Monday, September 5, 2016

Insta360 Nano 3rd Party Tripod Adapter



The Insta360 Nano tripod adapter will be available soon.  But if you can't wait, there's a third-party alternative available.

The Insta360 Nano (reviewed here) is a fully spherical 360 camera for the iPhone.  The Nano has very good quality for a casual 360 camera but when it was released, it did not have a self-timer, nor did it have a tripod adapter, which made it harder to take shots without holding the camera or phone.

Insta360 updated its app and firmware to add a self-timer and revealed a tripod adapter that will be available soon (indeed, Insta360 showed many other accessories that allow it to be used with a wide array of sports equipment).  However, there is a third party tripod adapter that can work with the Insta360 Nano and it's already available.  Moreover, it is a versatile accessory that has several functions.


It's called XSories Meshot.  The deluxe kit includes the tripod adapter called the Pholder, a selfie stick, and a Bluetooth remote.

TRIPOD ADAPTER

The tripod adapter works like a clamp.  It has a tripod socket on two sides.

The tripod adapter appears to be made of aluminum.  The clamping surfaces are covered with silicone (according to the package).

The tripod adapter is about 7 cm long, and 2.5 cm high.



With the tripod adapter's clamp design, it can be used to hold the Nano by itself or to hold a phone to which a Nano is attached.  This is one advantage over Insta360's dedicated tripod adapter, which can only be used with the Nano and not a smartphone.
tripod adapter shown with Nano and a selfie stick / tripod (not included)
tripod adapter shown with Nano and a selfie stick / tripod (not included)
Another feature of the tripod adapter is that it can be used as a tabletop stand.

For additional stability as a tabletop stand, you can put the adapter sideways:

The Pholder's clamp design has a couple of disadvantages.  First, it protrudes a couple of inches from the Nano (or smartphone).  It will show up in your shot.

This is mitigated by the customizable nadir of the Insta360 Nano (the app allows you to choose the Insta360 logo, or your own image).

However, because the adapter sticks out and because it's made of metal, it makes it hard to use the Nano and adapter on a stabilizer such as the Smoovie or Videook.  I had to tilt the Nano and the adapter to keep it balanced.  Tilting the Nano would make the horizon tilted (the Nano's vertical correction works for photos but not videos).

In terms of reliability, I thought the Pholder was reasonably secure.  When I attached the Nano to the pholder adapter, I could not shake the Nano loose even with violent shaking.  You have to try really hard to shake the Nano loose.   When I attached the Nano to the smartphone, and the smartphone to the pholder adapter, it was easier to shake the phone loose, although it still withstood a couple of seconds of violent shaking.  For increased friction, it helps to put a rubber band around the phone.


For normal use, I would not hesitate to rely on the pholder to hold the Nano with or without a phone.  For active use (e.g. sports, etc.) I would probably wait for one of the new Nano accessories for sports activities.

SELFIE STICK

The selfie stick is a little bit better built than a typical generic selfie stick and has a less flex when extended.  It is also a little longer and a little heavier than the typical generic selfie stick.


The bottom of the selfie stick has a removable wrist strap attachment to reveal a standard 1/4-20 mount, which makes it possible to add tripod legs.

Although the shaft is quite good, the weakness of the included selfie stick is the head, which is made of plastic and is too easy to bend no matter how much you tighten it.

BLUETOOTH REMOTE
The remote is useful because it can trigger the Insta360 Nano remotely when the Nano is connected to the iPhone.

The remote is pretty standard.  It has a one-step button (it can't do a half-press).  It is powered by a watch battery.  My phone connected to the remote without any issues.  However, it took several tries before it was able to trigger my camera.  Thereafter, it triggered my camera reliably.

The Meshot is currently in stock from Amazon.  You can buy the tripod adapter by itself, but strangely it costs more by itself than the deluxe kit.  If you'd like to buy the Meshot or Pholder, please consider buying it through the Amazon link, which would support 360 Rumors at no cost to you so I can do more reviews and tests.  Thank you very much!