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Review: insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

As a reporter who needs to cover various events and who is constantly taking pictures of products. I'm always on the lookout for new cameras, recorders and equipment and tools that can improve my content and help me capture the essence of stories.

360' cameras were initially so expensive (and the quality of their video and photo was so poor), that I avoided them. Now that various social media channels accept 360' content and VR headsets do a great job of playing back the immersive content, my interest in 360' content and the cameras that can capture them has grown.

The insta360 nano is an iPhone accessory (for iPhone 6 and above) that plugs into the Lightning port and integrates dual cameras while using the iPhone's processor to create videos and photos.

The insta360 nano, which is made by a company who makes high-end 360' camera solutions, is well designed and connects with the iPhone quite seamlessly.

The only thing you need to get used to is that you are holding your iPhone upside down, this can be an issue with larger devices like the iPhone 7 Plus.

A lot of careful thought has gone into the design and even the packaging of the insta360 nano, the box it comes in can be converted into a VR headset. Simply slide your smartphone in and you're able to view the immersive 360' panoramas and videos you've shot.

Quality of videos and photos is very good, specially in bright and constant light. I used the insta360 under various conditions, during a MonsterJam Monster Truck show, on top of Mont Royal in Montreal, in a smartphone launch party in an abandoned church, as well as outdoors in a park.

Getting the insta360 nano up and running takes seconds and once you have it working on your iPhone, the amount of control you have is quite extensive.

I particularly like how easy the software is to use and how you can output photos and video in various interesting ways.

You can have 360' VR-ready images and video very quickly or you can get a bit more creative and get panoramic images, fisheye effects or the tiny planet wraparound circular images which are kind of cool given the right situations.

While 360' content is just starting to become popular, we can now participate in creating content or even memories that are hyper-immersive.

Imagine shooting an afternoon playing with you kids in a park and then viewing that footage a year from now on VR glasses (insta360 nano's box actually doubles as a Google Cardboard-type VR headset).

Until iPhones and Android devices begin shipping with dedicated 360' cameras (very doubtful this will ever happen), the insta360 nano is actually the best bet for a compact and multifunctional 360' camera that uses the iPhone's prodigious processing power.

Insta360 nano is well built, it matches the iPhone's fit and finish and its sofware app is great and fun to use.

Insta360 can also be used to stream live 360' video on various services like Twitter, Periscope, Facebook Live and others, which makes it a cool tool for social media manager or anyone covering and promoting live events or festivals.

What the insta360 nano offers for its small size and price ($199) is quite outstanding. Taking the processing power and ease of use of the iPhone (version 6 and up only), insta360 nano gives anyone the ability to shoot engaging and immersive 360 videos and photos that can be easily shared through various services and the companion app makes it possible to output 360' content in various creative ways.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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