I've started going on increasingly long and ambitious rides, through some truly fantastic landscapes, and am also planning on taking advantage of the fact I'm a work-from-home freelancer, and do some extended traveling in my RV (with my wheel, of course), so I think it's time I up my photography game, invest in some decent gear and start preaching the EUC gospel by sharing the amazing places we can tour on our EUCs
Sidenote: Sorry for tagging you (and only you), @Marty Backe but you're the first person that came to mind in terms of extensive Insta360 experience & amount of footage produced. Although I'd be very grateful if you could give me your opinion, please don't feel obliged to (If you don't have the time to reply, perhaps you could point me to other users who also use Insta360s and might be able to provide some advice. Thanks!)
So, the first piece of gear I'm planning on getting is a DJI Mavic Air. I've done some extensive research and it seems to be the best fit for my particular needs, in terms of size, image quality and overall features. I know it's not at the same level as the Mavic Pro, but it hits the sweet spot for me between portability and overall quality and functions. So my mind is pretty much made up on that one. It's the action camera department where I have doubts.
My initial plan was to get a GoPro Hero 7 Black + a gimbal (7 vs 8 because of price) for the overall image quality and excellent stabilization. I'm not overly fond of recording myself, my main stress is on the landscape and where our EUCs can take us, and I know I can get some amazing shots with that combo once I've mastered the gimbal. For group rides it would be particularly awesome, I can already envision some amazing shots, from slow, upward crane movement while chasing other riders, to an array of pans, sweeps, etc., making for very visually appealing footage of group rides. Except for one issue: because of my schedule (working on weekends) and not living near where most group rides take place, most of my riding is done solo ATM, so I can't see a GoPro coming in particularly handy. I could get some cool POV shots and some beautiful footage of the scenery, but those shouldn't be the majority of the content, as having a subject in the image is more visually appealing and gives a better sense of context (and stresses the actual EUC riding). Of course, I could alternate between drone shots and different pans, sweeps & POV shots from the GoPro, but I find it would be a bit limiting for the intended use (especially considering that I can't have the drone tailing behind me in the city).
So for the time being, the best option would appear to be the Insta360 One X. For solo rides, it would allow me to get myself in the frame to capture the actual EUC riding experience (and the hypnotic visual appeal of effortlessly carving your way down the road) while keeping the camera far enough from myself so that the surrounding landscape remains the central focus of the video. I also love the invisible floating camera effect, as opposed to the GoPro + (visible) selfie stick combo, which IMHO, directs too much attention to the stick and the rider. I'm also excited about the versatility of capturing in 360 so I can control the camera angle at my leisure in post.
My only concern is image quality. I know there'd be no problem with image quality consistency when alternating between Mavic Air and Go Pro Hero 7 Black footage, but I'm concerned this wouldn't be the case with the Insta 360 One X. I've been analyzing tons of different videos, and I get the overall impression that due to the 360 nature of the footage being recorded, quality goes downhill pretty fast when in movement. The quality of video recorded while standing still isn't the same as when walking, and when riding an EUC at 20+ mph, it looks like a lot of detail is lost, so I'm not sure it's the best fit for me (I'm guessing a lot of the loss in detail might have to do with the stabilization). I plan on recording mostly in 1080p, not 4K. Is there a quality difference when recording in 4K vs FHD? Is image quality the same if recorded natively in 1080p vs recording in 4K and downscaling to 1080p? [Edit: after further reading on how the camera works, I now understand that it's 5.7K for the entire 360º sphere, and about 1080p(ish) for flat videos exported].
My main concern is that even if image quality holds up reasonably well for exclusively Insta360 footage, there would be too big an image quality consistency gap to be able to intersperse footage from the DJI Mavic Air.
The GoPro Max seems to offer crisper images and more vivid colors, but the stitching isn't as good, nor is the invisible selfie stick, and the workflow seems very time-consuming and much more of a hassle than with the Insta360...
Has anyone tried the Insta360 Evo? If so, is their a difference in quality when shooting in 180º mode to produce flat, 2D images, vs. shooting in 360º mode / vs. the Inasta360 One X?
Any thoughts or advice? It would be much appreciated!