Review: Insta360 GO 3 Action Camera – Ideal For FPV Drones? Worth the Upgrade from GO 2?

by Oscar
Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Fpv Drone Mount

The Insta360 GO 3 emerges as a highly compact camera with the ability to film in 2.7K stabilized footage. This unique action camera stands out in the market thanks to the a charging case with a touchscreen that is super user friendly and useful for vlogging. Separating it from its case, it can be used as a standalone camera – the thumb-sized form factor is perfect for small FPV drones, ensuring minimal compromise on performance.

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In this review, we’ll delve into the new features of the Insta360 GO 3, draw a comparison with its predecessor, and decide whether it’s the ideal camera for FPV use.

Looking for a new action camera for your FPV drone? Check out our round-up here:

Where to Buy?

The Insta360 Go 3 camera is available for purchase through the following vendors:

The camera comes in various memory capacity options: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The 32GB model, which is the standard version, is priced at US$380.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera In Charging Action Pod

Insta360 also provides a wide range of accessories for this camera. Each box includes not only the camera but also a startup guide, a USB-C charging cable for powering up and transferring footage, and an assortment of useful accessories. Key among these are a magnetic pendant, an easy clip for attaching to the brim of a hat, a charging case (action pod), and a pivot stand featuring adhesive on the bottom.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Unbox Accessories

Please note that the GO 3 is marginally larger than its predecessor, the GO 2, so older accessories, including 3D printed TPU mounts, might not fit.

The company is also planning to offer ND filters for this camera.


Aperture F2.2
35mm Equivalent Focal Length 11.24mm
Photo Resolution 2560×1440 (16:9)2560×2560 (1:1)
1440×2560 (9:16)
2936×1088 (2.7:1)
Video Resolution Video

2.7K: 2720×1536@24/25/30fps
1440P: 2560×1440@24/25/30/50fps
1080P: 1920×1080@24/25/30/50fps

FreeFrame Video

1440P: 2560×1440@24/25/30/50fps
1080P: 1920×1080@24/25/30/50fps


1440P: 2560×1440@30fps


1440P: 2560×1440@30fps

Slow Motion

1080P: 1920×1080@120fps


1440P: 2560×1440@24/25/30/50fps
1080P: 1920×1080@24/25/30/50fps

Loop Recording

1440P: 2560×1440@24/25/30/50fps
1080P: 1920×1080@24/25/30/50fps

Photo Format INSP (can be exported via App or Studio)DNG (can be exported via App or Studio)
Video Format MP4
Photo Modes Photo, HDR Photo, Interval, Starlapse
Video Modes Video, FreeFrame Video, Timelapse, TimeShift, Slow Motion, Pre-Recording, Loop Recording
Color Profiles Standard, Vivid, Flat
Weight GO 3: 35.5g (1.25oz)
Action Pod: 96.3g (3.40oz)
Dimensions (W x H x D) GO 3:
25.6×54.4×23.2 mm (1.0×2.1×0.9in)Action Pod:
Screen Folded: 63.5×47.6×29.5mm (2.5×1.9×1.2in)
Screen Unfolded: 63.5×86.6×29.9mm (2.5×3.4×1.2in)
Color White
Video Coding H.264
Max. Video Bitrate 80Mbps
Gyroscope 6-axis gyroscope
Exposure Value ±4EV
ISO Range 100-3200
Shutter Speed Photo: 1/8000 – 120sVideo: 1/8000 – to the limit of frames per second
White Balance Auto, 2700K, 4000K, 5000K, 6500K, 7500K
Audio Modes Wind Reduction, Stereo, Direction Focus
Audio Format 48Khz, 24bits, AAC
Bluetooth BLE 5.0
Wi-Fi 5GHz802.11a/n/ac
USB Type-C
Storage 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
Battery Capacity GO 3: 310mAh
Action Pod: 1270mAh
Charging Method GO 3: Action Pod
Action Pod: Type-C
Charging Time GO 3: 23 mins to 80% | 35 mins to 100%
Action Pod: 47 mins to 80% | 65 mins to 100%
Run Time GO 3: 45 minsGO 3 + Action Pod: 170 mins

* Measured in lab conditions at 1080P@30fps

Use Environment GO 3: -4°F to 104°F (-20℃ to 40℃)
Action Pod: -4°F to 104°F (-20℃ to 40℃)
Compatible Devices Compatible iOS devices including:

iPhone SE 2, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPad Air (2020), iPad Pro and newer iPad models.

Compatible Android devices including:

  • Android devices with Kirin 980 and above chips, including Huawei Mate 20, P30 or newer models.
  • Android devices with Snapdragon 845 and above chips, including Samsung Galaxy S9, Xiaomi Mi 8 or newer models.
  • Android devices with Exynos 9810 and above chips, including Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Note9 and newer models.
  • Android devices with Tensor chips, including Google Pixel 6.

Design and Features

The GO 3 retains the thumb-shaped design of its predecessors, complete with rounded ends and curved edges, albeit in slightly different dimensions.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Review Fpv Drone

To mount this camera on your FPV drone, you will likely need some sort of custom made 3D printed TPU mount. For non-FPV use, the GO 3’s unique magnetic body makes mounting it anywhere a breeze, allowing for many creative shot angles. It also comes with a quick release mount too which makes it very versatile.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Clip Mount

It also comes with a cap mount, it makes it a great camera for POV type of footage.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Cap Mount

For a comparison with its predecessor, you can check out my review of the Go 2 here:

Following in the footsteps of the GO 2, the new GO 3 also comes with a charging case, or “Action Pod”.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Charging Case Action Pod

This time around, however, the Pod features a color touchscreen. This enhancement allows you to change settings, playback recorded footage, and preview your shots, making the GO3 an even more versatile camera for everyday use. The Action Pod is compact, measuring 6.35 x 4.76 x 2.95 cm and weighing in at 97 grams.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Back Screen Preview

The GO 3, when placed in the Action Pod, bears a strong resemblance to a GoPro, right down to the graphical user interface.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Back Screen Video Settings

But the size of the GO3 is noticeably smaller than the GoPro Hero 11 even with the action pod, not to mention the GO3 can be removed and it’s super portable and convenient to use.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Size Compare Gopro Hero 11

The back display is a touch screen, it’s bright and functional even under direct sunlight. The menu is user friendly and responsive. You can even flip the back screen to face the front, and it’s great for vlogging.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Back Screen Rotate Flip Vlog

Another shared feature is voice command support, enabling easy control of the camera without needing to physically interact with it. The additional 1270mAh battery in the Action Pod extends the camera’s battery life to up to 170 minutes.

Consistent with the Go 2 and the original Go 1, the Go 3 does not have an SD card slot. Instead, videos are stored on the internal memory. Memory size options are 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB which you can decide upon purchase. While this may not offer the flexibility of a GoPro’s SD card slot, it does offer foolproof usage (you don’t need to worry about SD card compatibility for example), eliminating the need to purchase SD card or forget SD cards at home on filming days.

Video and Audio Quality

Despite its compact size, the Insta360 Go3 offers decent image quality for a camera this size. It can record videos up to 1440p at 50fps (up to 100Mbps bit rate) or 2.7K at 30fps (up to 50Mbps bitrate). The f/2.2 aperture ensures you capture bright and detailed imagery. However, its low-light performance does leave something to be desired. Footage taken in the dark is noisier than other more expensive and bulkier counterparts such as the GoPro, but the camera still manages to deliver decent results prior to sunset lighting condition.

Users are given control over settings like color profile, white balance, and shutter speed, with both manual and automatic settings available. Video compression is in the H.264 format. Besides regular videos, the Go 3 can produce time-lapses, time-shifts, and slow-motion videos (120fps played at 30 fps, i.e. 4x slow down). It supports video resolutions of 2560 x 2650 (1:1) and 2560 x 1440 (16:9 and 9:16). The accompanying Insta360 Studio software allows you to apply Flat or Vivid color effects to your footage.

The GO 3 boasts FlowState 2.0, a digital image stabilization feature built-in to smooth out your footage and minimize camera shake and vibration. There’s hope for Gyroflow compatibility in the future since the camera can also record gyro data, but at the time of writing it’s not compatible yet. The Go 3 offers three levels of stabilization, each coming with a description to help you choose the most appropriate level for your needs. However, if you’re using the camera on an FPV drone, it’s advisable to turn off the stabilization feature and apply stabilization when exporting the footage from the camera.

Audio quality is another area where the GO 3 stands out, delivering acceptable sound even from a distance. While it may not match the audio quality of a GoPro, the camera’s stereo and directional microphones make it well-suited for vlogging or outdoor activities. An added wind reduction feature also comes in handy when using the camera for action sports.

User Experience

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Android Ios Phone App Connect

To use this camera, you have to download their app on your phone, then connect it to your phone upon arrival in order to activate it.

Using the Insta360 Go 3 is a straightforward experience. The camera features a USB-C port on the side for charging, as well as a small latch that secures it within the pod. It requires a bit of force to detach the camera from the pod due to the strong magnets.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Left Usb Type C Connector

On the camera, you’ll find a screen, a power button, and a mode-switching button, which make navigating the menu a breeze.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Right Buttons

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Front

One major upgrade in the Go 3 is its extended battery life. The camera itself can record continuously for 45 to 60 minutes, almost 50% longer than its predecessor, the Go 2. If you place the camera in the action pod, you can stretch your recording time up to 150 to 170 minutes, while simultaneously recharging the camera.

The Go 3 supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, offering you the convenience of remote control and speedy file transfers to your smartphone or tablet.

For a comprehensive experience with the Go 3, you’ll want to pair it with the Insta360 mobile app, available for iOS and Android. This handy app enables you to view, edit, set keyframes for, and share your captured content with ease.

The Go 3 boasts a variety of advanced features that set it apart from traditional action cameras. One of its standout features is the “Auto Editing” mode. Using artificial intelligence, the camera identifies the highlights of your video and automatically creates an engaging montage, perfectly synced to music and ready for sharing on social media. This is great time-saver for people going on vacation and doesn’t spend too much time on editing long videos.

You’ll also be pleased to know that the Go 3 is water-resistant up to 5 meters (IPX8), so you can film in the rain or even underwater without a worry! However, the action pod (charging case) has a lower water-resistance rating of IPX4, meaning it can only withstand splashes.

Here’s the user guide to get you started:

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Manual Instruciton User Guide Leaflet

I am using the included quick release mount in this video to mount the GO3 on the drone. While it’s pretty handy, it results in jello in the footage. Upon closer inspection, I realized although the mount is very secure (camera didn’t come off even in hard crashes), the camera can actually move a tiny bit when there’re vibrations. Therefore I’d recommend a 3D printed TPU mount if you intent to use the GO3 on an FPV drone.

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera Fpv Drone Mount

Here’s my first flight with this camera.

The touchscreen is prone to scratches, it’s a good idea to get some screen protector before you start using it. Personally I am not going to bother, but if you want to sell this camera later down the road, it’s probably a good idea to do everything you can to keep it in good condition. Get screen protector here:

How to Use?

Video Modes

This camera can do both videos and photos, but since I fly drones, what I really care about is taking videos. There are two main video modes, Video and FreeFrame Video.

What are the differences between Video and FreeFrame Video?

FreeFrame video is unprocessed RAW data, it gives you more freedom on editing. It allows you to apply the image stabilization “FlowState”, adjust horizontal levelling (Horizon Lock), adjust FOV (field of view), and adjust aspect ratio, on the app or computer after shooting. In-camera image stabilization is applied to non-FreeFrame videos, and there’s less you can fine tune how the video look later on. For FPV (or shooting with much camera movement), you definitely want to use FreeFrame Video. If you want minimal editing, go with normal Video and configure all the video settings in the camera (such as how much stabilization you want to apply).

For FreeFrame videos, stabilization is applied during the export process (using the mobile app or Insta360’s computer program) and cannot be specified in the camera.

Charging and Battery Life

The Go 3 camera is charged via the Action Pod, and the Action Pod is charged via the USB Type-C connector. It supports QC and PD fast charging. Max charging power is around 10-11W. It takes just over an hour to fully charge it. The red indicator lights up when it’s charging and it turns off when it’s charged.

The GO 3 alone offers enough battery to last 50 minutes, with the Action Pod, you can expect 150-170 minutes of battery life. Recording at lower resolution (or using photo mode) will give you longer run time. The Action Pod is still functional while charging, so if you plan to shoot timelapse for example, you can leave the camera connected to a charger or power bank.

Conclusion: Is the GO 3 Ideal for FPV?

Insta360 Go 3 Action Camera In Charging Action Pod

The Insta360 Go 3 is a remarkable pocket camera that combines compact design, impressive image quality, and innovative features. Weighing in at a mere 35g, the GO 3 is a great choice for any FPV drone. Whether you’re flying a small micro quad or a larger drone, this camera can seamlessly record 1440p 50fps or 2.7K 30fps HD footage.

You can purchase the Insta360 Go 3 camera from these vendors:

However if you prefer a cheaper and lighter camera, you should check out the Hawkeye 4K Thumb: It might not be as easy to use and durable as the Go 3 but it’s an interesting product that’s designed specifically for FPV.

In my view, the GO 3 is an extremely versatile and flexible camera, it surpasses the GO 2 as a better camera for vlogging and outdoor activities. There’s so much you can do with it. However, just judging from the image quality for FPV footage, it doesn’t necessarily present an essential upgrade for FPV drone applications. The most significant enhancements seem to be in the charging case and battery life. The improvements in resolution and performance are somewhat not enough to justify investing in a brand new camera if you’re already own a GO2. Personally, I found the lack of 4K capability disappointing in 2023, especially given that even the DJI O3 offers this feature along with 10-bit color, and it’s cheaper.

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Angus 1st June 2024 - 5:47 am

“There’s hope for Gyroflow compatibility in the future since the camera can also record gyro data, but at the time of writing it’s not compatible yet.”

There’s Gyroflow support on the Go 3. You just need to record in freeform video instead of regular video. On the Gyroflow website they list the Go 3 is supported too.

Sam 26th June 2023 - 12:30 am

The main thing I want from newer action cams is better audio. GoPro nailed it a long time ago, but no other action cam even comes close.