The problem with GoPro Max
Despite the name GoPro Max, the specs are pretty mediocre for its time. It records 360 videos at 5.6k resolution (Insta360 OneX has a 5.7k resolution and is at least a year older), the Hero mode is basically a joke, and there's no slow motion.
Even so, it can be argued that the GoPro Max has better video quality but it's close. And despite the vastly superior audio quality of the Max to the OneX, you might want to wait out for its successor. The Max may be good compared to the OneX, but not good enough.
If you're looking for quality footage more than anything from a 360 camera that doesn't cost thousands of dollars, you might want to instead consider the Kandao QooCam 8k 360 camera.
Better than GoPro Max and Insta360 OneX?
The QooCam 8k as the name implies, can shoot 8k at 30fps. For slow motion, it can also shoot 4k at 120 fps.
While GoPro Max and Insta360 OneX use 1/3.2" sensors, the QooCam 8k uses a 1/1.7" sensor, which is a 246% bigger effective sensor area and should result in better low light performance and greater dynamic range of tones. Combined with 10-bit color video recording and a bitrate of 200 Mbps, both the Max and One X don't stand a chance when it comes to video quality.
Stabilization from the QooCam should be similar to GoPro and Insta360 thanks to its "SuperSteady" video capture, which employs a six-axis gyroscope and fancy algorithm.
The QooCam even does real-time stitching, and you can do "8K edits" on your phone by way of smaller 4K proxy files.
As for images, the QooCam is the first consumer 360 camera that can achieve APS-C image quality i.e. the same quality achieved by a DSLR camera. You get 30-megapixel stills (7,680 x 3,840) which can be captured in either JPG or RAW with 12-bit color.
Like the Max, the KanDao QooCam also comes with a screen but instead of showing just a single lens view like in the Max, you can swipe and look around the footage.
Also, because the QooCam has a 3.5mm input for a microphone, audio quality can be better.
That's not all. The QooCam comes with a 64GB internal memory you can use in addition to a memory card.
Why you'd still get the GoPro Max instead
The QooCam is better in many ways when compared to the GoPro Max. But there are a few reason why one would still go for the GoPro Max:
- QooCam 8k is bigger than GoPro Max
- QooCam is not waterproof without a casing while the GoPro is waterproof out of the box
- The GoPro Max has good 3D audio
- The QooCam only comes with internal battery that lasts 45 minutes only continuous recording (but it can be charged while recording)
- The QooCam is more expensive than the Max by $100
- The GoPro Max is more rugged
The QooMan gives you better video and image quality compared to both GoPro Max and Insta360 OneX but it's $100 more expensive than the Max. It's also bigger, not waterproof, less rugged, and don't have removable battery. It's still a great choice though especially if you're not using it for rough action stuff.