Cameras are changing. Great for creating virtual-reality videos, but also for a ‘”film first, edit later” approach to travel photography, the KanDao QooCam (US$399; kandaovr.com/qoocam) is the first 360-degree camera to add a 2D “stereo” mode.
Degrees of freedom
While most cameras capture only a small, rectangular scene, the QooCam can either use the two f/2.2 fisheye lenses to snap 360-degree photos, or be folded on its joint to produce a 180-degree image with its third fisheye lens. With the two fisheye lenses a few centimeters apart and the third on the other side, the image results are 3D.
Time to refocus
Along with a range of resolution choices for both videos and photos, the QooCam’s free smartphone app allows extensive retouching of images. One of the effects is after-shooting refocus — it captures a depth map so you can choose where to sharpen and where to add blur, creating a sleek look that’s perfect for social media.
Weighing only 180g and measuring nearly 20cm long when in its regular position, the QooCam slips easily into your pocket. Its standard 1/4-inch thread allows the QooCam to be set up on a small or a full-sized tripod. That way, it’s primed for creating unique time-lapse videos in 360-degree 2D or 180-degree 3D formats. It can also be attached to a selfie stick.
Facebook already has a 3D mode, but the QooCam takes it to another level. With the camera folded on its joint and using the lens cover as a basic tripod, you can take great photos and videos in 3D. For standard photos, you can shoot in “raw” mode, which creates larger, more detailed files that can be improved using photo-editing software.
Record it your way
Who actually wants to produce 360-degree videos for watching back through a virtual reality headset? The QooCam lets you film everything as a 360-degree video, then choose which section to save later in regular widescreen format.
This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of Smile magazine.