arriving soon.

The EVO also comes with a similar companion app to the ONE X – acting both as a remote viewfinder for the various shooting modes and also for transferring photos and videos to your phone via wifi. The app also allows you to do a range of editing using a mobile or tablet, while a desktop version of the editing software is available for Mac and Windows.

It’s an incredibly versatile and creatively designed bit of kit that will challenge its users on how they create content when depth comes into play.

The EVO is priced at $419.99 (aprx £320 at time of writing). HoloFrame accessories start at $30 (£22 aprx) and are available at Insta360.com