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12-19-2017, 05:12 PM   #1
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My Theta S images are pretty low IQ, video even worse.

Awhile back I had some airmiles to use up and took advantage of a promotion and picked up a Theta S for a little over 3000 miles I had in my account. I'd seen some pics on FB etc, and was intrigued at how good they were, the cool factor etc. and thought it would be a good addition to my camera inventory.

I was going to go with the Nikon, but reading reviews on both it seemed the Theta was the better camera as far as stitching and IQ went.

Anyway, I didn't get to use it a lot at first, and mostly just forgot about it for awhile. One thing I did notice was the images were often blurry, from both what seemed like out of focus as well as motion blur. A couple of videos I shot seemed even worse for quality.

I dismissed it as not knowing the best settings, inexperience with it etc., but lately have been using it more. A couple of days ago I took it on an outside walk where light was plentiful and took some pictures with it. Again I was disappointed with the results.

I usually leave settings on auto, with options off. I've tried with the noise reduction option on, HDR rendering etc. but they seem to make little difference. I have 01.90 which I think is the latest firmware.

Just wondering if there's any favourite settings any of you have for consistent quality images (or video) - or if I'm doing something wrong.

Here is a video I shot with it on a bright day - I was quite disappointed with the IQ here, even though I bought it for stills more than video.



12-19-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
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Hmm, it looks like there might be something wrong with the camera. Either that, or the video quality was reduced during the upload. Doesn't look like anything is clear or in focus. Do you get the same problem with stills?

I'd check to make sure that you had selected 1080 as the video quality (I believe 720 is also possible).

While the video from the Theta V is much better, the 1080 files from the S and SC should still be pretty clear.

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12-20-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Here are a few stills:

Ricoh Theta 360 Image

Ricoh Theta 360 Image

Ricoh Theta 360 Image
12-25-2017, 03:13 AM   #4
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Yup, there appear to be some optical issues, at least that's what it looks like to me. I would send the camera in as perhaps there's a problem with one of the lens assemblies.

Other than that, really nice photos!!


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12-26-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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Here is another one I took just yesterday, in bright sunlight on auto setting. Some parts seem sharp and others aren't

Ricoh Theta 360 Image


Do I just sent it in to Pentax?
12-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #6
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This is too featureless a picture to tell anything. Take a photo with relatively close objects such as a well lighted room or street.
12-26-2017, 01:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikesul Quote
This is too featureless a picture to tell anything. Take a photo with relatively close objects such as a well lighted room or street.
There's a pic inside a well lit gymnasium in my 2nd post of this thread.. and in my last post you can see how parts of me are sharp yet my dog right beside me is not in focus
05-02-2018, 04:28 PM   #8
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Thought I would update this thread:

So, I sent the camera in to the Pentax authorized repair in Canada, after waiting 4+ weeks and hearing nothing back I called the place that I sent it too and they informed me that there was no parts available for it (so I'm assuming they found an issue) so Ricoh would be sending me a new replacement unit, and it was in there hands now so he had no idea when it would be shipped.

I got a number for Ricoh to call from the fellow I talked to, I called it and told the lady who answered what I had just been told, she seemed a little perturbed they got me to call them, and what I think happened was it sat on a shelf at the shop and was forgotten about until I called because she said they should have been able to tell me everything I needed to know. In any case it looks like my call prompted someone to get moving because she said I'd have my replacement in about a week.

I got the camera, and the IQ of the still images seems to be better, not super sharp but better nonetheless. Had some shots were pretty noisy that were shot in low light, so I played with different settings etc.

Here is an image shot with the HDR rendering on in the options

Ricoh Theta 360 Image

Here is another shot with ISO 100 and 1/250 exposure time, f2

Ricoh Theta 360 Image

Here is one shot at 1so 100, 1/45 & +1 exposure bias, f2 - with this one the foreground seems sharp, but the vehicles in the image are quite fuzzy

Ricoh Theta 360 Image

Then this one, shot in relatively low light, and seems very fuzzy. (iso 100, 1/320, f2, +1 exposure bias)

Ricoh Theta 360 Image


Then, last night I shot some video, and I must say I am again very disappointed with the video quality.




Is this as good as I can expect for stills?

Is anyone else getting better video than what I am seeing?

05-15-2018, 12:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen_S Quote
Thought I would update this thread:

So, I sent the camera in to the Pentax authorized repair in Canada, after waiting 4+ weeks and hearing nothing back I called the place that I sent it too and they informed me that there was no parts available for it (so I'm assuming they found an issue) so Ricoh would be sending me a new replacement unit, and it was in there hands now so he had no idea when it would be shipped.

I got a number for Ricoh to call from the fellow I talked to, I called it and told the lady who answered what I had just been told, she seemed a little perturbed they got me to call them, and what I think happened was it sat on a shelf at the shop and was forgotten about until I called because she said they should have been able to tell me everything I needed to know. In any case it looks like my call prompted someone to get moving because she said I'd have my replacement in about a week.

I got the camera, and the IQ of the still images seems to be better, not super sharp but better nonetheless. Had some shots were pretty noisy that were shot in low light, so I played with different settings etc.

Here is an image shot with the HDR rendering on in the options

Spherical Image | RICOH THETA

Here is another shot with ISO 100 and 1/250 exposure time, f2

Spherical Image | RICOH THETA

Here is one shot at 1so 100, 1/45 & +1 exposure bias, f2 - with this one the foreground seems sharp, but the vehicles in the image are quite fuzzy

Spherical Image | RICOH THETA

Then this one, shot in relatively low light, and seems very fuzzy. (iso 100, 1/320, f2, +1 exposure bias)

Spherical Image | RICOH THETA


Then, last night I shot some video, and I must say I am again very disappointed with the video quality.


360 video with replacement Theta-S camera - YouTube


Is this as good as I can expect for stills?

Is anyone else getting better video than what I am seeing?
If you want good video, the Theta V would be the way to go. Its 4K files look good, but even 4K is barely enough for clear-looking 360-degree video.

Your stills look fine to me. I've found that keeping the camera steady is important to getting the best image quality- after all, there is no SR I usually snap multiple shots of the same scene when in doubt, and if the lighting is uneven, I change the perspective slightly so that hot spots don't fool the camera's meter. I don't use the manual exposure settings much, but that approach is of course also a sound one.

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06-06-2018, 12:33 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply - I almost always have the camera stationary on a small tripod or just standing on its own if it's a flat surface.

I'm still not convinced the still images are as good as they should be, here is a couple of more stills that show motion blur and actual ghosting, from images taken while the camera was stationary and in bright conditions.

Ricoh Theta 360 Image


Ricoh Theta 360 Image

One of the camera stores in the city had a Pentax/Ricoh rep in last week, I was talking to him about it & showed him the abover images and he recommended I send this camera back too. He showed me some video samples from his Theta S taken at night of fireworks and they were far clearer than my video that was shot in broad daylight was.

I don't like the thought of being without my 360 again, as last time it took over 2 months, perhaps I'll see if Ricoh is interested in letting me upgrade to a V model if I pay the difference..
06-06-2018, 03:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen_S Quote
Thanks for the reply - I almost always have the camera stationary on a small tripod or just standing on its own if it's a flat surface.

I'm still not convinced the still images are as good as they should be, here is a couple of more stills that show motion blur and actual ghosting, from images taken while the camera was stationary and in bright conditions.

Spherical Image | RICOH THETA


Spherical Image | RICOH THETA

One of the camera stores in the city had a Pentax/Ricoh rep in last week, I was talking to him about it & showed him the abover images and he recommended I send this camera back too. He showed me some video samples from his Theta S taken at night of fireworks and they were far clearer than my video that was shot in broad daylight was.

I don't like the thought of being without my 360 again, as last time it took over 2 months, perhaps I'll see if Ricoh is interested in letting me upgrade to a V model if I pay the difference..
I had a problem with my theta s, it wouldn’t charge unless I held the cord down. It was out of warranty but not on my credit card warranty. I just needed precision repair to send me a letter saying they couldn’t repair it and complete the credit card forms. I was able to get a full refund which I used to buy the theta V. I could have just purchased a replacement S for $200, but since my credit card replace original purchase price I opted to upgrade it. Ricoh had a 15% off for the purchase of the V and the under water housing. Good luck
06-08-2018, 06:13 AM   #12
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Could it be that the ghosting is because of HDR mode turned on? It looks like the pictures posted were merged from 2 exposures.
06-11-2018, 08:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dainiushst Quote
Could it be that the ghosting is because of HDR mode turned on? It looks like the pictures posted were merged from 2 exposures.
Quite possible, I have been trying all kinds of modes to try and get consistent IQ

I was asked to send copies of the images and video to the rep and he forwarded to someone in Ricoh, so we'll see what happens next..
06-20-2018, 01:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dainiushst Quote
Could it be that the ghosting is because of HDR mode turned on? It looks like the pictures posted were merged from 2 exposures.
You are correct, I took the camera out yesterday and this was the result from trying to take an HDR image

Ricoh Theta 360 Image
06-27-2018, 08:17 AM   #15
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Did you ever resolve your issue?
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