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Insta360 has made a name for itself in the enthusiast 360 camera market thanks to a line of consistently excellent products that culminated in the One X in 2018, possibly the most lauded 360 cam of its time. The company came back in 2020 with a more ambitious project: a modular cam that can transform from an action shooter to a 360 cam — and other potential form factors — in a snap.

But in aiming to do everything and in trying to copy the GoPro so much, the company has introduced a long list of compromises that didn’t plague its previous offerings. The end result is a pricey camera I can’t easily recommend even if I like a lot of what it offers.

Hardware, design, what’s in the box

At the heart of the Insta360 One R’s design is its modular approach. The red battery on the
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