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Insta360 GO Review: Tiny & Mighty, Who Is It Really For?

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

By Community Contributor Claudio Chock (@claudio.chock)

For a start, check out this short 30s super trippy video shot with the Insta360 Go!

Weighing at just 18g, this super lightweight and tiny camera is billed as the twenty-gram steady cam.

Insta360 GO

To be honest, when I first saw its release, it felt a little gimmicky to me. But now that I’ve taken it out for a ride, I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality of its footage as well as its flexibility of usage. I can definitely see its appeal to the everyday user.

Some key features to note about the Insta360 GO:

  1. The main key feature is its ability to shoot short video clips of between 15s-30s, though it has functionality for photos, hyper-lapses and interval shooting.

  2. It’s got a f/2.2 wide-angle lens, pretty similar to what you find on other action cameras out there.

  3. It comes with a bunch of accessories which is pretty awesome. More on that later.

  4. For videos, this captures in 2.7k but that resolution is for the camera to stabilise the footage, as the maximum output is 1080p HD.

  5. For photos, you can capture 3040×3040 resolution and crop it to several aspect ratios for output.

While controlling with the app gives you more control, you can actually work the GO just by using its sole button. By default, a single click is a photo, a double-click is a hyper-lapse, and a triple-click is a slow motion video.

So how does the Insta360 GO work, and who is it best suited for? For that, we will have to touch on its pros and cons.

What we liked:

#1 Fuss-free Handsfree Shooting

The Insta360 GO is perfect for moments when you just want to shoot or record something and not think about the settings. Take it out of the case, switch it on, pair it to the accompanying app and you’re ready to shoot!

Video footage looks smooth as a result of the Insta360’s FlowState Stabilisation technology. Photos are bright and vibrant in colour as well.

#2 Super Handy Accessories

Insta360 GO and its accessories

The Insta360 GO comes with the magnetic pendant, easy clip and angle wedge, sticky base and pivot stand with the base sticker base.

All are great for different purposes:

  1. The magnetic pendant is most versatile, as you can use it to get really nice POV shots.

  2. The easy clip with the accompanying angle wedge is great for clipping the GO to your jacket or packet.

  3. The sticky base just allows you to mount the GO almost anywhere.

  4. Our favourite has to be the pivot stand as it allows you to place the GO in hard-to-reach areas with the ability to tweak the shooting angle. It also doubles up as a great handle of sorts, which is rather useful when shooting in selfie mode or hyper-lapse.

Each and every one of the accessories played a part in creating the 30s video clip you saw at the beginning of this article!

#3 Perfect For Hyper-lapses And Slow-mo

Its excellent stabilisation comes with solid hyper-lapses and slow-mo videos. The hyper-lapses are actually time-lapses with stabilisation and not videos that have been sped up – like the real deal. As for slow-mo videos, do note that resolution is at 1600×928 at 100fps, so it does suffer from a bit of resolution quality dip.

What we did not like:

#1 No Live View

To be honest, I was a little disappointed by not being able to see what I’m shooting on my smartphone. You really have to go with your gut feel at times when shooting! And you can’t transfer footage without putting the GO back into the charging case. Another cumbersome extra step that can be quite annoying at times.

#2 Limited Recording Space

The GO has an in-built memory of 8GB but the SD card slot for additional storage. If you record full 30s clips, you will max out the space pretty fast.

Nonetheless, there is the ability to transfer footage shoot to your smartphone using the charging case.

#3 Limited Manual Control

While there are options to change type of video recording formats between standard, interval and slow-mo, there is no ability to control exposure – no shutter speed or ISO control. Frame-rate is also set in place 25 or 30fps.

You also can’t mount ND filters on this. So if you are looking to create cinematic footages, this device won’t be for you.

Now, who is this for?

The Insta360 GO is great for everyday folks who love posting content on social media, especially those who love posting on Instagram stories, Facebook stories or Snapchat. You can just shoot with a simple press of the button and get really unique angles with the accompanying accessories.

The ability to edit really awesome videos directly in its complementary app on the mobile phone is pretty compelling.

However, it’s by no means a replacement for a full-fledged 360 camera like the Insta360 One X or action cameras like the GoPros. It’s not as rugged in built and in fact a little slippery due to its glossy finish. Can be quite cumbersome to use for those with bigger hands and fingers.

Also, with your smartphone cameras getting better and better by the years, one might find it hard to justify owning one just for its unique capabilities.

Nonetheless, if you are a casual shooter and long for simplicity in getting POV shots and hyper-lapses and time-lapses, the Insta360 GO might just be for you!

RATING: 2.5 – 3 /5

Shout-out to Insta360 and Tech360tv for having me take the Insta360 GO out for a run!

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