QooCam 8K vs GoPro MAX: Which should you buy?

22nd December 2019

The QooCam 8K is the first consumer 360 camera that can shoot 8K resolution. It’s release coinsideds with the GoPro Max, the second generation of GoPro’s 360 camera range. These two cameras are set to battle it out for supremecy, but which one is the better option? While the QooCam features impressive specs the GoPro comes with a range of unique shooting modes and software options which could make it more user friendly. Let’s take a close look at both of these 360 cameras and see which one comes out on top.

QooCam 8K vs GoPro Max

SpecsQooCam 8KGoPro Max
Lenses2 x f/2.02 x f/2.8
Video Resolution8K @ 30fps – 4K @ 120fps 5.6K @ 30fps – Hero Mode 1440p @60fps
Photo Resolution30 MP  (jpeg & RAW, RAW+)16.6 MP (jpeg)
360 Live-StreamYes – 4KYes – 1080p
StabilizationUltra Steady – 6 Axis Image Stabilization“Hypersmooth” 6 Axis Image Stabilization
WaterproofWith waterproof case (added extra)Fully Waterproof up to 16ft (no case required)
ShockproofNoShock Resistant Casing
Memory64GB Internal – Up to 256GB Micro SDUp to 256GB MicroSD
Battery3200 mAh Minutes of Video1 Hour of Video
SensorsGyroscope, Wifi, BluetoothGyroscope, GPS, Wifi Bluetooth
Audiox2 Microphone, 3.5mm Audio Jackx 6 Microphone (ambisonic audio)
CompatibilityiPhone & AndroidAndroid/Apple
Other Features 1/1.7“ Sensors, Touchscreen, 1 Shot PanoramasReframe App, 360 Time Lapse, Time Warp, Single Lens Hero Mode, LCD Screen, Voice Control
Where to BuyAmazonAmazon

Specs Analysis

Just looking at the specs the QooCam seems to have the superior hardware. Not only is it capable of shooting 8K video it also has larger sensors for capturing more light. The QooCam also features internal memory and a microphone jack, so how can the GoPro Max compete? While you are likely to get superior quality photos and videos from the QooCam 8K the GoPro Max does have an excellent software ecosystem that makes it easy to use and it also features a rugged design that won’t be as easily damaged.

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Both cameras feature a touch screen for full manual control and preview of your shots. These are the only two consumer 360 cameras to feature touch screens which makes shooting with them much less frustrating. Like on a modern DSLR you’ll be able to adjust all settings on the fly, rather than having to connect to an app to do so.

The Max is clad with a toughened rubber coating which protects from scratches and also comes with lens protectors. the Max is definitely built with action shots in mind. The QooCam 8K is more vulnerable and doesn’t feature the same protective design. The GoPro Max is fully waterproof out of the box however the QooCam requires an added case to be used in water.

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Video and Photo

The QooCam is the first 360 camera under $1000 to shoot 8K 360 video. This is a huge step up from previous cameras which have so far only reached 5.7K. This huge resolution should make for excellent quality video including sharp details and minimal pixelation. When re-framing 8K video you will be able to punch out a 4K flat image from your 8K 360, a huge increase compared to other cameras. One issue with shooting such large resolution video is the huge file sizes involved, as well as dealing with a complicated and arduous workflow.

The GoPro Max can shoot 5.6K video at 30fps which is around half the pixels of 8K. In comparison with the Insta360 One X the GoPro Max came out favourably with superior quality and colour, however the camera simply can’t match up to the huge resolution offered by the QooCam. Additionally the QooCam utilizes a larger sensor in it’s lenses, 1/1.7’’ CMOS, which is roughly 50% larger than the sensor used in the GoPro Max. This allows the QooCam to capture more light and create greater dynamic range.

Slow motion is another new feature the QooCam has that the GoPro lacks. The Max is limited to 30fps at 5.6K whereas the QooCam can shoot 4K video at 120fps. While the 4K resolution will be noticeably lower quality, the addition of super slow motion makes for a wonderful combination. One saving grace for the GoPro MAx is its Hero Mode which allows you to shoot with just one lens like a normal GoPro action camera, this mode also features stabilization and is a great way to mix traditional video with 360 video.

The Max can also utilise just one of it’s lenses so you can use it like a normal GoPro action camera, without having to worry about the 360 element. GoPro calls this Hero Mode and it allows for higher frame rates but is limited to 1080p. The Qoocam doesn’t yet offer a similar mode but considering the hug resolution it’s capable of shooting in, just using one lens would likely result in superior quality video.

10 Bit Video

While the GoPro is certainly the best 5K camera thanks to GoPro’s excellent video processing chip and color profile, the QooCam 8K simple outguns it. Even without the far higher resolution capabilities the QooCam also offers 10-bit video which allows for a far higher range of colors. If you are someone who takes post processing seriously then the QooCam will offer far greater range and versatility thanks to its ability to shoot 10-bit. Check out this awesome night shot which the Max would never be able to replicate.

When it comes to photography the story is similar. The QooCam offers 30mp photos in RAW and RAW+ whereas the GoPro can only muster 16.6mp with no RAW option. Both cameras have a panorama option that shoots wide angle panoramas in a single shot. The QooCam is actually shaping up to be the best 360 camera for photography and Kandao have an excellent reputation in this field. The only other camera that comes close is the Ricoh Theta Z1 which also features larger sensors.

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Reframing is what 360 cameras are used for the most, that is taking a 360 video and turning it into a “normal” video by adding keyframes. It makes for super smooth, stabilized, cinematic video and allows you to control where the camera looks after filming. The GoPro Max App allows you to reframe your video into a 1080p standard video. The App is super intuitive and offers a wide range of options, howver the final quality of the video is limited.

The QooCam 8K, again thanks to that huge resolution, is able to create 4K re-framed video, a first among consumer 360 cameras. The downside is that you will require a pretty powerful desktop setup to be able to handle 8K video editing and the workflow is likely to be arduous.

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To GoPro Max was released with a range of software options. Firstly the App, which allows you to automatically create videos using the clips you shoot with, where you can reframe your 5K video into a 1080p quickly and easily. The desktop software allows you to do the same thing on a laptop but with more export options. If you are a Premiere Pro user you’ll also be able to use the reframe plugin to intuitively re-frame video. Using this software you can create some really awesome footage.

Kandao has also released both mobile and desktop software for their QooCam 8K. The mobile app can frame your 8K footage as well as add filters and change speed. The desktop software allows you to stitch and render your video at the highest quality.

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Other Features

Memory: The QooCam has 64GB of built in memory as well as the option to expand this with  a MicroSD Card. The Max has no in built memory but its smaller file sizes don’t require as much memory

Audio: The GoPro Max features 6 in built microphones which work together to create 360 audio. The audio is very good and means you don’t require any external audio to record your voice. The QooCam 8K doesn’t have high quality in built audio but does have a 3.5mm audio jack so you can use external devices.

Stabilization: The GoPro Max features GoPro’s hypersmooth 2.0 stabilization which works to completely stabilise all moving video. The QooCam features similar stabilization software but is not as well tested as GoPro’s

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While the QooCam certainly outclasses the GoPro Max in terms of hardware its not exactly built to be an action camera. 8K footage will allow you to create very high quality 360 videos and the ability to reframe in 4K is a first and alone makes the QooCam the camera to beat this year. On the other hand the lack of water resistance and no damage protection means it’s not as ready for action shots. What really sets the QooCam apart is the ability to shoot 120fps slow motion video, 10-bit video and the larger image sensors; all of which put the QooCam firmly in the next generation of 360 cameras. The GoPro Max strength lies in its dual video modes and impressive software ecosystem which allows you to edit your footage in many different ways, regardless if you are an amateur or professional.

GoPro Max

  • Rugged Design
  • Water Resistance
  • Easy Workflow
  • Hero Mode
  • Impressive Editing App
  • Excellent Built In Audio

  • Lack of Video Options
  • No RAW Photos
  • Lower Quality Lenses

gopro max vs insta360 one x

  • Super High Resolution Video
  • 10-bit Video
  • Large Image Sensors
  • Slow Motion Video
  • 30 MP RAW Photos
  • Built In Memory

  • Huge File Sizes
  • Poor Built In Audio
  • Vulnerable Design



See Also: GoPro Max Review

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. 

1 Comment
  1. Hi, your reviews are great and full of good information, thanks! I’ve seen all your other reviews too.

    I just want to ask you something. It seems that right now the insta360’s mobile app is the most intuitive and user friendly of all 360 camera apps, IMO.
    Is it possible to take 8k 30fps or 4k 120fps footages from the QooCam 8k and edit them using the insta360 mobile app?

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