A new Kickstarter campaign launched in February 2022 for Kandao’s QooCam EGO 3D digital camera, which includes a magnetic snap-on viewer and finished on the 10th March with full backing.
Please note when reading this that, so far, I’ve not read any reviews from anyone who has actually tried this camera.
Some quick specs from 360rumors (please see their original post for their full info):
- The Qoocam Ego is a 3D camera, not a VR180 camera, with a field of view of around 79 degrees.
- It produces videos up to 1920 x 1080p at 60fps per eye for smoother videos with a greater sense of realism.
- Ego comes with both a camera and a 3D viewer that can be attached magnetically to the camera. The 3D viewer appears to be a passive design, which means it doesn’t need its own batteries.
- The 3D viewer has 37 pixels per degree (PPD) for high resolution viewing.
- The rear screen is touchscreen.
- You can share your videos wirelessly and instantly with other Ego cameras.
- You can edit your photos and videos quickly on your phone.
- Extra info from the manufacturer: QooCam EGO mimics the interpupillary distance of human eyes (65mm) creating images with the depth and realism that virtually replicates the experience of the physical world.
The link to the Kickstarter can be found here. You will also find all the specs and information on this Kickstarter page, which are continually being updated. Please be aware though that there are risks and considerations when backing this project, see further below.
Initial specs. Please note these have since been updated, and are available on the Kickstarter page:
Each camera comes with its own viewer, a battery, a camera bag and a wristband; the battery charges directly from the camera. There are optional add-ons for extra batteries and an external battery charger which can charge two batteries at once.
The manufacturer has added a few updates to say the camera will have a manual mode and the image format produced will be over-under. Not that great for using as side-by-side stereoviews, especially if you want to export them to other apps for editing or use a different display. This may change though as the developer was gathering feedback from the Kickstarter and lots of people asked for the side-by-side format.
I should add a disclaimer that I’ve never used Kandao products before and have not seen any prototypes of this camera, so I can’t comment on the format or quality of the images it produces, or the product itself. Please also make sure you are aware of the risks when backing projects on Kickstarter, as you are not guaranteed a delivered product, even if it reaches its fundraising goal.
From what I’ve seen from this camera’s predecessor, the Kandao QooCam VR 360, which was also a Kickstarter, the company does understand what stereoscopic images/video are. I’m just hoping it’s their marketing department who have been coy about sharing actual 3D content from the camera. The original Kickstarter page was sharing a flat GIF video of a cat as the only example of the camera’s output, not the best! I’m confused why so much of the marketing is about how people look holding the camera; as a potential user, I’m far more interested in seeing the images and videos it actually produces.
The other consideration is that they do not have any working prototypes of this camera and that’s why they can’t provide any examples of footage taken with it yet. None of the articles online or the company’s social media accounts had shown anything produced from this camera or have had one to review. This may affect your willingness to back the Kickstarter and should definitely be kept in mind; other people have already withdrawn their support because the lack of response to their questions by the manufacturer worried them. The manufacturer seems to be getting better at responding though and they really seem to be interested in taking backer’s feedback and requests onboard.
I often use my old FujiFilm W3 stereo camera and was hoping something would come along which would be like an updated version; this may or may not be the one! Note: the EGO lenses are fixed focus, not zoom like the W3, they are also wide angle. The EGO doesn’t have a lenticular screen; the marketing images of things popping out of the back screen are a bit misleading. There is also no MPO format mentioned (which I think is a good thing because of software/hardware obsolescence; I’m holding my breath though to find out what the format looks like, if it’s two separate JPG files, as we have no examples to check). They say the videos produced will be MOV files*, which isn’t always the best format though and it also doesn’t state if they’ll be a single file when exported. Will the Qoocam EGO perform better in low light? With so few details at the moment, it’s anyone’s guess.
*They’ve just updated this to MP4 only.
It launched 20 minutes ago and the super early bird has already received full backing, the next tier only has 18 spaces left:【Early Bird】QooCam EGO💰 $279💰 Save 24% immediately from MSRP($369). Then the next tier is $289, which is still a nice discount. Keep in mind though there may be customs and import duty fees depending on where you’re located. **
**Update: 5 minutes after launch and the campaign was already fully backed! The Kickstarter finished on March 10th and cameras *should* be posted out late in March 2022 apparently.
The QooCam EGO’s aesthetics really remind me of my beloved first ViewMaster, so for me that is definitely another reason to get one. Joking aside, I am aware that I’m taking a risk and I really can’t emphasise that enough for others to consider. I just hope that as the campaign continues they provide more information and actual footage from the camera.
Update: two weeks after the Kickstarter launched, they just added a video which they say has been recorded by the camera:
Even though the details about the camera and the stereo images and videos it produces are sketchy at the moment, I’m personally still taking a punt but am aware there is a risk. I’ll update the blog if/when I receive it and give some feedback in case anyone is waiting to play it safe.
I’ve backed the campaign and I look forward to trying the camera (please let it work out!)
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