The insta360 Ace Pro is a cutting-edge action camera that has stirred excitement in the photography and videography community since its release on November 21st, 2023. This is apparently the first action camera with an AI denoising chip that helps in processing low-light videos with impressive noise reduction, along with a ton of innovative features that action camera users have been waiting for a while. With this new action camera series, insta360 introduces two models: Ace, and Ace Pro.

I’ve tested the Insta360 Ace Pro (the more advanced version) in different conditions: daylight, low-light, and everything in between. In this review, I will try to summarize not only the new exciting features that this series has introduced, but I will also share some of my test results comparing the insta360 Ace Pro vs. GoPro Hero 12 and vs. DJI Action 4 side by side, along with my unbiased opinion as a videomaker.

Is the insta360 Ace Pro worth the $100 more than the GoPro Hero 12? Let’s find it out together!

SPECIAL SALE
Insta360 Ace Pro - Waterproof Action Camera Co-Engineered with Leica, Flagship 1/1.3' Sensor and AI Noise Reduction for Unbeatable Image Quality, 4K120fps, 2.4' Flip Screen & Advanced AI Features.
478 Reviews
Insta360 Ace Pro - Waterproof Action Camera Co-Engineered with Leica, Flagship 1/1.3" Sensor and AI Noise Reduction for Unbeatable Image Quality, 4K120fps, 2.4" Flip Screen & Advanced AI Features.
  • Flagship 1/1.3" Sensor and 5nm AI Chip: Armed with a larger, premium sensor, Ace Pro...
  • Leica SUMMARIT Lens: Leica brings its legendary expertise in optical design and...
  • Unbeatable Image Quality by Day and Night: Record 4K120fps slow-mo and utilize Active...

The insta360 Ace Pro Review


If you are interested to see what videos you can do with the insta360 Ace Pro, watch my review:

insta360 Ace Pro Review **Shocking LOW-LIGHT Videos**

Design and Build


Sturdy and Sleek | 2.4-inch flip touchscreen

The Insta 360 Ace Pro boasts a robust and slightly bulky design, reminiscent of mirrorless cameras in terms of thickness. This design choice is justified by the camera’s powerful internal components. The Ace Pro features a magnetic attachment system, which is both reliable and easy to use, unlike some of its competitors. Additionally, the camera is waterproof up to 33 feet/10 meters without needing an external case, making it an excellent choice for underwater adventures.

ace pro design

Image Quality


AI | Quality Leica lens | 1/1.3-inch sensor for low light

The Ace Pro is equipped with a 1.3-inch sensor, smaller than a one-inch sensor but still capable of delivering high-quality images. The camera’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are a game-changer, offering advanced video editing and noise reduction features. Users can expect smooth and stable footage, thanks to the camera’s FlowState stabilization technology.

insta360 ace pro sensor

Video Capabilities


8K Video: In my hands-on experience with the Insta360 Ace Pro, the video capabilities were nothing short of impressive. The camera offers a range of resolutions and frame rates, allowing for high-quality 8k footage (available when you update the firmware to the latest version) and super slow-motion capture in lower resolutions.

Gimbal-like stabilization: The Ace Pro’s FlowState stabilization technology is a game-changer, providing gimbal-like smoothness that’s essential for action shots. Whether I was running on the beach or capturing serene landscapes, the video quality remained consistently high thanks to the digital stabilisation.

Active HDR – Keeping It Real: The color reproduction is vibrant, and the detail in the footage is crisp, even in challenging lighting conditions such as having the sun behind the subject. In this situation, the Active HDR does a pretty good job at ensuring that both the bright skies and darker grounds are full of details. The frame below was taken from a video with active HDR on. That was a quite extreme situation with lots of sun behind a darker subject.

insta360 ace Active HDR

Low-Light Performance


The Ace Pro’s AI chip, a 5-nanometer processor, is a marvel in image processing. It applies AI algorithms in real-time to each frame, significantly enhancing low-light performance without compromising image quality. This feature sets the Ace Pro apart from its competitors, offering a level of clarity and detail in low-light conditions that is hard to match.

PureVideo – Night Owl’s Friend: Shooting in low light? The PureVideo mode steps in with its AI denoising magic, making your night videos look pretty decent.

Below you can see a frame taken from the videos while I was testing the Ace Pro, Hero 12 and Action 4 side by side. This is in a parking lot, in extreme low light conditions.

insta360 Ace Pro (Pure Video Mode – 4k 30fps):

Frame from Ace Pro Pure Video

GoPro HERO 12 (Video Mode – 4k 30fps, ISO max 800):

frame taken from low light gopro video

DJI Action 4 (Video Mode – 4k 30fps):

frame taken from low light dji action 4 video

Photography


48MP sensor: When it comes to photos, I found that the camera’s high-resolution (48MP) sensor captures sharp and detailed images, even in low light, producing clear and noise-free images. The dynamic range is excellent, preserving details in both shadows and highlights.  The ability to shoot in RAW format is a big plus for post-processing flexibility.

I took this photo in the evening down the beach. The Ace Pro was in Photo mode, 48MP, Pure Shot.

nsta360 ace pro low light landscape photo reduced

I zoomed in in post production to show you the level of details in low light:

insta360 ace pro low light zoomed in

AI Features


Editing: The AI Highlights Assistant is like your personal video editor. It sifts through your footage and picks out the best parts, saving you hours of editing time. While this is not intended to produce professional videos, this feature is great for any casual user who just wants an highlight of their filmed activity.

AI Warp – Add a Twist: This feature isn’t just cool; it’s futuristic. It adds dynamic elements to your videos, making them stand out in a sea of regular shots.

Gesture Control – Wave and Shoot: With this feature you can start and stop a video or take a picture with with your gesture. Unlike voice control which doesn’t always work (due to wind or background noise), gesture control works pretty damn well at all times.

gesture control

Usability and Convenience


Flip Screen Flexibility: The flip screen isn’t just for show. It gives you angles and perspectives that traditional screens can’t. It can even be used to clip the camera on your shirt, like I did here:

ace pro clipped on shirt

Magnetic Mounting – Snap and Go: Forget screwing and unscrewing. The magnetic mounting system is all about making life easier. Snap on, snap off – it’s that simple.

ace pro magnetic mount

Pause and Resume – Seamless Storytelling: Pausing and resuming your recording in the same file means your story flows smoothly, without the jarring breaks of multiple clips.

pause stop

Accessories and Mounting Options


Insta360 has provided a range of accessories for the Ace Pro, including a versatile quick-release mount and a robust tripod. The quick-release mount is particularly noteworthy, offering compatibility with a wide range of accessories and cameras, including third-party options.

tripod

 

insta360 App


You can download the app for free form the app store. It offers AI-powered video editing capabilities, making it easy to create professional-looking videos with minimal effort. The app’s interface is user-friendly, and its compatibility with various platforms ensures that you can edit and share your content on the go.

Note: Make sure the app is updated to the latest version, or else it may not recognize the camera.

insta360 app

 

insta360 Ace Pro vs GoPro Hero 12


Having tested both the Insta360 Ace Pro and the GoPro Hero 12, I found that each camera has its unique strengths.

insta360 ace pro vs gopro hero 12

Sensor: The Ace Pro’s larger sensor gives it an edge in image quality and low-light performance over the GoPro Hero 12.

Image quality: The GoPro Hero 12, with its refined user interface and robust build, is a formidable action camera. Its video quality is top-notch in day-light, better than the Ace Pro. It also has 10-bit video, and new GP-Log video option, which makes it perfect for professional color grading. The Ace Pro is not 10-bit.

However, when I compared it to the Ace Pro, its AI capabilities really stood out. The Ace Pro’s AI-driven image processing provided exceptional low-light performance and dynamic range, which I found to be superior to the Hero 12. Additionally, the Ace Pro’s flip screen and intuitive controls made it more user-friendly, especially in fast-paced shooting scenarios.

Resolution: 8K vs. 5.3K – the Ace Pro leads the resolution race, offering more details and clearer footage when you zoom in.

AI Advantage: The Ace Pro’s AI features, like gesture control and AI Warp, bring a level of convenience and creativity that’s hard to find in other action cameras.

SPECIAL SALE
GoPro HERO12 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with 5.3K60 Ultra HD Video, 27MP Photos, HDR, 1/1.9" Image Sensor, Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization
  • High Dynamic Range Video plus Photo: HERO12 Black takes its best-in-class image...
  • Unbelieveable Image Quality: With 5.3K video that gives you 91% more resolution than...
  • Emmy Award- Winning HyperSmooth 6.0 Stabilization: HyperSmooth continues to set the...

insta360 Ace Pro vs DJI Action 4


While the DJI Action 4 is a strong competitor, especially in terms of its color accuracy and battery life, the Ace Pro’s overall performance, especially in AI-driven tasks, gave it an edge in my book.

insta360 ace pro vs dji action 4

My experience with the DJI Action 4 was quite positive, especially regarding its compact design and image quality. However, when I put it side by side with the Insta360 Ace Pro, the differences were noticeable. The Ace Pro’s AI features, particularly in enhancing image quality and reducing noise, were more advanced.

DJI Osmo Action 4 Standard Combo - 4K/120fps Waterproof Action Camera with a 1/1.3-Inch Sensor, Stunning Low-Light Imaging, 10-bit & D-Log M Color Performance, Long-Lasting 160 Mins, Outdoor Camera
  • Impeccable Image Quality, Day or Night - Experience stunning image clarity and...
  • Vivid, True-to-Life Colors - Elevate your footage using 10-bit and D-Log M Color...
  • Long-Lasting Power, Even in Extreme Cold - Tackle low temperatures of -20°C (-4°F)...

If you’re wondering whether you should get a GoPro instead, read the following article>>>

 

Is the insta360 Ace Pro the definitive Action Camera?


Although I don’t think there is a definitive action camera since each of them may target a different use case, I do think that the insta360 Ace Pro has brought innovative features to the action camera space, like the integrated flip scree, the magnetic mount, excellent low light performance, AI features and much more. While the Ace series faces competition from cameras like the GoPro Hero 12 or DJI Action 4, its unique features, especially in low-light performance and AI capabilities, set it apart as a versatile and innovative choice for both professional and casual users.

SPECIAL SALE
Insta360 Ace Pro - Waterproof Action Camera Co-Engineered with Leica, Flagship 1/1.3' Sensor and AI Noise Reduction for Unbeatable Image Quality, 4K120fps, 2.4' Flip Screen & Advanced AI Features.
478 Reviews
Insta360 Ace Pro - Waterproof Action Camera Co-Engineered with Leica, Flagship 1/1.3" Sensor and AI Noise Reduction for Unbeatable Image Quality, 4K120fps, 2.4" Flip Screen & Advanced AI Features.
  • Flagship 1/1.3" Sensor and 5nm AI Chip: Armed with a larger, premium sensor, Ace Pro...
  • Leica SUMMARIT Lens: Leica brings its legendary expertise in optical design and...
  • Unbeatable Image Quality by Day and Night: Record 4K120fps slow-mo and utilize Active...

However, the lack of 10bit log video does not make the insta360 Ace Pro ideal for advanced color grading. It’s also not ideal for anyone who need a smaller or lighter camera that is very rugged and has replaceable lens glass if it gets destroyed during the action. Also, if you are looking for the best daylight in camera stabilization, a more accurate horizon lock or longer battery life, this may not be your best choice.

In my opinion, the camera choice comes down to what you need it for. Each action camera discussed in this article may excel in different case scenarios. I have a feel that the Ace Pro wants to target mainly a more casual audience like vloggers, adventurists, and hobbists who may make use of the flip screen and enjoy cool AI effects and easy video editing.

On the other hand, action cameras from GoPro and DJI tend to serve a more professional audience like videomakers who need the ability to color grade their videos, or athletes who look for a light action camera that has a great video stabilization and a long battery life.

 

What do you think? Let me know your opinion down in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading 🙂