Hands On: We Review Insta360’s ONE RS

The latest camera from the ONE R is getting an upgrade, adding some needed features.

Insta360 has announced a new 4K module and “body” for their R line of cameras. In addition, the battery and accessories have gotten upgrades. Here are the best bits.

Spec Updates

4K Module

  • New 1/2" 48MP sensor.
  • “Active” HDR.
  • 6K with a widescreen 2.35:1 crop.
  • Slightly wider and f/2.4 instead of f/2.8.

Core/Camera Body

  • "Flowstate" stabilization is finally built into the camera.
  • Additional microphone.
  • Two new touch-buttons for a quick menu and zooming.

Worth the Upgrade?

If you already own a ONE R, then I honestly wouldn’t recommend upgrading, at least not the entire thing. Luckily, the modular design means you can pick up whatever you think you need.

The ONE RS doesn’t feel all that different from the R. Unfortunately, Insta360 didn’t take the time to make a better SD card door;it’s finicky and prone to falling off. However, the similarities allow for past modules to work with the new system.

If you already own the R and want a small upgrade, then here’s what I’d pick up:

  • Camera cage.
  • Larger battery (to fit into the new camera cage).
  • The new invisible selfie stick.

The new cage is great. It’s a little similar to SmallRig’s and makes it much easier to swap out the modules. A larger battery is always welcome. Then the updated selfie stick is about half the size of the old one and the same length when opened. These small upgrades make life easier without spending too much on an entirely new camera. Insta360 is releasing a Quick Reader accessory that can copy an SD card from these cameras and transfer the files to your smartphone. Perhaps this could become another cheap add-on.

The Future (of Mods)

The ONE R brought the insinuation that Insta360 would be making additional modules/lenses. Now the ONE RS is that upgrade, but it’s not what I expected. I wondered if they would release modules for specific tasks like for low-light and a tighter crop.

Instead, we’ve been given new tech under the hood. Getting in-camera “Flowstate” stabilization is a worthwhile upgrade. Ordinarily, this would require using the corresponding app. As a result, the 4K and 1-inch modules make more sense now. It records a regular MP4 file with less compromise.

Perhaps the upgraded ONE RS body will be able to handle more bandwidth, giving way to new modules down the road. Can the new core handle an 8K resolution? Perhaps 10-bit footage?

Why Buy the ONE RS?

Since this is an incremental upgrade, I think all the points I made in the ONE R review still hold. This camera is for users who need an action-ready 360 camera and the dynamic offerings of a fixed lens action camera. The addition of better MP4 modes may help consumers get a better grasp with the RS. However Insta360’s X2 is likely better suited to the general consumer.

While ONE RS makes shooting easier than ever, I’m still convinced that professionals and enthusiasts will get the most out of it. It’s a reliable camera that’s potentially upgradable in the future.

The “Twin Edition” with the 4K and 360 mods will retail for $550. The 4K mod bundle will cost $300, and the 1-inch mod bundle will cost $550.

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