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Kandao QooCam 360 and 3D camera HANDS-ON report + 10 FEATURES (updated June 11, 2018 with SAMPLE VIDEOS)

Kandao Qoocam hands-on demo and detailed report
Kandao Qoocam hands-on demo and detailed report

Kandao Qoocam is one of the most exciting 360 cameras of 2018, and could become the top 360 camera for consumers, for its price range.  It features three lenses and can convert from a 360 camera to a VR180 camera. But I found out that its most amazing feature is neither that it is a 360 camera nor a 3D camera. Rather, it is even more amazing for its depth mapping capabilities, which give it unique capabilities.  Here are its features (including some industry-first features) and its specs.   Check out my hands-on report and new 360 video samples

Kandao Qoocam hands-on demo and detailed report
Kandao Qoocam hands-on demo and detailed report
Kandao Qoocam sample 360 video and stabilization demo
Kandao Qoocam sample 360 video and stabilization demo

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is Qoocam?
Hands-On Report
Specifications
Key Features
Sample videos and sample photo
Summary and where to buy

Updated: June 11, 2018 – hands-on report and sample 360 video
Updated: May 16, 2018 – sample video
Updated: May 2, 2018 10 features
Updated: April 30, 2018
Updated: February 11, 2018 Qoocam additional features, and minisite launched
Updated: January 20, 2018
Originally posted December 19, 2017


What is Qoocam?

Kandao Qoocam
Kandao Qoocam

Kandao 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’s a promo video:

Hands-On Report and Demo

I got to try shooting with the Qoocam, with both the 360 mode and VR180 mode.  Here is my hands-on report:

QOOCAM SPECIFICATIONS:

LensesThree 220-degree fisheye lenses
Aperturef/2.2
Video resolution (VR view)3840 x 1920 @ 30fps
3840 x 1920 @ 60 fps
2160 x 1080 @ 120fps
Video resolution (3D 180)3840 x 1920 30fps
3840 x 1920 60fps
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

KANDAO QOOCAM KEY FEATURES

Qoocam: 10 amazing features
Qoocam: 10 amazing features

Here are 10 of its key features:

1. Realtime optical flow stitching. There are 360 cameras with realtime stitching, and others with optical flow stitching. Qoocam is the first to feature realtime optical flow stitching. Note: the stitiching is not in-camera, but happens via the app. When you download photos or videos onto its app, it will stitch the photo or video at the same time.  This means that unlike almost all other 360 cameras, you don’t have to wait for the videos to be stitched.  As soon as they’ve been downloaded to the app, they’re ready to share.

2. Slow motion and high speed: It can capture high speed 4K 360 video at 60fps or 2K 360 video at 120fps.  When these videos are played back at normal speed (e.g. 30fps or 24fps), the result will be smooth slow motion.  Note that Qoocam is only the second consumer 360 camera to be able to shoot 360 video at 4K 60 fps. (The other 4K 60fps camera is the $799 Vuze.)

3. Depth mapping. 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. It is the first consumer 360 camera to offer depth mapping.

4. Shoot first, focus later. Qoocam is the first consumer 360 camera to allow you to change the focus from the subject to the background and vice-versa.

5. Background replacement. It enables you to change backgrounds, thanks to its depth mapping technology.

6. Image stabilization. Qoocam has built-in image stabilization. Not only that but it will have two stabilization modes: standard stabilization and forward-facing stabilization (as of April 2018, only three other 360 cameras have forward-facing stabilization: Rylo, GoPro Fusion, and Garmin Virb 360).

7. Live streaming. It will be able to live stream both via USB and via Wi-Fi (by connecting to your phone).

8. Tap and direct.  On the app, you can create smooth panning movements via keyframing, with an intuitive touch-based interface.

9. Smart tracking. It can track subjects and keep the camera facing the subject’s direction.

10. Time lapse.  As a 360 camera, it can create 360-degree timelapse, or a conventional non-360 timelapse with panning movement.  Alternatively, in 3D 180 mode, it can create a 3D 180 timelapse.

Here is a 360 video interview with Kandao’s Vice President Grace Yang (with me was longtime reader Bill Strehl):

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).

Qoocam sample video and sample photo

Here is a sample 360 video montage:

Here is a sample 360 photo, showing very good dynamic range and minimal chromatic aberration.  However, the resolution is limited to 4320 x 2160.

Here is a sample 3D 180 photo, which I uploaded to Veer.  To see it in 3D, click on the Cardboard icon on the bottom right.  The image looks sharp, with a good 3D effect, although it seems to have a lot of noise.

Summary and Where to Buy

Kandao Qoocam is the most feature-packed 360 camera for consumers, with incredibly innovative features that should be very useful for users of all levels.  It launched successfully on Kickstarter May 2, 2018 at 9am ET, raising $100,000 in a matter of hours.  At the time of this writing, it is currently available for preorder for $329, for delivery September 2018. BTW, this is Kandao’s fourth 360 camera, so they already have a very good track record. At this price, it looks like an excellent value.

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 fascinating minisite at qoocam.kandaovr.com and please join the Facebook VR180 group.  There is also a Facebook group for Qoocam.

About the author

Mic Ty

21 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…

      • They went through several design changes and now are trying to upgrade the electronics according to a recent post on Indiegogo. Their new delivery date is now November 2018 and they are probably not going to meet it.

        Anyhow, the big problem is the design and quality of this camera. Their video samples revealed a lack of sync between left and right images, poor video quality and poor audio. I don’t know how much better the final product will be, but it will be competing against VR180 cameras that seem to perform much better.

  • 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).

  • Backer #1. I was refreshing form 9AM on. I’m very excited to see this make it to the finish line – hopefully before a vacation I’ve got planned in December (I never truly trust the delivery dates on Kickstarter).

  • Thanks for a great summary of this camera. The focus-after-the-fact feature intrigues me and I wonder if the depth function can be used with some AR/VR-ish ideas i have for a short film . Thanks again.

  • A friend of mine who subscribed to the Kickstarter campaign just sent me a link to some recent picture and clip samples taken with the Qoocam and I was surprised to find both the pics and clips are substantially sharper than those from the Mirage. In fact, the clip is the sharpest I have seen from a consumer 3D 180 or 360 camera. Video sync looks much improved over their initial clip samples. But stills sync is not perfect yet as seen in the picture of the peacock where the foot at the left is clearly out of sync.

    https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AIuPxIUoA8F41So&id=3B28AF740261022E%2119711&cid=3B28AF740261022E

  • The qoocam only does 3d at 30fps? THat doesn’t make sense because 360 is at 60fps. 3d would just be using a different lens. Not sure why that would cause 3d to have to be at half the framerate of 360 video. It should be the same thing, but just switching to using a different lens. I need 60fps 3d basically. This is what is stopping me from buying just about every 3d product out there. I am shooting synced gopro cams now and its still the best due to the wide range of framerates I can shoot at. I can shoot twin 4k 30fps now, so that’s really 8k 3d. 2.7k per eye gives me the 60fps I need. Nothing is close to this yet. Orangelab makes the gopro sync device.

    • Hi Steve. There is a difference between headset refresh rate and the video rate. Headset refresh rate for decent VR as you know is at least 60 hz (Gear VR). But the video doesn’t have to be more than 30fps or even 24fps. You can watch on youtube any number of 360 videos with 30fps and they won’t make you sick in a VR headset. but if you really want 3D 360 at 60fps, yes it’s doable with cameras such as Kandao Obsidian S (8K 3D @ 50fps), Kandao Obsidian R, Insta360 Pro (4K 3D @ 60fps).
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Whoops. I just watched your latest video update on the Qoocam and was so excited that I immediately purchased via Indiegogo. Only after I purchased did I realize the very low photo resolution of the product. I had to cancel and refund immediately. It is definitely geared towards video capture. I love the concept of a combo 360 camera and VR180 camera, but the photo resolution is a personal disappointment.

  • I was surprised to hear you say (in your recent hands-on review) that the VR180 footage from the Qoocam appears to be on par with that of the Mirage. I found the zoo clip shot with the Qoocam (downloaded directly from their page) much sharper than any footage I have seen shot from the Mirage. Granted, the footage I saw taken with the Mirage came mostly from YT. But nonetheless, the Qoocam footage turned out to be sharper than most VR content I have yet seen. The video sync (left and right image sync) is also much improved on the zoo clip when compared to the earlier fencing clip where sync errors are obvious.

    However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the stills sync remains problematic. I don’t know if they left you a sample of the camera. But if they did, you might want to test stills sync accuracy and report your findings to them. Sync has always been a concern with stereo cameras. Cameras such as UCVR or Lucidcam never even managed good video sync.

  • Excellent product! I have a few questions. When streaming, does the video also being recorded to the SD card? Can you remotely control the camera from a mobile phone?

    • Hi Nathan! Yes you can remotely control the camera from a mobile phone. In the video, you can see Ivy was controlling the camera with her phone wirelessly. I don’t know if live streams are also recorded. Let me find out!
      Best regards,
      Mic

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