QooCam, the first pocketable 8K 360 camera, is hiding some big features

kandao qoocam 8k announced 360 camera

Most 8K 360 cameras are closer in size to a basketball than a regular camera — but the new Kandao QooCam 8K can slide into a pocket. Launched on Nov. 7, Kandao Technology says the QooCam 8K is the first pocketable 8K 360 camera, but the camera is also hiding a few other features that are unusual for the 360 category, including a larger sensor and a touchscreen.

The QooCam 8K uses two fisheye lenses and a larger 1/1.7-inch sensor to reach the 8K quality, which is also good for 30-megapixel stills and 12-bit RAW captures. An option called Kandao RAW+ stacks those RAW files, allowing for more dynamic range and a reduction in noise levels. 

Stepping the video quality down to 4K allows for 120 fps frame rates. Livestreaming is available in 4K for multiple platforms, including Facebook and YouTube.

The camera uses a six-axis gyro for electronic stabilization that steadies that immersive view. The company says that the system allows the camera to be used as a 360 action camera as well.

A vlog mode built into the camera allows users to work with just the front-facing lens, displaying a real-time preview of the video on the camera’s 2.4-inch touchscreen. The QooCam isn’t the only 360 camera with a touchscreen — the new GoPro Max has one, too — but the category often skips the screen to keep the camera compact, instead relying on a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection. The built-in screen allows users to preview shots and play back files without connecting to a smartphone.

The QooCam Studio allows users to edit those big 8K files, including reframing and adding slow-motion effects. SmartClip templates inside the program help newbies get started with the editing process.

While most smartphones have a hard time handling an 8K file, the QooCam app still allows users to edit on the go (through with a wired connection to the smartphone). That’s because the app uses a 4K proxy during the edit, but matches those edits with the 8K file at export, a feature called 8K Express Edit.

The QooCam 8K will begin shipping next month, and pre-orders are available now starting at $589.

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