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
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):
|Lenses||Three 220-degree fisheye lenses|
|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 codec||H.264 and H.265|
|Photo resolution (VR view mode)||4320 x 2160|
|Live streaming||3D video|
180 3D video
360 + 180 3D video
|Storage||Removable micro SD up to 256GB|
80 mins continuous recording
|Other features||depth mapping|
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.
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.