Ricoh Theta Spherical Videos Now Sharable on YouTube
Enjoy and share 360-degree videos
By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Mar 17, 2015
The new Ricoh Theta m15 is an innovative camera that captures 360-degree spherical images as well as videos. While spherical images could always be shared and viewed on a smartphone as well as on a PC, or converted to 360 degree panoramas like the one below, the spherical videos could only be viewed on your computer— until now.
Cropped Ricoh Theta 360-degree panorama
This has just changed with Ricoh's announcement that Youtube now supports 360-degree videos captured by the Theta m15. This is welcome news and we hope that it will not only make spherical videos more appealing to consumers, but also the Theta camera itself.
The fascinating aspect of the Theta's video files is that they allow you to relive experiences like never before, since spherical video files allow you to "look" all around the camera by panning and zooming. There is no better way to demonstrate this than to show a video of a Theta video file being played back in the desktop app:
Since the Ricoh press release (quoted below) is rather thin in terms of information on the new Youtube feature, we did some research on our own and found out that this same panning and zooming is now also possible on Youtube! Youtube rolled out 360-degree video support back in January, coinciding with the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. The Giroptics 360cam was the first camera to support Youtube's 360-degree format. Recently, that support has been extended to the Ricoh Theta's files thanks to an update to the Ricoh Theta desktop app. Videos from the Theta must first be converted into .MP4 files via the Theta app, and then 360-degree metadata needs to be added via a special Youtube app/script. Once that's done, you can upload the resulting 360-degree video file straight to Youtube and it will be recognized as such.
Youtube's spherical video support is currently limited to the Google Chrome (desktop) web browser and the Youtube Android app. If you get a chance to try out the Android app, you'll discover that tilting your phone actually pans the 360-degree video accordingly— an impressive feature. If you're currently on either of those platforms, click here for a sample 360-degree Theta Video.
Given the two-step process for creating Youtube-compatible spherical videos, it's evident that this feature is still in its infancy. We think that it's only a matter of time before the Theta will be able to upload its videos straight to Youtube, though!
We recently reviewed the new Theta, and found it to change the way users approach photography and in a very innovative way. The camera is fun to use and at just $296, we don't hesitate to call it a good value. If you have yet to try the Theta or overlooked it in the past, we encourage you to take it for a spin! It also makes for a great gift idea.