For those lucky enough to commute to work from home full time during the ongoing pandemic, a good webcam – better than what’s built into most laptop screens – is a must-have accessory, and Insta360 has just raised the bar for a “good webcam” even with 4K linkwhich uses a 3-axis axis to keep users always in perfect frame, plus a few other fun tricks.
The company isn’t a household name yet, but for a few years now, Insta360 has been giving companies like DJI and GoPro some much-needed competition when it comes to action and 360-degree cameras. Today, Insta360 announced its first dedicated webcam, which borrows some of the technology from the company’s other imaging products.
reminds us of the mini DJI Pocket 2 A hand-held video camera, the Insta360 Link is instead designed to be positioned above a computer monitor or laptop screen, staring at the user with its most compelling feature: a large half-inch 4K sensor. The company promises that the sensor will provide more detail, better dynamic range including an HDR mode to account for bright objects in the frame like an outside window, and improve low-light performance, which is especially important because the Link doesn’t include LED lighting for its own. The camera runs at 30 frames per second, but the free companion app allows users to adjust frame rate, resolution, white balance, and exposure for even the most challenging lighting situations.
There’s also a pair of built-in microphones with noise canceling capabilities, but the camera’s most unique innovation is the 3-axis axis, which is used here to track a person’s position in front of the camera and keep them in perfect frame. At all times, rather than just keeping the camera steady. When users are on a call but out of reach of their computers, Insta360 Link can also recognize and respond to hand gestures to activate features like AI-powered tracking, or simply zoom in and out.
The moving camera facilitates other unique shooting modes as well. To easily point to a document on a desk, Insta360 Link can point straight down and even make perspective adjustments with its software, so what users on the other end of the video call don’t look distorted. This software also turns on whiteboard mode where the camera can recognize the whiteboard and zoom in so that it is easier for others on the call to see what is being written. For those who stream on social media, Insta360 Link can rotate itself by 90 degrees and capture video in portrait mode best suited for smartphone consumption. Instead of a lens hood, the webcam will automatically point itself down to block the lens to increase privacy after 10 seconds of inactivity.
Insta360 link is Available for pre-order now from the company’s websitebut for all its additional functions, it comes at a hefty price tag of $300.