The Ricoh Theta allows you to take 360° spherical images, either by itself or there are apps available so you can use it with Android and iOS devices. It is available to purchase for £329.99.
Ricoh Theta Features
Automatically adjusts the image orientation
Register location information by connecting to a smartphone
Apps for iPhone and Android to take remote images, view and share
Upload images to theta360.com
Ricoh Theta for Windows and Mac available
Attachment for strap, available in green, orange, blue, silver and grey
Shooting distance approximately 10cm to infinity
Automatic exposure control
-2.0 to +2.0EV exposure compensation
Automatic ISO 100-1600
Automatic white balance
Shutter speed automatic 1/8000-1/7.5 second
Internal 4GB memory (approx 1,200 shots)
Ricoh Theta Handling
The Ricoh Theta is quite long and thin and almost identical on both sides, with each side featuring a fisheye lens. On one side there is a shutter release button, with power and Wi-Fi buttons on one side. On the bottom is the tripod socket and a socket for the USB cable, which you use to charge or transfer images to a computer.
When using as a standalone device, picture taking is as simple as holding the Theta and pressing the shutter release. It makes a noise to indicate a picture is being taken, it is then saved on the internal memory. There is no display on the Theta, so you are unable to preview or review your pictures straight away, even if you use either of the iPhone or Android apps.
We also tested the Theta using an iPhone. Connecting the two by Wi-Fi is simple, and the benefit of the app is that you can take pictures remotely. This is significant as when you press the shutter on the Theta, you will be in the shot, but shooting remotely means you can get out of the shot. The app also allows you to adjust the brightness, but all the other settings, such as ISO and white balance, are adjusted automatically. The app also allows you to view your pictures as well as share via Twitter and Tumblr.
Ricoh Theta Performance
Images are well stitched together, but we did find that sometimes the exposure wasn't consistent from both sensors. Image quality is comparable to a smartphone, they are around 6.4 megapixels in size.
Viewing images either through the desktop software or apps is recommended. Below we've include a couple of JPEG's as examples, with links to the theta360 website to allow you to interact with each one.
Outdoor Test Shot | 1/1000 sec | f/2.1 | 0.8 mm | ISO 100 - https://theta360.com/s/4s6
Indoor Test Shot | 1/30 sec | f/2.1 | 0.8 mm | ISO 400 - https://theta360.com/s/4nI
Studio Shot | 1/30 sec | f/2.1 | 0.8 mm | ISO 100 - https://theta360.com/s/4vM
Ricoh Theta Verdict
The Ricoh Theta is capable of impressive images, particularly when viewed using the interactive methods, such as on the theta360 website and desktop software. The biggest problem is the price - it is currently available for £329.99! To get the most from the Theta, you really need to have an iOS or Android device so you can view and share your images quickly. The Theta is easy to use, and the 4Gb of internal memory is plenty. To be recommended, we'd like to see better image quality for the price, hopefully this will be improved in future releases.
Ricoh Theta Pros
Unique way to take pictures
Easy to use
Images are well stitched together
Has 4Gb of internal memory
Ricoh Theta Cons
Image quality isn't fantastic
VALUE FOR MONEY
Ricoh Theta Specifications
|CCD pixels||6.4Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||No Data|
|Sensor Size||No Data|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|LCD Monitor||No Data|
|Screen resolution||No Data|
|Touch Screen||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/8000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||1/7.5sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 1600|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Movie mode||No Data|
|Video FPS||No Data|
|Stereo Sound||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No Data|
|Image Stabilisation||No Data|
|Battery Type||Internal lithium ion battery, rechargeable via USB cable|
|Box Contents||No Data|
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