Smaller, lighter, more versatile, and easier to handle. The action cameras are quickly transformed to respond to the growing demands of that sector of the population that is compelled to retransmit their lives at all times. At the same time, its price is getting smaller. Thus, what was previously available to a few elite athletes has already become popular among all types of audiences. Today the Chinese ‘start-up’ Insta360 , which has garnered remarkable successes with its 360-degree One X and Air cameras , has taken the concept a little further with the launch of the Go, the smallest stabilized action camera in the world .
It is a stylized white capsule that is barely five centimeters long and two centimeters wide and weighs 18.3 grams. Despite its small size, it is equipped with a six-axis gyro stabilization system, records videos in a resolution higher than FHD – specifically 2,720 x 2,720 pixels – and is capable of capturing images in slow motion -100 fps- and to create both timelapses – fast-motion videos generated by recording images at different intervals from a fixed point – and hyperlapses – similar to the previous one, but without restrictions on movement.
In any case, the main strength of the Go is in its versatility. On the back, the camera is equipped with a powerful magnet that allows it to hold tightly to any metal surface. A lamppost, a bench, the refrigerator, and also the circular pendant that the Chinese company has designed to wear under clothing and, thus, turn the camera into an accessory that can be dressed. The result in that case resembles the body cameras that are becoming popular among police forces around the world, with the difference that the Go is much smaller and more stylized. As if that were not enough, the device includes several accessories to mount it on a tripod or stick it to a non-metallic surface.
THE COUNTRY has been able to briefly test the camera and the first thing that is obvious is its simple operation. It only has one button on the back, although it can be operated by pressing on the front, and is programmed to perform different actions depending on the number of touches the user gives: one, records video or takes a picture, depending on whether it was off or standby; two, create a hyperlapse ; and three, capture slow motion images. Logically, it can also be controlled by Bluetooth with the simple mobile application developed by the company.
Of course, as Insta360 has designed the Go with social networks in mind, its clips are limited to a maximum duration of 30 seconds. Although this can be frustrating for some users, the company defends itself by pointing out that, according to its market studies, most of the videos that people record and share are less than half a minute. “When we look at online consumption habits, this trend is even more marked. The Go is based on capturing the best moments and combining them into a short but great story, ”explains Max Richter, director of marketing for Insta360, to this newspaper.
The manager puts the example of Twitter to delve into his idea. “Why do you limit yourself to 240 characters? It is not for technical reasons, it does so to force you to be concise and create content that people really want and have time to read. The same concept applies in the Go. We want users to focus more on capturing what really matters in order to generate not only a single experience clip, but an easy sequence to share of their best moments, ”he adds.
For Richter, the camera adapts to a new type of communication that arises with applications such as Tik-Tok or Instagram Stories. “We believe that recording, editing and sharing should be as easy as saying” Hi, how are you? The contents generated by the Go fit very well with this type of new communication, and social networks and messaging apps are perhaps your main destination. This does not mean that it cannot be punctually used in more elaborate video productions, ”says Richter.
It is also clear that the camera has been designed taking into account its connectivity with the iPhone and iPad. Not surprisingly, the practical case in which it is stored, and that serves both to load the Go and to transfer its files, includes a Lightning port for Apple’s phone and tablet, while users of Android devices must connect it using a USB cable that is not as comfortable but is included as standard.
What all users can do, regardless of the operating system of their smartphones, is to use the sophisticated artificial intelligence system Insta360 has developed so that it is the application itself that automatically edits the videos. They call it Flash Cut, and it is able to select the best clips – and even parts of recordings -, organize them by theme, and create coherent videos synchronized with a music file. At the moment, the application has half a dozen predefined templates – beach, city, food, sport, smiles – to which more will be added.
“The algorithm has been developed using databases of millions of images and evaluates the content taking into account both the theme and its aesthetic quality,” says Richter. “Then choose a template from which we propose and edit the content to the rhythm of the music. The clips for this video can be chosen by the user or by the app itself. That is, the process can be fully automatic or personalized to the user’s liking, ”he adds.
Finally, the Go camera is resistant to splashes and immersions of a maximum of 10 seconds -IPX4-, it has an internal storage of 8 GB, battery to make about 200 clips of 20 seconds a day (the case can charge the camera 2, 5 times, and the battery reaches 100% capacity in 20 minutes), and exports videos in mp4 format. Among its most negative points is the lack of customization of image parameters such as brightness or white balance, which are automatically determined by the Go, which is already available on the brand’s website at 229.99 euros.