Starting today, Insta360 is offering an exclusive bundle of the Insta360 ONE X2 camera and an assortment of accessories through Apple’s online store for $479.99.
I’ve been intrigued by Insta360’s action cameras since coming across them during CES in 2020. I bought a DJI Osmo Pocket when it launched at the end of 2018, which sold me on the notion of a tiny, versatile camera that integrates with the iPhone. So, when Insta360 offered to send me the Apple Store bundle to try, I was curious to see what it can do and what a 360-degree perspective would add to the mix. I’ve only had the ONE X2 for a few days during a brutal Chicago cold snap, so my use of the camera has been limited. Still, the excellent app integration has made getting started a breeze, so I wanted to share my first impressions.
The Insta360 ONE X2 bundle being sold by Apple is a great starter package that includes the ONE X2 camera, an Invisible Selfie Stick, an extra battery and case to carry it, a 32 GB MicroSD card and SD card adapter, two charging cables (USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to Lightning), a carrying case, and a soft pouch. Separately, the camera retails for $429.99, and with the accessories, the entire package would cost around $511 based on the prices listed on Insta360’s website. However, through Apple’s online store, you can purchase the kit for $479.99, saving some money and getting everything you’ll need to get started.
In a press release today, Apple announced that it has updated its video editing app Final Cut Pro X to version 10.4.9 as well as Motion and Compressor.
The update to Final Cut adds several features designed to improve the editing process including:
- New tools for cropping video to fit with popular social media formats such as square and vertical video
- Improvements to proxy workflows with support for ProRes Proxy and H.264 formats which Apple says can be as small as 12.5% of their original size
- Linking to proxies generated by apps like Frame.io via XML
- Exposure of ProRes RAW camera settings in Final Cut Pro’s inspector
- Metal-based plug-ins for RED RAW and Canon Cinema RAW Light, which improve performance
- Improvements to 360-degree video workflows
With Motion, third-party 3D models are now available when creating effects and graphics. The app also adds a new customizable Stroke Filter that can automatically outline an object or text using its alpha channel. Compressor has been updated too with custom LUT effects and the ability to convert log-encoded video to SDR or HDR footage using Camera LUTs.
I’m a fairly light user of Final Cut Pro X, but one of the things that I found most frustrating about it in the past was the app’s lack of support for popular social media formats, so I’m glad to see that creating square and vertical video will be easier now. I expect that many video creators will be equally happy with the improvements to proxy workflows and integration with cloud-based apps like Frame.io, which has become very popular.
The updates are free for existing users. New users can purchase Final Cut Pro X for $299.99 and Motion and Compressor for $49.99 each on the Mac App Store. The three apps are also available as a bundle to education users for $199.99. More information about the updates is available on Apple’s Final Cut Pro X webpage.
Last week I added a new camera to my HomeKit Secure Video setup: the Eve Cam. Announced at CES this year, what drew me to the camera was its slim profile and HomeKit Secure Video support. I’ve used other Eve home automation products in the past and had high hopes that the Eve Cam would be just as easy to install, and as reliable as the electrical outlets and door sensors I’ve tried. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
In April 2019, Apple published a video called The Underdogs that followed the story of a team of co-workers designing a round pizza box. Today, the quartet is back in a sequel of sorts called The Whole Work-From-Home Thing.
The new video follows the same group of colleagues as they attempt to design an all-new box while working from home. The story follows the quartet as they work around the clock on a tight deadline while juggling personal obligations and coping with working remotely.
The pace is frenetic. Over the course of the multi-day ordeal, the group turns to their Macs, iPads, and iPhones to come up with ideas and design the box. They also rely on a wide array of apps, including third-party apps like MindNode and Adobe InDesign.
Like its predecessor, ‘The Whole Work-From-Home Thing’ is funny but succeeds at demonstrating ways that Apple hardware and apps can solve some of the problems facing many people these days. This video may hit a little too close to home and stress some people out a bit, but I enjoyed the lighthearted fun poked at working from home and think it’s well worth watching.
Darkroom is a terrific photo editor for the iPhone and iPad that leverages iCloud Photos with a robust set of editing tools and filters. With the release of version 4.6 today, Darkroom adds video to the mix. What’s impressive about the update is that it manages to apply the same set of tools and filters available for photos to video in real-time, which results in a fast, efficient editing workflow.
Apple has released the first big update in over a year for its Clips video creation tool. Following the trend begun in iOS 12, which added Animoji support to FaceTime, now all Animoji and Memoji characters can also be used inside Clips. Though I would have expected such an update a year ago, it’s nevertheless good to see. Besides Animoji and Memoji, Clips 2.1 only adds a couple other small new features, like a fresh batch of Mickey and Minnie stickers, a ‘Let It Snow’ winter poster, and support for right-to-left languages. After spending some time with the update, there are a couple nice implementation details related to Animoji that deserve highlighting.
Apple’s Shot on iPhone series has highlighted photos and video taken with iPhones for several years now. Today, the company published a new series of four videos titled ‘Apple AMSR’ that were shot on the iPhone XS and XS Max. The videos, which the company suggests watching with headphones for the full auditory experience, are longer than ones produced in the past ranging from about 6 to over 10 minutes long. Each video features a different sound: rain at a campground, the crunching sound of someone walking on a hiking trail, the scraping of wood in a woodworking shop, and whispering in the Neskowin Ghost Forest in Oregon.
These videos are some of the strangest that Apple has published on YouTube, but they certainly do a good job of showcasing the iPhone’s ability to shoot video and record sound. There may be more coming too based on the fact they’re collected as a playlist on Apple’s YouTube channel that is labeled ‘Season 1.’ You can check all of them out below:
When I first covered Snapthread early last year, you could tell where it was headed. The app was conceived initially by developer Becky Hansmeyer as a way to combine Snapchat videos. By last January though, the app had evolved into a general-purpose solution for quickly and easily stitching together Live Photos, still photos, and short videos that could be shared on any social network or directly with friends and family. With version 2.0, which is out today, Hansmeyer has refined the existing user experience, added useful new functionality without complicating the app, and leveraged the iPad to create a more versatile video creation tool that works equally well for quickly sharing your creations on social networks as it does with small groups of friends and family.
Every year, the National Association of Broadcasters holds a trade show spotlighting advancements in technology in the media and entertainment industries. Jeff Benjamin, who produces much of 9to5Mac’s video content, was on hand for the show this week and reports that mobile video production was one of the highlights of the show:
The first thing that I noticed about this year’s show, is that some of the major players in the mobile video editing space planned their booths to be adjacent to one another. This was a smart move, as it created a stronger presence for mobile video editing than in years before.
I also noticed that there was a significant uptick in foot traffic than in the past. Some of this can be attributed to the way the booths were organized, but I feel like mobile video editing has gained more legitimacy as a whole as people come to grips with how powerful the available apps, tools, and hardware have become.
Benjamin’s story includes details on upcoming updates to LumaFusion and Filmic Pro that are in the works as well as a new app coming later this year from Filmic called Filmic Audio that allows one iOS device to be used as a remote audio recorder that will sync its recordings with video filmed using Filmic Pro on a second iOS device. Benjamin also previews an update coming to the Gnarbox, an outboard storage and backup solution, which is designed to be used by photographers and videographers wired or wirelessly with iOS devices, and the Movi Cinema Robot, an iPhone gimbal that is gaining Filmic Pro integration soon.
Mobile video production is one of the most interesting pro areas for which iOS devices are being used currently as was recently highlighted by Jonathan Morrison who has used apps like LumaFusion to produce YouTube videos. As Benjamin points out, mobile video production is clearly on Apple’s radar based on the company’s behind the scenes look at how it shot some of its recent iPad Pro ads. I too hope Apple’s interest foreshadows the arrival of new iOS 13 features that will simplify video and audio production.