The Insta360 GO 2 is an always-ready waterproof sports and action camera with a suite of features and an even sweeter price. The GO 2 action camera is a compact unit that you should strongly consider if you want to record some motorsports action. Whether you are behind the wheel or spectating, the GO 2 offers some great options for getting a video to capture the excitement.
Insta360 Go 2 Review: 6 Things We Like
Insta360 was founded in 2015, and the company’s first offering was a 360-degree camera. The brand has since expanded to offer a variety of professional and consumer cameras, including the compact but mighty Insta360 Go 2. Here are a few key features that stood out about this action camera.
The camera is small — really small. It could easily be mistaken for some thumb drives, measuring in at approximately 2″ by 1″ by 0.8″ and weighing less than one ounce. You don’t want an action camera to take up too much storage space and the Inst360 GO 2 camera is definitely compact. It would be hard to spot on a windshield and could be easily mounted to a fender.
The beauty of the camera and the mounting options is that, while still visible, the camera is less obvious and intrusive. Mount a GoPro camera to your chest, and everybody will notice it. The Go 2, on the other hand, is much more subtle.
The camera offers a variety of recording modes including standard video and photo modes plus Pro Video, HDR Video, Time Shift, TimeLapse, and Slow Mo options.
The Pro Video mode gives you the most post-processing options and includes Flow State stabilization. If you shoot in Pro Video mode it does have to be processed with Insta360’s editing tools before sharing. Most of the time I shot in the Pro Video mode to keep my editing options open after the recording was done.
Time Shift compresses the video, more than the standard time-lapse, clicking a frame as slow as once every two minutes. If you want a quick video to instantly share with friends or post on your social media, the standard video mode will do the trick.
The camera comes with a variety of accessories, the most important being a charge case. The case’s battery can also act as an ancillary power source for the camera. The camera alone will record for about 20 minutes (in Pro Video mode), but in the charge case that bumps up to 110 minutes.
As you might expect, standard video recording gives you slightly more recording time. The case also includes a small OLED display to confirm your shooting mode. Plus it has two buttons to change the recording selection options and to start/stop recording.
The case can double as a remote control if you remove the camera from its magnetic mount. It also has two “legs” that pull out to form a handy tripod to assist with your recording angles. The bottom also has a standard 1/4″ tripod mount hole if you want to mount it onto an existing tripod system. I was pleased to see how well designed this setup was.
The company also includes an Easy Clip that attaches to a ball cap brim for hands-free recording. Though it might not be used too often, a hands-free mount is a neat option.
The included Pivot Stand has a sticky adhesive back that can be mounted on a windshield or dashboard and easily removed when done. Because the unit has a pivoting head, you can adjust the recording angle on the fly.
The final accessory is a magnetic pendant that you can wear under your clothing. The magnet is strong enough to hold the camera through a shirt and allows for a first-person point-of-view shooting angle.
Surprisingly, the unit does not come with an actual power plug, so you will need to purchase a power plug separately to charge both the camera and the charging case.
The company offers stand-alone editing software, Insta360 Studio 2021, for your computer. If you download the video to your phone via their app, Insta360, there are also some down and dirty easy edits via FlashCut that can be performed as well. Since the standard videos are MP4 format, you can also use any other editing software you are familiar with.
The normal in-camera stabilization is decent but will still show some jerky movements when you are moving around. However, when shooting in the Pro Video mode, the FlowState compensation is a huge improvement. It features horizon stabilization as well. So if you rotate the camera, it still keeps a level horizon—a helpful feature.
The camera is IPX8 waterproof to 13 feet when using the included lens guard. The lens guard also provides protection from scratches for the actual lens. I have frequently taken it into a swimming pool this summer with no issues. Note that the charge case is not weatherproof, just the camera.
Drawbacks to the Insta360 GO 2 Camera
With any piece of equipment, you have to make some compromises, adjustments, and offsets. The Insta360 Go 2 has some definite issues that you’ll want to take into consideration before purchasing.
The advantage of a small unit comes with a huge price — no viewfinder or display. This can be offset if you connect the camera wirelessly to your phone via the Insta360 app. Your phone can then serve as a remote control as well. You can even download the videos to your phone for some quick edits.
Just be aware that you will need to leave some buffer space around the edges to get the image you want within the frame. After a few uses, you’ll get experience knowing what your camera is capturing, but I strongly suggest using the app to ensure you are getting your desired shot.
The storage is listed at 32 GB, and, like most units, you lose a bit for internal files and end up with about 28GB for videos or photos. There is no option to expand your storage. The only way to handle storage in the field would be to move the files to your phone, but the transfer times can be turtle slow. Of course, at the end of a shoot, you can transfer the files to your PC or laptop.
The maximum length of any one recording clip is 10 minutes in Pro Video mode and 15 minutes in standard video mode. So if you are wanting to capture a long video of your car doing a road course with multiple laps, this may be a deal-breaker.
At its highest resolution, the Insta360 GO 2 camera records in 1440p with up to 50 frames per second, optional at 1080p. There are plenty of cameras that shoot at 4K resolution, but, frankly, the quality of some of these 4K recordings is questionable.
Often you will downsize the format anyway when sharing on social media, and when viewed on most phones or iPads, you should be happy with the on-the-screen look. If you demand 4K resolution for all your videos this is another deal-breaker.
Insta360 Go 2: A Versatile Action Camera
Action cameras are a great way to share your motorsport experience with others. Point of view videos help share the excitement and feelings of being behind the wheel. If you are looking for a super compact camera for high-resolution photos or short videos the Insta360 Go 2 could fit the bill.
The camera retails for around $300, and for what it offers, it is competitive in both options and price point.