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With the Ricoh Theta S 360-Degree Spherical Digital Camera, you can capture your memories in a vivid, high resolution 360-degree world. Take high-quality pictures thanks to the newly-developed f/2.0 lens. Record 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and 25 minutes of continuous video. Store it all with 8GB of internal memory. You can even use the live view function on your smartphone, and enjoy live streaming via USB or HDMI. Manual control allows recording of long exposures of up to 1 minute. It is equipped with an LED mode display, and you can use the mode button to easily switch between photo and video.
From the Manufacturer
Ricoh's 3rd generation 360 degree camera comes to life with the Theta S. The Theta S adds a larger sensor for improved still and video capture. Video recording time increased to 25 minutes, video streaming capabilities and a live view function to your mobile device. Capture everything around you with complete 360 degree imaging. Your world is not flat. Take amazing spherical images and videos with RICOH THETA S
Most helpful customer reviews
488 of 528 people found the following review helpful.
Best VR camera for the price point and easy to use!
I am a virtual reality software engineer who has had experience with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift DK2 and new consumer version, and various other devices.
I have also used the M15 in the past. The form factor of both devices was great and I ultimately chose to buy the newer model due to the ability to make longer videos. In the M15, the resolution is too low and the contrast in picture quality is not great, where colors appear undersaturated and flat.
The S, in contrast, is definitely a notch above the m15. However, this device is still prone to overexposure when taking 360 photos outside. The Theta S is a big improvement than its predecessor, but in my opinion not enough to warrant purchasing an entirely new device if you have the older model.
You get 25 minutes to record 1080 HD video as opposed to 6 minutes on the M15, but keep in mind that uploading it into Youtube truly skews the image quality so the videos do not truly feel like HD. However, the Ricoh Theta software will auto stitch your video while exporting which minimizes the time spent editing, saving the consumer many hours. The videos are not completely seamless and are subject to some fish-eye distortion.
The S comes with live preview, which uses the WiFi capabilities enabled in the camera itself. The shutter range is small, and you must be close to the camera for reliable operation. While it is neat to have this capability, the shoddy execution from the weak range leaves something to be desired.
The S comes with a neoprene sleeve that fits snugly against the camera. However, we decided to buy a hard case for added lens protection, as Ricoh does not offer a warranty in the case that the lens themselves become damaged.
The S controls are extremely easy to use, and just the press of a button will take a 360 photo. However, if you want the images to look as beautiful as they can, a fair amount of post processing might still be required to get the dynamic range seen in reality.
Overall, I feel like this is the best VR camera you can get at this price point. The quality will not be able to rival a GoPro VR rig, but the amount of effort required in post production is severely minimized by Ricoh Theta. With a GoPro rig, you need to spend 2,500 dollars and also buy or #D print a mount to house all of the camera together. It also requires that you sync the individual shutters and control the settings so that the VR immersion isn't disrupted by the varying exposures, which can take a lot of time. The Ricoh Theta S is a great introduction to the world of VR, and is able to fit in such a small form factor that is extremely portable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Close up stills very good. Far away objects and video not so great.
By Dennis Mabrey
I've had no technical issues with this camera whatsoever. Hooked up to the PC fine and the Spherical software is basic but it does what it is supposed to do. My android phone and tablet can connect and control the camera just fine over wifi as well. Ricoh even has an app for the Samsung Gear VR in the Oculus store for taking and viewing images which works great.
From a usability standpoint, this camera has been flawless and easy to set up and configure. It gets 5 stars for that.
The body also "feels" sturdy. It doesn't feel cheaply made in the least. Another 5 stars.
Ok now the not so good.
First, you really need a smartphone (Android, iPhone only) to set things like ISO, exposure, etc... You can get by without one for just point and click but there are no settings on the camera itself.
The real downside of this camera is the quality of the video and to some degree the stills as well.
Videos can be poor (as in terrible) in normal lighting conditions. Even inside an office with phosphorescent lighting produces bad looking videos. Lots of noise and focus is always always always a bit blurry. Things are much better in sunlight for video and is much more acceptable for usage outside. Technically it is HD but when you take an HD video and wrap it around a 360 sphere it looks less and less HD and even worse than SD.
In terms of noise reduction, photos are better than video and you have options for noise reduction, shutter priority, and ISO settings (no aperture priority).
Objects at more than 5ft are quite blurry so taking a 360 pano of a medium sized room doesn't look so good. A picture of people sitting in a room is 'ok' but won't look as good as same priced camera with images stitched together. My Samsung S6 can produce much much better looking images with 360 pano software (though I still have to pan the room).
For close up objects (such as objects/food on a table near the camera), the focus is quite good (as in great). I can see a "foodie" liking this camera just to take a snapshot of their meals.
So for video, it works best in sunlight. Inside looks bad. For stills, the closer an object is the better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Ugly red dot lens flare
This is a fun camera but suffers from ugly lens flare when photos are taken out in full sun. I purchased this to use on my outdoor adventures. All the photos that I took out in full sun had an ugly red dot. I thought it was a defect in the sensor so I returned the first one and got a replacement. The second one also showed the ugly red dot. After going on the theta forum, I found that this is a lens flare. Someone on the forum suggested to make sure that one of lens face the sun. I tried it but it still didn't work.
It's a fun camera if you are planning to use it for indoors or where there is no direct sun in the photo. Unfortunately, that is not how I planned to use this camera so I am returning it. Hopefully the next iteration will fix this issue.