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Ricoh Theta

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1 3,837 Fri May 2, 2014
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.00
Ricoh Theta
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Description:
The Ricoh Theta is a camera/gadget capable of capturing full 360-degree spherical images at the push of a button. The theta is wi-fi enabled and supports integration with iPhone and Android smartphones via a free dedicated app.

For more details on the theta, visit our homepage announcement.
In Production: Buy This Item



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Registered: April, 2011
Location: Midlothian, VA
Posts: 482
Review Date: May 2, 2014 I can recommend the Ricoh Theta: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Battery life, controllable w/smartphone app, decent IQ, sheer potential
Cons: Low light performance, plastic tripod mount, wifi can be finicky, cost

**Edited on 8/22/14**

The Ricoh Theta is a unique little camera. It's very lightweight, pocketable (in its included soft case, that is), and is very easy to use. It's more responsive than most compacts - you can turn it on and shoot pretty much right away. The fact that you can control the camera with your smartphone through its built in wifi connection really adds to its potential: you need not hold or stand next to the camera in order to get interesting shots, although the Theta's wifi has somewhat limited range and the connection sometimes drops (this could be fixed in an app or firmware update, though). A recent firmware update added ISO and shutter priority modes to the Theta mobile app, and they work like a charm although it takes some getting used to.

Image quality is pretty decent for a compact. It's not the best, but it's definitely not bad. This camera is not advisable in low light situations, though - unless mounted on a tripod and fired via the smartphone app, you're going to end up with a blurry mess. The battery lasts a long while, and given that the Theta is reserved for special situations where a 360-degree panorama is needed, it's likely you'll be able to use it for a very long time before needing another charge.

In order to view the images to their fullest, you have to create an account on the Ricoh Theta website or on Microsoft Photosynth (a Microsoft website for 360-degree panoramas). The Theta website has become much easier to use lately - all you need is a Facebook account, and spherical images can be embedded onto external websites for viewing practically anywhere (just click the "embed" button and a window with HTML code pops up), which finally allows the images to be used in all sorts of practical ways!

While you can save photos from the Theta onto your smartphone or computer, the camera saves them as unstitched panoramas that will need to be restitched with software. Also, you must be VERY careful when handling the Theta, as there's no way to protect the two lenses, and they can't take protective filters. If you're not using the Theta, keep it in its pouch at all times.

Apparently the Theta is equipped for video as it has a microphone, but there's no way to record video with it, at least as of yet. I'm honestly not sure how that'd work...

The Theta is an interesting and unique little camera and I have to give Ricoh props for making a very solid product. The cost is high at the moment but I imagine it will eventually drop - if it does, then it's worth a try, as there's quite a lot of fun to be had. I recommend it (if the price does drop, that is).
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