The Leica brand is synonymous with optical and engineering excellence, so slapping it on an action cam designed to capture your sweaty exploits as you jog/climb/cycle/white water raft feels somewhat incongruous.
360 action cams have prioritised usability and toughness ahead of performance until now – but Insta360’s One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition (try saying that with a mouthful of microSD cards) wants to buck that trend. Hence the Chinese company’s partnership with Leica and the use of twin 1-inch sensors to boost image quality beyond what we’ve seen from small 360 cameras so far.
The cam can shoot 6K 360 footage (which can also be reframed after shooting to create a lower resolution video ‘pointed’ in the directions you desire) and 21MP 360 photos, with its larger sensors boosting dynamic range and low light performance compared to Insta360’s previous efforts the One X, One X2 and the 360 lens module on the One RS launched earlier this year. Interestingly, the new 1-Inch 360 lens module can be mounted on the One RS and One R core units, so if you already own one of those you can fit it directly on your current camera.
It’s IPX3 waterproof and lightweight at just 239g, but the One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition isn’t designed just for shooting outdoor activities. Insta360 envisions it as a compact, user-friendly alternative to a large 360 shooting rig in professional settings: monitoring construction sites, or for the creation of virtual property tours (two settings where its ruggedness and ability to shoot clear indoor footage would be as valuable as its size and easy operation).
The Insta360 One RS 1-Inch 360 Edition is available to order today from the Insta360 website. The full package costs £870 and the upgrade bundle for existing One R and One RS owners costs £660. We already have our hands on a review sample, so look out for our full review soon.