If you’re in the market for a new action camera, the choice might come down to the GoPro Hero 10 Black vs Insta360 ONE RS. We think these are the best action cameras you can buy right now, but they offer very different shooting experiences. For a closer look at both individually, head to our GoPro HERO 10 Black review or Insta360 ONE RS review, but the purpose of this article is to compare the two, to help you make the right purchasing decision.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black is a fantastic beast of an action camera. The current flagship model and best GoPro you can buy right now, it boasts excellent specs at a good price point, and above all easy usability. But a new challenger for action camera king has arrived – the Insta360 ONE RS. Featuring the same modular build as the older Insta360 ONE R, the new cam raised the ante with a new 4K Lens unit, improved stabilisation, bigger battery, and a better chipset. But is all that enough to beat the mighty H10? Read on to find out, in our GoPro HERO 10 Black vs Insta360 ONE RS showdown.
GOPRO HERO 10 BLACK VS INSTA360 ONE RS: DESIGN
The GoPro HERO 10 Black is immediately recognisable, being pretty much identical to its predecessor, the GoPro HERO 9 Black, including the addition of a front-facing screen. The rear touchscreen allows easy settings tweaks and footage review, although the companion smartphone app is a much better way to really see any level of detail. The removable lens cover is now hydrophobic, a noticeable improvement, and the neat bunny ear mounts are still present and correct. In short, it’s an iteration not a giant leap, but sometimes that is all that’s needed.
The Insta360 ONE RS is available in a few different bundle options (the 4K Edition comes with just the 4K Boost Lens, the Twin edition with both the 4K Boost Lens and 360 Lens, and the 1-inch Edition with a 1-Inch Wide Angle Lens). We’re focusing on the Twin Edition here, with the 4K Boost Lens attached. The exact specs depend on which lens module you’ve got clipped on.
All components are backwards-compatible with the previous Insta360 ONE R, and indeed the 360 POV lens module and 1-inch wide angle lenses remain unchanged from the older version. Although the modular approach works well, the tiny touchscreen is a weak point, and does require swapping to the front if you need to frame a selfie / vlogging segment.
Strangely, the Insta360 ONE RS is considerably the lighter of the units – at least with the 4K Boost Lens attached. That clocks in at 125.3g, while the GoPro HERO 10 Black has packed on the pounds at a portly 158g. Although in fairness, when you add the 1-inch Wide Angle Lens to the ONE RS, the weight does go up to 163g, so it all depends on your configuration, really.
The big decision here is whether you’re keen on swapping modules around for an optimised experience, or whether you want a simple unit that does most of the jobs most of the time. Personally we rather like the seductive fiddle of the Insta360 ONE RS, but many will think it’s too much faffing about, which is fair comment.
GOPRO HERO 10 BLACK VS INSTA360 ONE RS TWIN: FEATURES AND USABILITY
The GoPro HERO 10 Black might be an iteration of the HERO 9, but it brings some serious firepower to the table. For starters you get the latest GP2 chipset (twice the performance of the GP1), which boosts responsiveness and speed across the board. GoPro has also upgraded stabilisation via HyperSmooth 4.0 (also now available in webcam and livestream mode), and tweaked horizon levelling – up to 45 degrees on the HERO 10. There’s also auto-upload of video and stills while charging and improved upload speeds, but battery size remains unchanged over the HERO 9, which is a shame.
In an almost mirror-image of upgrades, the Insta360 ONE RS has boosted battery life via a new 21% larger 1445mAh battery, bolted on a 1/2″ 48MP sensor 4K lens unit, and completely upgraded the ‘core’ unit, giving it improved in-camera FlowState stabilisation (previously only in-app) and up to 50% faster WiFi transfers, as well as an additional mic for improved audio.
Both cameras are waterproof, the GoPro HERO 10 Black to 10m (unless you fit the GoPro Media Mod, in which case it isn’t at all), the Insta360 ONE RS to 5m / 16 feet, with option to add a Dive Case that’ll protect the setup, with 4K Lens attached, to 60m / 196ft.
GOPRO HERO 10 BLACK VS INSTA360 ONE RS TWIN: VIDEO AND STILLS
The GoPro HERO 10 Black frame rates are pretty impressive, hitting 5.3K/60, 4K120 and 2.7K/240, with the Insta360 ONE RS’s 4K lens putting up a strong fight at 6016×2560/25fps (under 6K Widescreen Mode), 4K/60fps, and 2720×1530/100fps. The GoPro does have the edge on frame rates, but in stills the GoPro HERO 10 Black’s 23MP is roundly seen off by a whopping 48MP from the Insta360’s new lens, and completely out-manoeuvred by the Insta’s 5.7K 360 video via the 360 lens.
The GoPro HERO 10 Black also gets the latest version of HyperSmooth 4.0, while the Insta360 has its own version FlowState baked into the hardware. Both cameras deliver excellent stabilisation, which is crucial in getting usable footage in almost every action-style situation. It’s a tricky area to compare the two units, mainly because the Insta360 ONE RS has brought a second friend to the fight, skewing the odds wildly. Against the Insta360 with just with the 4K lens, the GoPro edges a win on video, but when you add the 360 lens into the mix or prioritise stills it’s a losing battle for the GoPro.
GOPRO HERO 10 BLACK VS INSTA360 ONE RS TWIN: PRICE AND ACCESSORIES
The Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition has an RRP of GBP £499.99 / USD $549.99 / AUD $919.99, which is the same as you’ll spend on the 1-inch Edition with just the wide-angle lens (although you can also opt for the 4K-only edition GBP £279.99 / USD $299.99 / AUD $569).
Meanwhile, the GoPro HERO 10 Black launched with an RRP of GBP £379.98 / USD $399 / AUD $599.95 when purchased with a one-year GoPro subscription or GBP £479.99 / USD $499 / AUD $749.95 without a subscription (Is a GoPro subscription worth it?).
The GoPro HERO 10 Black has a wide range of accessories, including the Media Mod, the Display Mod, the GoPro Light Mod, and the Max Lens Mod, as well as the newly-released GoPro Volta grip. There are also mounts available for any situation you can imagine, and many you can’t.
Meanwhile, the Insta360 ONE RS has a range of accessories, including a higher capacity ‘Boosted Battery Base’ module, a Dive Case for 4K Boost Lens, a Mic Adapter and an Accessory Shoe. The modular design means that the lenses and battery from the older model are also compatible with the new, and of course that 360 POV lens is included in the main package, taking the sting out of the higher RRP.
SHOULD I BUY THE GOPRO HERO 10 BLACK VS INSTA360 ONE RS?
As we noted in both the Insta360 ONE RS and the GoPro HERO 10 Black full reviews, these are both highly capable action cameras, and combined are without doubt at the top of the class. Which is right for you does depend on the details. The GoPro HERO 10 Black is incredibly easy to use, and delivers excellent quality video. The overheating issues noted at launch can be managed relatively easily, and the supporting software is so good you’re often unaware of how hard it is working behind the scenes. The front screen is fantastic for selfie-shots and vloggers of every stripe, and it’s a fair bit cheaper, assuming you include a GoPro subscription, and would pay RRP for the Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition.
In counterpoint, the Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition is two cameras in one, both very competent too. The 4K lens has the edge over the GoPro HERO 10 Black in some situations, and the screen can be flipped to accommodate selfies when needed. The 360 POV lens is excellent for big action sequences, and a real boost to the package if you’re minded to get one anyway. The downside to the Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition is the fiddling, which is in itself fun, but can be a distraction from actually shooting video on the camera. Overall, it’s a close call. Choose wisely!