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Previously I was on the fence about buying an action-cam for recording drives. I already had a Sony FDR 3000 4K, but I rarely used it. Dashcam footage from my 70mai seemed good enough. However, dashcam footage just accumulated, having stored 100+ drives footage on my NAS and I did nothing except edit a couple of drives which involved removing the stucks and refusals. It is difficult to get action footage from a 3-hour long drive and one needs professional video editing software to make it look better and cut to aspect ratios for social media shares. Looking at all the social media it was clear that 360 camera was the way to go. Luckily for me when I finally decided to take a plunge, Insta 360 launched their new X3. I did look at GoPro Max but decided against it because of two reasons. The camera has not been updated in some time now, it is more than 3 years old now. I hate the entire subscription model in GoPro world, and Insta 360 has a great app as well. How does it fare with GoPro 11 or DJI Action 3? Many who want to buy this camera would also consider a GoPro or DJI Action 3. They are both good cameras and they both have a slight advantage in the single lens camera department. If you need high frame rates GoPro or DJI Action 3 are necessary. The use case for them vis a vis Insta 360 X3 is different. For off-road driving, 360 will be more useful since we don’t have to worry about reframing the camera toward the direction of the action as it keeps shifting. If you have seen social media the 360 seems to be the default way to go for showing off-road driving. Plus, Insta X3's me mode and Single lens mode do what those action cams will do while removing the need for any reframing. How does it compare with Insta360 One X2? If you already have an X2, it will do 90% of what X3 does. But if you are looking at buying a new one then X3 makes a lot more sense. X3’s new two-inch screen is a substantial upgrade from X2. X3 has a better sensor at 1/ 2" compared to 1/ 2.5” on the X2. X3 has a f/1.9 aperture compared to f/2.0 on X2. X3 also records 4k 30 while X2 can only do 2.7k 30 on single lese. Both will do 5.7k on dual lease. Where to buy? I will suggest buying the action-cam and the initial accessories kit directly from the Insta 360 website, for a couple of reasons: you will be able to buy Insta360 Care that protects you from accidental damage, and they repair your camera and cover the shipping both ways, and a 2year extended warranty while you buy the camera. you will be able to buy more accessories and in my case some of them were cheaper on their website. Because it was recently launched few are available on Amazon. How much does it cost? It is cheaper in the US at USD 449, but when you order online to UAE it is EUR 529. They do have some bundles, but they cost the same as the sum of parts. How long does it take to reach here? It gets shipped in a day or two from China and will be delivered in about a week time. What Accessories to buy? Insta360 X3 Sticky Lens Guards: Protection for both your lenses. Sticks directly on the lens to safeguard from dust and scratches. Insta360 X3 Lens Cap: Extra, all-round protection for your lenses. You can use it when in the field, but you are not actively using the camera. Otherwise, I assume you would keep it in a protective case. Extra Insta360 X3 Battery: Have at least one extra. It comes in a small box. Fast Charge Hub: If you want to charge multiple batteries at the same time. Invisible Selfie Stick: You have three options. 70 cm, 120 cm and a combination of tripod extending to 105 cm. There is an extended edition selfie stick that as well can be extended to 300 cm. Bullet Time Accessory: You have two options. There is a bullet time cord which is cheaper and a Tripod that can be attached to the invisible selfie stick. Other items to consider depending on your usage: There are a lot more items available such as Insta360 X3 Quick Reader, Mic Adaptor, Utility Frame, Quick Release Mount that works with GoPro Accessories. Vibration Damper, and many kits that seemed irrelevant to me but your milage will vary. Things to avoid from Insta360: Insta360 X Series Carry Case: It fits only 70 cm stick and a battery box. Many other accessories you might have would not fit in it so suggest going for a third-party case from Amazon. Memory Card: On amazon for far less cost, and a lot more storage. GPS Smart Remote: I considered it but did not buy it as I saw many complaints that it provided patchy GPS data to the footage. Your phone will do a better job.
If you want to read more about my advice on buying 360 cameras please read this article: Introduction We all love driving in the desert and few of us can ever have enough of it. The sweet sound of the engines growling, climbing on to those tall dunes at Badayer to the calls of “Yalla Push” or tackling tricky fast paced long-range dunes at Faqa’a we want to live and relive every moment we spend driving in the desert. Some of us record videos of our adventures. A good seamless workflow is important so that you don’t spend a lot of time making those videos, which to be honest we can do only so much since we are not professional video editors. I will attempt to go over the workflows that I follow, which might be useful for some of you. These days I record my videos using Insta360 X3 action camera. I do the initial framing in the Insta360 STUDIO 2022 app on my first generation M1 Mac Mini with 16 GB ram. Post export I do the final edit of the videos in Final Cut Pro X on the mac. In some of the videos I overlay telemetry data using either Insta 360 STUDIO or Telemetry Overlay app. In this thread I am going to post series of articles going over the various aspects of videos editing starting from setting up the action cameras, video editing to exporting and publishing on YouTube and Instagram our favorite destinations for sharing the videos. Why am I writing this? Because I have tried it all, different cameras, different mounting options, various editing medium and software and techniques. I feel I can help the community with the knowledge I have gained. Follow this thread to be up to date. PS: I plan to update and revise certain sections to enhance clarity, streamline information for brevity, and improve language and grammar.