A few weeks ago my son and I spent the weekend in the San Rafael Swell area of Utah. Here is a video we took of my FJ Cruiser on the Green River Cutoff Trail. How the heck did we record the FJ from outside of it when we were driving?!?!?!?!?
We used the Insta360 One X 360 degree camera.
This camera is a 360-degree camera. It is shaped like a candy bar or small cell phone and has two camera lenses – one on the front and one on the back. Each lens can see over it’s shoulders so when the two videos that the lenses record are stitched together with the Insta360 phone app or desktop computer software you are left with a 360 degree video. Instead of only having a small rectangle of the scene around you on video you have a 360 degree sphere of video.
You can use the Insta360 One X phone app or free Insta360 Studio computer software to pick points of interest that you want to see on the video and the software will pull those areas of the 360 video and create a standard rectangular video of the areas you selected.
Because the lenses are near the top of the camera, there is a small “blind spot” straight down from the lenses that isn’t recorded because the camera body blocks it. This means when you have a selfie stick on the camera, the stick becomes “invisible” since it sits in the narrow blind spot of the camera. The Insta360 software will recognize and remove any bits of the selfie stick that appear in your video. The result is like having your own personal cameraman hovering a few feet above you who can turn around and film whatever angle you want to see.
In the video above and the screenshots below my son was holding a 106″ long selfie stick out the passenger window with the Insta360 One X camera on the end of it. Note you can’t see the selfie stick or camera, but you can see their shadows. It looks like we had a drone or maybe a second vehicle recording us as we drove along the trail.
The Insta360 One X camera records in 5.7k resolution. It’s important to note that the 5.7k is a 360 degree sphere, not a narrow rectangle, so you won’t get 5.7k quality from your finished product. The end result is roughly 1080p quality video.
Because of the lenses on each side of the camera recording a half-sphere around them, you don’t have to point and aim the camera at your subject. All you need to do is get the camera out there somewhere. You can rotate the selfie stick during recording and the software will stabilize it for you. As long as the camera is out there somewhere, it’s recording you.
Other than holding a long selfie stick out the window, there are other ways to mount the Insta360 One X to your vehicle. The Fat Gecko Three Arm Suction Cup Mount is my favorite. This mount is incredibly sturdy. It uses three very strong suction cups and supports a 1/4″ 20 standard tripod camera mount. I got some great results by attaching the Fat Gecko mount to my rear window and attaching the Insta360 One X camera to it using the Insta360 Invisible Selfie Stick.
Below is a video of us driving to the Black Dragon Canyon is Utah to see some ancient pictographs on the canyon wall. This video was recorded with both a GoPro Hero 7 Black action camera and the Insta360 One X. For this video I held the Insta360 One X straight up on the long selfie stick. This was the first time I used the Insta360 One X offroad so I simply held it straight up. At times the selfie stick was bowing and shaking and you can see that in the footage. I should have had my son hold it more securely with two hands instead of me holding it with just one. That long selfie stick is great for smooth surfaces, hiking, etc, but I’d recommend using a shorter, more solid stick offroad – one that won’t bow and flex when it gets bumpy.
The Insta360 One X camera is a game-changer in the action camera world. I’m excited to see this camera used more and more for offroad vehicles so we can see the vehicles driving and the terrain they are on instead of seeing a view out a dirty windshield of a steady truck hood and a horizon that swings around wildly.