The world of 360 degree video just got a whole lot more sophisticated with the new Insta360 Pro II VR Camera. This is a beast of a camera with a ton of pro features that might convince broadcast stations and live events producers to add 360 to their products.
Insta360 Pro II 360 VR content in 8K
The Insta360 Pro II has six 200-degree fisheye lenses, submerged in a 9-axis gyro for smooth image stabilization it calls FlowState. That’s essential if you plan on creating 360 content while on foot or in a vehicle.
To capture those eight lenses, the Insta360 Pro II records 8K footage to 6 microSD cards, while proxy files are recorded to a full SD card. In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can take the proxies and the software will auto stitch all the files.
Think about how amazing that is. A few years ago it took big equipment racks to stitch 360 content for low resolution output, and it took a long time to do that. Now we have 8K and auto stitch.
Insta360 Pro II FarSight Monitoring
The Insta360 Pro II has something called FarSight 360-degree long-range monitoring system, and it includes a transmitter and receiver. You can monitor the capture from up to 2 miles away. Without FarSight, you can use Wi-Fi to preview the camera’s output up to 15 feet.
There’s also something Insta360 is calling CrystalView, which live converts the 8K VR footage into live streaming on 4K VR headsets and smartphones or monitors.
This feature alone might make the Insta360 Pro II a very popular rental item for any kind of music performance or event where viewers at home can have an immersive experience without being present at the event itself.
Other Insta360 Pro II Specs
As for the little details like audio (does anyone care about audio in 360 video yet?), the Insta360 Pro II has 4 built-in microphones and one 3.5mm external mic input.
Visually, you can adjust the shutter speed and exposure, ISO range from 100-6400, enable HDR, capture high frame rates up to 120 fps, and take still images with raw, JPEG, burst, and time lapse settings.
The Insta360 Pro II is not cheap. However, just a few years ago, before the rise of consumer 360 cameras, it would cost thousands of dollars to hire a specialist company to come in and capture 360 content and then stitch it together in their production facility.
We know because our clients have asked about 360 footage, and before something like the Insta360 ONE camera, we were quoted double digit thousands of dollars to bring in a 360 cam operator. How quickly consumer electronics can change the pro video landscape.
A Dystopian Future
Probably the most disbarring thing about the Insta360 Pro II is imaging its use for something other than fun video capture. We’re talking sharp 8K footage with monitoring from 2 miles away.
Think about how a tool like this could be used as a very high end security monitor, with off site tracking, live streaming, and even recording. Does anyone else look at the image above and think it’s a frightening sign of our future?
As something like this gets smaller and smaller, we’ll be able to install a camera like this in every room in a house, like within the overhead light. And of course all our home and office utilities will be connected via the Internet of Things.
For personal use, those might be welcome features we can add to our lives, to protect our valuables and our loved ones. But if it’s forced upon us by landlords, managers, politicians, or simply evil doers, not such a good thing.
Anyway, in the meantime, the Insta360 Pro II looks awesome.
Insta360 Pro II VR 360 8K Camera – more info at B&H Photo Video.