GoPro Hero 12 vs Insta360 X3: In-Depth Comparison

By Naila Syifa
Updated September 2023

GoPro Hero 12 vs Insta360 X3

GoPro and Insta360 are two of the biggest names in the action camera industry, offering high-quality cameras that can capture stunning footage in even the most extreme conditions. Their latest model, the GoPro Hero 12 and Insta360 X3 respectively, offer a range of impressive features that make them both great options for capturing your adventures.

How do these two cameras compare against each other? Let's look at the 4 most important aspects that you should consider before making a decision.

SpecsGoPro Hero 12 BlackInsta360 X3
 Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon
Dimensions71.8 x 50.8 x 33.6 mm114 x 46 x 33.1 mm
Weight154 g180 g
ScreenPreview Front (1.4”), Rear
Touch (2.27”)
Single Touch (2.29”)
Max Video Resolution5.3K/60 fps5.7K (360), 4K (Single)
Max Photo Resolution27 MP72 MP
Max Field of View156°360°
Image StabilizationHyperSmooth 6.0FlowState Stabilization
Audio3 microphones4 microphones
Wireless Microphone SupportYesYes
WaterproofYes, 10mYes, 10m
Voice ControlYesYes
Live StreamingYesYes
Timecode SyncYesNo
Invisible Selfie StickNoYes
Battery1720 mAh1800 mAh

Key Takeaways

When it comes to single-lens capture, GoPro Hero 12 has a better resolution of 5.3K compared to Insta360 X3's 4K resolution. However, the X3 can deliver a 360-degree footage while Hero 12's field-of-view max out at only 156°. X3 is also better for solo shooting with its Invisible Selfie Stick, but Hero 12 is better for multi-camera shooting with its Timecode Sync.

GoPro Hero 12 Black

GoPro Hero 12 Black

Single-Lens Camera

✓ 5.3K Video, 27 MP Photo
✓ Dual LCD screen
✓ HyperSmooth 6.0 with Horizon Lock
✓ Timecode Sync

Insta360 X3

Insta360 X3

360 Camera

✓ 5.7K + 72 MP 360 Footage
✓ 4K Single-lens Footage
✓ FlowState Stabilization with Horizon Lock
✓ Invisible Selfie Stick

#1 Price

Insta360 X3

Insta360 X3

When it comes to price, the GoPro Hero 12 is more affordable at $399.99 compared to the Insta360 X3 which is priced at $449.99. However, those prices are not cheap, so make sure you're making decisions based on careful consideration of important factors like image quality and features. Keep reading to learn more.

#2 Design

GoPro Hero 12 Black

GoPro Hero 12 Black

The GoPro Hero 12 and Insta360 X3 have different designs, with the GoPro resembling more like a traditional action camera with a boxy shape, while the Insta360 X3 has a narrow rectangular shape. Insta360 X3 weighs a little bit more at 180 g, while the GoPro Hero 12 weighs 154 g.

Both action cameras feature a touchscreen for easy controls and settings adjustments, but the Hero 12 has an additional preview-only screen at the front side for better framing when taking selfies or vlogging. Even though the X3 only has one screen, the lens captures a 360° angle, so you can use the side with the screen for selfies too. The touchscreen in the X3 is also larger at 2.29", compared to the Hero 12 with 2.27" rear touchscreen.

#3 Image Quality

Insta360 X3

Insta360 X3

When it comes to image quality, the comparison is a bit tricky. GoPro Hero 12 delivers a maximum resolution of 5.3K, lower than Insta360 X3 with a maximum resolution of 5.7K. However, this ultra-high 5.7K resolution is achieved for 360° footage, meaning that the resolution is split between all directions, resulting in a lower resolution image when viewed in a traditional aspect ratio.

When you clearly want a standard video with a traditional aspect ratio, the Insta360 X3 allows you to shoot in Single-Lens Mode, which captures a maximum of 4K video at 30 fps. This too, however, is still lower than the Hero 12's maximum resolution of 5.3K.

However, when it comes to field of view, the Insta360 X3 is the real winner. It has a 360° field of view, meaning it captures everything around it in one shot. The GoPro Hero 12, on the other hand, has a more limited field of view of up to 156°, which you can upgrade to 177° with the Max Lens Mod 2.0 purchased separately.

Some common pros for both cameras are the HDR mode which is available for both photos and videos, and advanced image stabilization technology, the HyperSmooth 6.0 for GoPro Hero 12 and FlowState Stabilization for Insta360 X3, both with Horizon Lock which keeps the horizon level even when the camera rotates a full 360°.

#4 Features

GoPro Hero 12 Black

HindSight in GoPro Hero 12 Black

The GoPro Hero 12 and Insta360 X3 share a few features in common, including live streaming, voice control, and HindSight. HindSight (called Pre-Recording in the X3) allows you to record footage up to 30 seconds before you press the record button, so you never miss a moment. This feature is helpful for situations like fishing, where you could never predict when the action will happen while also saving storage space.

One feature that is unique to GoPro Hero 12 is the built-in Timecode Sync, which makes it easier to sync footage from multiple cameras for post-production. The Quik app is also available, which allows you to edit your footage into professional-looking videos in just a few clicks.

Insta360 X3

Invisible Selfie Stick for Insta360 X3

The Insta360 X3 has a similar editing app, the Insta360 app for mobile devices and the Insta360 Studio for desktops. These apps allow you to reframe your 360 footage to capture specific angles you want and edit footage easily with AI-based editing tools and templates.

Another unique benefit of Insta360 X3 that is unavailable in GoPro Hero 12 is the Invisible Selfie Stick, an optional accessory you can purchase separately to capture third-person view footage without the stick appearing in the shot. This feature allows for more creative and immersive shots like drone shots or POV shots.

GoPro Hero 12 Black vs Insta360 X3

Final Thoughts

GoPro Hero 12 Black

GoPro Hero 12 Black

Both the GoPro Hero 12 and Insta360 X3 are excellent cameras for capturing action-packed moments. The Insta360 X3 stands out with its 360° field of view and features like the Invisible Selfie Stick, while the GoPro Hero 12 has an edge with its ultra-high 5.3K resolution for single lens and built-in Timecode Sync. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you like to read more about Action Camera, check out our other relevant guides here:

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