Review: Diving with the Insta360 Ace Pro – almost perfect – RedShark News

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Initial dives with the Ace Pro reveal a camera one firmware update away from being the perfect underwater companion.

Today, I’m taking the plunge with the Insta360 Ace Pro. This review won’t be going into too much depth (thanks to Andy Stout for this excellent pun), so if you’d like a full read up on the new Insta360 Ace Pro, I highly recommend checking out Simon Wyndham’s excellent review.

A huge chunk of people buying action cameras do so with the explicit requirements of filming great footage underwater, so it’s useful to know how this new entry from Insta360 stacks up against rivals such as DJI and GoPro.

Underwater housing

The Ace Pro is rated waterproof to a depth of 10m, so while it’ll be okay to take snorkeling, if you’re scuba diving, you’re going to need to bring the accompanying Insta360 Ace Pro underwater housing, which is rated to a depth of 60m. 

Unlike some other (admittedly third party) GoPro underwater housings, this thing feels solid and weighty. The decision to make the lens glass, rather than plastic, is a great one. To open and lock the case is simple, and I appreciate the nice little design feature of having ready-made slots for the necessary anti-fog inserts.

insta 360 ace diving housing 2

insta 360 ace diving housing

insta 360 ace diving mounting


As we dive deeper, we lose certain colours and can quickly end up with a blue-washed image. To combat this, pro underwater videographers have always manually white-balanced each scene, but doing this on an action camera underwater has always been near-impossible and for now, the Ace Pro is no different. 

In time, I expect we’ll see some accessories for the underwater housing in the form of red and purple colour filters, which may help in bringing back some of the lost colours. For now, I’d highly recommend shooting in the “flat” color profile to give yourself as much chance of good colors as possible.

Low light capabilities

One of the great Ace Pro features (the one that’s certainly being championed by Insta360 the most) is the low-light capabilities of the camera.

Diving to depths of 20m or more, we’re inevitably working in darker scenarios with less light. Where a GoPro may start to fall apart, I wanted to see how the Pure Shot mode held up. 

There’s no doubt that it makes a difference, reducing the noise of the image quite nicely. However, there’s no option for a flat color profile in this mode yet, so I’m stuck with the standard camera profile and, at times, I didn’t like how that was looking. It’s also worth noting that the processing involved in Pure Shot does tend to lose a bit of detail in the image. It’s not catastrophic, but it is notable from time to time. 


The last key thing about filming underwater with an action camera is the stabilization of the image. I shot everything on this test dive with stabilization set to standard, and it was perfect – all of my footage is buttery smooth and has pretty much eradicated any shaky hand movement.

Nearly there?

I think with a firmware update, the Insta360 Ace Pro can be a fantastic underwater camera (An update dropped February 7, 2024, but didn’t answer any of Josh’s requests – Ed.). What I’d like to see in that update is the following:

  • A dive case mode would be useful, much like they have in the Insta360 X3. This could give us a different set of menu options and ways to operate the camera underwater.
  • I don’t know what is and isn’t possible with the AI in this thing, but I’d love to think there could be a way of manually setting the white balance with a white slate held in front of the camera. Alternatively, give us a way to manually cycle through Kelvin settings while the camera is in the underwater case
  • I’m not sure if this interferes with the AI processing, but having a flat color profile available in “Pure Shot” mode would be rather handy for color grading.

If Insta360 can accommodate these kinds of things, I believe the Ace Pro will be just as viable an option as the GoPro Hero 12 underwater.

Action cameras
Insta 360
underwater filming

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