I examined the Insta360 Go 2 motion cam on my WWII-era sailboat. It blew me away



  • Tremendous tiny
  • Simple sufficient for a child
  • A number of body charges


  • Occasional connection points
  • Recording time
  • Fingers in body

Following within the footsteps of the patron digital camera market, the motion cam world has exploded with ever-growing performance and high quality. Relying in your view, that is both excellent news or pointless muddle that will get in the way in which of actual craftsmanship. Can a return to fundamentals be a step in the proper course?

That is the premise behind the Go 2 from Insta360, a novel motion cam meant to be sufficiently small to go anyplace, simple sufficient for a luddite to make use of, however highly effective sufficient to seize beautiful footage from essentially the most intense adventures.

Insta360 is quick rising as a challenger model to GoPro, the house’s dominant participant. The corporate is probably finest identified for its shopper {and professional} cameras that boast progressive hemispherical lenses that, along with in-system firmware, sew collectively 360 diploma video seize that customers can edit in all method of artistic methods. The Go 2 is a departure from the model’s 360 diploma video seize hallmark, and certainly a step away from basic traits within the motion cam market. 

Assessment: Insta360’s X3 360-degree motion cam will amaze you

Designed with simplicity in thoughts, the digital camera physique has only one button and clips magnetically inside a base with simply two buttons. The display is itsy bitsy and monochrome, and the video seize choices are sparse. If these sound like negatives, they bely the true energy of what will be the final of a dying breed: A real motion cam designed to go actually anyplace.

I spent just a few weeks testing the Go 2 throughout a latest journey transferring our WWII-era sailboat from Alaska to Mexico. How did the Go 2 honest? Throughout a number of hours of video seize throughout a number of gadgets, the Go 2 emerged because the machine we most popular to achieve for. Take a look at my video overview above for extra on that journey or learn on under. 


Professional Video (Decision & Framerate) Professional Video: 2560×[email protected], 30fps, 25fps, 24fps 1920×[email protected], 30fps, 25fps, 24fps
Video Video: 2560×[email protected], 30fps, 25fps, 24fps 1920×[email protected], 30fps, 25fps, 24fps
HDR 2560×[email protected], 24fps 1920×[email protected], 24fps
Timelapse 2560×[email protected] 1920×[email protected]
TimeShift 2560×[email protected] 1920×[email protected] Sluggish Movement 1920×[email protected]
Video format MP4
Max clip size Professional Video: 10 minutes; Video: 15 minutes; FPV: 30 minutes; Timelapse: Adjustable interval, file as much as 110 minutes with the Cost Case for a 7-minute clip
Storage 32GB (~28GB usable),64GB (~57GB usable)
Run time Standalone: 30 minutes (Video mode); 20 minutes (Professional Video mode); In Case: 150 minutes (Video mode); 110 minutes (Professional Video mode)
35mm equal 11.24mm

Insta360 Go 2

The shape issue is small, however do not be fooled. This can be a highly effective little digital camera.

Greg Nichols / ZDNet

Type issue

This factor has a brilliant energy. It is small. Actually actually small.

In each seems to be and measurement, the closed clamshell charging case, which homes the detachable digital camera, brings to thoughts the AirPod Professional case. As a substitute of flipping open like a pack of cigarettes the bottom opens through a single hinge like a stapler, revealing the nested digital camera in a single half (extra on that in a sec) and the management interface within the different.

It would not get a lot easier than the Go 2 controls. Two bodily buttons serve to name up and navigate a consumer menu on the tiny show, which is about half the dimensions of a postage stamp. From the menu the consumer scrolls via the varied modes, selecting between the first video modes (Professional Video, HDR, and video) in addition to a formidable variety of body charge and HD decision choices. The digital camera additionally has timelapse and timeshift modes.

Additionally: Is GoPro nonetheless one of the best motion digital camera? Effectively, it relies upon

The case doubles as a mount and will be held, affixed to a tripod by way of a feminine thread, or stood up utilizing an built-in kickstand characteristic.

The digital camera physique, which is held magnetically within the charging base and is detachable by grabbing the steel rim of the lens housing together with your fingernail, seems to be not in contrast to a colorless one-eyed minion, the little creatures from Illumination’s Despicable Me, sans the limbs. It is uniquely small, and a possible choking hazard within the incorrect fingers (it even seems to be like a capsule!).

To make use of the digital camera you first join it to the bottom with the contact of a button. As soon as the connection is established, you file footage through the pink file button on the bottom. Alternatively, if the digital camera physique and base are separated, recording commences by pushing a small button on the entrance of the digital camera, prompting a haptic response to let you realize you are in enterprise.


We took the little motion cam aboard Lindy, our 75-foot gaff rigged ketch inbuilt 1944.

Greg Nichols


This is the place this factor shines. 

Numerous mounts can be found for the digital camera. In my view, none is as cool or helpful because the magnetic pendent. Concerning the measurement of a silver greenback, the pendent is worn across the neck and slipped inside your shirt. The digital camera physique is take away from the magnetic base and adheres to the pendent with a satisfying magnetic *click on*. 



The genius of this setup is that it permits hands-free POV seize that is unobtrusive sufficient that you do not have to consider it. It is also a secure wager that any individuals in your shot will shortly overlook in regards to the digital camera, which is immensely priceless in case your intention is to seize natural footage. Let’s face it, carrying an motion cam mounted to a hat brim is awkward (for you and whomever you are filming). Holding a pistol-grip mount requires devoting one hand to manning the digital camera. The magnetic pendent is a extremely intelligent resolution.

Additionally: One of the best GoPro accent? It is not what you’d assume

It does have its limitations. It really works nice underneath a t-shirt, however the magnet is not highly effective sufficient for consolation to maintain the digital camera clipped via thicker materials, reminiscent of a puffy jacket or thick sweater. If worn on the skin of the garments, the pendent tends to swing with motion, ruining pictures. I equally bumped into bother carrying a button-up as a result of the buttons interfered with the pure resting place of the pendent.

Insta360 Go 2


A number of different mounts can be found that permit you to adhere the digital camera to a stable floor, strap it to a harness, put on it in a scarf, or screw it to a tripod. Due to the dimensions of the digital camera, there are loads of creativity potentialities, together with affixing the Go 2 to a pet’s collar, utilizing it onboard a drone (together with smaller drones with very restricted payload capability), or attaching it to on a regular basis objects for fascinating experiments in perspective (a spoon, say, or a mobile phone).

The footage

In fact, any motion cam is finally going to be measured on the energy of its footage seize. Thankfully the Go 2 performs like a premium motion cam ought to: It gives crisp, footage in various body charges and HD resolutions, all aided by frankly astounding picture stabilization and plenty of put up manufacturing coloration and results choices through the Insta360 app.

On the stabilization entrance, I am amazed at how effectively this little digital camera performs. The consumer can select to maintain the horizon stabilized, whereupon no quantity of regular twisting, flopping, shaking, or shimmying that my crew was in a position to throw on the digital camera might trigger the slightest little bit of footage wobble. One of many nice alternatives this created was the power at hand the digital camera to my youngsters, who’re 6 and three respectively and who cannot maintain nonetheless for greater than a nanosecond at a time. With the stabilization in play, the youngsters might run amuck throughout our passage via Alaskan and Canadian waters filming wildlife and crew antics. Extremely, a lot of that footage was usable.

The video high quality can be very spectacular. At instances we seen a little bit choppiness, significantly when panning whereas taking pictures transferring objects within the primary video mode. You may choose between huge angle, which we discovered too huge for all however essentially the most panoramic of nature pictures, or slim angle, which was our most popular taking pictures mode. With 57 usable gigabytes of storage we did not have to fret about filling the digital camera noon, aiding what I believe is that this digital camera’s single finest characteristic: It is “do not give it a second thought” usability.

Insta360 Go2 on my boat

Greg Nichols

Some quibbles

Is it good? Not fairly.

Simplicity does have its price. Navigating the menu with two buttons is clunky, recalling an earlier time when shopper cameras operated a lot the identical method. I additionally bumped into some connectivity points between the charging base and the digital camera. These had been rare and simply overcome by reconnecting the 2, but it surely occurred greater than as soon as.

Utilizing the charging base as a handheld mount may be very handy, significantly due to the additional battery life it affords you, however we discovered that oftentimes the digital camera’s huge angle captured the shooter’s fingers wrapped across the backside of the bottom, successfully ruining that footage. 

Additionally: DJI Osmo Motion 3 and GoPro Hero 11 Black in contrast

We additionally did not love the max clip size (10 minutes for professional video, quarter-hour for primary), which felt constraining as we had been making an attempt to seize slice of life footage reminiscent of dropping and setting anchor or getting into into dramatic inlets whose lengthy approaches typically took all of the allotted time on a clip. The digital camera was typically left unattended whereas we busied ourselves with the tasks of the voyage, and we often missed nice pictures resulting from maxing out the taking pictures time.

Backside Line

The standalone 32GB Go 2 is $300 as of this writing. The all-purpose mount equipment, which I might extremely suggest, is one other $65. That is not low-cost though it evaluate favorably to cameras from the likes of GoPro. For $30 extra you possibly can bump up the storage to 64GB, which is effectively definitely worth the funding in case you’re planning to go on multi-day adventures.

That is as highly effective an motion cam as you are going to want in all however essentially the most skilled of makes use of. Given its measurement and sharp footage the digital camera occupies a singular house as a real creator’s software that paradoxically (or maybe fittingly) is straightforward sufficient for a kid to make use of. In truth, what makes the digital camera value it’s simply that: It is bought tons of tech underneath the hood to make sure beautiful footage however the consumer expertise is exceptionally uncluttered. That equates to extra time spent getting artistic than fussing with the digital camera.

Alternate options to think about 

When you want fewer compromises and do not thoughts paying a premium, the GoPro is the chief within the class for a purpose.

Insta360 is making some actually artistic merchandise, like this one, which options two hemispherical lenses for 360 diploma seize and unbelievable modifying selections.

See our overview right here

Gimbled and compact for buttery clean motion footage.

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