QooCam 8K vs Insta360 One R: Which should you buy?

The QooCam 8K and Insta360 One R are two of the hottest 360 cameras available right now. The QooCam 8K is the first consumer 8K 360 cameras offering unparalleled video quality and sharpness, meanwhile the Insta360 One R features amazing stabilization and an unbeatable editing app.

While both of these cameras offer similar functionality, under the hood they couldn’t be more different. You’ll almost certainly prefer one over the other, depending on why yu want to buy a 360 camera. In this post I’ll guide you through the pros and cons of both cameras so you can decide which is the best one for you.

Insta360 One R vs QooCam 8 K

Tech Specifications

Specs Insta360 ONE R QooCam 8K
Aperture F2.0/ F2.8 F2.0
Video Resolution 360 Module:

5.7K @30fps, 24fps, 25fps

4K @50fps, 30fps

3K @ 100fps

Wide Angle Module:

4K @ 60fps, 30fps

1080p @ 120fps, 200fps

8K (7680 x 3840) @30fps, 8/10bit 4K (3840 x 1920) @30fps/60fps/120fps, 8/10bit
Max Bit Rate 100MBPS 200 MBPS
Audio x 2 Microphone. External Mic Adaptor Coming Soon x2 Microphones / External Audio Output
Video Format insv (can be exported via App or Studio),

mp4 (enable in-camera FlowState Stabilization),

supports LOG and HDR videos

mp4

 

Video Coding H.264, H.265 H.264, H.265
Shooting Modes Standard, 

HDR, 

Timelapse, 

TimeShift, 

Bullet Time

Video,

Time lapse video,

Slow motion,

Sports mode

 

Photo Format jpg,

RAW (RAW files require desktop software to edit)

JPEG

RAW

Super HDR (16bit DNG)

Photo Modes Standard, HDR, Burst, Interval, Night Shot Still image, Timed photos, SuperHDR, Time lapse photo
Livestream Yes Yes – 4K
Waterproof Yes, up to 5m No (waterproof case available)
Exposure Modes Auto, Manual (Shutter 1/8000s-120s, ISO 100-3200), Shutter Priority (1/8000s-2s), ISO Priority (100-3200) Manual Mode: Photo: 1/6400s-60s SuperHDR: 1/6400s-1s Video: 30fps:1/6400s-1/30s 60fps:1/6400s-1/60s 120fps:1/6400s-1/120s ISO: 100-6400
White Balance Auto, 2700K, 4000K, 5000K, 6500K AWB, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Cloudy, Daylight
Other Features AI Re-framing, Invisible Selfie Stick, Auto Tracking, Voice Control, Touchscreen, 6 Axis Stabilization  Proxy Editing, Touchscreen, 6 Axis Stabilization
Where to Buy Insta360 Website Kandao Website

Just looking at the technical specifications you can see some clear differences in functionality between the two cameras. The Insta360 One R has more overall features however the QooCam has superior lens technology and is capable of shooting higher resolution video.

Tech specs can only tell you so much, how do they two cameras perform in reality? I’ve been using them both for months and can reveal which is the better option.

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Video

If you are going to buy either of these cameras then you are almost certainly looking to shoot 360 video, so let’s see how they perform. The QooCam shoots 8K video while the One R shoots at 5.7K resolution, however the modular design of the One R allows you to switch out the 360 lens for a 4K “normal” lens.

The One R (full review here) is essentially two cameras in one whereas the QooCam is limited to just 360 video.

While there are most shooting options with the One R there’s no escaping the QooCam 8K superior lens technology, resolution and bit rate. Not only can the QooCam produce sharper video it can also shoot in 10bit, allowing for many more colors.

In side by side competition the QooCam comes out on top in most situations, particularly when shooting in low light thanks to the slightly larger sensor size.

The One R still produces great looking video and is easily one of the best 360 cameras for video quality, it just cant match up to the very high resolution video coming out of the QooCam. Where the One R does have the upper hand is its ability to switch out lenses for other types of video.

The One R is the only camera that can shoot both 360 and normal video at 4K resolution, removing the need to buy multiple cameras.

While the QooCam produces superior quality video it’s not the easiest to work with; 8K requires a powerful desktop to edit and render and you can forget about editing on your mobile. Kandao have attempted to create a proxy mobile editing system but it doesn’t really work as intended.

If you want to get the best out of your QooCam you will need to use a beefy desktop whereas the Insta360 One R is perfectly suited for mobile editing. We’ll look into the apps for both cameras later in this post.

Kandao Qoocam 8K
Kandao Qoocam 8K
The first 8K 360 camera for consumers. Highest quality video and amazing photos.

Stabilization

Both cameras feature 6 axis stabilization for smooth video. 360 cameras are the best types of camera for shooting smooth video without any extra equipment however Insta360 in particular have a reputation for creating epic stabilization software for their cameras.

This is no different for the One R which receives an upgraded version of Insta360’s Flowstate stabilization. This works nearly perfectly to keep your video looking smooth even in the most extreme circumstances.

Kandao has also developed decent stabilization software for the QooCam 8K, however due to the larger size of the camera it won’t work as well for action shots. Walking, running or attaching the QooCam to a drone shouldn’t be a problem but anything more and it might struggle.

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Photography

While both cameras are geared more towards shooting video they are also both capable photography cameras for anyone wanting to shoot 360 imagery. In direct competition the QooCam comes out at the better photography camera for several reasons. Firstly, it can shoot higher resolution 360 photos (29MP vs 18MP), it has larger image sensors and can shoot 16bit DNG HDR images.

You can see the relative size difference between the photos shot with both cameras here:

 

The One R can also shoot DNG RAW photos and has an awesome “Night Mode” which stacks 10 images for a super high dynamic range HDR image, however the lower resolution and sensors size impacts the quality.

If edited correctly it may be possible to use the QooCam 8K in a professional setting for creating virtual tours; certainly real estate agents should take note.

While the QooCam technically performs better than the One R when shooting photos, it’s once again harder to use. The best QooCam images require two desktop programs and some editing skill, whereas the One R once again makes creating and using your images much easier.

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Camera Design

Probably the biggest and most obvious difference between these two cameras is how they look. The QooCam is a dual lens candy-bar shaped device with a large touch screen and three manual controls. It can happily sit on a flat surface without falling and has a tripod mount on its base. The touch screen is large enough for image previews and is very responsive.

The two large lenses are quite vulnerable without a case as they protrude quite significantly from the camera body. You’ll find a MIC IN and USB C port on the side of the camera as well as a MicroSD card slot.

The QooCam is easy to use on a shoot and the touchscreen allows for full manual control without connecting the camera to a phone.

The Insta360 One R is a modular camera which means it requires some assembly. This is as easy as plugging two pieces of Lego together. Parts included in the standard edition are the home module with touch screen, 360 module, 4K module, battery and camera bracket. It takes around 30 seconds to assemble the whole camera.

While the modular system is great for increasing functionality it can be slightly frustrating to keep changing between the two lenses, particularly as Insta360 didn’t include a bag or pouch for the lens you aren’t using. On the other hand this system means that future hardware upgrades should be available in the future, making the One R somewhat future-proof.

The touch screen of the One R means you can fully control the camera, however the screen is much smaller than that of the QooCam and therefore more difficult to use. The bracket is compatible with all GoPro accessories allowing you to use them with the One R.

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App

Here’s where things get interesting. Having great hardware is all well and good, but without good software it’s useless. This is where the Insta360 One R shines and where the QooCam struggles.

The One R app is the best video editor I’ve ever used and allows you to create awesome vlogs, action shots and unique B-Roll in a matter of minutes. The whole process is streamlined thanks to templates provided by Insta360 that just require you to press a few buttons to add multiple effects.

The One R App can combine your videos, trim, track people, color correct, add music, text and reframe your 360 video. It’s like having a full desktop editing on your phone.

The QooCam is playing catch-up with the One R and hasn’t yet managed to produce a decent app. While re-framing 8K video results in higher quality 4K linear (compared to the One R’s 1080p), it’s not yet possible to do so on a mobile app. You are therefore left editing a much poorer quality version of your video on mobile.

If you want to get the QooCam 8K you better make sure you have decent desktop video editing software like Premier Pro; if you do then you are all set, but don’t expect a great mobile editing experience.

Insta360 One R
Insta360 One R
Modular camera. High quality 360 photos and video and amazing stabilization. A top choice for best 360 camera of 2020.
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Other Features

Battery Life: The QooCam 8K lasts around 45 minutes of continuous recording and the One R is roughly the same.

Memory: Both cameras have micro-sd card slots up to 256GB, however the QooCam also have 64GB of internal memory on top of that.

Water Resistance: The One R is fully waterproof to 5M without a case. The QooCam requires a case to be waterproof which will impact the quality of the video.

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Summary

While both of these cameras are marketed at consumers I would probably go as far to say that the QooCam is more of a prosumer camera as it requires powerful hardware and some editing skill. The result is truly excellent quality 360 video, in fact the best for under $1000. If you want to shoot 360 video for a VR headset, or you just want the highest resolution possible for re-framing, then the QooCam is the one to buy.

If you want an action camera, a camera for vlogging or a camera that can create awesome content quickly then it’s definitely the One R. The two-in-one modular system, epic stabilization and intuitive app makes the One R the best content creator around.

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Where to Buy

The Kandao QooCam is available directly from Kanado’s website which ships internationally:

Buy from Kandao

 

The Insta360 One R is available on the Insta360 website which has the full range of options available, including the optional One Inch module:

Insta360 Website

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Owner of threesixtycameras.com. Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express.  

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