06 January 2023
I’ve been using the Insta360 X3 for a couple months, and I’m settling into an optimal workflow for processing all the video on my phone. Initially, I’d shoot hours of video straight and try to edit it, but this offered lots of challenges:
It requires a very large SD card.
It burns lots of battery.
It leaves me with hours of video to review and process.
Hours of video in Insta360’s mobile app cause slowdown and crashes when editing a huge "Story".
Currently I’ve been taking the recent approach:
I mount the camera on the selfie stick attached to my bicycle handlebars or a strap on my chest, since I’m not good at riding and holding the camera by hand. This gives me the look of a drone flying ahead of me.
I run USB power to the camera from a power bank to keep the camera running longer than 45 minutes. The cable runs down the side of the camera, so mostly disappears in the stitch line.
I only capture the interesting bits. I put the camera in "Loop Recording" mode keeping 1-minute clips. When I see something I want to keep, I stop the recording to keep the loop of the last minute or 2, and I’ll immediately restart the recording. This leaves me with usually 20-40 small clips.
I leave the gigabytes of video on the camera, and connect the mobile app running on my phone to the camera via Bluetooth and WiFi Direct.
I process each small clip from newest to oldest, since I usually get better at picking clips as I ride:
I open each individual clip, and I see if there’s anything there worth keeping. I delete it if I don’t see anything good, so I don’t need to process it later.
For the bit in the file that’s worth keeping, I reframe it in the app.
Then I aggressively trim the video to be 4-20 seconds long using the "jump cut" feature in the trim tool.
Once all the clips are ready, I create a new "Story" and start adding batches of short clips in chronological order. They’re already trimmed and reframed, so I see how the clips flow, and trim or delete even further, and maybe add a transition or two between clips.
After many passes of trimming the clips that comprise a story, I can export the resulting video, usually only a few minutes in length, to the filesystem on the phone.
I try to keep the videos as short as possible, since no one wants to watch a boring 20 minutes. I’ll also likely export a single clip or two as highlights to upload to Instagram. The full-length video goes to Youtube.