Action Camera Face Off: GoPro Hero9 vs Insta360 One R

The world of action cameras is an exciting one. Thanks to brands like GoPro, it’s never been easier to film outdoor exploits and other high-risk endeavors where you’d never want to take a traditional video camera.
And these days, the market for action cameras is more crowded than ever in terms of features, functionality and the number of players in the market. Insta360 is a newer competitor in the space, but their One R series of action cameras is certainly making waves.
In today’s post, you’ll find a comparison of two popular models: the GoPro Hero9 Black vs Insta360 One R.
If you’re picking up either one, don’t forget to protect it with an Upsie camera extended warranty for ultimate coverage and peace of mind.

Which Insta360 One R?

One thing that can be a little confusing about the Insta360 One R is that there isn’t one definitive product by this name. There are seven separate “Editions,” each with its own set of functions. One of the defining factors of the One R is its modularity: you can plug in different lens mods, each giving you a new set of functions. The edition you buy essentially determines which modules you start with.
Most of the really cool stuff — like 360-degree video or drone capability — requires you to shell out quite a bit more for an advanced bundle. But for the purposes of this comparison, the 4K Edition (the base model) will be the best point of comparison with the Hero9.

Photo and Video Resolution

The GoPro Hero9 offers 20 megapixels of photo resolution, along with SuperPhoto and HDR. You can also pull impressively high-res photos (14.7 megapixels, per CNet) from video streams. On the video side, the Hero9 offers 5K video recording at 30 frames per second.
The Insta360 One R 4K Edition offers 4K-quality wide-angle video at 60 frames per second, with HDR available for both photos and videos. Photo resolution is just 12.1 megapixels, though.

Video Features

Both cameras offer an array of video features, many of which go by branded names. It can be tough to keep up with all the functionality, but here’s a brief list for each.

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro offers its HyperSmooth 3.0 video stabilization technology, which is something truly impressive. There’s also a TimeWarp function, a modern take on time-lapse photography. There’s also auto horizon-leveling on board.

Insta360 One R 4K Edition

Insta360 offers a basic stabilization directly on the camera, plus a better pro-grade stabilizer (roughly on par with HyperSmooth, it seems) if you export the video to the Insta360 app. Also on board here are time lapse and time shift functions.

Hardware Differences

The biggest differences between these two devices are in the hardware. The GoPro Hero9 offers both front and rear color screens, with helpful display info on both. The Insta360 One R only has one screen, but the modular design means you can swap the direction on the screen module so that it faces front or back. That’s cool and all, but that single screen is about the same size as the smaller one on the Hero9. There’s less viewing happening here.
Additionally, the modular design still offers mild waterproofing, but nothing like what the fully enclosed Hero9 offers.
The image sensor on the One R 4K edition is bigger and better than the one on the GoPro Hero9. That said, GoPro makes up some ground in terms of quality thanks to its internal processing power.


The GoPro Hero9 Black retails for $399. Currently, GoPro is offering a $50 discount on the Hero9 Black if you purchase a year’s subscription to GoPro, which is a nice perk.
On the other hand, the Insta360 One R 4K Edition starts at just $299. Bear in mind that Insta360 is banking on their modular approach. Want a dive kit? That’s extra. Selfie stick? Extra. 360-degree camera module or aerial mount? Those are (a lot) extra, too.
Before you choose the One R on price alone, make sure that the base model actually does everything you need.

Upsie Protects the Hero9 vs Insta360 Brands

Ultimately, the choice between the GoPro Hero9 Black vs Insta360 One R 4K Edition comes down to your own preferences and needs. Either way, you’re getting an action camera that’s fully capable of delivering excellent footage of whatever it is you do.
Action cameras are designed to be tough, so an extended camera warranty might not be an obvious choice. But think about what kind of punishment you’re going to dish out on your new camera. No matter how well-built it is, it isn’t bulletproof. An extended camera warranty from Upsie is the ideal solution: it’s affordable and straightforward with a speedy claims process and great customer reviews.
Don’t leave your next great video to chance. Protect your new action camera with Upsie today.

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