Insta360 Link webcam review: There's a reason your favourite streamer uses this

Insta360 Link webcam review: There's a reason your favourite streamer uses this
Images via Instalink | GGRecon

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes

Published 

1st Aug 2023 12:00

Webcam reviews tend to be a pretty cut-and-dry process - does the camera accurately depict you on screen? How is the microphone? What's the resolution?

The Insta360 Link makes the process a little more complex and a lot more exciting with a spate of AI-powered features, multiple camera views, and the kind of adorable design that makes it feel like you've got one of the cuter Star Wars droids perched on your setup (I named it Zoomy).

It's a webcam built for content creators and those in constant meetings, and it might just be the best option around.

GGRecon Verdict

While the price is high, it's going to take a considerable effort to dethrone the Insta360 Link as our webcam of choice.

Its image quality is excellent, its AI features are forward-thinking, and it's just too damn cute.

Zooming with Zoomy

Insta360 Link on reviewer's desk
Click to enlarge

At their most basic, webcams should just be plugged in, positioned, and forgotten about until you need them. In this reviewer's case, that's regular meetings, and maybe the occasional stream once I have free time post-Gamescom.

With that in mind, the Insta360 Link's 4K resolution (1080p for HDR) is actually so clear I had to roll it back to 1080p in the mornings before I have coffee. It looks fantastic (it, not me), and it's all wrapped up in a small module that sits on top of a larger one which I've positioned on my monitor (there is a Tripod attachment available, too).

The Insta360's design allows the top part, which houses the sensor, to move independently, and while it felt a little creepy being followed across the room at first, it really does do a great job of moving with the user. There's a little green light to show when it's active, too, and when it powers itself down with your PC it bows its little 'head'.

You can adjust the gimbal with the companion app to save shifting it around manually, but the Insta360 Link Controller software can do much more than that.

Smart software

Insta360 Link on a monitor
Click to enlarge

Many of the Insta360 Link's smartest features are enabled through the use of gestures, and it doesn't take long for them to become second nature. You can enable and disable Auto Tracking by raising your hand, for example, or set the Zoom level by making an 'L' shape with your finger and thumb. 

You can even set it to focus on a whiteboard with a 'V' shape (just make sure you get it the right way around), making it ideal for presentations. The status bar will flash blue when any of these conditions are met, so you don't have to spend your important business meeting throwing up all kinds of hand signals.

I did note, though, that switching my smart lighting to a darker colour threw the tracking off a little, but that's to be expected. Still, if your streaming setup is a little moody, you may want to set it up in the light before dimming.

Insta360 Link in a reviewer's hand showing the back of the camera
Click to enlarge

There are other features for customising your image, too, but even in my dingy cave of an office, I found the automatic settings to be pretty spot-on for my needs.

There's AI zoom to help locate your head, half-body, or full-body, while Streamer Mode shifts things to Portrait Mode and 9:16 with 60FPS. It takes a second to adjust, resetting the gimbal, but doing so should help match up with the right aspect ratio for budding content creators (of which I am most certainly not one).

There's even a minimised view for the software that makes it easy to switch modes and settings using a floating toolbar.

Don't look at me

Insta360 Link product photo
Click to enlarge

If you've used Apple's recent Desk View option in Continuity Camera for iPhone, you'll know how weird it feels to see yourself typing on a screen in front of you - like seeing someone else drive your car.

The Insta360 Link offers this same Desk View mode, letting you showcase what you're working on for anyone to see. There's also an option for Overhead mode, which is ideal for multi-cam setups.

Having a small army of Zoomys would be great, but the price point may put you off of that mad dream - the Insta360 Link will set you back $300, or $330 with the tripod included.

Finally, the mic is solid, but you'll likely fall back to your headset. It offers a dual-mic setup with noise cancelling, but I'm reluctant to shift away from my Blue Yeti X just yet.

The Verdict

While the price is high, it's going to take a considerable effort to dethrone the Insta360 Link as our webcam of choice.

Its image quality is excellent, its AI features are forward-thinking, and it's just too damn cute. You can stick around, Zoomy.

 Review unit provided by the manufacturer. GGRecon uses affiliate links, if you purchase any products from our links we may earn a commission.

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.