High-definition web conferencing and live streaming all in one! 4K web camera “Insta360 Link” actual machine review

Insta360 released the 4K web camera “Insta360 Link”, which claims to be “AI-driven”, in mid-August 2022. This product is a Windows and macOS compatible webcam with a 3-axis gimbal. It uses a 1/2-inch image sensor that supports 4K/30fps, and can be used for video conferencing and live distribution with high image quality. Since I borrowed the product version of “Insta360 Link” this time, let’s review the image quality, sound quality, usability, etc.
A high-quality body that feels smaller than the numerical value. 3-axis gimbal covers the entire room
“Insta360 Link” is a web camera with a built-in 1/2 inch image sensor. The number of pixels has not been announced, but the video resolution is 4K 24/25/30fps, 1080p 24/25/30/50/60fps, 720p 24/25/30/50/60fps.

The video codec format supports H.264 and Motion JPEG. However, only 4K@30fps can be used without H.264. It also has an HDR function, but at the moment only 1080p 24/25/30fps and 720p 24/25/30fps are available.

Focal length is 26mm (35mm format equivalent), aperture is F1.8, ISO sensitivity is ISO100-3200, shutter speed is 1/30-1/8000 sec, exposure compensation is ±3EV, white balance is 2000-10000K, digital zoom Up to 4x, autofocus shooting distance from 10cm to infinity. The connection standard supports UVC 1.1/UAC 1.0, and if you just want to use the basic functions, you can start using it simply by connecting with a USB cable.

The body size is 69 (width) x 41 (depth) x 45 (height) mm, and the weight is 106g. System requirements are Windows 8 or later, macOS 10.10 or later. Use the included USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0) to connect to a PC or Mac. It is equipped with a built-in monitor mount clip for attaching to a display, but there is also a 1/4 inch screw hole for tripod.
The accessory that has changed among the bundled items is “Insta360 Link recognition marker”. If you put these markers on the four corners of a whiteboard, you can quickly zoom in in “whiteboard mode”. You can purchase additional whiteboards for 1,200 yen (tax included) from the direct sales site, so you can use multiple whiteboards separately.

Dedicated software allows detailed settings and all functions can be used
Setting up the Insta360 Link is easy. As mentioned above, the connection standard supports UVC 1.1/UAC 1.0, so if you connect it to a PC or Mac, you can immediately use the basic functions as a web camera. In addition, gesture operations such as centering with the “touch key” at the bottom of the front, AI tracking, zooming, and switching to whiteboard mode can be used without setting.
The basic functions of “Insta360 Link” can be used simply by connecting to a PC, but in order to finely set “Insta360 Link” and use the latest firmware update, the dedicated software “Insta360 Link Controller” is required. It is available for Windows and Mac, and you can use functions such as “gimbal operation”, “image settings”, and “detailed settings”. If you turn off the preview, you can use it in conjunction with other camera-related apps. You should install it on machines that use this product frequently.
Bright and natural colors even under indoor lighting
As far as the image quality is concerned, it is good as a web camera with a large 1/2 inch image sensor and a bright F1.8 lens. The resolution is high, and not only is it possible to shoot brightly, but the colors are also natural. This time I shot with auto white balance enabled, but under normal ceiling light, it doesn’t seem necessary to manually set the white balance.
As for the HDR function, we were able to confirm its definite effect, suppressing the strong outside light in midsummer and smoothing the gradation expression in the room. Of course, HDR isn’t as powerful as the latest smartphone cameras that use computational photography, but it’s good enough for practical use.
Gesture operation is very comfortable. The gesture itself is simple, such as “automatic tracking” by raising the palm, “zoom” by making an L shape with your finger and moving it up and down, “whiteboard mode” by making a V shape with your finger, and an indicator when the gesture is recognized. The behavior is easy to understand because the LED blinks in blue. After a couple of tries, you should be able to operate it freely.

However, another selling point, “AI tracking”, could lose sight of the subject if it moved too fast. As far as I tried this time, it seems that it can not follow sudden movements up and down like standing up from a seat.

Another dissatisfaction point that I felt was the inability to track multiple people. Even if you enable auto-tracking, you can only target one person. You can’t keep two people in the frame, for example. There is a need for live distribution with multiple people, so please support it with a software update.

I tried AI tracking and gesture operation. I want you to check the actual behavior in the video
I also compared the sound quality of the microphone between the laptop and Insta360 Link, but I didn’t feel a big difference. However, the notebook PC “ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) GU603” used in this comparison is equipped with a 3D array microphone that supports AI noise canceling, and the sound quality is good for a notebook PC. Considering the very compact body of “Insta360 Link”, it can be said that the sound quality is practically sufficient.

The following video alternately played videos shot with the notebook PC “ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) GU603” and “Insta360 Link”. I intended to speak with the same volume as much as possible, but there is a possibility that it is different. I just want you to use it as a reference for sound quality

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