Insta360 One RS Action Camera: Worth the Upgrade?

Insta360 One RS Worth the Upgrade

Insta360 and GoPro have always been at each other throats, each trying to trump the other in 360 and action camera. Recently, Insta360 released the One RS, a successor to the One R. They have brought a new core or the brain of the camera, a new 4K camera, and the rest is the same. Sounds great, right? Yes, it does, but what if you already own a One R, is the upgrade worth it? Maybe, maybe not. Find out here on this content.

What’s New?

It seems like all the important modules got an upgrade with the One RS – the battery pack, lens, and the brain itself. So what are the upgrades? Let’s talk about the new 4K lens first. They are calling it the “4K Boost Lens.” With this, they are trying to close the gap between them and GoPro; the 4K boost is their non-360 or action camera module. 

The camera module packs a 1/2 inch sensor, granting it the ability to shoot 48 megapixels and shoot 4K 60fps. Stills from the One RS are great; crisp, clear, what not to love. However, the 60fps is a bit disappointing because GoPro Hero 10 can do 4K 120 fps. So yeah, it’s not a deal-breaker, but 120fps would have been better. Focusing on the wider picture, this camera can do 6K recordings, and that’s great. You can shoot in the classic, picturesque 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 6K. 

How does the new lens stack against the old one? First, the new lens is faster at f2.4 than the f2.8 of the old lens. As for ISO, the 4K Boost lens can push it all the way to 6400 instead of the 3200 of the old one. Lastly, the new lens is just slightly wider at 16mm than the previous 16.4mm lens. So, the 4K Boost Lens is faster and does well in low-light scenarios. 

What’s New

Aside from this new 4K module, the 1-inch Leica lens and the 360 modules remain the same. You are getting the same performance as you did with the One R, 6K on the 360 modules, and a 1-inch sensor on such a small body is impressive on its own. Even if these modules didn’t see any upgrades, these were awesome on their own. So, no gripe there. 

After the eyes, now let’s talk about the brains. So many fans will release sighs of relief knowing that the core has FlowState Stabilization and horizon-lock baked into it. This cuts down so much hassle because before, you needed to get it on your phone and then edit it to stabilize your footage. Some of us just like to edit on bigger screens.

The core also houses an additional mic port. While the onboard is pretty good, if you wanna equip it with a Rode mic, now you can. Lastly, the waterproof case got an upgrade too. Now, you can slide the camera in and close it from the side. It doesn’t sound like much, but if it makes changing lenses and batteries convenient, which it does, then it’s a great upgrade. Maybe some people will upgrade for this reason alone.

Should You Upgrade?

The biggest upgrade from the ONE R to the ONE RS would be the 4K Boost Lens. There’s also a bigger battery with the ONE RS, so what should you do? Should you abandon the ONE R for a different module and a bigger battery? Sound’s wrong, doesn’t it? Well, no, it doesn’t have to sound wrong; both action cameras come with modular capabilities. So, just buy the upgrade you need. Yes, Insta360 says backward compatibility will be possible soon. 

While that’s all good, you get some additional features with the newer action camera, some of which are actual upgrades. Besides those, other upgrades focus more on creature comfort, like the new case. Sure, it’s easy to swap the modules without taking the whole camera out, but is that convenience worth a new camera? 

While there’s no doubt that the Insta360 ONE RS is their latest action camera, coming to you with amazing features. So coming from an older system, the upgrade can seem alluring. However, while you can upgrade, you can also swap old modules with the new ones. Ultimately, like always, the choice is in your hands. 

Should You Upgrade

Is it Worth Switching?

What if you have the latest GoPro Hero 10? Should you switch sides? In fairness, the Insta360 ONE RS has come with features the Hero 10 doesn’t. With the ONE RS, you’re getting a plethora of video resolutions, more bit rate, more formats, a larger megapixel count, and a larger sensor. On the other hand, the Hero 10 is a straightforward action camera with a larger display, an additional front display for shooting selfies videos, and more. 

Both action cameras have gotten new brain implants, so both can work pretty fast. So, it’s a tie on the brains. When it comes to video, though, it’s a different story. Hero 10 uses a small sensor but gives you fast frame rates. In contrast, thanks to its modular design, the ONE RS has a larger sensor and more resolutions, including 6K, to play with. Still, it can’t give you as many frame rates. 

Obviously, a larger sensor has its perks – more details, vibrant and crisp photos. But, the ONE RS boosts the ISO in low-light situations, so you get rich but soft shots. In the end, it depends on your taste. For stabilizing your thrilling adventures, Insta360 has FlowStare, and GoPro has Hypersmooth stabilization. Even in this case, there is no clear winner; both work fine. But if you had to pick a winner, it would be the One RS; because of the 360 mod, as it puts out perfect horizon leveling and stabilization. 

Final Verdict

So, who wins? If you compare the 4K boost lens with the Hero 10, then GoPro wins. Why? Because of higher resolutions and more frame rates. But you have so many features left on the ONE RS; what about those? See, the problem starts here; GoPro Hero 10 is a dedicated action camera; it does one thing and does that thing better than everyone. On the other hand, the Insta360 ONE RS is a versatile tool capable of 360 videos and has the features of an action camera. So, to sum it up, if you need a camera that does everything – the Insta360 ONE RS is your best bet, and if you need a great action camera and just that – nothing can beat the GoPro Hero 10.

Joe Pfeffer

Joe Pfeffer

What started off as just a dream for Joe Pfeffer, turned into his passion and livelihood. He started his career as a wildlife photographer and then transitioned into becoming a cinematographer. With a decade of raw on-the-field experience, Joe Pfeffer has all the technical knowledge about the ins and outs of cameras. Now, he uses his vast experience to educate others about photography.