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!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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
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:
|Lenses||Three 220-degree fisheye lenses|
|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 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|
KANDAO QOOCAM KEY 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.