One R vs. One X vs. GoPro Max: BEST 360 Action Cam in 2020?

Which is the best 360 action camera? In this video, i’ll put
the top three contenders in early 2020 side by side, the Insta360 ONE R, ONE X and GoPro MAX, to see which one performs best in a variety of shooting situations. I’ll start by saying, no matter which one of these you choose, you’re going to get a good camera. However, one of them
stands head and shoulders above the others. You’ll find out which one that
is by the end of the video. Now, let’s start with the camera designs. And with the ONE R, it’s waterproof without needing a housing. You can put it straight in the water, and it’s gonna be fine. It’s USB-C. It has an expandable
and changeable battery. Right now it lasts an hour, but they’ve got an expanded
battery coming soon, which should hypothetically
last twice as long. It has a reversible touch screen. It has a low profile,
meaning it’s much wider than it is tall, making
it more aerodynamic. Let’s admit, it looks
exactly like a GoPro. The ONE R has lens protectors,
it’s external mic compatible, and it doubles as a 5.3K action
camera with a one inch mod if you only want to
shoot in one direction. The main cons are it
takes time to assemble because it is a modular camera. Also, the body is thick, meaning stitching won’t always be perfect. The GoPro MAX is also waterproof
without needing a housing. It’s USB-C. It has a good battery life because it’s got a pretty
big removable battery. It also has a touch screen,
a bigger and better one than the ONE R, as well as spatial audio, which the ONE R doesn’t have. It does come with lens protectors. They’re not great, but they’re something. Then, the main con I
see of the MAX is also having a thick body, meaning stitching won’t always be good at close distance. The main pros I see with the
ONE X are it’s thin and light. The design is more
vertical than horizontal, meaning it’s easier to hand
hold than the other two cameras. The first con is the screen brightness. When you’re in bright daylight, it’s not always easy to see that screen. Also, it’s a Micro-USB, whereas
the other two are USB-C. Also, it’s fragile and
has been known to break in extreme circumstances. The ONE R and ONE X shoot 5.7K 360 video. The MAX shoots 5.6K. Also, on a side note, I’m not including the KanDao QooCam 8K in
this video because 8K video is still pretty hard to edit
for most people in early 2020. It’s still a great camera,
and I’ll be releasing in-depth videos about it on my
channel in the coming weeks. Now, before my hands turn to ice, it was, like, minus 20 when
I made this comparison, let’s shoot. This first shot was taken with the cameras held out of a car window, and the first thing I’m noticing here is the ONE X and ONE R look identical, whereas the MAX looks a bit different. This is something I noticed
when Insta360 released the EVO. It’s like they used the
exact same internal bits of the camera, just in
a new 360 camera design, meaning the footage looked
identical from camera to camera. Well, I’m seeing it again here. The ONE X and ONE R look really similar, and I honestly can’t pick them apart aside from a small
change of white balance. What I’m noticing with the MAX is it’s much higher contrast
straight out of the camera. Also the colors are
slightly more saturated. I’ve also noticed the
consistent roll of the horizon with the GoPro MAX once you pass the 20 second or so recording mark. Here’s hoping they fix that ASAP. And none of these shots
have been color corrected, by the way. Now, let’s test out the
stabilization in bright daylight. Well, kind of bright. Just very snowy, but
it’s daytime at least. When I run with all three cameras on my Trident Selfie Stick, I’m seeing stabilization
equally good from shot to shot. All three cameras are
doing a fantastic job, so good that I’d say
you shouldn’t even think about stabilization when
choosing between these three cause they’re all gonna do great. What I am noticing though
is the red dot of doom is present in the ONE X and ONE R footage, whereas the MAX is clear of it. However, the MAX also
the worst dynamic range. As you can see, the
contrast is really high, and as a result, it’s losing
detail in a lot of the scene. When I color correct this footage, these are looking pretty similar. Yeah, the two on the left still
have better dynamic range, but they’re all passable, and they all look good for a
running stabilized 360 shot. It is worth adding that
the two cameras on the left also have HDR video. I’ve used it here with the
ONE R and not the ONE X, and you can see by far, the ONE R has the best dynamic range,
especially around the sun. I found this feature to
be a bit hit and miss. However, it’s actually pretty decent when you’re using the camera on a tripod. Now, let’s test out the slow motion. The ONE X and ONE R shoot
100 frames per second at 3K. The GoPro MAX doesn’t shoot slow motion, so I’ve had to slow down the
25 FPS to match the other two, and despite the kind of low resolution from the Insta360 cameras, the slow motion is pretty buttery. This is really satisfying to look at, and if you’re wondering
what I’m doing, by the way, I’m burying bread in the backyard. It’s a long story, but if you
follow my Instagram stories, you probably know what’s going on. (pizzicato string music) Next, I wanted to test these cameras with a moving subject in mixed lighting, and what better place
for a grown man to visit to play with his toys than the zoo. Luckily, Sammy the seal
also wanted to know which of these three cameras is best, so he agreed to be part of the test. By the way, I forgot to mention, all samples from this video
are shot in auto exposure mode. As I walk through the tunnel, again the ONE X and ONE R look identical. Where the MAX stands
out, and it’s not good, is the lights are
flickering at the bottom. This is to do with the
hertz of the camera, and a frequent annoyance
I’ve had with the MAX is always having to change this to suit the type of indoor
lighting you’re shooting. And you don’t always know
it’s going to be a problem, and here, I got it wrong. I also noticed with the MAX
that change of auto exposure is pretty noticeable when you’re going from one lighting situation to another. Now, here comes Sammy,
and he’s clearly visible in the ONE X and ONE R shots. In the MAX, it’s really high contrast, and I’m struggling to see
him in the shadow areas. When he enters the bright part, the MAX exposes him really well,
but then when he goes back, it’s hard to see him again. Consistently, I’ve found
the MAX has produced high contrast photos and
videos, which can be a blessing in some situations and a curse in others. So in these samples here, I’ve gotta say, the ONE X and ONE R are doing a better job in terms of dynamic range, and this is without color correction. It’s better to start off
with a slightly flatter image so you can color correct later than have your footage
look too high contrast and too saturated straight
out of the camera. But, I guess it’s a personal preference. Okay, so now I’m starting
to see some differences between these three cameras. However, how well do they do at photos? Now, I’m going to shoot
the exact same situation using the camera settings that produce the best possible result with each camera. Say, “Cheese!” Sammy. Now, all three of these
cameras have relatively low photo resolution compared
to their other competitors. However, after color
correction, I was able to get all three images looking
identical and pretty decent. Here’s my ONE X shot. The dynamic range is looking pretty good. The sharpness and color are decent. When I zoom into 300%,
Sammy is captured in midair, well, mid-water, with a
decent amount of clarity. With the ONE R, it’s the same story. I’ve got good colors, good
contrast, and I’d be pretty happy using this photo as social media post. With the MAX, I’ve gotta
say, I was pretty surprised. You can’t shoot raw,
so this is just a JPEG. So, I’ve color corrected the really dark, high contrast JPEG, and
gotten the exact same results I got with the ONE X and
ONE R, shooting in raw. So how do I rate these
cameras for 360 photos in action type situations when
you don’t have a lot of time to change camera settings? Well, I’d say they’re about even. This is a sound test. Can you hear me? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. This is a sound test. Can you hear me? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. This is a sound test. Can you hear me? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Okay, now it’s time for
a voice control test. GoPro, start recording. And, we’re rolling. GoPro, stop recording. Start recording. Start recording. And there it goes, it’s recording. Stop recording. Had to speak a bit more
clearly for the ONE R than I did the GoPro MAX. ONE X, start recording. ONE X, I said, start recording. Why aren’t you listening? That’s right, ONE X
doesn’t have voice control. It’s snowing. And already, my ONE X
has run out of battery without even having turned it on yet. Not good, ONE X. So, as I’ve been shooting this video, I’ve been plugging in the
ONE X to the power bank every five seconds, whereas these two have been lasting much longer. Of these two, I’ve had to charge the ONE R more than the GoPro MAX. So if I were to take an educated guess, I’d say the GoPro MAX
wins for battery life, followed by the ONE R,
followed by the ONE X. And, look, I don’t have
the cold weather battery, so if I did, I’m sure this
would last a lot longer. Now, let’s test the
nighttime moving shots. And I am no pro ice skater, so I gave the cameras to my cousin, and he skated as fast as he possibly could around this ice rink. When reviewing the footage, I found the ONE X performed the worst, not because it can’t stabilize properly. It’s actually doing a very decent job, but because the lenses
were fogging up a bit in the cold weather, and it
just doesn’t seem to be handling those dark shadows of the
night sky very well at all. Don’t get me wrong, this
footage is still usable, but I think we can probably do better. Here’s the ONE R, and a
feature they were talking about when they released this camera is that the low light stability had improved, but something I didn’t realize
when filming this sample is that you need to tell the camera you’re shooting in low light
first before you take your shot to activate the really good stabilization. Here, I didn’t realize. I thought I could do it
in post, but you can’t. So while this shot looks pretty average, it’s not really representative
of what this camera can do. I just messed up the shot. My bad. I’ll do my best to shoot
more low light samples ASAP. Now, here’s the GoPro MAX, and, whoa! I wasn’t expecting that. Finally, the high contrast of the MAX is working to its advantage. This footage looks great. Not only is the stabilization excellent, but the contrast is basically perfect. You can see the white of the
snow and the dark of the sky in the same image, and
it looks really good. Not all situations are
going to be like this, and the high contrast is a
hindrance in most situations, but definitely not at nighttime. In my books, the GoPro MAX wins
for low light video for now. There are way more things
I could’ve talked about in this video. However, from these samples,
I think I have enough info to rank them from three to one. Coming in third is the ONE X. This is the oldest camera
of the three by over a year. And that’s both a blessing and a curse. Because it’s old, it’s the
most developed of the three, and they’ve added the most
amount of things to it, but at the same time, it’s
missing a lot of the things that 360 action cameras have in 2020. The ONE X used to be the
best consumer 360 camera money could buy hands down,
but now these two cameras have come into the picture
and improved on the ONE X in various aspects. The design of the ONE X isn’t
as rugged as the other two, so it’s always going to be
a much bigger risk of damage when you’re using it in
action type situations. The ONE X is a good camera, but the only unique selling
points I see over the other two are the price and the
light, slim camera body. So if you want a 360 action
camera, and you’re on a budget, then the ONE X will still
be a really good option going into 2020 because
I’m predicting the price will go down significantly
by the end of the year. Coming in second is the GoPro MAX, and the MAX has the best design
and it’s the easiest to use of all three of these cameras. The touch screen is great, and it’s a really user-friendly
beginner 360 camera. If you’re a massive fan of GoPro, then you should probably
go with the MAX because there’s going to be a
lot of familiar elements with the app and the work flow. And it also has the benefit
of being able to shoot 1080p from one side as a flat 16 by nine video. The mobile and desktop
apps are pretty decent for reframing 360 videos. However, there is a massive limitation, and that’s to do with the resolution. It’s really hard to export
anything over 1080p. You have to bring your
footage into Premiere and manually keyframe it,
and then export at 4K, and they just make it
really hard to do that. So if you’re something
that shoots a lot of 4K, then the MAX is going to be a frustration. I do have two videos about
the GoPro MAX on my channel, so be sure to check them out if you’re considering buying this camera. Look, you’re not going to be disappointed, and as you saw in the video, there were some really
impressive GoPro MAX shots. I guess I just see it as having no real unique selling points
over the other two cameras in this video other than the design. When Insta360 made the ONE R, they fixed a lot of the
issues people were having with the ONE X and many other 360 cameras, things like the screen charging ports, wanting to use 360 cameras
also as flat action cameras with higher resolution
and not be limited to 360. With the ONE R, you can
shoot up to 5.3K flat 16 by nine video. That is a lot of resolution. It has a really great app and work flow, and something I’m really
pleased they’ve added is you can now export 4K
video in the mobile app to your camera roll. I see the biggest flaws of
the ONE R right now to be the clunkiness of design. Also, the screen is good, but not great. It’s just a little bit small. However, I’m putting
the ONE R in first place because it’s got hundreds of features, and it combines the best of
both of the other cameras in this video into one. It takes all the great things
we loved about the ONE X and makes them more
action camera friendly, like the GoPro MAX. There are hundreds of cool video effects you can achieve with the ONE R, and I haven’t even
scratched the surface here. So that’s it. Those are my rankings. I’m curious, what were your rankings? Did you see the ONE R as the best, or did you prefer the MAX or the ONE X? By the way, coming by the end of this week is my video about the
ONE R one inch edition. Is it really as good as they
say it is, or is it all hype? Make sure you hit that subscribe button and ring the notification
bell so you can be the first to find out. If you have any questions,
drop them below, and Sammy and I will see
you in the next video. (funky music)

59 thoughts on “One R vs. One X vs. GoPro Max: BEST 360 Action Cam in 2020?

  1. Your videos are great, and you seriously opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of photography! Keep it up dude!

  2. Thanks Ben for all this info. It’s so helpful and we haven’t pulled a trigger for our camera of choice for our attempted Thru-hike of the Colorado Trail this summer but we have some time and we can expect some new models before July. Thank you so much for helping us get into 360 video! I am excited to capture this experience with my pups this way and a lot of not all is with your help. Thank you again

  3. 4:10 the one r looks more washed out than the x or max. even though the sun is behind you, all 3 are doing ok for what it is. much blacker blacks and whiter whites on the max with crazy blues as well.

    if i was at best buy looking at three tv's showing these three shots i would all day buy the one on the right. lol

    slow mo is gonna be better on the x and R. a shame the max does not do at least 60 fps in 360 mode.

    5:50 the R looks better.

    thanks for these side by sides.

    i wish the one R was an all in one unit that had a hero mode instead of modular. maybe the next one will.

  4. the one thing about the max that i think is the future and a game-changer for me and other action youtube creators i work with is that the all in one of the max switching back to hero mode from 360 is huge. the maxview and horizon lock is insane. this video shows it, every one of us should be talking about this. –

    let me know your thoughts!?

  5. Hey Ben, why don't you guys do more of qoocam 8k review. I feel like it hasn't gotten the real review yet. How tos, tips and tricks, features, is it that bad. Real life test

  6. I am a landscape photographer and the color from the Max is just gorgeous and looks way way better than One X and one R.. In the shot you consider "too high contrast", you simply should increase the exposure to get more details in high light.

  7. One R also appears that it is not ready: There are so many youtube review online comparing One R and Max, and while Max OBVIOUSLY has better color, image quality and sound quality, lots of reviewers would still blindly say that One R looks or sound better. I am so confused, as a photographer I think I know a thing or two about color. Are all these reviews getting paid by Insta 360 or something??
    In this one it's the same, you simply made no comment about how much better Max sounds. I just don't feel this is a totally unbiased review..

  8. Your videos with the one r came out very clear and nice, I have been looking at other videos samples on YouTube and the quality is bad and blurry…Did you upload from sd card to computer or did you use the mobile app? I want to know if the app's compression is causing the other videos to look bad

  9. can you do a video on how the software is for these cameras. i bought a gopro fusion and the software is a nightmare to deal with.

  10. Thx great video. My one r is still not shipped and now I wonder if corona virus issue in China will further delay it.

  11. I tend to like the look of the output of the Max in all the reviews. Looks richer and more appealing. One R looks often washed out but not always. One R has a ton of advantages, Max has easier form factor and better screen. I think I’m veering to One R though, but hoping there’s a “look” I can easily apply in editing in the app to bring it a bit closer to the look of the Max. I think that should be easily done.

  12. Okay, whew. I’m not regretting ordering the One R. Great comparison. Looking forward to seeing the night action on the One R with correct settings. Get on that would you? 😉

  13. The ONE X will indeed drop in price this year… because the cat's already been let out of the bag a couple different places that the ONE X2 is coming out this year. That's what I'm holding out for.

  14. Sweet review! Makes me excited for my one r to come in. I really look forward to the one r low light stability test. Not ideal that you have to change the setting but a small trade off for all the other advantages.

  15. Hi Ben! When do you plan to do a video on the 1-inch mod? Love the video reviews so far–trying to decide which one to buy for my upcoming trip to Japan for a first-time vlog. 😀 Not sure if I would benefit more on the 1-inch or the twin so I'm going to wait for your review first.

  16. Thanks for another great review…

    1. GoPro MAX since red dot of doom is not there and was kinda of the first to ruggedized. Windows PC workflow is horrible. Have to export then import with 3rd party app even worse because can't Freecapture on export… 😡 Why?Why! no true in camera stitching?

    2. One X because had this before the MAX. PC workflow still not great but at least you can freecapture. Not a fan of editing on my phone.

    Boo…boo… One R doesn't cut it minor improvements red dot of doom deal killer for me. Not enough to warrant an upgrade from owning the other two and possibly a third…

  17. I will rank GoPro #1. I haven’t see a decent shot of One R until now. Yes , it’s full of features but the end result is not reflecting all these features.

  18. I bought my Gopro Max about a month ago, so far happy about the quality of the videos. But the app to reframe had been a pain since there's no long press to track object or any other insta360 mobile app functionalities. Hope gopro could look into that and at least try to catch up on the app side. Again great video and amazing comparison!

  19. How much do you think software stitching will improve with the One R? With the thick body, there's a physical issue to overcome. I'm sure there will be some improvement, but how much improvement do you think they will be able to do?

  20. Just curious as to which color profile you were using with the Max? Gopro color typically bumps up the saturation and contrast but the flat profile usually has much better dynamic range.

  21. I think the OneX is best because it is the one I have. I can’t afford to run out and buy every new 360 that comes out. Like the drone guys that run out and buy every new drone that comes down the pike. There are only a few of you that can afford to do that.

  22. I have one x and gopro hero 8
    There is no reason to upgrade
    Maybe in the future

  23. I like the unique sound test at 7:29 – You keep your hands aside, I assume to prevent sound escape in other directions and probably to have lungs filled with more air? 😉 🙂 And seriously, another great test, I like and I'm waiting for Qoocam 8K test as well.

  24. Glad to see a none bias GoPro v Insta 360R .
    Lots have made the night setting mistake in their YouTube reviews since the embargo of film was lifted.

    It is also good that step by Insta have been made to fix some of the early issues and they have posted what to expect in the forth coming firmware update , like 24 fps from the next update.
    Good to hear Battery life is around 60 mins in sub zero temps .

    I think with their bigger battery add-on coming next month it will surpass the Maxes battery life , also with the new battery you can do away with the case cage.
    I have only seen mixed reviews on the 1ich mod , minimum focal length is are 90 cm . Plus stabilization has to be done in post , though again Insta are promising to add this in a later update.

    But Insta took a bold step bringing a multi purpose action camera onto the market , it is bound to have some niggles for sure.

    My biggest issue still remains the lack of availability via retail outlets , to my better understanding you can only
    Buy this Insta product direct from China ,
    That involves a lengthy delivery time
    Maybe even more with the current events taking place in China.

    So this is about the best and most balance review so far you showed the good and bad points of all these devices , however I see Insta with its modular design having the most flexibility for a long term upgrade path.

    Weather DJI or GoPro go along the same route is yet to be seen but I would think not yet has both the GoPro 9 and Osmo Action 2 were already in pre development before Insta shook the market .

    I hope to get one soon so I can do some intresting videos of the City of Hamburg were I have lived since 2009 , and show of it hidden gems.

    Thanks for your very informative upload.

  25. spatial audio on the max is atm a no go on windows, due a isue with the exporter, and ya, software for android still is shoit, and u need a high phone, while a iphone 6 what has the A9 works (not yet tested,so cant confirm if the realtime view is smooth)

  26. I think I've finally found the camera that I'll pull the trigger on. I'm also still rocking a Hero 3. So the One R will be the best option for me when it comes to getting into 360 as well as upgrading my action cam.

  27. hela ! weeral bedankt voor deze beste analyse ! benieuwd naar uw volgende onderzoeken en experimenten. Top ! Heel erg bedankt !

  28. The ONE X has some kind of software issue, because my battery was dying even without using the ONE X in summer time.

  29. Thanks for yet another brilliant comparison video. Eagerly looking forward to the review of the 1 inch version.🍹

    P.S.: If you know some folks at Insta360, please ask them to price the One R sensibly here in India. Their Amazon India listing says that it will be costing a whopping Rs. 59,990/- i.e. approximately USD $830! And the price is the same for the 1 inch edition, 4K edition and the Twin edition. The product is scheduled to be in stock on Amazon India on the 29th of February.

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