Insta360 is known for its 360 cameras and action cams, so call us surprised when it unveiled its first-ever dedicated webcam product today. The Insta360 Link is a 4K webcam with a 3-axis gimbal, so it's basically like a DJI Pocket 2 without its body. The company touts the 1/2-inch sensor here, which is apparently much larger than what the competition offers. For example, the tried and tested Logitech Brio only has a 1/4-inch sensor, and the more recent OBSBOT Tiny 4K has a 1/2.8-inch sensor, so the Link should perform better than both in terms of accuracy and dynamic range. Insta360 added two noise-cancelling microphones as well, which are much needed in the age of remote working.
The Link can be hung on a monitor using the built-in screen clip, or you can fit it onto any stand with a standard 1/4-inch mount. Then it's just a matter of letting the device's AI algorithm track your face, so that the camera can pan around and zoom — up to 4x digitally — to keep you centered in frame. The AI feature also supports gesture control for zooming in and out, as well as enabling whiteboard board — a bit like auto keystone correction on projectors, but for displaying your whiteboard instead. When you're done using the Link, it automatically points its camera downwards within 10 seconds of inactivity for the sake of privacy.
The Link Controller companion software lets you adjust various image parameters like brightness, exposure, white balance and more. You can also switch to lower resolutions in favor of higher frame rates — 1080p and 720p go all the way to 60fps, instead of just 30fps at 4K. The software also offers various shooting modes. DeskView Mode lets you quickly toggle between your face and your tabletop, which should make your usual show-and-tell a bit more convenient. There are also Whiteboard Mode for tracking your designated whiteboard area (the Link comes with four reusable whiteboard recognition markets), Portrait Mode for live streaming in portrait orientation, and Overhead Mode for pointing your Link downwards to show your subject on the tablet (you'll probably want to mount the device on a tablet stand for this). If needed, you can toggle HDR mode as well in case of strong backlight, though this is only available at 1080p or 720p resolution, and capped at 30fps.
The Insta360 Link is compatible with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet and more video conference platforms on both macOS and Windows. It's asking for $300 and is available today via the company's website.