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Kandao launches new affordable Obisdian GO; official price of Obsidian R and S announced

Kandao Obsidian GO affordable professional 4K 3D 360 camera
Kandao Obsidian GO affordable professional 4K 3D 360 camera

Kandao has just announced the launch of the Obsidian GO, an affordable professional 4K 3D 360 camera.  They also finalized the official price for the Obisidian S and R, and posted a demo of a 360 photo with 6 degrees of freedom.

KANDAO OBISIDIAN GO

Kandao Obsidian GO-features
Kandao Obsidian GO-features

Kandao Obsidian GO is an affordable professional 360 camera that shoots 4K 3D 360 video, or 8K 2D or 3D 360 photos.  It is based on the Kandao Pioneer but it is being relaunched to aim at those just beginning to shoot professionally.  Here are the key specifications:
– six 220-degree lenses
– aperture: f/2.0
– ISO: 100 to 1600
– field of view: fully spherical
– six 16mp BSI CMOS sensors
– photo resolution: 8K (2D or 3D)
– video resolution: 4K (2D or 3D) @ 30fps
– can take photos in raw DNG format
– 2.4ghz wireless remote
– uses Canon LP-E6 batteries
– depth-aware stitching software included.

Here is a sample 4K 3D 360 video from the Obsidian GO.  To see it in 3D, you should view the video using your smartphone, and click on the Google Cardboard icon.

As you can see, the video is very detailed and has excellent dynamic range. Here is a sample photo.

Kandao Obsidian GO is available for preorder directly from Kandao for $2,499, making it one of the most affordable professional 3D 360 cameras.

KANDAO OBSIDIAN S AND OBSIDIAN R OFFICIAL PRICE

Kandao Obsidian S review
Kandao Obsidian S and R

Kandao also announced the new official price for the Kandao’s flagship models, the Obisidian S and Obsidian R, which will be $6,999 each.  The Obsidian S takes very smooth high speed videos (up to 4K 3D in 120fps, or 6K 3D in 50fps).  The Obsidian R specializes in high resolution videos (8K 3D 360 @ 30fps, or 4K 3D 360 @ 60fps).  The price includes Kandao’s sophisticated stitching software (see below for more info).  For more information about the Obsidian S and R, please see this post.

KANDAO STUDIO STITCHING SOFTWARE

There are many professional 360 cameras with similar prices as Kandao’s line up.  To me, one of the things that makes Kandao different is their software, Kandao Studio, which is depth-aware and uses AI.

Besides stitching photos and videos, Kandao can generate a depth map, which can be used for special effects, such as this 360 video demonstrating 6 degrees of freedom from a 360 photo:

What do you think of Kandao Obsidian GO?  How about the price of the Obsidian S and R?  Let me know in the comments!

About the author

Mic Ty

18 Comments

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  • I’m trying to wrap my head around why these “Pro” multi-lens cameras are so proud of “8K” panoramic photos. That’s about 32MP correct? Seems like a few of the consumer two lens cameras approach that. The 2016 Gear 360 is 30MP, I believe. Why isn’t the photo resolution higher on this? It does have six 16MP sensors.

    Maybe I don’t understand what the 8K in reference to photographs means.

    • Hi Bill. Yes it’s about 32mp. Although the resolution is not much higher than the original Gear 360 or some recent 360 cameras like the Xiaomi, I expect there will be a big difference in signal-to-noise ratio, bit depth, dynamic range, etc. Why they don’t have higher photo resolution? That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’ll try to find out.

      Best regards,
      Mic

      • I would like to see evidence that the Obsidian cameras have significant difference in signal-to-noise ratio, bit depth, dynamic range, etc. from the Samsung as they all use 1/2.3″ sensors.

        • Hi Brian. Many of them use 1/2.3 inch sensors but Obsidian has 6 of them, while Samsung has 2. Even if you only count 3 sensors per eye, that’s still ahead. One thing I’m not sure about is if Obsidian GO shoots in 2D, does it use all the sensors or uses only half of them. hmmm

          • More sensors may improve the resolution but they won’t change the signal-to-noise ratio, bit depth, dynamic range. Improved lenses and exposure control may help too.

          • Hi Brian. I’m not sure if I agree with you there. For example, the Panono uses tiny sensors – I think 1/3 inch. But it has 32 of them. So the end result is a very high quality photo. If it is true that increasing the number of sensors has no effect on DR, etc. then Panono would have the image quality of a cheap cell phone. What do you think?

          • OK the Panono is a different Ball game haha! and with that much resolution the noise factor is mitigated, but still it would not effect DR and bit depth. But back to comparing 360 cameras with up to 30MP resolution and the same sensor size, I must say that I have been able to get great results with the Theta S and Samsung Gear 360 (2016) with the help of careful post processing, in fact the manual exposure controls on the ThetaS help alot, I wish the Samsung had the ability to fix ISO at 100 for example (and the New Obsidian Go has no manual exposure control either!). So I hope the new Insta360One will shine with manual exposure controls and DNG. To be honest I have not seen significant improvement in still image quality on the Pro Cameras like Insta360Pro or Obsidians. Here are some example of my work using Theta and Samsung consumer 360 cameras http://360fusion.net/AroundJaipur.html

      • Same with the Insta360 Pro. It’s only an 8K (7680 x 3840) photo shooter. I just wonder why such a low resolution with these multi-lens, expensive cameras. I asked an online question of a Vuze rep the other day and he said their highest photo res was only 5MP. Weird.

  • What exposure controls does the GO have, does it record audio, does it stitch in camera and does it have real time streaming?

      • I have heard back from Kandao and the Obsidian Go has entirely automatic exposure, including ISO and WB which is not good news. Also I have been trying out Kandao Studio for several versions and it will not run at all on my main PC with iCore 7 2600K, 32 GB RAM and Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB although I can get it to run on my HP ZBook with iCore 6700HQ, 32 Gb RAM and Quadro M1000M 2GB. It is also very very slow compared to other stitching software like Insta, Mistrika and Kolor APV. I would like to see some in-depth reviews of the Kandao Obsidian Cameras, to see if they really justify the cost and some of the hype, have you seen any?

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