Ricoh’s new 4K Theta 360° VR camera announcement expected soon

Jul 6, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Ricoh’s new 4K Theta 360° VR camera announcement expected soon

Jul 6, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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With the Ricoh Theta m15 showing as discontinued for a couple of colours on B&H, and the demands of VR and 360° camera users already increasing far beyond the 1080p limits of the Theta S, now would be a great time for Ricoh to announce a new 4K VR camera,

According to Pentax Rumours, that’s exactly Ricoh are preparing to do, and are expecting an official announcement could be made during Photokina in September.

We’re big fans of 360 cameras here at DIYP, and got some neat images to document our adventures at The Photography Show in March, but one thing that’s always annoyed me about most VR cameras is the resolution.

1080p is a fine resolution if it’s just filling a flat 16:9 frame on a monitor in front of you, but when you’re squashing a field of view several times as wide and as high that for which the format was intended, and then stretching it out to remove the distortion, then detail can start to degrade pretty rapidly.

Here’s a look at the Inspired Photography stand #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

That quality might be acceptable to most users, especially when only being viewed on a phone, so maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel that a 1080p 360° camera is worth getting, except for the “fun factor”, not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. We certainly had lots of fun with it at The Photography Show earlier this year.

Cheers everyone again ;) #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

But if your aspirations are a little more serious, I still think the quality has some way to go for the most part and 4K should be a bare minimum.

Ricoh haven’t stated that their new camera will shoot 4K, or officially stated that there’s even an new camera on the way, but if there is, it would almost certainly need to be 4K in order to keep up with the new competition.

The Samsung Gear 360 shoots 4K footage, as does Nikon’s (still delayed) KeyMission 360 action camera, so I can’t see Ricoh giving us yet another 1080p-only camera.

If Ricoh do indeed launch a new 360° camera at Photokina in September, then DIYP will be there, so we’ll be sure to get a hands on and let you know what we think.

For now, tell us what you think. Have you jumped into the 360° world yet? Or are you waiting for the technology to mature a little first, as I’ve wanted to? Where do you feel 360° cameras are lacking? Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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5 responses to “Ricoh’s new 4K Theta 360° VR camera announcement expected soon”

  1. LensLord Avatar
    LensLord

    I had the original Ricoh Theta 360, and then I upgraded to the Ricoh 360 S, and I will go for the 4k version as well.

    https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/13503030_10153834932013031_3096843554725316493_o.jpg

  2. 'Tomer Tzarfaty Avatar
    ‘Tomer Tzarfaty

    I’m filming both still and video with theta s almost a year (from the day theta s emerged) and as you said here except from the experience that is amazing, the resolutions are bad!
    I will buy the new model only if they improve the resolution. If not will wait to the Nikon model.

  3. Patrick Shipstad Avatar
    Patrick Shipstad

    I got in on the Giroptic 360 cam kickstarter.. Years late on their promise, they finally delivered the camera.. I just received it and while the camera itself and packaging were nice, the image quality is just HORRIBLE compared to what they promised. $300 down the drain. This looks nice and pocket friendly, and the quality looks much better. I’d definitely be up for checking it out! Thanks for the post! :-)

    1. enchodus . Avatar
      enchodus .

      Check the Samsung gear 360, better video and better photo resolution-some stitching issues.

  4. enchodus . Avatar
    enchodus .

    A considerable number of Richo Theta S users complained that one of the lenses is not focused well and produces soft or blurry images. I have seen many photos that indeed do reflect such an issue. The future is for 360 photography therefore, the resolution of still pictures needs to be upgraded for quality photos and to attract serious photographers.