Hero 9 or Insta 360

Discussion in 'Videography & Photography' started by BUCKS UP, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    I am looking for a 2nd angle camera for walking into the woods, up in the tree, b-roll, etc. I currently use an Ion action camera, which is ok but I think I could do better. I have a Canon T5i as my main camera, and also use a small video camera. I like the idea of a Hero 9 because of all the mounting options. I like the Insta 360 because of it's ability to video 360 degrees. The one thing I don't think I would like is the fish eye effect of the video I have seen from the 360. I have seen other hunting YouTubers use the 360 but the video clips seem to always be distorted. They do however capture all the action around them.
    So do any of you own a Hero or a 360 camera? I would really like to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences with them.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    I have a Hero 8 Black and also the InstaOne 360 R. I have owned both for almost a year now. While the 8 is not a 9, they are similar. I've owned nearly every GoPro up through the 8 as well.

    There are pros and cons to both formats.

    The GoPro have versatility and accessories going for them. I have had a love/hate relationship with them over the years. But since some recent firmware updates, my 8 has been the most solid GoPro that I have ever used. They just work. The image stabilization is good. I love using the looping feature on the GoPros along with an external battery so that I don't have to remember to hit record and I don't have to deal with hours of footage just for a short clip. I turn it on and forget about it and let it run. Then I push the record button to stop the loop recording shortly after something interesting has occurred. As to cons ... I hate how overly sharp the footage is, which I can de-sharpen in post, but it just annoys me every time that I have to correct the footage. I also hate GoPro's methods for adding an external microphone. Battery life sucks, so be prepared to either swap out a ton of batteries or plug it into an external battery (this is how I run GoPros when in a static position for any length of time).

    As for the InstaOne 360 R ... it has been a solid camera for me. I have the 360, 4k, and 1-inch modules. I also have their Boosted Battery (worth every penny). I don't use the 1-inch mod often, mostly because it adds bulk and honestly, I don't think the image is much better than the 4k, at least in good light ... and they both suck in low light. The image stabilization with the 4k is every bit as good, if not better than that of the GoPro 8. As for the 360 module ... it is pretty cool. Kind of a gimmick in my opinion, but I use it some times. You can obviously re-frame easily and the image stabilization is excellent ... IF ... you know what you are doing when running/holding the camera. People think that you just turn it on and regardless of how you hold it you will get this butter smooth footage that you can re-frame in any way possible, which could not be further from the truth. You continually have to think about where the camera is positioned relative to the shot angles that you are trying to achieve. Also the sensor is 5k ... over the entire sphere. So when you re-frame for your 16x9 video, you will be at 1080, at best. As to the "fish eye" you referred to, that is all dependent on the field of view that you select in post editing. Yes if you select ultra-wide (which most seem to do) then it will be very fish eye. But linear looks very nice with minimal distortion, but due to the zoom effect you can lose a bit of sharpness and camera position becomes more critical. It is a great camera setup if you plan your shots and know how to get the camera into position for the shot angles that you are wanting. The draw backs though are that there is no loop recording. So you have to either remember to power it up and then record or just let it record continuous until either the card is full or your battery dies. Quickly powering up and recording can honestly be hit or miss, because if you push record too soon in the power up process the camera can freeze up and never start recording. Also the power up time is long. It has gotten better in some firmware updates, but it is still 5 seconds or so to boot up before you can hit record. If you want to just let it roll for long periods of time and edit later, you will need a giant SD card and an external battery set up. Editing the footage isn't necessarily a con, but it can take some getting used to. I generally do the initial editing/re-framing on an i-Pad and then dump the footage into my computer for insertion and color correction into the project in Davinci Resolve.

    Between the two, I enjoy running the InstaOne 360 R over the GoPro, simply because there is so much that I can do with it. To do so though, I have to slow down and be very mindful of camera input functions and positioning, so I generally use the InstaOne 360 R in B-roll settings or in special situations. But in hunting situations, I find the GoPro's easier/faster to setup and operate at the moment of truth.

    Hope that helps some.
     
  3. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    Thank You for all the information you provided. There are a couple things that bother me about the 360, one is the editing which I knew about, the delay for the camera to turn on I have had that on another camera and it can be a pain, and last is setting the camera up for the shot which I thought would be easy with a 360 camera. I think another thing that might bother is using a selfie stick, I have done it before, not a big fan.
    BUT I sure would like to try my hand at a 360 for in the tree self filming and the panorama shots also for my fishing videos in the boat.

    The Hero 9 has a lens I can buy I think called the "Max" which keeps the camera horizontal no matter what angle you have the camera at which could come in handy. All the ways to mount it are a real plus. Stabilization seems to be great, which is a real downfall with the Ion I now use. I don't have to go thru all the editing hassle.

    In the end I really haven't decided yet, but your information certainly helped. I will post it here when I purchase the one I decide on. I sure would like to give the 360 a chance though ! Why is it you are never done sinking money into this hobby, you think you have everything you need and then something new and improved comes along and you have to have it. I have to come up with new and creative ways to get permission from the wife, which can be a real workout in itself.
     
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  4. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    It is definitely a money pit.
     
  5. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    I use Sony Vegas Pro 11 for editing. This editor doesn't work with 4k video. When exporting video to this editor can I have the video as regular HD. I don't want to buy the Insta 360 and have problems with my editor. I have tried DaVinci Resolve in the past and it was hard for my computer to keep up and I found it hard to use that editor, since I had been using Sony Vegas for so long.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  6. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    Yes, you can export in the app on your mobile device as 1080 and then drop it into your editor. Insta360 also as a free PC app that you can download. I haven't used it much because I find the mobile app much more user friendly.
     
  7. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    Thank You! I have downloaded the PC app. just to try and figure out what I am getting myself into. I also downloaded DaVinci Resolve 16 again, playing around with that, but my PC isn't very happy with it, but it only crashed once. I am monkeying around with their tutorials and if I keep it pretty straight forward the PC doesn't growl to bad. I really enjoy DaVinci Resolve, what you can do with it, but I need a new and improved PC so time will tell what I will use for editing. I did get permission to order a 360 and they will be available mid February so I think I will pick one up and see how things go from there. I do have an option of sending it back within 30 days if things don't work out.
    Thanks Again, the information you provided made my decision easier!
     
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  8. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    UPDATE: I didn't think about phone compatibility until I saw a YouTube video on it. So I tried to put the insta 360 app. on my phone and it didn't work. I contacted Insta 360 and they confirmed I did need a phone to register the camera and after that I didn't have to have one. They suggested using someone else's phone to register the camera. I didn't have access to another phone, so the insta 360 was a no go for me and I ended up ordering a Hero 9. You don't need the app. for the Hero 9 to register it, I can do it on my PC. I did load there app. on to my phone and at least I could get it onto the phone. Once the camera gets here I will be able to see if the app. works.
     
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  9. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    A HUGE firmware update was just released for the Insta360 One R. It is game changing in my opinion. To the point that I think that I am completely done with GoPros and will be selling my old 3+ Black, 8 Black, and 9 Black. I just ordered two more Insta360 One R's with the 1-inch mods, so that I will have three of them to run now. The current firmware now allows loop recording and horizon leveling. Both of which were the final missing pieces to the platform. My GoPro 9 black has been the biggest dog turd of a camera ever. To the point that on a recent hunting trip, I pretty much quit using it because it simply is not reliable. The Insta360 platform still pretty much requires you to use their app to pre-render the files, so it is an extra work flow step, but there are just too many positives vs all of the GoPro headaches for me to not fully jump to the Insta platform.
     
  10. BUCKS UP

    BUCKS UP Newb

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    Yep, I agree, I bought the Hero 9, biggest piece of junk I own by far of all the cameras I have purchased. I just can't imagine for that amount of money they put out garbage like that. At first I blamed it on the cold weather, now I'm just disappointed. It seemed like the problems are never ending so you really can't look for a fix. I guess I'm done buying for awhile, I'll be watching the 360 to see how it develops.
     
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  11. DEC

    DEC Weekend Warrior

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    Update ...

    I have sold every GoPro that I owned. I told one of my good friends who also films, that if I ever mention to him that I am going to buy another GoPro product in the future to please kick me in the nuts as hard as he can. :lol:

    I now own three Insta360 One R units with one 4k mod, two 1-inch mods, and one 360 mod. With the recent firmware changes the Insta360 setup is tough to beat. The stabilization with the 4k and 360 mods is something that exceeds anything GoPro has done. The 1-inch mod, while not as stable while moving, is a beast for an action cam module producing an image that blows any other action camera away and does very very well in low light. The only downside to the Insta360 platform is that you pretty much have to use their app to do an initial processing of the footage before you dump it into an editor to use with footage from other cameras. It is just an extra work flow step. But their app is very powerful and easy to use.

    I also picked up a DJI Osmo Action because they are dirt cheap right now. It is my beater action cam and honestly with their firmware updates in the past year, I would take one of these over any GoPro made to date. They are awesome little cameras. I would love it if the bottom had fold up fingers like the GoPros or the Boosted Battery for the Insta360, but it is something that I can deal with. It honestly could be the best action camera for "vlogging" if that is what you are into. I really like the camera for the price.
     
  12. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    For the ease of what I want to do and cost effectiveness the DJI Osmo Action is most likely getting purchased. Will use a USB battery pack ran to it for extended run time in tree but small issue easily handled. I've stepped back some in the filming category and honestly at times hate hauling everything with me but a solid high quality second angle is fun to mess around with.
     
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