The immersive power of 360° video is well documented, but it comes with its own array of challenges. One of the biggest is hiding camera support. How do you make the tripod, boom, gimbal, or even drone invisible in the final footage? This is complicated for all platforms, but is especially tricky when flying a 360° capture platform.
It puts a camera both above and below the drone, allowing for an immersive image with no visible support. Check out this incredible footage before we dive in:
Ominous Name, Immersive Image
The system takes advantage of the preexisting Insta360 tech, including flowstate stabilization and a sophisticated stitching algorithm to automatically create 5.7K 360° footage.
As with all such footage, you can use it for immersive video, or you can use it to pull individual "flat" angles out in post for more editing flexibility. The unit is designed to perfectly mount to the DJI Mavic Air 2 or Air 2S while only adding 192 grams to the weight.
Top ViewCredit: Insta360
- Aperture f/2.0
- 7.2mm Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)
- Photo Resolution 6080x3040 (2:1)
- Video Resolution 5760x2880@30/25/24fps, 3840x1920@50/30fps, 3008x1504@100fps
- Photo Format: insp or RAW (dng) (RAW files require software on PC/Mac to export.)
- Video Format: insv (can be exported via App or Studio)
- Photo Modes: Standard, HDR, Interval, Night Shot, Starlapse, Burst
- Video Modes: Standard Video, HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording
- Color Profiles: Standard, Vivid, LOG
- Weight: 192g (battery included)
- Run Time: 48 minutes
- Max Video Bitrate of 100Mbps
- 6-axis Gyroscope
- ISO Range - Photo: 100-3200 Video: 100-3200
- Shutter Speed - Photo: 1/8000 - 120s Video: 1/8000 - to the limit of frames per second
- White Balance: 2700K-6500K
- Bluetooth: BLE4.2
- Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz
- USB Type-C (charge only)
- MicroSD Card
- Battery Capacity: 1050mAh
- Charging Time: 100 minutes (when powered off)
The biggest issue to be aware of is the changes to flight dynamics.
With this rig, your drone is going to be heavier on one side than the other, which will change how it flies. Your battery life will be shorter due to the extra weight, although the Sphere does have its own internal battery and doesn't drain from the drone.
However, Insta360 claims that there will be zero impact on the drone’s structural integrity, and it won't impede the GPS or remote control system.
We still think landing is also going to be a bit tricky as the bottom camera appears to get close to the depth of the skids, making it even more important to land on flat, obstruction-free surfaces.
Should You Get It?
The Sphere has some interesting applications, with VR immediately coming to mind. Imagine flying through any location and having the opportunity to look around with a VR headset. We're pretty sure you can even create HDRIs way up in the sky for use in VFX.
- Capture 360° 5.7K Drone Footage
- Positioned so Drone is "Invisible"
- Compatible with DJI Mavic Air 2/2S
- FlowState Stabilization for Smooth Video
- Easy to Install, Doesn't Impede Drone
- Lens Guards & Landing Pad Included
For $429.99, this is an affordable and interesting piece of kit. Although some of the applications may be a bit niche, it feels like a win in our book.
If you're looking to snag the Insta360 Sphere for your project, they're available now. Just make sure you don't break any FAA laws when flying.