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Insta 360 pro 2 VR connected cameras Test, Reviews and Prices

Insta 360 Pro 2 camera which photographs and films in 360 ° and in 3D, the ideal companion for making your 360 ° shoots in VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality)

Insta360 PRO 2 & Farsight, Professional 360 8K 3D Camera (Standard)

Insta360 PRO 8K 360 Spherical VR Camera, Professional 360 Camera, Black

You dreamed of it, Google does it. It is now possible to drive the car from Google Map Street View. Chinese manufacturer Insta360 has announced that it is the first to be certified by Google to sell its 8K 360 ° camera to install on its car to capture images of the street to integrate on Google Map, Google Street View and Google Earth.

Have you ever dreamed of becoming car driver for google map ? It is now possible, but beware, the dream has a price: 3500 dollars. Insta360 pro, from the eponymous Chinese manufacturer, is the first 8K 360 ° to obtain Google certification to film and broadcast its images on Google Street View. Be careful, however, you will have to be a little handyman to “Pimp” the car and install this new camera on the roof. The parent company of Alphabet to specify that this camera corresponded perfectly to the specifications required in terms of quality and precision to be integrated to Google Map software and the famous “Google Street View.

A new program: Google Street View Ready

Google established last May a new program called “Street View Ready”, the goal is to enable owners of cameras certified by Google to enrich the Google Street View photo database. The Instar360 is therefore the very first camera of the “auto” section to be compatible with the software. You just have to install it on the roof of your connected car (and by the way, attract all eyes on yourself) to walk around in town or in the countryside to provide new photos to the Google Map database or to Google Earth. According to the Mountain View firm, three new cameras will soon be certified and available on the market. No information on the manufacturers who will soon have the chance to win this precious sesame.

A smart and free way to collect new photos for Google Earth

Google will therefore soon have an army of budding photographer ready to provide new photos for free for its database. However the firm will have the heavy responsibility of verifying each shot before publication and of course to choose the best. Chinese company Insta360 also announced that Google will also offer 50 cameras for its new “Street Vivew Ready” program. It remains to be seen who will have the chance to receive them and under what conditions.

Getting started

The Insta 360 Pro 2 offers video quality of up to 8K HDR 360 ° in 3D VR with 360 ° spherical sound, for total immersion especially intended for virtual reality masks (such as Oculus, Gear, HTC … )

As for 360 ° photography, HDR images (AEB: 3, 5, 7 and 9 EV) of size 7680 x 7680 (3D), 7680 x 3840 (2D) are announced. RAW / JPG, pano360 ° and pano 3D option.

360 ° 3D takes into account depth to “model” the space and give a sense of relief to photos and 360 ° videos made possible by virtual reality masks.

The stabilization of the 6 “fisheye” lenses (120 Mbps per lens) is generated electronically by gyroscopy, they open at F2.4, for an ISO capacity of between 100 ~ 6400.

The start-up is difficult, after numerous tests, the Farsight has to be returned to the SHENZEN factory… the Farsight is a data transmission system designed to ensure a healthy connection between the devices since it would use a “private” transmission line. instead of a classic and often unreliable WiFi connection for this type of device; therefore, this system would increase the security and speed of the data flow between the PRO2 then fitted with a special transmitter and your smartphone / tablet fitted with a special receiver.

For my part, no connection possible! So I contacted support and returned to the factory.

The Wi-Fi connection remains and although I was excited to test the creative capabilities offered by this technology, I have no longer had the impression in recent weeks of working for Insta360 R&D, reporting bugs after bugs. during extremely simple uses such as taking a 360 ° panorama or capturing a 360 ° video sequence.

360 ° panorama side, obvious stitching problem, video side a non-existent stabilization. After several weeks of talking to support during which I “had fun” sending gigabytes of data for them to test, it was all about the firmware; firmware that I had of course updated to try to solve the problem with the fairsight … we’re going in circles (!)

Firmware downgrade operation and indeed, stabilization has returned.

You could say it started off badly, but the support being very responsive and attentive, I decided to continue until the end.

The tests are underway, come back quickly to this article and / or follow me on social networks to be informed.

First tests: 360 ° photo

To test this device and to be able to compare it with others, I opted to start, to test everything in automatic mode to see what they have in their stomachs “on an empty stomach” ;-), in HDR mode because they we all, without any digital editing in post processing and in different conditions to see how they behave on their own.

In these examples, I took care beforehand to calibrate the gyroscopes and the “Optimized Zenith” option of the brand’s official editing software (Insta360 Stitcher latest version) was checked before exporting.

Conclusions

To this day it’s a big disappointment, the Farsight is optional and I do not mind that it was the victim of a factory problem, but the basis of the base in terms of 360 ° panoramic photography is stitching, that is to say an impeccable Zénir and Nadir; this is the minimum for a toy at this price …

The image quality is there, close to my old Nikon D3S SLR, but it is clear that it does not perform the functions touted in demonstration.

For my next shoots I will therefore use the Insta360 Pro2 for 360 ° video and the old method for 360 ° photos, namely, several shots with my SLR.

Insta360 PRO 2 & Farsight, Professional 360 8K 3D Camera (Standard)

Insta360 PRO 8K 360 Spherical VR Camera, Professional 360 Camera, Black

More about connected cameras

Most connected cameras offer the same basic functionality. They are able to detect an event, record it and send an alert. However, many of these devices offer additional features. Here are the criteria to take into account when choosing a connected camera:

Alerts

It is very useful for a camera to send notifications to the user’s smartphone. This avoids having to monitor the live stream continuously. These notifications can be in the form of a text, a sound, a photo or even the three. Alerts are sent when the camera detects movement. Some models can send notifications to multiple people at the same time.

Cloud recording

Most connected cameras now come with a cloud storage subscription. Videos are recorded and stored for a period of between 24 hours and two weeks depending on the model. Sometimes offered for free, these Cloud subscriptions generally require a monthly subscription.. Some models record video only when motion is detected. Unfortunately, this solution is not yet foolproof. The 24/7 recording meanwhile allows you to review the images at any time.

Facial recognition

Before, only Netatmo offered a facial recognition system on its cameras. The technology has since developed and is now found on Nest, Wisenet and Tend products.

The principle is to set up a database of faces of people who frequently visit your home. Once this data has been entered, the camera will be able to determine whether a detected face is known or not.

Although practical and functional, this system is not yet fully completed. Performance therefore varies a lot from one model to another, even if they are from the same brand. Many factors can cause a camera to not correctly identify a person: new haircuts, irregular glasses, etc.

However, the goal rest of alert the user when a specific person is at home. This feature allows you to monitor children. It also avoids unnecessary alerts when known people are in the house.

Depending on the models, this feature is free or paid. Thus, Nest cameras have excellent facial recognition technology. Unfortunately, you must take out a paid subscription to access it.

Connected assistants

Intelligent assistants are taking an increasingly important place in the technological market. Connected cameras are no exception, some already offering functions related to these objects. The society Blink offered a link with the Google home, before being bought by Amazon which will undoubtedly include its Alexa. These assistants allow in particular to control cameras by voice, thus allowing greater comfort. With the current evolution of these machines, it is important to take them into account when purchasing one or more connected cameras.

Local storage

Some cameras can accommodate memory cards to record videos on the device. This option has the advantage of eliminating the cost of cloud subscription. However, if a thief steals the camera, they also steal the evidence.

Applications

All recent cameras come with a smartphone or tablet application. In addition to providing access to the live video stream, these applications let the user configure settings and enable or disable recording or motion detection.. It is generally possible to customize the notifications, and to adjust the motion detection and sound sensitivity.

Motion detection

Motion detection is one of the best features offered by a security camera. Integrated sensors detect movement within the camera’s viewing angle and activate video recording. Sensitive to the slightest movement, these sensors will even react to the fall of a dead leaf in front of the window. It is therefore essential to be able to adjust the detection field, and the sensitivity to avoid false alarms.

Night vision

Most burglaries happen overnight. For this reason, night vision is just as important as motion detection.. Technically, most security cameras offer infrared LED lighting, or true night vision based on image intensification or thermal vision.

Connectivity

Most of the connected cameras on the market connect to the internet via the home wifi network. It will therefore be necessary pose in a place that is well covered through the network to be sure that they are functioning correctly. Unfortunately, this also means that you will be exposed to damage that threatens your wifi (power cut, loss of service, etc.). To remedy, some cameras integrate a 3G / 4G modem and a SIM. It will nevertheless take an additional package for the camera.

Food

Connected cameras must be plugged in to the electrical network to operate. It’s not a big problem if you want to put them indoors. It is different for an outdoor installation. In this second case, it will be necessary to think of the cable. From now on, however, more and more connected cameras are battery operated (integrated or not).

Weather resistance

Outdoor cameras must be able to withstand inclement weather. They must have IP certification (Protection sign). This international standard makes it possible to know how a product reacts to the weather. Most outdoor cameras offer an IP of 66. This score means that they are not afraid of dust, rain or even a heatwave. However, they do not support immersion

Pan / tilt motor

Most security cameras can be manually configured to focus on a specific viewing angle. However, a true pan / tilt camera is equipped with a motor to move the lens or track to track a moving object through the companion app.

Resolution

Blurry, unstable, or distorted video is not very helpful in locating burglars. A camera must offer maximum resolution. Newer models generally offer 720p HD quality, but some models exceed 1080p Full HD. Keep in mind that a higher resolution consumes more WiFi bandwidth and battery. Many models also offer software zoom functionality.

Programming

A scheduling feature allows you to configure camera activation, motion detection and receive alerts at a defined time. A valuable feature, for example to be notified when the children come home from school or to monitor the house only when absent. This option also reduces the number of false alarms.

Audio in / out

An audio output allows sound to be added to the picture for added security. It also allows you to listen to what is happening outside the field of vision. An audio input, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to communicate directly through the camera, for example to scold an animal that is doing something stupid or to catch a burglar in the act.. This feature may require the installation of a speaker to function.

Field of view

A camera’s field of view determines how much it can see. To monitor an entire room, it is necessary to opt for a wide viewing angle. Most cameras offer an angle of 130 °. These wide fields of view sometimes cause distortion at the edges of the image, especially in small rooms, but the problem is relatively negligible.

Web client

Many cameras offer access via a web browser. A handy feature when you do not have wireless access to your phone. In general, the web client is similar to the mobile application. Sometimes it offers additional features, such as the ability to download videos.

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