Insta360 X4 Action Camera Review

insta360 x4 review
insta360 x4 review

The Insta360 X4’s headline feature is its support for 8K capture. For a 360-degree camera, this added resolution can make a significant difference. Additionally, the X4 boasts increased frame rates at high resolutions, a higher maximum recording bitrate, longer battery life, a larger touchscreen, and other nice-to-haves that make it a notable jump up from the already impressive X3. On paper, it’s an obvious upgrade, but how has it fared during my testing? Here is my Insta360 X4 camera review.

8K is a game-changer

As mentioned earlier, the X4’s ability to capture at either 8K 30FPS or 5.7K 60FPS is a game-changer for 360-degree capture. For those looking to crop in and capture a specific section of the video, which will honestly be 99% of the time, that added resolution is a huge help in keeping visuals looking crisp and clean. The bump up to 200Mbps recording also enhances overall video quality. Files are bigger, but the X4’s use of a MicroSD card makes it easy to expand storage without breaking the bank.

Me Mode, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Slow Motion, and Wide Angle capture all receive a resolution/frame-rate boost, too, which again adds to the overall quality. It’s good to see the boost in performance resulting in an upgrade across all modes.

Capture it all

insta360 x4 review
insta360 x4 review

The video embedded above demonstrates how users can capture a “Tiny Planet” 360-degree video while also having the versatility to crop in and select a particular focal point. For those who want to shoot without worrying about where the camera is pointing, 360 capture allows you to hit record and figure out the framing later. It’s wonderfully freeing and, when combined with compatible Invisible Selfie Sticks, makes for an almost drone-like experience. It really is very well done.

Battery life is another highlight. I put it to the test with a 4-hour trip up and down the Malvern Hills in the U.K. I regularly stopped and started the recording and finished the exercise with 15% remaining. Insta360 claims 135 minutes of recording with 5.7K 30 FPS capture, but I found that it still lasted impressively long recording at that full 8K 30 FPS.

Insta360 has mastered stabilization with its other cameras, and this expertise is evident in the X4. Any jarring movements are made moot thanks to the fantastic stabilization which keeps everything smooth.

Active HDR is available and worth playing around with. While I didn’t personally notice much of a difference between this and the regular mode, as there was no huge detail gain in the darkest shadows or brightest whites, others may find a use for this mode. Thankfully, video quality is fantastic even with Active HDR disabled.

The Insta360 companion app continues to improve with each update and the “A.I.” features work well to make editing videos quick and easy. For more complex control over edits, simply plugging the X4 into a PC will allow users to access files. Those files can be manipulated using Insta360’s desktop app or directly within video editing software like Premiere Pro, for which Insta360 has a dedicated plugin.

Room to grow

insta360 x4 review
insta360 x4 review

After being blown away by the Insta360 Ace Pro’s low-light capture, I must admit that I was a little disappointed by the X4’s nighttime performance. It’s not that the X4 is bad — it holds up well against the competition — but the Ace Pro clearly steps up with its almost magical way of processing challenging low-light footage.

Another downside of the X4 is its sheer size. Insta360 has worked well to scale down its other products, but the X4 remains quite chunky. With that said, given its 360-degree functionality, not to mention the larger screen and battery, that size is perhaps justified. However, those expecting a small camera companion may want to study the dimensions and weight before pulling the trigger.

Final Verdict

The Insta360 X4, priced at $499.99 — a $100 increase over the X3 — positions itself firmly in the premium segment of 360-degree cameras. While the price hike might give some pause, the extensive features and enhancements it offers, from stunning 8K video capture to impressive stabilization and versatile shooting modes, make it a compelling choice for content creators and adventure enthusiasts.

Despite a few drawbacks, such as its performance in low light and its bulkier size, the X4 delivers a robust and highly capable package. If you’re in the market for a high-quality 360-degree camera that offers a blend of advanced hardware and user-friendly software, the Insta360 X4 is definitely worth considering.

Positives and Negatives

  • Exceptional video quality

  • Effective stabilization

  • Versatile shooting modes

  • Long battery life

  • Insta360 app works well

  • Invisible Selfie Stick effect for drone-like shots

  • Big touchscreen

  • Rugged construction and included protection

  • Mediocre low-light performance


Disclosure: Review sample provided by Insta360.

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