Insta360 ONE X2 360° Video Tips

MicroSD Card

According to the Insta360 ONE X2 manual, you must use a UHS-I Micro SD card with a V30 or above speed class and exFAT format. UHS-II and UHS-III Micro SD/TF cards are not compatible with ONE X2. You can find V30 cards on Amazon. Note that the U3 symbol in the image below doesn’t mean UHS-II but rather U3. According to Wikipedia, U3 has to do with software rather than speed.

The cards below have been tested to work well with ONE X2.

SD CardModel NumberCapacitySpeed Class
Sandisk Extreme V30 A1SDSQXVF-032G-GN6MA32GV30
Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 A1SDSQXCG-032G-GN6MA32GV30
Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 A1SDSQXCG-064G-GN6MA64GV30
Sandisk Extreme V30 A1SDSQXAF-128G-GN6MA128GV30
Sandisk Extreme V30 A2SDSQXAF-128G-GN6MA64GV30
Sandisk Extreme V30 A2SDSQXA1-256G-ZN6MA256GV30
Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 A2SDSQXCZ-1T00-ZN6MA1TBV30

The first character of the 3rd part of the model number may differ, e.g. “G” in GN6MA vs “Z” in ZN6MA. According to this forum, that just identifies a different manufacturer.

The last character of the 3rd part of the model number may differ, e.g. “A” in GN6MA vs “N” in GN6MN. “A” means it comes with an adapter and “N” means it doesn’t.

Batteries

The battery that comes with the Insta360 ONE X2 is good for 80 minutes. It may be a good idea to buy additional batteries just in case. I bought a pack of 2 batteries on Amazon. It comes with a charger and the batteries work.

Decide How to Hold the Camera

There are different ways to hold the camera.

Insta360 Selfie Stick with Built in Tripod

With this selfie stick, you can hold the camera away from you to take selfie videos or put the tripod on a flat surface.

360-Degree Rotation Hand Strap Mount

This particular hand strap is designed for GoPro cameras but you can buy an adapter to use it with the One X2.

You can rotate the base and lock its angle.

360-degree flat surface mount

The ONE X2 can’t stand upright on its own. But, it has a 1/4″ female thread to connect it to a mount like the one below. The base of the mount is magnetic so you can mount it on a refrigerator, for example. The 360 degree pivoting ball in the middle is optional.

Universal, Flexible Tripod

If you need to mount the ONE X2 to something non-metallic and not flat, like a tree branch or bike handlebar, you can use this flexible tripod.

Bike Handlebar Mount

If you need a sturdy mount to something cylindrical, like a bike handlebar, then you can use this mount.

Chest Mount

You can connect the ONE X2 to a neck lanyard and have it lay flat, upside down on your chest. A 1/4″ camera screw is needed to connect the lanyard to the camera. The lanyard below is adjustable so you can position the ONE X2 anywhere vertically on your chest. Even though the camera will be upside down, the ONE X2 can automatically flip the video upright and stabilize the video even if the camera moves around as you’re walking. Since the camera would be upside down, it’s more inconspicuous so few people, if any, would think you’re filming them.

1/4 inch Camera Screw

Adjustable length neck lanyard

If you are concerned that some of your shirt will show up in the video, just remember that you can change the field-of-view angle in post production.

Depending on how you walk or where you walk, the camera may bounce around too much on your chest. If this becomes problematic and produces bad footage, you can hack something together like I did below to keep the camera from moving around. The idea behind the hack is based on

Parts

Instructions

  1. Fasten the T plate to the magnetic mount using the hex nut as shown below. Disregard the two holes I drilled in the magnet. No drilling is necessary when you use the T plate.
  1. Insert the camera into the rubber sleeve and then insert the round metal plate between the camera and the sleeve. There’s no need to use the adhesive backing.
  2. Wear both neck lanyards as shown the picture below.
  1. Put the magnet underneath your shirt and the camera on your shirt such that the metal plate is centered on the magnet.

Now, when you walk, the camera will barely move around. You may want to wear a t-shirt, though, rather than a Polo shirt so no buttons get in the way between the camera and the magnet.

STUNTMAN Pack Mount – Backpack Shoulder Strap Mount

This mount straps onto a backpack strap. It comes with a 1/4″ screw connector to connect the Insta360 One X2 to it. It is very secure and well made.

STUNTMAN 360 – Shoulder & Waist Mount

This mount can be used to hold the Insta360 One X2 by your shoulder, at the center of your chest or by your waist. It comes with a 1/4″ screw connector to connect the Insta360 One X2 to it. It’s also very secure. Note that if you hole the camera by your waist and you film while walking, your hands may get in the video. Therefore, you may way to keep your hands in your pocket while walking and filming.

If you are just walking around, e.g. sightseeing, and want to take videos here and there, I think carrying the selfie stick attached to the camera with a lens protector in your pants pocket would work since you could easily just take it out at a moment’s notice for quick shots. If you’re wearing jeans, the sticking it in your pants pocket with the camera down is not ideal but beats having to carrying and putting it in a backpack.

If you are wearing cargo pants like the Columbia trek pants pictured below, then putting the camera in one of the lower pockets works but it could easily be pickpocketed. The good thing about this particular pocket is it’s on the side.

However, the selfie stick does move around too much. To fix that, you can buy some sew-on velcro straps and sew on a strap like I did in the picture below.

My Preferred Way of Holding the Camera

Selfie Stick in Hand

When I’m walking, I like to hole the selfie stick in my left (or right) hand with the stick extended such that the camera lens is at face height. Optionally, the point of interest could be behind me. In post-production reframing, I could rotate the view to sometimes face me and sometimes face some other direction.

Selfie Stick Tripod

In certain situations, I’ll turn the selfie stick into a tripod and place it on the floor/ground or on a table.

Chest Mount (Body Cam)

When I don’t want to hold the camera for a long time or when I don’t want people to know that I’m filming then, e.g. when boarding an airplane, when standing in a subway car or bus, when buying something, etc, I’ll mount my camera to my chest.

Enable Quick Capture

This mode lets you push the shutter button to do two things at once

  • Turn on the camera and start recording
  • Turn off the camera and stop recording

While traveling, this can be really handy since you won’t have to waste time clicking two different buttons and waiting in between.

The recording mode will be the last mode used. If you switched the mode to timelapse and then turned off the camera, then the shutter button will turn on the camera and start recording in timelapse mode, not regular video mode.

Enable Standard Video Mode

This mode is for regular video shooting. Other modes are HDR, Timelapse, Timeshift and Bullet Time. HDR is only good for when you are filming on a tripod and not moving.

Disable Prompt Sound

By default, when you turn on and off the camera or start and stop recording, you will hear an annoying beep. Disable this “Prompt Sound”. To know whether the camera is on, off, or recording, just look at the light status.

  • Light off = camera off
  • Light solid blue = camera on
  • Light slowly flashing red = video shooting

Press The Shutter Button to Start Filming

While you are out and about traveling and you want to start filming, just press the shutter button once. Since Quick Capture will be enabled, you won’t need to turn the camera on first.

Press The Shutter Button to Stop Filming

When you are done filming, just press the shutter button once again. Since Quick Capture will be enabled, you won’t need to turn the camera off as it will turn off automatically (and save battery).

Install the Insta360 Studio Desktop App

https://www.insta360.com/download/insta360-onex2

Note: The latest Windows version of the Insta360 Studio app is version 4.3.0, which came out on 2022-05-24. The previous version is 4.2.2. I have found version 4.3.0 to have significant performance issues so I have reverted back to version 4.2.2 which performs just fine.
See Insta360 Studio versions

Download Insta360 Studio v4.2.2

Transfer Videos to Your Computer

Connect a USB cable between the camera and your computer. On Windows, it auto-detects the camera as an external drive. You can then copy and paste the .insv files. Note that each video contains 3 .insv files. For example, below there are actually only 2 videos.

Note that transferring video files from the Insta360 ONE X2 to your computer can be really slow. To speed this up, use a USB 3 card reader. I use this one: SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader- SDDR-B531-GN6NN

For example, when I transfer files from the Insta360 ONE X2 to my laptop over USB C, it transfers at about 30 MB/s.

Back up files

Video files are huge. You may not have enough space on your laptop to store video files. And even if you did, you should have a backup, e.g. on an external SSD. I like the SanDisk Extreme 1TB Portable External SSD Flash Storage Drive which claims to have a data transfer rate of up to 1050MB/s.

Import the .insv Files into Insta360 Studio

In the left pane, you will see thumbnails for all uploaded videos. .insv files are unstitched 360-degree files that can only be opened in the Insta360 Studio or mobile app.

Reframe the 360 Degree Video

In the right panel, you will have many options. Enable FlowState Stabilization so that the video isn’t jerky. If you want the video view to always face one direction (front), then enable Direction Lock.

At the top, you’ll see two icons. One for edit mode and one for view mode. Ensure edit mode is on. In the video preview window, you’ll see an option to change the video aspect ratio. The most common is 16:9, e.g. for TVs and YouTube.

To reframe the 360 video, you’ll need to first add keyframes at each timestamp where you want to change the angle and lens of the video. Drag the white vertical playback bar to the very beginning of the timeline and click the + icon.

This will add a yellow circle at that timestamp indicating that a keyframe is there. Also, the + icon turns into an x icon for if you want to delete that keyframe. Clicking on the keyframe shows options where you can choose the lens type, e.g. fisheye, etc. Choose “Natural View”. Then, drag the video preview in any direction you want so that the video beginning at that keyframe will point in that direction.

When you click “Natural View”, the Field of View (FOV) value will change to the default value of 90 degrees.

Following is what the FOV looks like at 90 degrees.

You can increase the field of view (like zooming out) and decrease the field of view (like zooming in). Since the ONE X2 is a 360 camera with two 180-degree lenses, you can increase the FOV to a max of 180 degrees (actually 179 degrees). You’ll end up getting a circle like below.

The smallest FOV is 1 degree, which results in such a zoomed-in view that just blurry, like below.

Drag the playback bar to another timestamp and repeat the steps above. You will see a yellow line connecting the two keyframes.

Clicking on the yellow line will allow you to choose a transition between the two keyframes. “Smooth Dissolve” is a good transition. If you choose “None”, for example, and the camera angle is facing the sky at keyframe 1 and facing the ground in keyframe 2, then at the beginning of keyframe 2, the video will jump from facing the sky to facing the ground. With the “Smooth Dissolve” transition, the video will transition slowly from facing the sky to the ground.

Click the lightning icon to enable Timeshift.

Then drag in the timeline where you want the timeshift to occur and choose a speed from slowing down at 1/4x speed to speeding up to 64x speed. Sections that are timelapses will have their audio muted.

Note: Creating a timelapse in Corel VideoStudio is easier and comes with more options. Also, it preserves the audio, although it doesn’t change it.

When you are done adding keyframes, setting camera angles, and adding timeshifts, adjust the picture color, if necessary. Click the media processing icon and compare the color when Color Plus or AquaVision 2.0 is enabled.

Below, you can see the difference in color between the default color and with Color Plus and AquaVision 2.0 enabled.

Default color
Color Plus enabled
AquaVision 2.0 enabled

The AquaVision 2.0 setting is for taking underwater pictures. It produces a brighter picture. The Color Plus setting produces vivid, more saturated colors. It especially helps improve skin tone when the subject is in a shade.

Note: Adjusting color in Corel VideoStudio is better as you can tweak the color settings.

When done adjusting for color, click the yellow Export button on the right of the timeline.

This will give you many options. Choose “Reframed Video” and H.265 instead of H.264. H. 264 (AVC) processes frames of video using macroblocks, while H. 265 (HEVC) processes information using coding tree units (CTUs). CTUs process information more efficiently, which results in a smaller file size and less bandwidth used for your streamed video.

Then, click the Start Export button.

Tweak video color in Corel VideoStudio

In VideoStudio 2018 Pro/Ultimate, double-click on a video clip in the timeline. In the Correction tab, slide the Gamma slider to the right to lighten the video. This may throw the white balance off. To fix the white balance, check its checkbox, click “Pick Color” and click on a pixel in the video that should be pure white, e.g. a white napkin.

In VideoStudio 2018 Pro/Ultimate, double-click on a video clip in the timeline. In the Color tab, choose Tone Curve and drag the curve. Usually, dragging towards the top left produces a brighter picture.

Edit video in Corel VideoStudio 2022

Note: Corel VideoStudio 2018 used to work fine but, at least for me, it now hangs even after installing and running it on a brand new computer. Corel VideoStudio 2022, however, works fine.

This step assumes you have already reframed and exported the videos.

Under Settings, Smart Proxy Manager, ensure “Enable Smart Proxy” is checked. This will cause VideoStudio to create a small proxy video for videos that are large. This will help with video editing performance.

In the Edit tab, create a project, e.g. Korea, and drag all assets to it (photos, videos, audio, etc).

If the assets are in the order you want them inserted in the timeline, then select multiple assets, right-click, and choose “Insert To > Video Track”. This will make it quick and easy to insert multiple assets at once.

Go to Settings > Smart Proxy Manager > Smart Proxy Queue Manager. You may see a window like below. If you see video files in the list, that means VideoStudio is in the process of creating proxy video files. When it’s done, the list will be empty. Until it’s done, leave VideoStudio alone since editing before it’s done could be slow and possibly crash the program.

If you’ve added a song to the Music track, and you want to lower the volume of the song for a section of a video clip, e.g. when someone is talking, then do the following:

  1. Click the sound mixer icon

Then tracks will change like below.

The white line is the audio volume line. Notice how on the music track, the volume line goes down at one point and then up and another. This was done to lower the volume of the song during that time range only. To lower the volume, move the playback marker to the point along the orange line where you want to change the volume. Then, in the sound mixer, change the dB value for the track you want to change the volume of. In the screenshot below. the music track volume was lowered to -20 dB,

VideoStudio will gradually change the volume from one point to another. If you want the volume to change immediately, then you’ll need to add another marker next to the first one.

If you want to speed up a video clip, right-click on the clip and choose Speed > Speed/Time-lapse…

This will open a dialog like the one below. Change the duration of the new clip, e.g. from 18 seconds to 8 seconds, and then click the Preview button. If the preview looks good, click OK to apply the timelapse.

Before you export the video from Corel VideoStudio, note that the input video clips exported video from Insta360 Studio have 29.97 frames (still images) per second (fps).

Corel VideoStudio may default to choosing export settings of 30p (30 fps). If you choose this setting, the audio will not be in sync with the video.

Corel VideoStudio doesn’t have a preset for 29.97p (29.94 fps).

So, you’ll need to create your own profile preset and choose a frame rate of 29.97 fps.

Creating Timelapse Videos

You can create timelapse videos using the Insta360 ONE X2. The resulting timelapse will be a 360-degree video which you can edit the same way you can non-timelapse videos. Unfortunately, the interval setting between when a picture is taken to create the timelapse can only be set from your phone. The interval options are 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 4s, 10s, 30s, 1min, 2min. Note that standard video is 29.97s which is like making a timelapse video where the interval between still images is 1/29.97 or 0.03s. According to this timelapse calculator, if you film for 8 hours straight (event duration) with a frame rate of 29.97, and a shooting interval of 0.5s, then the came will take 57600 photos and the resulting timelapse video duration will be 32m 2s long.

Here are the number of photos and video lengths for an 8-hour event duration for intervals supported by the ONE X2.

IntervalNumber of PhotosVideo Duration
0.5s5760032m 2s
1s2880016m 1s
2s144008m
4s72004m
10s28801m 36s
30s96032s
1min48016s
2min2408s

I wouldn’t choose a timelapse interval greater than 10s since an 8-hour long filming session would produce a video that’s only 1m 36s long. If that is too long, then in post-production, whether in Insta360 Studio or Corel VideoStudio, you can speed up the timelapse to produce an even shorter video.

The battery that comes with the Insta360 ONE X2 is good for 80 minutes. You can buy additional batteries but if you’ll be recording a long timelapse video, it would be annoying to have to keep changing the battery every 80 minutes. In this case, you’re better off recording with the USB charging cable plugged in. To prevent overheating, remove the battery. The camera can still operate and record while plugged in.

When taking a 360-degree timelapse, make sure the following options are set

360-degree mode (not 150-degree mode)

Left to right: 360-degree mode, panorama mode, 150-degree wide angle mode

Video timelapse mode

Menu Options

The Insta360 ONE X2 has many menu options. View most of the options in this PDF diagram.