Ricoh Theta S Review


 

Rocoh Theta S Review

Hello everybody. Welcome to this review of the Ricoh Theta S. I have been using this camera for over half a year now, and want to give you my thoughts about it.

I’ll start over with the design and packaging, and I will go to the thechnical stuff later on.

Packaging

When I first got my hands on the Ricoh Theta S package I was really surprised. I comes in a small black box. The box itself is overall not special other than it looks good in a shelf.
Inside the box the camera is wraped around an screen protector. Underneath the camera there is the Quick Start manual and a rather short USB cable, also in the box there is a black
pouch, where you can insert the camera when not used. This is very importand because the camera has two lenses and you have to handle those with care.

Camera

The camera itself is small enough so that it can fit in our pocket but still has a very nice feel to it when holding in the hand. On the camera are two fischeye lenses. On top of the camera there

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

is the microphone. On the right side of the camera there are the power on/off, wifi and photo/video buttons. When you hold the camera up front, we have one big button in the middle. This
is probably the most importand button on this camera, because it photo/video trigger. On the bottom of the camera there is the micro usb, hdmi port and also a standard trpod mount.

As said above, the camera has a very nice feel when hold. The only problem I encountered while shooting was, that the trigger in the middle of the camera was kinda sloppy. It didn’t have a very good feel to it.

When the turned on, a blue light appears above the trigger. Underneath the trigger button, the corresponding symbol, either camera or video, is shown depending on the current mode.
You can switch very easily between photo and video. If turned on, there will also be the wifi symbol blinking in the same blue color.

Technical details.

  • Object distance Approx. 10cm – ∞ (from front of lens)
  • Shooting mode Still image: Auto, Shutter Priority, ISO Priority*5, Manual
  • Video: Auto
  • Live streaming: Auto
  • Exposure control mode Program AE, Shutter speed priority AE, ISO sensitivity AE, Manual exposure
  • Exposure compensation Still image: Manual compensation (-2.0 – +2.0EV, 1/3EV step) *5
  • ISO sensitivity (standard output sensitivity) Still image: ISO 100 to 1600,
  • Video: ISO 100 to 1600,
  • Live streaming: ISO100 – 1600
  • White balance mode Still image: Auto, Outdoor, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent light 1, Incandescent light 2, Daylight color fluorescent light, Natural white fluorescent light, White fluorescent light, Light bulb color fluorescent light *5
  • Video: Auto
  • Live streaming: Auto
  • Shutter speed Still image: (Excluding Manual Mode) 1/6400 seconds to 1/8 seconds, (Manual Mode) 1/6400 seconds to 60 seconds
  • Video: (L) 1/8000 seconds to 1/30 seconds, (M) 1/8000 seconds to 1/15 seconds
  • Live streaming: (USB) 1/8000 seconds to 1/15 seconds, (HDMI) 1/8000 seconds to 1/30 seconds
  • Recording medium Internal, approximately 8GB
  • Number of photos that can be recorded, time*1 Still image: (L) Approx. 1600 images, (M) 9000 images
  • Video (timer per recording): Max. 25 minutes or up to the maximum file size of 4 GB*6
  • Video (total recording time): (L) Approx. 65 minutes, (M) Approx. 175 minutes*6
  • Power source Lithium ion battery (built in)*2
  • Battery life Approx. 260 photos*3
  • Image file format Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3), DCF2.0 compliant,
  • Video: MP4 (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC)
  • External interface*8 Micro USB terminal: USB 2.0
  • HDMI-Micro terminal (Type-D): HDMI 1.4
  • Remote release CA-3-compatible
  • Exterior/external dimensions 44 mm (W) x 130 mm (H) x 22.9 mm (17.9 mm *4) (D)
  • Weight Approx. 125g
  • Lens configuration 7 elements in 6 groups
  • Lens_F value F2.0
  • Image sensor_size 1/2.3 CMOS (x2)
  • Effective pixels Approx. 12 megapixels (x2)
  • Output pixels Equivalent to approx. 14 megapixels (x2)
  • Still image resolution L: 5376 x 2688, M: 2048 x 1024
  • Video resolution/frame rate/bit rate L: 1920 x 1080/30 fps/16 Mbps M: 1280 x 720/15 fps/6 Mbps
  • Live streaming resolution/frame rate (USB) L: 1920 × 1080/30fps M: 1280 × 720/15fps *The resolution and frame rate in Windows 7 is 1280 × 720 and 15fps.
  • Live streaming resolution/frame rate (HDMI) L: 1920 x 1080/30 fps M: 1280 x 720/30 fps S: 720 x 480/30 fps *Automatically changes to match the display
  • Wi-Fi_Communications Protocol HTTP (Open Spherical Camera API *7 compatible)
  • Usage temperature range 0°C – 40°C
  • Usage humidity range 90% or less
  • Storage temperature range -20°C – 60°C
  • Bundled items Soft case and USB cable

Taking pictures and photos
It is very easy to take pictures or videos with this camera. You can just hold it in your hand, press the trigger and then you have a takeng a 360° image.
You can also take images or videos with the Ricoh Theta app, but more to that later in this review.
The image quality is really good. You have alot of detail in the image because of the high resolution of 5376×2688. There is only one thing I dislike about the image and that is
the really high amount of chromatic aberration. Depending on the lighting of you image, and the amount of light sources, this can really be a big problem.
The video quality is ok at best. You can record a total amount of 25 minutes due to the, to be honset rather small, 8 Gb of internal memory. The camera is capable of taking full HD videos
but you have to keep in mind, that the full HD is covering a complete 360° view. On a small display, like a smartphone it is totaly fine, but on larger displays it really starts to get noisy.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The App
The app is very good to take pictures, and I would recommend to use the app instead of the trigger on the camera. The app interface is very simple, and you should be able to find
everything necessary in a few seconds. The app provides a lot of features. You can either copy the image from the camera directly to your phone/tablet or move it completly from the camera to your phone/tablet.
This is a freat feature because it allowes you to make more pictures, because the images are not stored on the camera, but on your phone.
In order to use the app with your camera you have to connect it via the in the camera integrated wifi. The wifi is password protected, and after reading the quick manual I found out that the
password to the camera’s wifi is directly on the bottom of the camera.
Very recently I had alot of problems with the integrated wifi. But I think this is more because of my smartphone/ Android version than the camera. For some reason I can’t really get my
smartphone to connect anymore, but since the problem started very recently I my guess is that Android does not like wifis, without internet connection.
Other than that the app lets you change prioritys, iso, shutter speed, absolutely everything.
Since I use the camera mainly to create HDR images I would like to see a mode that allows you to take multiple images in a row (and with different settings, like iso etc.).

Integration

One thing that, you might have noticed aswell is, that you can integrate the images to your website. For this you need to use the desktop app from Ricoh. It allows you to upload the images to their cloud servers. Obviously you need an account on their website, but you can simply log in through Twitter of Facebook.  After that you can get an embeddment code which you can use on your website. It works just like a youtube video you want to embed.

Conclusion
Would I recommend the Ricoh Theta S, yes. Compared to other methods of taking 360 degree images it is a rather cheap one. The camera comes at 350 bucks. I didn’t really have that many problems with the camery, other than my phone disliking the wifi. And it is very easy to use. If you are looking for a camera that can make 360° images, and don’t want to spend a complete fortune this camera is probably something for you. If you want to make professional 360° images with great results, then you probably should consider other methods.

I quickyl want to mention, that this was my first review so if I have missed some facts or did not go in too much detail for you, please write it down as a comment below. It would help me outalot!
Still I hope this review helped you! Thanks for reading and till the next one!

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