If you are thinking of becoming a content creator – be it on TikTok, YouTube, or elsewhere – you should know that it is extremely difficult to do it well. This is not to dissuade you from diving, but rather to say that you will need all the help you can get to make your job easier.
To that end, Insta360’s new Go 2 action camera is a great starting point for hobbyists. It’s a tiny little thing, about the size of your thumb, that goes anywhere, fits a variety of mounts and grips, and captures high-quality video in a bunch of modes. I tried it out for a few weeks and came away in awe of what one can do with this tiny camera.
Why would I choose this over a GoPro?
You should take this into account if you’re capturing short clips of your adventures and don’t want to deal with a ton of settings every time you shoot. The GoPro lineup is more complex, offering more features and capabilities for experienced creators – things like an audio jack for an external mic, support for 5K video on the latest model, and more.
Other than that, you can have a lot of fun shooting with the Go 2 and you’ll get high quality stabilized images while you’re at it.
That said, the GoPro Hero 9 Black can be purchased for $ 350, which is just $ 50 more than the Insta360’s asking price of $ 300. So you don’t really save a ton of money by going for the Go 2 with less flexibility – but you do get a much smaller device, designed for an arguably wider range of use cases.
Design and features
The Go 2 is really small and weighs only 26g, so it’s easy to carry and mount just about anywhere with the included accessories. It comes in a charging case similar to what you would get with wireless headphones, and it works as storage, as well as a tripod for vlogging, a mount point for a real tripod, and a remote to switch between. mode and control recording.
There’s nothing to it: just pull out the camera and tap the front panel to start filming. You can also take time-lapse shots, photos, and slow-motion footage – and it even works underwater with a lens cap.
You can also connect your Android or iOS device wirelessly to receive the content you’ve captured and use it to preview what you’re shooting or switch modes. The app can also automatically edit video clips so that you can showcase the highlights of your footage with music and transitions.
The Go 2 comes with 28GB of usable internal storage and can shoot up to 15 minutes of 1440p 50fps video at a time, and you’ll usually be able to shoot for around half an hour before you have to jump back into the case to charge. . There are enough options to change settings such as resolution, field of view, and orientation. Plus, it does a great job of stabilizing images even when shooting on a handheld.
The camera and case are both well built, with nice soft touch finishes and high quality plastic. feels good, light, but everything is plastic and high quality finishes. Intuitive design, they really thought about how you would use it with a minimalist screenless camera, and just that little monochrome display + buttons on the case.
Even the case hinge is solid, the case + pendant magnets are really strong. The case itself can also be mounted on a tripod. The package is really great.
Using Go 2
I don’t have any experience with vlogging or filming action camera footage, but found the Go 2 to be easy to use and fun to shoot. There’s no display or viewfinder on the device itself, so you’ll want to try out some camera angles on whatever mounts you choose before shooting, or use your phone to check your frame.
As you might expect, Insta360 has a companion app for iOS and Android, and it lets you control the camera, change settings, and import images and videos wirelessly. It also uses AI to stitch video stories together with your footage, and you can play around with the clips, playback speed, and music before exporting them. Here is an example from my recent motorbike ride in Horsely Hills, South India:
Once you’ve sorted it out, the Go 2 is ready for anything. I mostly used it on motorcycle rides in my hometown of Bangalore, India, and on short trips out of town; the company sent a set of mounts suitable for using the camera on your bike and helmet, and the components were all top notch.
The camera captures crisp, vibrant images with its default settings and performs surprisingly well after dark. While the 15-minute video limit can be limiting if you’re filming long-distance motorcycle vlogging, it shouldn’t be a big deal for adventure sports enthusiasts looking to capture some exciting moments.
Switching to TimeShift mode lets you take hyperlapses at up to 6x speed, and it’s easy to adjust settings in the app before you start. The strength of Go 2 is that it makes creative projects like this easy to set up and take down.
Should you buy the Go 2?
The Go 2 is capable of a lot for a camera of its size, and its small form factor allows for a wide range of applications. It doesn’t compromise on image quality, offers a lot of features with its hardware and applications, and it’s really well designed.
What you’ll be missing from the slightly larger (and somewhat more expensive) Insta360 or GoPro options is the ability to shoot longer video clips and mic inputs. But if that doesn’t matter to you, the Go 2 is great fun for anyone looking to try out their first action camera.
Find the Go 2 on the Insta360 site, where it sells for $ 299.99; kits with additional accessories, like a selfie stick and lens cap, are available for a little more money.
Did you know that we have a newsletter dedicated to consumer technologies? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it here.
Published March 25, 2021 – 11:13 UTC
ProductGo 2 by Insta360