by Hugh Hou
Qoocam 8K is the easiest to use 360 camera with its large 2.4” Touchscreen. So Pilot Era is the first 360 camera that has full onscreen control, but it is well over $1000. Then GoPro MAX introduces Touchscreen in consumer 360 cameras. But Qoocam 8K really takes it to the next level. Take a look at the side by side comparison here:Qoocam 8K touchscreen is so much bigger than the MAX. You can preview, control, and review what you just shot. As you see right here, I can pan around to see a high-quality preview on what I am going to capture. Compared to GoPro MAX — you only see one lens and have to guess what you will capture on the back lens. There is no touchscreen panning. If you are familiar with GoPro, you actually only see LRV preview file when you review what you just shot. You see full 8K RAW data on the Touchscreen within the Qoocam 8K. The reason why is because Qoocam 8K has a very powerful onboard GPU, more powerful than any mobile phone CPU to run 8K decoding.
Here are my initial feedbacks after using the camera in Brazil shooting for a client for 3 weeks:Don’t expect magic from the Qoocam 8K. This camera is a little overhyped by different YouTubers who don’t even own the camera. I will be going forward, focus more on professional review of this camera — teaching you how to maximize the image quality using the art of post-production. To answer the original question from my initial Qoocam 8K video, which you should really check out:
Qoocam 8K is NOT a GoPro MAX killer. It is actually a great companion of the GoPro MAX. It is capable of doing what GoPro MAX can not — which is low light shooting using 10-bit color depth and DNG 360 photography. But Qoocam 8K is not a sports camera. I will personally not strap this camera on my body to go snowboarding or surfing. 8K quality with a larger sensor does capture a clearer image for video. You will not see this unless you really put it side by side with GoPro MAX and Insta360 ONE X, on the latest 2.0 firmware with Color Plus:
Looking at the full 360 video zoom out, you actually see GoPro MAX and ONE X is sharper than Qoocam 8K. Wow, little bit disappearing, right? Don’t be.
If you zoom in to the Video Chart in 100% — you see that the reason why GoPro MAX or Insta360 ONE X look sharper is not that the sensor capture sharper images — but because both cameras have digital sharping done in the ISP level. Pay close attention to the ring charts — which I purposefully put it against the wind to give it some motions. You see, both the GoPro MAX and ONE X have oversharpening artifacts. You see the lines blended together to create second or third rings — which are not really there in the chart. You can see it clearly in the Qoocam 8K footage — which is what reality looks like without digital sharpening.
So, will you say Qoocam 8K is better in image quality? Not necessary. It really depends on who you are speaking to. If you are speaking to a video professional who will process this footage using a laptop or desktop — then yes, you get more data to play with. If you are talking to a consumer that does all their works on a mobile phone, then prob not really. The mobile phone screen is too small to tell the difference. Having an in-camera sharpening will usually fool most of the viewers on Instagram if you are just doing simple reframe videos or Tiny Planet. On VR headsets like Oculus Go or Oculus Quest — well, you need all the information you can get. Then Qoocam 8K makes lots of sense.
I hope this article answer some initial questions of the Kandao Qoocam 8K. More in-depth technical reviews and hands-on tutorials are coming on CreatorUp YouTube Channel. Meanwhile, if you want to check out my 360 short film shot on the Kandao Qoocam 8K, GoPro MAX, and Ricoh Theta Z1, I will provide the link download below.