Ever wanted to quickly, easily take a 360 selfie? Or, even better, livestream 360-degree video to all your Facebook friends? Of course you have. With Insta360’s new Nano S, you can do all that, and with fantastic results.
The Insta360 Nano S, which was announced at CES 2018, is a pocket-sized device (110 mm long, to be exact) that turns your iPhone into a 360-degree camera. It shoots 20 MP photos and 4K video.
You control it with the Insta360 Nano S app, which also allows you to store, edit, and share your photos and videos.
The previous iteration of this camera, the Insta360 Nano, had a few major issues: Alerts were in Chinese, there was no countdown timer, and live streaming was incredibly difficult to set up.
The Nano S has ironed out those kinks without compromising the high image quality for which Insta360 is known. There’s now a countdown timer for non-selfie group photos. (The app crashed twice as I attempted to livestream to Facebook but got there without a hitch after that, and I have yet to see a Chinese alert.)
360-degree cameras combine photos from multiple cameras and create images to artificially fill in the gaps between them, a process known as “stitching.” While stitching is sometimes noticeable in photos taken by other 360 cameras, such as LG’s 360 Cam, you can’t see it at all in the Nano S’s photos. These image are crisp, clear, and seamless.
You can display your photos in three angles and five layouts, which allow you to capture up to three directions at once, at multiple angles. The “planet” angle, my personal favorite, shows a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings rotating around you. I’m not sure what I’d use it for, but it looks awesome.
The app also features dozens of fun filters and stickers you can use to decorate your photos.
A countdown timer, combined with a plastic stand that comes with the camera, allows you to to take group photos, or to grab scenery shots without your hand getting in the way.
The video is incredibly steady. As I spun the recording camera in a circle, the same image remained in the video, with the tiniest of blurs moving across the screen. This is apparently because the Nano S, instead of utilizing an internal gyroscope, syncs up with your iPhone’s gyroscope, which corrects for wobbles and shakes.
Social media addicts, rejoice: You can also live stream to Facebook and Youtube directly from the app. This feature was somewhat glitchy (as I said earlier, the app crashed a few times as I tried to use it), but it works, and is easy to use.
And you’ll soon be able to 360-video call your friends over Facebook and WhatsApp, even if they don’t have a 360 camera or VR headset. This feature is still in beta.
The camera is $239 USD, though regional prices may vary, and is available through Amazon, the Insta360 Store, and may other retailers.
Follow our coverage of CES 2018 here.