KanDao QooCam 3 test: this curious action cam captures in 360 degrees, but it’s not a GoPro…

Estimated read time 4 min read

KanDao QooCam 3 test: this curious action cam captures in 360 degrees, but it's not a GoPro...

I love good action cams. For years, I have used a GoPro to film my mountain bike outings and even (after some important configuration changes) my first vlogs and even my tutorials.

The key points to remember for the KanDao QooCam 360 camera

  • The QooCam 360 action camera currently costs €390.
  • The video quality and stabilization are exceptional.
  • It is impossible to shoot without the fisheye effect and the micro SD card is difficult to remove.

The problem with most action cams is the dreaded fisheye effect. With the GoPro, you can get rid of this distorting effect (with a little work) and the images are usable for just about anything. Other action cameras do not offer options to get rid of the fisheye effect and, from my point of view, it’s a pity.

This is the case of the KanDao QooCam 360. I dug into the very limited documentation but there is no way (that I could find) to film outside of this fisheye mode. However, the QooCam 360 action camera has more than one trick up its sleeve. Unlike many other action cameras do not have. With this camera, you can shoot simultaneously with the front camera and the rear camera. And it’s a lot of fun!

We can’t have it all with one action cam…

Imagine that you are hurtling down your favorite mountain bike trail with a camera attached to your helmet or handlebar that shows not only what you see, but also (at the same time) the emotions (of joy or fear) that are displayed on your face.

Like I said, it’s a lot of fun. But it’s not perfect.

You can’t get rid of the fisheye aspect and you even have to deal with the presence of the edges around the lens in the sequences. It doesn’t matter, because you can always use your favorite video editing software (for my part Final Cut Pro) to crop and adjust the captures. But for that, you will have to have experience with this type of software to achieve it.

According to QooCam, there is the QooCam Studio or QooCam app, which uses optical flow to assemble the fisheye videos and images of the QooCam and the QooCam8K in order to produce assembled panoramic videos and images. Unfortunately, I could not find a download link for QooCam Studio and the QooCam application does not support the 360 Action Cam. It’s a shame because it would have been interesting to see what applications can do to automatically assemble the videos side by side.

But hey. It seems that you can’t have it all with one action camera…

The technical characteristics of the KanDao QooCam 3

  • Uses two ultra wide angle fisheye lenses to capture 360 degree footage.
  • Can record in 5.7K/62MP.
  • Can take photos or videos.
  • Large f/1.6 aperture and two 1/1.55″ sensors with a pixel size of 2um.
  • Six-axis gyroscope for stabilization.
  • Operates from 0°C to 40°C.
  • The touch screen makes it easier to navigate the menu and allows you to see what you are filming.

My experience with the KanDao QooCam 360 camera

As you might expect, an action camera from a lesser-known brand will not offer as many opportunities for partnerships with third-party manufacturers. And because the QooCam 360 doesn’t have any mounting options outside of the standard-sized fitting at the bottom of the camera, you’re going to have to get creative to find a way to mount it.

I did some quick tests of the QooCam 360 and I found that it captures good quality videos, even in low light situations.

It won’t blow you away, but with good lighting, its images can easily be used in a professional production (provided that you can crop and assemble with your appropriate software).

Me and my cat, Bigen, are not quite ready for our close-ups. Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET buying tips for the KanDao QooCam 360 camera

At this price, I honestly find it difficult to recommend the KanDao QooCam 360 action camera. Yes, it’s fun to see the front and rear views simultaneously, but for the same money, at the time of publishing this test, you can get a GoPro Hero12 Black.

No, this GoPro model may not have the fun side of the 360° view, but I think that this effect will fade quickly and leave room for frustration with this camera.

I have used enough GoPro over the years and I would choose any of the versions over the KanDao QooCam 360.

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