Video-Enabled Ricoh Theta Announced

A new Theta with spherical video support

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Oct 28, 2014
Video-Enabled Ricoh Theta Announced

Ricoh Imaging has just announced the second-generation Ricoh Theta spherical camera.  This unique device can capture 360-degree photos of your entire surroundings that can be viewed wirelessly via a dedicated smartphone app or online.  The images can also be "flattened" to traditional formats using special software.

The new Theta (model number m15) is very similar to its predecessor, but it has a few enhancements.  Changes/additions include:

  • spherical video recording up to 3 minutes (Full HD, 15FPS)
  • doubled wireless transfer speed
  • lower price (pre-order for $299)
  • available at authorized Pentax retailers (i.e B&H, etc.)
  • white, blue, yellow, and red color options
  • web site API / SDK for app developers

When the original Theta was launched last year, many complained about having to pay a relatively steep price ($399) for a novelty.  Ricoh has addressed this with the new Theta, and has also improved the availability of the camera by offering it for sale through authorized retailers nationwide; the original Theta was also only available via the Pentax web store or Amazon.  We expect its successor to make an appearance at the physical B&H superstore in late November.

Interestingly, the new Theta is available in the same "sweet" colors as the Pentax K-S1.

To learn more about how the Theta works, visit the 2013 announcement.  We plan on reviewing the new Theta in early 2015.

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US Press Release

Denver, Colorado October 28, 2014

RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION, renowned for creating the original THETA, the world's first fully 360-degree, spherical imaging device* which allows users to capture everything around them in the ultimate "selfie", has just released the newest THETA complete with video capability and amazing new body colors to capture the imagination. The new THETA is an innovative leap towards changing the world of digital imaging and creating new ways to share the magic of photography with family and friends.

The RICOH THETA pioneered a whole new world of imaging possibilities allowing users to shoot amazing spherical images, capturing themselves along with the world around them. With the new model, RICOH has introduced ground-breaking video capture technology with the ability to capture spherical video footage with clips up to 3 minutes in length*. The THETA's lightweight and easy-to-carry design along with impressive spherical image capturing technologies make it the ultimate device for on-the-go fun.

When we look at the world of imaging technology we have really only scratched the surface of what we can achieve, said Jim Malcolm, President of Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. At RICOH, dreaming up new ways to capture the magic of photography is all we think about and the new THETA is a perfect example of our passion to innovate.

This new model is available in four eye-catching colors: blue, yellow, white, and pink engineered to the highest standards. The new RICOH THETA will not only open up a world of imaging magic and unlimited possibilities, but serve as the ultimate fashion statement with the bold new colors.

In keeping with the spirit of innovation, RICOH will open up their API (Application Programming Interface) and provide a SDK (Software Development Kit) available on theta360.com coinciding with the release of the new RICOH THETA. Developers can now create original THETA apps with a variety of settings to perform various operations using the THETA. By developing these apps, end users will be benefit from new and exciting capabilities added to their RICOH THETA, helping RICOH co-engineer the future of photography.

Pricing and Availability: The RICOH THETA will be available at retailers nationwide and at www.ricohimaging.com in November 2014 for a suggested retail price of $299.95.

(1)*The first consumer product that allows the entire area around the user to be captured in one shot, instead of simply taking horizontal panoramas or semi-spherical shots. (As of October 2013.Ricoh research)
(2)*Upload to sharing sites is up to 5MB / 6 seconds (1280 x 720)

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