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CES 2018: Kandao QooCam is a 360 and 3D stereo camera in one with amazing depth mapping capabilities (updated 2/11/18)

CES 2018: Kandao Qoocam is a 360 camera and 3D camera in one with depth mapping
CES 2018: Kandao Qoocam is a 360 camera and 3D camera in one with depth mapping

In December 2017, Kandao teased us with an announcement of QooCam, described as a “Stereo & 360 Camera”. Kandao did not announce details or specifications, but said the camera would be shown at CES 2018 (Booth no. 64425, South Plaza).  I visited their booth at CES 2018 and I found out that its most amazing feature is neither that it is a 360 camera nor a 3D camera.   Rather, it is amazing for its depth mapping capabilities.  Here are its specs and features.  2/11/18 update: Qoocam additional features, and minisite launched

Kandao Qoocam is a 360 and 3D camera
Kandao Qoocam is a 360 and 3D camera

Updated: February 11, 2018
Updated: January 20, 2018
Originally posted December 19, 2017

Qoocam is a camera with three lenses, and can be used either as a 360 camera or as a 3D camera. It has a unique swiveling body. When the camera is vertical, it uses two fisheye lenses on opposite sides to capture 360 images (presumably both photo and video). In 3D mode, the camera lenses can swivel to horizontal position to use two fisheye lenses on the same side. The third lens for 3D mode is identical to the other two lenses, therefore the 3D mode is hemispherical (not just ultra wide angle).   Here is a 360 video interview with Kandao’s Vice President Grace Yang (with me was longtime reader Bill Strehl):


Here are its specifications:

LensesThree 220-degree fisheye lenses
Aperturef/2.2
Video resolution (VR view)3840 x 1920 @ 30fps
2880 x 1440 @ 60 fps
2160 x 1080 @ 120fps
Video resolution (3D 180)3840 x 1920 30fps
Video codecH.264 and H.265
Photo resolution (VR view mode)4320 x 2160
Live streaming3D video
180 3D video
360 + 180 3D video
StorageRemovable micro SD up to 256GB
Battery2600 mAh
80 mins continuous recording
Other featuresdepth mapping
refocusing
background editor
HDR

As mentioned in the video, Qoocam has technology developed from the Kandao Obsidian that enables it to use its 3D camera to create a depth map, which can be used in several ways such as replacing the background, or refocusing the camera after the fact.   These capabilities make it useful not just for 3D afficionados but even for casual users.

Qoocam is also capable of live streaming via a PC.  This could make it useful for vloggers and Twitch streamers who want to replace the background in realtime like the Logitech C922X or Razer Stargazer except that it can be used not just for streaming but as a general purpose camera.

As a 360 camera, the Qoocam appears capable, with 4K resolution and simple controls.  Users can also switch to the front-facing 3D 180 mode, which I think is especially ideal for beginners.  I have the LucidCam hemispherical 3D camera and I enjoyed shooting with it.  Among other things, composition was much easier than with a 360 camera, and far easier than with a 3D 360 camera (which is even more challenging for composition).

According to Ms. Yang, Kandao Qoocam will be launch in April 2018 on Kickstarter and will ship in May 2018.  The price is not yet fixed but they want it to be affordable to consumers, and their goal is to offer it for around the same price as a 4K 360 camera with two lenses — i.e., around $250 to $350.  If it really does what it promises to do, I think that is an excellent value.  I applaud Kandao for coming up with such an innovative design and using the 3D capability in a revolutionary way for consumers, and I am hopeful that this concept will succeed!   I will continue to update this page, so please bookmark it if you’re interested, and please let me know if you have any questions.   Check out Kandao’s page and please join the Facebook VR180 group.


QOOCAM UPDATE
Kandao has launched a fascinating minisite for Qoocam at qoocam.kandaovr.com. The minisite revealed additional features including:
– time lapse
– 120fps slow motion
– video stabilization
For more info on Kandao Qoocam and for exclusive discounts, you can sign up to be notified here.

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8 Comments

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  • This reminds me of the TwoEyes VR camera that has four lenses – two on each side – for a 3D 360 capture (of sorts).

    And I say “of sorts” because twin fish-eye lenses do not fully capture the scene in 3D – only that which is directly in front of them…

  • Maybe it can do 3D 360° in the same way that I have been experimenting in creating full 360 in stereo with one Theta S – not just front and back, but to the sides as well.

    It would be a manual process for photos only, rotate it 90° taking four photos altogether. The lens close to the pole looks like it might be offset 3.25cm (half the distance of the two lenses/half the IPD).