Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12: Tiny Titan vs Pro Powerhouse

By Naila Syifa
Updated July 2024

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360's latest offering, the GO 3S, stands out as a compact and versatile action camera that caters to users seeking a lightweight and convenient option for capturing their adventures.

How does this innovation stack up against the powerhouse GoPro Hero 12? Let's dive in and explore the key features, performance, and overall value of these two action cameras.

Key Takeaways

GoPro Hero 12 is more equipped with professional-level features, including a 10-bit log, timecode sync, and external microphone support. Meanwhile, the Insta360 GO 3S puts more emphasis on user-friendly features and creative placement options due to its ultra-compact design.

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12
Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 GO 3S

Tiny Mighty Action Cam

✓ 4K Video + 12 MP Photo
✓ Compact, Lightweight, Magnetic
✓ FreeFrame & Interval Video Mode
✓ Free Auto Editing

GoPro Hero 12 Black

GoPro Hero 12 Black

Professional Action Cam

✓ 5.3K Video, 27 MP Photo
✓ Dual LCD screen
✓ HyperSmooth 6.0 with Horizon Lock
✓ Timecode Sync & 10-bit Log

#1 Price

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 GO 3S and GoPro Hero 12 have the same price point, making them direct competitors in the premium action camera market. At US$399.99, both cameras offer a high-end feature set at a comparable cost.

However, they cater to different user preferences and needs within the action camera landscape. This makes it important to carefully consider your specific requirements before deciding which camera best suits your needs.

#2 Design & Durability

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

GoPro Hero 12

A tiny design makes the Insta360 GO 3S highly portable and discreet, while the GoPro Hero 12 offers a more rugged and action-oriented build. However, this doesn't mean that the Insta360 GO 3S is not durable enough for most outdoor activities.

In fact, the GO 3S can withstand extreme temperatures better than the Hero 12, with an operating range of -20°C to 40°C, making it a suitable choice for diverse climates and environments. Meanwhile, the GoPro Hero 12 is only rated for temperatures between -10°C and 35°C.

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360 GO 3S

The ultra-small size of the Insta360 GO 3S also gives it an advantage in terms of placement and mounting options, allowing users to capture unique angles and perspectives that may be more challenging with the larger GoPro Hero 12.

The package of GO 3S even includes 3 innovative mounting accessories (a magnet pendant, an easy clip, and a pivot stand), further facilitating its versatile and convenient use in a variety of settings. On the other hand, GoPro Hero 12 offers a curved adhesive mount, a mounting buckle, and a thumb screw, which facilitates a more conventional mounting approach.

#3 Video & Photo

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

GoPro Hero 12

When it comes to video and photo quality, the GoPro Hero 12 is superior. It delivers 5.3K/60 fps maximum video resolution and 27MP maximum photo resolution, which captures more detailed and high-quality imagery compared to the Insta360 GO 3S.

While the Insta360 GO 3S is also impressive with a 4K/30 fps maximum video resolution and 12MP maximum photo resolution, the GoPro Hero 12 clearly outperforms it in terms of raw video and image quality.

In addition, the GoPro Hero 12 offers 10-bit log support for greater dynamic range and post-processing flexibility. Meanwhile, the Insta360 GO 3S relies on 8-bit color depth, so the GoPro Hero 12 has a clear advantage in terms of professional-grade video and photo capabilities.

#4 Audio

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360 GO 3S

GoPro Hero 12 offers 3 built-in microphones, which is more than the 2 built-in microphones of the Insta360 GO 3S. This little difference may not be that significant, but it does give the GoPro Hero 12 a slight edge in terms of audio recording quality.

The more significant difference between the two cameras is their external microphone support. Insta360 GO 3S doesn't offer external microphone connectivity, so it can only rely on its built-in microphones for audio recording, limiting the audio quality compared to the GoPro Hero 12, which supports external microphone connectivity for enhanced audio capture.

GoPro Hero 12 even supports Bluetooth microphone connectivity, allowing users to connect devices like Apple AirPods, Samsung Galaxy Buds, Jabra Elite, Bose QuietComfort, and more, further expanding its audio recording capabilities beyond the Insta360 GO 3S.

#5 Features

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Timecode Sync in GoPro Hero 12

When it comes to additional features beyond the primary recording capabilities, both cameras have their own unique strengths.

GoPro Hero 12 emphasizes professional-level features like Timecode Sync, allowing for seamless multi-camera editing workflows. This feature is typically necessary for professional video production and filmmaking, giving the GoPro Hero 12 an advantage in more advanced use cases.

Meanwhile, the Insta360 GO 3S puts more emphasis on its user-friendly features. For example, it offers FreeFrame Video mode for flexible aspect ratio choices after recording, Interval Video mode for automatic recording throughout the day, and free AI-powered Auto Editing for creating compelling highlight reels with minimal effort.

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360 GO 3S

Insta360 GO 3S also supports both voice control and gesture control, while GoPro Hero 12 only offers voice control. This makes the Insta360 GO 3S more intuitive and hands-free for certain usage scenarios.

The tiny design of the GO 3S may make it prone to being easily misplaced or lost, so the company also added a built-in location tracking feature with Apple Find My to help users find the camera if it goes missing.

#6 Battery Life

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

GoPro Hero 12

In terms of battery life, the GoPro Hero 12 has a clear advantage. Equipped with a 1720mAh Enduro battery, the Hero 12 can last for up to 155 minutes of continuous video recording at 1080p/30 fps.

At a similar recording mode, the Insta360 GO 3S is limited to only 140 minutes when the camera is used with the Action Pod. Without the Action Pod, the GO 3S can only last for up to 38 minutes, making the GoPro Hero 12 the clear winner in terms of battery life and overall recording duration.

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Final Thoughts

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 12

Insta360 GO 3S

At the same price point, the GoPro Hero 12 offers better capabilities than the Insta360 GO 3S in terms of video and photo quality, audio features, and battery life, making it the more powerful and capable action camera overall. In addition, the Hero 12 is more equipped for professional video production and filmmaking, making it more suitable for advanced users.

Meanwhile, the Insta360 GO 3S stands out with its ultra-tiny size, giving it better advantages in terms of creative placement and mounting options. The camera also has better weather resistance than the GoPro Hero 12, as well as user-friendly features that make it very easy and convenient to use for everyone.

In conclusion, the GoPro Hero 12 is the more capable and professional-oriented action camera, while the Insta360 GO 3S offers a compelling alternative for those who prioritize portability, ease of use, and creative flexibility over pure performance.

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

Insta360 GO 3S vs ONE RS 1-inch 360 Edition

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 11

Insta360 GO 3S vs GoPro Hero 11 Mini

Insta360 GO 3S vs DJI Osmo Action 4

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