The Vecnos Iqui is a 360 camera that's designed to take the faff out of 360 cameras. If you've ever been tempted to try your hand at 360 imaging, but are put off by the idea of having to manually edit your footage (not to mention store reams of high-resolution data on your computer), this could be the camera you've been waiting for.
On top of that, the Vecnos Iqui is a fantastically designed and beautiful-looking device – but it takes more than good looks to challenge the best 360 cameras on the market today.
Still, the Iqui has a great pedigree, coming from the brains behind Ricoh's more advanced 360 cameras (Vecnos being a spin-off of Ricoh's consumer 360 division). So, does the Iqui have what it takes to take on the big boys?
Vecnos Iqui specifications
Photos: JPEG 5760 x 2880 (post-stitching)
Videos: MP4 2880 x 1440 (2K) / 1920 x 960 at 30fps (post-stitching), 30 secs max
ISO range: ISO100-1600
Memory: 14.4GB (non-expandable) (1500 stills, 30 mins video)
Battery: 720mAh (100 stills, 30 mins video)
Size: 139.7 x 19.05mm
Vecnos Iqui key features
The Iqui is aimed squarely at social media addicts looking to add spice to their Facebook feeds, and casual users wanting to create some memorable moments on their days out with friends and family.
As such, it does away with the need to dump everything onto a computer to sort and process your files, instead handling everything through an easy to use app – which, crucially, doesn't require the latest phones to work (unlike certain other 360 apps, IquiSpin runs fine on an old iPhone SE 2018).
Simply take your shot and open the app, which will automatically connect to the Iqui, and use the templates to quickly and easily produce an animated 360 motion still (but not a 360 video, as we'll come to in a moment). The whole procedure is made as painless as possible, making this an ideal product that can be used by kids, seniors, and anyone who doesn't get on well with technology.
Vecnos Iqui build & handling
The Vecnos Iqui is the best beautifully designed 360 camera we've ever seen. In fact, it's one of the most beautiful cameras we've ever seen. Sure it may look like the Neuralyzer from the Men in Black films (or like the kind of probe that their alien adversaries are fond of using), but it's what you'd expect if Apple or Leica designed a 360 camera.
Its pencil-like design is not only pretty, it's also practical. At 62.4g it's ludicrously light and its ergonomics are joyous – and unlike other 360 cameras, need no explaining. Turn it on, press the shutter, get a shot – it's all incredibly simple, with discreet chimes letting you know when you've taken an image or video. It turns on in about a second, too, meaning that you can start snapping straight away.
The only drawback to its pristine design, of course, is keeping it that way. The brushed metallic finish is prone to scuffs and scrapes, so you'll want to keep it in the provided cloth pouch for protection – especially when laying it down on a table, as one of the three circumference cameras will be grinding against the surface.
Vecnos Iqui performance
The Iqui is easy to use, and the IquiSpin app is equally straightforward and intuitive. However, in its quest to appeal to 360 newcomers and provide a highly templatized system, it lacks a number of key features that we've come to expect.
Chief among these is the fact that the app doesn't currently export 360 videos. It creates 'motion stills' using your still images, which you can see examples of in the video below, but it doesn't enable you to edit or create true 360 videos – which, Vecnos explains, "is not the main focus of Iqui at this point".
Of course, you can open and edit the video you record with your favorite video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, but this seems to rather defeat the purpose of the Iqui's seamless all-in-one package. Hopefully the app will be updated to incorporate video soon.
Watch video: Vecnos Iqui sample videos and app interface
It would also be good if it could export stills, too – currently there's no way to create panoramas, tiny planets, or the other kinds of images you would want from a 360 camera (though, again, you can do this manually in photo editing software).
The animated videos produced by the Iqui are pretty cool, and feature a lot of Instagram-style filters, augmented reality effects (everything from falling leaves to lightning strikes to UFOs) and ready made motion templates. Still, choosing precise camera angles or transition points can be clumsy (you can't select the final 'money shot' angle for your video, for example).
Frustratingly, the video (2880 x 1440 on most phones, or 1920 x 960 on older devices) outputs in a 1:1 aspect ratio. While this was a staple of Instagram once upon a time, the lack of 4:3 or 16:9 options is a pain – a 360 camera gives you an unprecedented amount of scope, yet the Iqui doesn't render them in widescreen. While, again, this can be overcome by doing the editing yourself, it's a missed opportunity that this can't be done in-app.
Vecnos Iqui verdict
The Vecnos is a great 360 camera that's currently hampered by its app. It's not a specs powerhouse like its contemporaries, so its key selling point is the ease of use and the ability of its app to take the pain out of 360 imaging. And at the moment, the app is missing key features like the ability to create video or to output in anything except a 1:1 aspect ratio.
You can process photos and videos yourself, in third party editing software, but if you're prepared to go to that much effort then you may want to opt for the more advanced 360 cameras with fancy features such as 8K recording (and even basic features such as an ISO greater than 1600, for better performance in subpar light).
Still, if you've never used a 360 camera and you want the easiest and most straightforward way to start playing with the technology, the Vecnos Iqui offers a slick, stylish way to create shots that will wow your friends and followers.