The new Insta360 Ace Pro is the first action camera capable of shooting 8K video, 4K 120fps video, 48MP photos, PureVideo for low light shooting, and more. There is also a budget-friendly Insta360 Ace.
Insta360 announced the release of Insta360 Ace and Insta360 Ace Pro, a pair of, the company claims, groundbreaking, wide-angle action cameras that deliver smarter action capture and incredible image quality. The flagship version of the camera is the Insta360 Ace Pro. Co-engineered with industry giants, Leica, it boasts “an industry-leading 1/1.3″ sensor for truly superior imaging performance”, according to Insta360.
The Insta360 Ace Pro is the first action camera capable of shooting 8K video, while also packing in 4K 120fps video, 48MP photos, PureVideo for low light shooting, and more. Insta360 Ace is the budget-friendly option, with the key difference being a smaller 1/2″ 48MP sensor and restricted to 6K video. Both cameras are packed full of unique, smart shooting features. Practical elements like a vlogging-friendly 2.4″ flip touchscreen provide excellent creative flexibility. Meanwhile, innovative functions such as the option to pause or cancel a recording, gesture and voice control, plus the new AI Highlights Assistant, transform the shooting and editing experience.
Co-engineered with Leica is a catchy phrase that helps to promote a product, so the new Insta360 Ace Pro uses it… again. In fact, although some may think that the use of the Leica name is something new to Insta 360, and may be a sign that action cameras are following the path of smartphones (Xiaomi brand is working with Leica to develop its smartphones), the cooperation between the two companies dates back to 2020, when, at the CES edition for that year, they announced their goal: to bring true innovation and state-of-the-art imaging quality to the action camera and 360-degree camera spaces.
From 1-inch to 1/1.3″ sensor
The first example of that cooperation is the 1-Inch Wide Angle Mod available for the modular Insta360 ONE R, revealed in 2020. The 1-Inch Wide Angle Mod achieves, said Insta360 then, “the best performance ever in an action camera, combining a 1-inch sensor with the legendary optical expertise of Leica and 5.3K resolution — in a compact, rugged body backed by Insta360’s signature FlowState stabilization.”
Interestingly, the Insta360 Ace Pro ditches the 1” sensor (+/- 13.2 x 8.8mm) from the 2020 model and opts for a smaller 1/1.3″ sensor (+/- 9.6 x 7.2mm), which you’ll find in smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and other high-end models. One side note that I deem important to understand the logic: Xiaomi, who also works with Leica, used 1” sensor on its previous model, 13 Pro, but moved to a 1/1.3″ sensor on the Xiaomi 14 Pro. It may be more than a coincidence…
One thing is clear and Insta360 is quick to point it out: “as a major determinant of a camera’s image quality, Ace Pro’s premium 1/1.3″ sensor immediately sets it apart from many of its competitors. It captures more light and offers far better dynamic range, making it capable of high-level performance even in fast-moving action scenarios or low light. Not only that, but Ace Pro was co-engineered with Leica, bringing all their expertise in optical design and imaging to the camera.”
“With Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro, we’re bringing smarter action capture to thrillseekers around the world,” shares JK Liu, CEO of Insta360. “We’re making significant steps in AI, which has allowed us to bring in new features that we think not only make the video creation process easier for users, but unlocks completely new ways to make shots truly stand out.”
Designed for video
Built on this premium base, Ace Pro achieves, according to Insta360, “impressive results. For starters, it is the first action camera to support 8K video. That’s 400% more resolution than 4K so we’re talking serious detail. But Ace Pro also excels in the more familiar setting of 4K video, doing things that no other action camera can do.”
Those who want to shoot video will appreciate that the Ace and Ace Pro have a dedicated low light shooting mode: PureVideo. It’s a combination of noise reduction, enhanced brightness, and improved dynamic range that helps capture a surprising amount of detail and impressive stabilization, even at night. This expands the use you’ll get out of the camera, from twilight strolls to late-night urban shooting.
During the day, again Ace Pro comes packing heat with built-in Active HDR (High Dynamic Range). This is especially helpful for shooting scenes with both bright and dark areas, with more details in the highlights and shadows and more vibrant footage. A serious amount of work has also gone into color accuracy. Ace Pro delivers accurate and rich colors, excelling even when underwater, Insta360 claims.
Ace Pro also features a 2.4″ flip touchscreen that lets you see exactly what you’re shooting and makes the camera useful for vlogging, selfies, or hard-to-capture angles. What’s more, a magnetic mounting system lets you quickly mount your camera and seamlessly switch between accessories. Less fussing with screws and knobs, more filming the action.
The new AI Highlights Assistant
This model also introduces a series of new features to solve problems that have plagued action enthusiasts for years:
- Clarity Zoom – want a close-up but the image quality becomes too poor? Ace Pro can zoom in and out 2x without any loss in quality.
- Gesture Control – use hand signals to start/stop recording or take a photo! Perfect for group selfies, noisy environments, or if using voice control doesn’t feel right (though it has this function too)
- Cancel Recording – failed the trick? Messed up a line? Instantly cancel the recording and go again, saving space on the SD card and fewer files to sort through.
- Pause/Restart Recording – time between shots? Hit pause and record to keep everything you want to film in one continuous file for easier file management and editing.
- Live Snapshot – you’re filming a video when an ideal photo op presents itself. Keep filming AND take a photo at the same time, but in far higher resolution than a screen grab from the video.
Choosing which clips to keep is also made easier, with the new AI Highlights Assistant, which helps creators go through what may be, otherwise, an intimidating number of files. The system automatically detects the peak moments in a video, and delivers ‘clip highlights’ for in-camera review. Creators can merge every thrilling moment into one epic recap, or choose the ones they like. The Assistant will delete any unwanted clips immediately to save storage. And like magic, the Assistant will also edit your latest adventures into one epic video and push it directly to your device. Look back on all your Moments and relive unforgettable memories, just like the first time.
Because these action cameras are for adventurers, the Ace series comes equipped with a unique Stats Dashboard, a feature exclusive to Insta360. It integrates seamlessly with your Garmin device or Apple Watch, allowing you to overlay your videos with GPS, speed, and other data. Share your adventures with a new level of detail, whether you’re cycling, running, or enjoying the great outdoors.
AI Warp is another new creative tool, the latest addition to Insta360’s expanding Shot Lab lineup. Through preset or completely custom keywords, you can add dynamic effects to your videos. This premium AI feature is highly customizable, “giving your footage an incredibly unique twist based off of any prompt you can think of”. The company says that as it continues to embrace the game-changing capabilities of AI, you can expect more features added to Shot Lab on the Insta360 app heading into 2024.
The Ace series also features Insta360’s signature eye-popping shooting modes, including the ability to shoot timelapses, hyperlapses, and so much more. The infamous Invisible Selfie Stick effect is also possible with Ace, rendering your selfie stick invisible in shots, allowing for an immersive third-person experience.
The 360° Horizon Lock feature takes things to the next level by keeping your videos perfectly level, even when you’re on the move. So, whether you’re racing down a mountain trail or capturing high-speed action shots, your footage will remain steady as a rock.
Ready for Winter sports shooting
Ace Pro also prioritizes convenience with fast-charging. The battery charges to 80% in just 22 minutes (full charge in 46 minutes), ensuring you spend more time capturing the action and less time waiting.
With their waterproof design, the Ace series can handle depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters). Plus, the Dive Case allows you to take your camera even deeper, down to an impressive 196 feet (60 meters). It’s not just about being immersed in water. The Ace family operates smoothly in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), making them ideal for winter sports shooting. The cameras utilize Insta360’s cutting-edge FlowState Stabilization technology, ensuring your videos remain incredibly smooth, no matter how intense the action gets.
“I like what I see with the new Ace series, so naturally I’m stoked to collaborate with the team at Insta360 and explore some of the incredible possibilities this camera can offer. I’ll be looking to share some crazy shots, so stay tuned!” said legendary snowboarder Shaun White, who has joined Team Insta360 as a brand ambassador. Shaun will contribute his expertise and creativity to showcase the Ace series’ capabilities, particularly in the realm of winter sports.
Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro are available to order globally from Thursday, November 21st, 2023 via Insta360.com, Amazon, and select retailers. Ace retails for US$379.99, while the flagship option, Insta360 Ace Pro, is priced at US$449.99.