Insta360 X3 Underwater Camera: Scuba Diving Review

insta360 x3 camera review

The links below may be affiliate links. If you shop through them, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

As a passionate underwater photographer, I’m always on the lookout for new and innovative cameras to capture my adventures. Recently, I came across the Insta360 X3 camera, and I have to say, its capabilities blew me away.

I purchased the camera and put it to the test on my latest trip, and it exceeded my expectations. Not only is it easy to use, but it also delivers stunning 360-degree photos and videos that capture the essence of my travel and scuba diving experiences.

In this post, I’ll be sharing my personal review of the Insta360 camera, detailing its features, performance, and overall user experience. I’m excited to share my thoughts and opinions to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your needs. If you’re looking for a underwater camera for scuba diving, you might want to consider the Insta360.

What is the Insta360 camera?

The Insta360 X3 Camera is a revolutionary 360-degree camera that has taken the world by storm. Manufactured by Insta360, this compact and portable camera allows users to capture immersive 360-degree photos and videos with ease.

What makes the Insta360 camera stand out is its advanced features and cutting-edge technology. With a sleek and durable design, this camera is built to withstand tough environments and extreme conditions, making it an ideal choice for outdoor adventures, travel, and even underwater activities.

Its biggest feature is its ability to capture 360-degree footage, offering a unique and immersive perspective that traditional cameras cannot. This type of footage is becoming increasingly popular in industries such as travel, real estate, and even journalism.

Insta360 Product Details

Insta360 X3 - Waterproof 360 Action Camera with 1/2

The Insta360 X3 is a compact action camera that features a modern, minimalist design. The camera measures 4.5×1.8×1.3in (114.0×46.0x33.1mm) and weighs 6.3oz (180g), making it incredibly portable and easy to carry with you wherever you go.

The camera’s exterior is made of durable plastic and features a smooth, matte finish that feels great in your hands. Additionally, the camera comes with a small carrying case that helps protect it from scratches and other damage while in transit.

The camera is designed to be held comfortably with one hand. It has several buttons to make it easy to navigate and adjust the various settings and modes. There is also a small 2.29 inches (5.8cm) touchscreen display on the back of the camera that shows information such as battery life, shooting mode, and storage capacity.

The camera has front and back glass lenses which makes it possible to capture the 360 scene of your choice.

Insta360 underwater shot
Insta360 underwater shot

In terms of build quality, the Insta360 X3 feels solid and well-made. The camera is designed to be water-proof up to 10 meters (33ft), and accessories like the Insta360 X3 dive case make it possible to shoot underwater up to 50 meters (164ft).

Image and video quality

The Insta360 X3 is capable of capturing high-quality photos and videos in 360 degrees. The camera features dual lenses that can capture 5.7K video at 30 frames per second and 72MP (11968×5984) photos. The camera also supports a range of video and photo modes, such as HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording, which helps ensure that you get great results in different environments.

360 Photo ModeStandard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Starlapse
360 Video ModeStandard, Active HDR, Timelapse, TimeShift, Bullet Time, Loop Recording
Single Lens PhotoStandard
Single Lens VideoStandard, Me mode, Loop Recording
Photo Resolution72MP (11968×5984), 18MP(5952×2976)
360 Mode Video Resolutions/Frame rates5.7K: 5760*2880@30/25/24fps
4K: 3840*1920@60/50/30/25/24fps
3K: 3008*1504@100fps
Single Lens Resolutions/Frame rates4K: 3840×2160@30/25/24fps
3.6K: 3584×2016@60/50/30/25/24fps
2.7K: 2720×1530@60/50/30/25/24fps
1080P: 1920×1088@60/50/30/25/24fps
Insta 360 X3 Shooting Modes and Resolution

Stabilization technology

The Insta360 X3 features advanced stabilization technology that helps ensure smooth and steady footage, even when you’re on the move. The camera uses a combination of hardware and software stabilization techniques to minimize shakiness and distortion in your footage.

Battery life

The Insta360 X3 comes with a 1200mAh battery that offers up to 80 minutes of continuous shooting time. The camera also supports fast charging, which allows you to quickly recharge the battery and get back to shooting.

Connectivity options

The Insta360 X3 comes with a range of connectivity options to help you transfer your footage and control the camera remotely. These include:

  • Bluetooth: The camera can be connected to your smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices for remote control and data transfer.
  • WiFi: The camera can be connected to WiFi networks for faster data transfer and live streaming.
  • USB-C: The camera features a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.

Insta360 X3 User Experience

Ease of use

Overall, I have found the Insta360 camera to be quite easy to use, both in terms of setting up and operating the camera itself, as well as transferring and editing footage. The camera’s physical controls are intuitive and well-designed, and the camera’s menu system is easy to navigate.

However, some users may find the camera’s advanced shooting modes and settings a bit overwhelming or difficult to understand, especially if they are new to using action cameras. I recommend watching some Youtube videos and reading the guides provided by Insta360 to help you get started on setting up your Insta360.

User interface and app integration

The Insta360 app is a major part of the user experience, as it allows you to connect to the camera wirelessly and transfer footage directly to your phone or table or desktop.

The Insta360 mobile app is available for both Android and iOS. The desktop editing software, Insta360 Studio 2023, allows users to edit videos and photos shot for the Insta X. It even contains a Plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro(2019/2020/2021) and Final Cut Pro X which enable you to open and edit mp4 files in your preferred editing software.

Shot using the Insta360
Come up with unique underwater shots using the Insta360 app.

I think the Insta360 app is one of the biggest selling points of this action camera as it allows users to be creative and come up with unique footage. It seamlessly stitches the 360 footage you’ve captured and you can edit while on the go via your tablet or mobile.

The Insta360 app also offers a range of editing tools and options, including basic trimming and cropping tools, as well as more advanced features like color correction and stabilization. For those who are not tech-savvy, the app also offers AI-generated edits. With a click, it will decide for you what footage will be included in your final edit.

Accessories and mounting options

The Insta360 camera comes with a range of accessories and mounting options, including a basic tripod mount and a variety of adapters and mounts for different situations.

Insta360 X3 camera and accessories
Insta360 X3 camera and accessories

Here are some accessories I purchased with my Insta360 X3.

  1. Insta360 Dive Case – This is a waterproof housing that is designed to protect your Insta360 camera while you are scuba diving or snorkeling. It allows you to take your camera underwater for up to 50 meters.
  2. Insta360 X3 Sticky Lens Guards – These are small adhesive-backed protectors that you can place over the camera’s lenses to protect them from scratches and other damage. They are a useful accessory for anyone who wants to protect their camera’s lenses from wear and tear.
  3. Insta360 X3 Lens Cap – This is a simple but useful accessory that fits over the camera’s lenses when it is not in use, protecting them from dust, dirt, and other debris. It is a must-have accessory for anyone who wants to keep their camera’s lenses in pristine condition.
  4. Invisible selfie stick– Selfie stick that is automatically removed in 360 shots to give you incredible third-person shots and impossible angles.
  5. Extended Edition Selfie Stick – This is a 10-feet selfie stick that allows you to extend the reach of your camera and capture shots from unique angles. It is a useful accessory for anyone who wants to take third-person angles and drone-like shots of themselves in action.
  6. Bullet Time Cord – This is a handheld retractable cord that allows you to swing your camera in the air and capture slow-motion footage from a unique perspective. It is a fun and creative accessory that can be used to capture some truly stunning shots.
  7. 128 GB Memory card – It is recommended to use UHS-I Micro SD cards with a V30 or above speed class and exFAT format. Avoid using UHS-II, UHS-III Micro SD/TF cards or memory cards larger than 1TB as these cards are not compatible with the Insta360 X3 and may cause your recording to fail.

Get a free 114cm Invisible Selfie Stick when you buy an Insta360 X3.

Why I love using the Insta360 X3 camera underwater

One of the things I love about the Insta360 X3 for scuba diving is it allows users to capture high-quality 360-degree footage with ease. This means that even those with little to no photography or videography experience can create stunning 360-degree content.

You basically point and shoot the camera. And since it captures 360 degrees of the entire scene, you can easily select the view you want to show when you start editing your footage. From just one video or photo alone, you can create multiple edits to give different points of views.

The Insta360 camera is an excellent choice for capturing stunning footage below the surface as well. With the Insta360 underwater housing, this camera can be used to capture videos and photos in depths of up to 50 meters, making it perfect for diving, snorkeling, and other water sports. While I do have a Canon G7X M2 and GoPro9 for diving, My Insta360 has allowed me to capture footage that my other cameras are not able to.

Wreck diving with Insta360.
The Insta360 captured both me and the diver in front of me while exploring a shipwreck in Coron

The Insta360 camera is highly portable and can be easily taken on the go, making it perfect for travel and outdoor adventures. Its durable design and waterproof casing also make it an ideal choice for water sports and other extreme activities. As a scuba diver and traveler, space and weight are always a factor when purchasing gear, and I love that the Insta 360 is not an inconvenience to take with me on my adventures.

Drone-like shot achieved by using the Extended Edition Selfie Stick
Drone-like shot achieved by using the Extended Edition Selfie Stick

I love that the Insta 360 camera gives me a different perspective of my adventures that my GoPro9 or iPhone cannot. I can take drone-like shots, better selfies so I can document better my dive travels.

Why I don’t like the Insta360 X3 camera underwater

As much as I love my Insta360 X3, there are a few downsides to using this camera that I think are worth mentioning.

While the Insta 360 X3 is waterproof, be aware that — due to underwater light refraction — seamless stitching is not possible without using a specialized Dive Case. And sometimes even when you use the recommended housing or the X3 Dive Case, a portion of the housing can sometimes still be seen in the footage. In some scenarios, this can be edited out, but unfortunately, sometimes it can ruin the shot.

Insta360 X3 Underwater housing
Underwater housing is seen in the shot. Great news! This issue has been addressed with their new X3 Invisible Dive Case.

The Insta360 X3 is a great choice for capturing 360-degree footage, it may not be the best option if you’re looking for traditional, flat video footage. The camera’s fisheye lenses can result in some distortion and warping of the image, which may not be ideal for certain types of video projects.

Another issue I’ve faced while using the Insta360 camera underwater housing is condensation and fogging. If you keep the camera running for a long time, moisture builds up inside the dive case and can obscure your footage or make it difficult to shoot clear and sharp images. This can be a significant challenge for users who need to shoot in challenging environments, such as deep water or extreme cold. While they provide absorption strips to reduce moisture, usually by the end of the dive, the strips become useless.

While the camera’s 1200mAh battery can last for up to 80 minutes of continuous shooting, I’ve found that this can be limiting if I’m planning on shooting for an extended period. I’ve had to plan my shoots carefully and make sure I charge between dives. You can also address this issue by getting backup batteries on hand to avoid running out of power.

Another issue that I’ve faced with using the Insta360 X3 for underwater videography is the limited image quality in low-light conditions. While the camera’s image quality is excellent in well-lit environments, I have found that it can be a bit lacking in low-light settings, particularly when shooting underwater where light levels can be quite low. This can result in footage that is grainy or blurry, which may not be ideal for certain types of underwater video projects.

Another issue you might have while using the Insta360 camera must edit the footage after. If you don’t like editing or don’t have the time to learn how to edit or just not tech-savvy, then you might struggle with producing content from your 360 camera. I’ve had to spend quite some time experimenting with the Insta360 app and if you don’t have the patience to learn this, then the Insta 360 camera might not be for you.

Get a free a battery when you buy the Insta360 X3 Kit with the NEW Invisible Dive Casing

Overall, the Insta360 camera is an excellent choice for anyone looking to capture stunning 360-degree footage, whether it’s on land or in the water. Its advanced features, durable design, and excellent performance make it a top choice for anyone who wants to take their videography to the next level.

While the Insta360 camera and its accompanying dive case have their limitations and disadvantages, I still highly recommend this camera for scuba divers who are looking to capture high-quality underwater footage.

The Insta360 camera offers unique creative shooting options and fun shots that other action cameras may not capture. This action camera opens up a world of creative possibilities for scuba divers and lifestyle videographers alike.

Having this camera in your arsenal allows you to capture stunning footage from a unique perspective and showcase your underwater adventures in new and exciting ways. Whether you’re a seasoned scuba diver or simply someone who loves to explore the underwater world, the Insta360 camera is an excellent tool for capturing and sharing your experiences with others.

The links above may be affiliate links. If you shop through them, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

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