They’re attempting to make an all-in-one solution. So, how does it stack up?
Insta360’s Link is anything but a normal webcam. It appears to be a hybrid between an action camera and a webcam. As a result, it’s pretty feature rich for a webcam. Here’s a rundown of these specs:
- A fully functioning 3-axis gimbal with a portrait mode
- 1/2’’ sensor
- 4K up to 30p, HD up to 60p
- USB-C connection
- Gesture control
- HDR mode to prevent blown-out background windows
- Phase detection autofocus
- “AI-powered” motion tracking to keep the subject centered in frame
- “DeskView Mode” for tabletop angles and “Whiteboard Mode” for automatic whiteboard cropping
- The camera tilts down when not in use for privacy
I’ve been reassured that the webcam is plug-and-play for both Windows and Mac. However, you’ll need to use their companion “Link Controller” software to toggle features and control the image. The button on the webcam is used to recenter the view, a bit like a regular handheld gimbal.
I think Insta360 is on the button with a functioning “Deskview” system here. There’s been some buzz about Apple delivering this, although users need to mount an iPhone to their desktop in order to make it work. Apple is using the iPhone’s ultrawide camera to do this.
Insta360 is charging $300 for this, which puts it in the same league as the Opal C1 (which is still yet to be released). Another popular gimbal-webcam combo from Logitech sells for $1,400. So, Insta360 is trying to bring higher-end features into the middle of the market. If users just want a better HD image, then Logitech’s SteamCam and Razer’s Kiyo sell for $100 less.
The other competitor here is Insta360’s own cameras. In particular, their ONE RS camera works wonderfully as a webcam, although its lack of control software leaves users with automatic modes. Getting a 360 view to work on Zoom was instrumental to my 2020 pandemic beer pong games.
The Insta360 Link will be available to order this week, and will retail for $300. It will also come with four tracking markers to stick onto a whiteboard, allowing the software to crop into the whiteboard as needed.