Insta360 X2/X3/X4

Last updated on 4/18/2024.

Featured articles:

My 360 Background

I bought my first digital camera in 1996, and first digital camcorder in 1999. In those early days, I would take photos in all directions and use software to stitch them together to make 360-degree panoramas or QuickTime VR.

In 2005, I started a web page documenting “one shot 360” lens systems for cameras in the years before consumer 360 cameras existed. The “state of the art” back then was not great. I wrote at the time:

1/18/2005 – Can of worms. Unlike my experimentation with 3-D video, VR panorama one-shot systems are turning into something quite different. Except for a list of a dozen or so ‘tested’ cameras (out of hundreds of models!), it’s really difficult to find what will work with any given lens system. Low-end SurroundPhoto basically sells theirs for any camera it can physically point at, while higher end units like 0-360 are precision matched. This leaves me and my Sony DSC-W1 probably useless for quality one-shot VRs. Knowing what camera to buy is also problematic. One company lists cameras rates on specs (not all are actually tested, and may not really work), while others don’t list specs for the very same reason (may not work). So, even if I wanted to buy a camera right now, I couldn’t buy anything new — it would have to be an older unit that was tested. And, personally, I kinda want to stick with Sony so I can keep my memory sticks (1GB, 256MB, fast chargers, etc.). We’ll see what happens…

  1. SurroundPhoto (2005) – digital camera attachment that allowed taking one-shot 360 panoramas. I bought a dedicated digital camera to use with this system, though I did not use it very much. I took 360 photos at Disneyland during their 50th Anniversary in 2005, and took it to some Renaissance festivals and such, but there was no way to share the SurroundPhoto images online back then.
  2. RICOH Theta m15 (2015) – while waiting for the 360cam to ship, this camera came to market. ($296.95)
  3. Giroptic 360cam (2015-2016) – In 2014, I was a backer on this very-delayed Kickstarter for this 3-lens camera. It was supposed to ship in November 2014, but did not ship until the following year. ($299.99 early bird price)
  4. Kodak SP360 (2016) – I had a review unit of this 360 action camera.
  5. Giroptic iO – I had a review unit of this iPhone add-on.
  6. RICOH Theta S (2016-2020) – a more better Theta. ($346.95)
  7. Lenovo Daydream VR180 (2018) – I had a review unit of this cool camera.
  8. Insta360 ONE X2
  9. Insta360 X3 (2022-current) – a more better X2. ($449.99)
  10. Insta360 X4 (4/17/2024-current) – ($499.99)

…plus maybe some others I forgot about.


  • In 2023, I was a backer of the Calf 3D VR180 camera, but not at a level to receive one if/when it shipped.

X2 versus X3 Comparison Videos

X3 versus X4 Comparison Videos

Single Lens mode – By default, the X3 exports 4K, 30fps and the X4 exports 4K, 60fps.

Reframed 360 – By default, the X3 reframes and exports to HD, and the X4 reframes and exports to 4K.