Insta360 Announces the Ace and Ace Pro Action Cameras

Insta360 unveiled the Ace and Ace Pro, two new action cameras co-engineered with Leica that promise outstanding image quality by combining hardware with computational photography powered by artificial intelligence.

The flagship Ace Pro features an industry-first Type 1/1.3 image sensor that can shoot video at high to 8K at 24 frames per second (fps), 4K at 120 fps, and 48-megapixel pictures. It also includes a vlogging-friendly 2.4-inch flip touchscreen with live preview and camera control. The entire unit is protected by a tough body that is waterproof to 33 feet (up to 196 feet with the specialized Dive Case).

According to Insta360, the Ace Pro’s sensor size distinguishes it from the competition because it collects more light and has a wider dynamic range than is typical of a camera of this style and size. This, combined with the lens co-engineered with Leica, provides it an advantage, particularly in low-light circumstances.

The Ace is the budget-friendly version, with the main distinctions being a smaller Type 1/2, 48-megapixel sensor, a standard non-Leica lens, and standard charging.

Insta360 claims to have AI-powered capabilities such as the ability to manage it with voice or gestures, as well as a new AI Highlights Assistant and custom-keyword-based AI Warp function that will alter the filming and editing experience. The Ace Pro appears to have a proprietary mount rather than a 1/4′′-20 thread.

PureVideo, Insta360’s low-light shooting mode, is also available. The Ace and Ace Pro cameras use a custom-trained AI neural network to denoise the footage in real-time using an integrated 5nm AI chip, according to Insta360. With the big sensor and stabilization that works even at night, the company claims that filmmakers may expect performance suitable for everything from a twilight stroll to late-night metropolitan shooting.

When the lighting conditions are better, the two cameras include Insta360’s Active HDR, which brings forth more information in the highlights and shadows. Colors are also more brilliant, but the company says it focused on precision to ensure they don’t appear over-tuned. The accuracy promise even applies to the operation of the cameras underwater.

On the Ace and Ace Pro, AI is also at the heart of overall image quality. According to Insta360, the onboard computational photography models that power the 48MP Photo Mode and 4K 30fps PureVideo were trained using the cameras’ unique lens and sensor data. The company is so confident in its product that it improved the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range in low light to outperform all other action cameras on the market.

Insta360 has developed a series of capabilities that it claims directly address issues that it and other customers have with rival action cameras on the market.

It has Clarity Zoom, which lets the Ace Pro to zoom in and out by 2x without sacrificing video quality. It also incorporates gesture control, which allows you to start/stop recording or capture photos using hand signals and supports voice control. If a recording isn’t quite right, users may immediately cancel it and redo the photo, freeing up space on an SD card and eliminating the need to sift through unnecessary files later. In addition, the cameras contain a pause/resume capability that allows users to stop a video in one location and continue it in another while keeping the take as a single clip for easy file management. Finally, the Ace and Ace Pro enable picture grabs, allowing users to film a video while taking a snapshot. While it is not at the full 48-megapixel resolution, it is captured at a greater resolution than a basic screenshot from the video clip.

Another significant new feature is Insta360’s AI Highlights Assistant.

“We like to make shooting as easy as possible, but every creator knows that feeling of looking at an intimidating number of files and not knowing where to start. Enter the revolutionary new tool, AI Highlights Assistant,” Insta360 says. “First, it automatically detects the peak moments in a video and delivers ‘clip highlights’ for in-camera review. Creators can merge every thrilling moment into one incredible recap, or choose the ones they like, and quickly delete any unwanted clips to save storage.”

The Assistant may also automatically edit a video and transfer it to a phone or other mobile device using the Insta360 app. If an editor prefers a more hands-on edit, the same program includes a plethora of AI editing capabilities. One of these is AI Warp, a new tool that allows editors to create dynamic effects to their videos using preset or custom keywords.

“This premium AI feature is highly customizable, giving your footage an incredibly unique twist based off of any prompt you can think of,” the company says. It also, of course, supports timelapses, hyperlapses, and a selfie-stick eraser — all features that have come to previous Insta360 cameras.

Both cameras integrate with a Garmin or Apple Watch and allow users to overlay their videos with GPS, speed, and other data.

The Insta360 Ace and Ace Pro are now available for $380 and $450, respectively.

More info on Insta360’s website.

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