Best Hiking Camera in 2023: Hit New Heights with Insta360 X3

Keeping your hiking camera and gear as light as possible when documenting your adventures can be a challenge. With Insta360 X3, you can capture epic, cinematic footage without the bulky filming gear, with unique shots that you couldn't get with any other camera.

What makes Insta360 X3 the best hiking camera?

The power of 360

Possibly the most powerful feature of X3 is the option to “shoot first, point later”. As a 360 action camera, X3 captures every angle of any given scene. Notice a sudden splash on the lake? Roll back the footage, point the camera in the right direction, and see what you missed! You’ll never miss a shot again!

Insta360 X3 360 view animation

Animation from MKBHD

Not only will you capture everything, but the image quality on X3 genuinely does justice to the beauty of the great outdoors. With dual 1/2″ 48MP sensors, you can capture 5.7K 360 video with Active HDR and 72MP hiking photos with stunning detail. The 2.29” touchscreen allows for easy preview of your shots at every stage of the trek.

X3 also doubles as a standard action camera with Single-Lens Mode for first-person shots. Sharp, ultra-wide 4K video makes it the best hiking camera for both POVs and third-person clips.

Always adventure-ready 

Weighing only 6.2oz, X3 is perfect for helping you stay lightweight and nimble. It can fit into any backpack with ease, and is light enough to comfortably mount and hold on a selfie stick.

Whether it rains or snows, snap every detail of your adventure with a camera that is made for the outdoors. IPX8 waterproof to 33ft, X3’s robust and resilient design will keep going no matter what.

When the hike is over, put your feet up and edit using the Insta360 app, an AI powerhouse where you can edit your videos with minimal effort. Take advantage of intuitive reframing tools, editing templates, and more.

Top Creative Hiking Shots with Insta360 X3

Making cinematic hiking photos and videos on your own has never been easier. Here are a few of our favorite shots to try.

Fake-Drone Shots with the Invisible Selfie Stick

Capture awesome third-person shots from any angle, without a drone. Simply mount X3 on the selfie stick and mimic the movements of a drone or FPV. They can look pretty realistic and add some aerial action to your hiking videos for those of us who aren’t drone savvy.

Insta360 X3 fake drone shot

Group Shots

When hiking with a group, it's easy to capture everyone in a single shot. When you reframe your shot in the Insta360 app, you can have the camera looking forward, backwards, or any direction. You can also adjust the FOV to get everyone in frame, without having to be in the back or in front of the group.

Plus, X3 has Direction Focus, whereby your reframed shots automatically focus and enhance sound from the direction it's coming from. That means crisp directional audio, less background noise, and less interview retakes!

A stunning 72MP hiking photo taken with Insta360 X3: the best hiking camera of 2023.

Breathtaking 8K Timelapses

Whether you’re going for a day hike or camping overnight, there's always a chance to take a break and really enjoy the scenery. While you’re taking it in the beauty of nature, why not capture a cinematic timelapse? Just set up X3 on a stable surface, ideally on a tripod, and use the Timelapse shooting mode.

Insta360 X3 Timelapse

Must-Have Hiking Accessories for X3

Accessories for X3 only add to the creative ways you can capture cinematic hiking footage. Here are a few must-haves! 

#1 Invisible Selfie Stick

A fan’s favorite and top of our list. Delivers unobstructed, impossible angles, and is compatible with many accessories to give you the best shots. During hikes, you can hold it out in front, behind, on either side, or even above for immersive angles. Check out this guide for more invisible selfie stick tips.

#2 Power Selfie Stick

If you’re going for a long hike, grab the Power Selfie Stick, with 4500mAh built-in power! This will keep you shooting all day and remains invisible in the footage. The Power Selfie Stick is not waterproof though, so be sure to only use it in clear weather!

Insta360 Power Selfie Stick

#3 Spare Battery

Another option is to pack a spare battery for X3 and swap it out if needed.

#4 Third-Person Backpack Mount

Lightweight and adjustable, the Third-Person Backpack Mount gives you the ability to capture every angle with your 360 camera, hands-free. Create stunning video-game-like shots that will even wow the gamers, or cool cinematic hiking footage.

#5 Tripod

Essential for capturing stationary hiking photos, as well as the timelapses mentioned above. Tripods are also great for setting up interview shots with members of your hiking group.

Low light conditions are another reason to pack a tripod. When shooting handheld, your camera will compensate for the lack of light and stabilization by reducing the shutter speed and increasing the ISO speed. This will likely result in a blurry and/or grainy photo. With a tripod, you can set a much longer shutter speed, and a lower ISO, resulting in much cleaner images.

Best Settings and Editing for Hiking Videos

While the default settings of X3 right out of the box provide you with awesome footage, some tweaks to settings can help you bring your content to the next level. Here’s what we recommend for outdoor shooting:

General day time shots:

Format: 5.7K

ISO: Auto

Shutter Speed: Auto

White Balance: Auto

Color Mode: Standard

Stationary shots in low light:

Format: 5.7K

ISO Max: 500

ISO Min: 150

Shutter Speed: 1/50

White Balance: 3800-5500K

Color Mode: Standard

Moving shots in low light:

Format: 5.7K

ISO Max: 700

ISO Min: 150

Shutter Speed: 1/160

White Balance: 3800-5500K

Color Mode: Standard


When it comes to the edit, the Insta360 app mentioned above is a fantastic tool, making it quick and easy to get great footage from your hiking trips. It’s super intuitive, and packed full of useful tools. It even has editing templates that can edit your footage for you, like the Sky Swap effect.

Insta360 X3 and someone using the Insta360 app on their smartphone, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Alternatively, if you’re a little more tech-savvy, download Insta360 Studio on your computer to transfer and edit 360 footage on your desktop. Get access to more advanced editing techniques for an even slicker edit.

Keen to keep up to date on Insta360 stories? Keep an eye on our blog and sign up for our mailing list.

Are you on the list?
Subscribe to receive top stories, tips and news right in your inbox.
Was this helpful?
Thank you for your feedback!