[GEAR REVIEW] Insta360 X3: The Sleekest Action Camera for Skiing

Martin Kuprianowicz | | Gear ReviewGear ReviewFeatured ArticleFeatured Article

Durable, sleek, and effortless to use on the mountain—these are only a few reasons the new Insta360 X3 is dominating the action sports camera market right now. Skiing is a lifestyle. A way of life for some, like us here at SnowBrains. When it comes to posting daily content from the mountains, we need a solid camera to get the job done—and to get it done well. We needed something that could capture the best quality footage and something that we could depend on when we were out in the backcountry, miles from the nearest trailhead. That’s why we’re rocking the Insta360 One X3 camera this winter.

I’ve had the pleasure of extensively testing this camera in the backcountry of Utah’s Wasatch Mountain for over a month now. I had the X2 last season, and this camera shows significant improvement from that model by having a smaller size, lower weight, longer battery life, higher quality lens, and much more.

The X3’s sleek, streamlined shape feels great in my ski jacket pocket. It’s extremely quick and easy to whip this camera out of your coat and throw it onto your helmet or the neat invisible selfie stick(more info below). The camera does well in the cold, and its buttons for powering the device on and recording footage make it easy to operate with gloves on. It’s dependable, rain, sun, or powder, unlike some other cameras that get finicky when it’s cold out. I’ve used the X3 in near 0ºF temperatures already, and it’s worked like a dream. Then when I get home, the video editing process is made easy and fun with the Insta360 app. There are so many features and editing options to choose from, making this camera extremely intelligent and sophisticated to play around with. Check out some footage below that I’ve captured from the Wasatch recently before diving deep into the rest of this review.

The Insta360 X3 retails for $449.99.

To purchase an Insta360 camera visit website insta360.com.

Insta360 X3 is the next-gen of the world’s best-selling 360 action camera. By filming in 360, you can fully focus on the action and never miss a shot. X3 automatically hides the selfie stick, so you can ski and record yourself at the same time. When you’re done, put all of your footage together using the Insta360 app—an AI powerhouse designed to help you create great edits fast.

Photo courtesy of Insta360

Features include:

  • 5.7K 360° Video with Active HDR
  • 4K Single-Lens Mode
  • Invisible Selfie Stick
  • 60fps Me Mode
  • Unbeatable FlowState stabilization
  • 360° Horizon Lock without cropping
  • 72MP 360° photos
  • Waterproofing up to 10m (33ft)
  • High-performance 1800mAh battery
  • An easy AI editing workflow

My favorite features on the X3

Shoot first, point later

Because the X3 has two lenses and 360º-shooting capability, you literally don’t have to give any thought to putting the camera on its mount—whether on a helmet, chest mount, or invisible selfie stick. You can just throw it on and start recording.

The ultra-high-quality 5.7K 360° camera captures all angles, and you can edit the footage to focus on whatever point you want. No more wasted footage due to bad framing—no more ‘bad camera angles.’ Also, easy reframing features such as Deep Track allow you to tap once and keep your target locked in the center frame with the X3’s AI tracking feature.

Invisible Selfie Stick for third-person POV

No drone? No problem. Insta360 X3 can make your selfie stick invisible.

The X3 works great with the third-person POV backpack mount so that I can keep my hands free while skiing and not have to ‘only’ use my helmet mount. You just install the selfie stick into your backpack and mount the X3. Just make sure it’s mounted on tightly so it doesn’t fall out. There’s also the waist strap to secure the selfie stick behind you. Peep the video below of me trying out the third-person backpack mount.

To purchase an Insta360 camera visit website insta360.com.

Me Mode

If you don’t want to reframe but still want the Invisible Selfie Stick effect, then there’s ‘Me Mode’. Recording up to 60 fps, Me Mode enables snow shredders to keep the focus on them without the selfie stick. Me Mode keeps you in the frame even if the selfie stick moves. The Insta360 app includes tons of AI templates and functions to take your videos to the next level like Shot Lab, which is a continuously-updated collection of one-tap templates using the latest and greatest 360 editing techniques. You can pick and choose from your favorites and upload them to social media with ease.

FlowState Stabilization & 360° Horizon Lock

Any video you shoot with X3 will come out super smooth due to Insta360’s proprietary FlowState Stabilization and Horizon Lock algorithms.

The camera’s 360-degree capture capabilities mean you can rotate the camera in any direction (say when hitting a flip) and the video will remain upright the entire time thanks to 360 Horizon Lock.

Rugged and waterproof

It’s got IPX8 waterproofing to 33ft (10m) straight out of the box with tough, tempered glass for the touchscreen. Add on Sticky Lens Guards for extra lens protection.

Long-life battery

  • The high-performance 1800mAh removable battery keeps you ready for the unexpected.
  • Shoot for up to 81 minutes in 5.7K@30fps.

To purchase an Insta360 camera visit website insta360.com.

Photo courtesy of Insta360

Best camera for skiing and snowboarding

That’s just a glimpse of why Insta360 X3 is the best camera for snowboarding and skiing. On top of those epic shots, X3 is also waterproof (and snowproof) up to 10m. Its cold-weather-ready 1800mAh battery will keep you shooting for up to 81 minutes, and it’s replaceable if you want to pack a spare too.

The footage plays back like a dream. The invisible selfie stick makes the footage looks super clean. It feels good in your hands or pocket and isn’t as confusing to use as some other cameras. The camera’s touchscreen interface is just plain cool, too. Overall, this camera makes my life easier and my ski footage better. It will be my go-to this season when it comes to capturing moments in the mountains.

P.S. Insta360 recently partnered with Walker Shredz, the 12-year-old skiing prodigy who’s killing the game right now. Peep his Insta360 footage below, but try not to get jealous that he’s only 12!

To purchase an Insta360 camera visit website insta360.com.

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