BETAFPV and Insta360 team up on 185-gram Cinewhoop with stripped ONE R camera

We have something to show you. Released a couple of days ago, it’s worth having a look if you’re into the Cinewhoop.

A leading manufacturer of small but powerful FPV drones has adapted some technology from 360° and action camera company Insta360, and the result is intriguing. It’s a new Cinewhoop-style drone. But what makes this different is that it’s intended as a package, utilizing a stripped-down Insta360 ONE R camera to make for a lightweight, high-resolution combo. The final package is well under 250 grams, meaning it won’t require registration or pilot licensing in Canada and the US (and, likely, other jurisdictions as well).

Let’s find out more.

Shenzhen superstars

Shenzhen is a vibrant, hustling city. The Special Economic Zone is a place where fortunes are made and lost, and home to everything from the smallest drone startup to the headquarters of DJI. Hard to grasp that this was a sleepy fishing village back in the early 1980s. I recall riding through the city at night in a taxi in 2016 and marveling at the endless skyscrapers. The buildings and energy were non-stop throughout that 40-minute trip.

So it’s a perfect place for both BETAFPV and Insta360; young companies that have both established themselves firmly in the global marketplace. If you want a fast and agile small FPV drone, BetaFPV is the first choice for many. Sames goes for Insta360 in the world of 360° cameras.

The drone

Let’s get to it:

The very new Beta95X V3 plus the new SMO 4K from Insta360. A match made in Shenzhen

The drone is called the Beta95X V3, the latest in BetaFPV’s popular Beta95X series. And it’s got some notable features.

First of all – and one of the key reasons this is news – is that BETAFPV has utilized Insta360 technology for capturing smooth 4K video during flight. The jointly branded camera takes the guts and the brains and the glass from Insta360s formidable ONE R – but not the weight. The SMO 4K is a mere 30 grams, just two grams more than an ounce.

Combine that with the 99-gram weight of the drone, throw in a 450mAh 4S battery at 56 grams, and you’re at 185 grams. That’s well below the 250-gram level at which licensing and registration come into play in many jurisdictions.

And before we get into more details, here are the prices:

It comes, obviously, with a specialized mount for the stripped-down SMO 4K camera. It also has EVA foam around the prop protectors, a nice touch that will provide a little extra cushioning during those inevitable bumps and spills.

It features a pusher prop configuration, which means part of the frame (the prop protectors) are inverted. That lowers the center of gravity. Using BETAFPV’s 1106 3800KV brushless motors, flight time is estimated at roughly 4.5 minutes (450mAh 4S battery).

But how does it fly?

Good question. Like this:

Slick. And under 250 grams!

But it’s not just for screaming dives and crazy aerials. If you’re looking for smooth, controlled flight – BETAFPV says this also fits the bill:

Smooth…

If that makes you want one, you can get more information on the Beta95X V3 here, and the SMO 4K here.

Some previous integration

This isn’t the first time that BETAFPV has spotted potential synergy with Insta360 products. Its X-Knight 360 Quadcopter, for example, has been built to work with the amazing Insta360 ONE R (now on for $96 off). And a previous version of its Beta95X featured a convenient holder for the Insta360 GO. This is the first time, however, that we’ve seen a modified Insta360 camera, rather than an off-the-shelf model (though, arguably, the new SMO 4K is now ‘on’ the shelf).

The X-Knight 360 put the ONE R camera to good use

We look forward to this…

We think this looks like a pretty interesting little combo. We like the products both companies produce and we also like seeing new Cinewhoops on the scene. Having another capable, sub-250 gram machine shooting stabilized 4K video? Sounds like a win to us.


Subscribe to DroneDJ on YouTube for exclusive videos

Show More Comments