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Ricoh Theta V 4k 360 Spherical Camera
|Video Capture Resolution||Other|
|Lens||360 Spherical Lens|
About this item
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- Theta V shoots hi-def smooth 360 Degree video at 30 fps @ 3840 x 1920 pixels or 4K. It supports the H.264 file format for video recording ; Remote release: CA-3-compatible
- Hi-res 360 Degree spherical stills & video with improvements to the image quality. New Qualcomm Snapdragon processor has completely enhanced the exposure accuracy and white balance algorithm. Object distance- Approx. 10cm - ∞ (from front of lens).Lens configuration:7 elements in 6 groups
- Theta has a 4-channel microphone that supports 360 Degree spatial audio recording built in Omnidirectional audio is recorded not just in the horizontal direction but also in the vertical direction. Storage temperature range - -20°C - 60°C
- The world’s-first Remote Playback capable fully spherical camera allows users to wirelessly playback 360 Degree images and videos on a large-screen display Using a compatible wireless display adapter
- Wireless LAN transfer speed (WLAN, MAX): 2.4GHz, 3mm: 20Mbps; 2.4GHz, 10mm: 10Mbps; 5GHz, 3mm: 50Mbps; 5GHz, 10mm: 10Mbps. The camera can always be connected to a smartphone using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) This function provides improvements in usability and power consumption
Buy this product as Renewed and save $41.98 off the current New price.
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From the manufacturer
- 4K compatible high resolution 360° videos and spherical images
- 360° spatial audio recording
- Three axis gyro sensors and three axis acceleration sensors
- Bluetooth and wireless LAN dual communication
High image quality, all in a compact size.
High quality images!
Ricoh's excellent optical design and an advanced image processing device "SnapDragon", gives you high image quality and superb stitching all in a compact design. You can enjoy beautiful 360° images and videos on smartphones, computers, and TVs with a simple operation.
Shoot in the most demanding conditions!
In addition to the conventional "slant top/bottom correction", the gyro sensor detects slight movements when a video is recorded, generating a 360° video that is less blurred and smooth. 360° videos can be easily be created by hand held shooting or using a selfie stick.
Sharing your creativity!
The Theta can connect to most IOS and Android smartphones. You can easily share your 360° images and videos with your friends. A true VR experience.
Edit your images or videos!
Using official apps allows users to edit photos and videos freely. You can also easily share edited images and videos on your social media.
Expand your Theta!
In addition to basic functions, THETA V uses an Android-based operating system that can be evolved by adding a variety of functions.
The Theta is ready for any underwater excursion with the available TW-1 underwater housing (sold separately).
Compare with similar items
The Theta V is lightweight 360 Degree spherical camera, it’s easy to use and compact enough to carry everywhere. Enhancements including a new image sensor and Processor for improved image quality Allow the camera to produce more realistic “as-if-you-were-there” 360-degree content. The camera’s new high-speed data transfer is 2. 5 times faster than previous Theta models, allowing users to quickly and wirelessly upload 14 Megapixel stills and high-resolution 4K videos for immediate showing and sharing. Omni-directional audio recording functionality enables 360-degree audio that is a strong complement to the high resolution video, dramatically enhancing the realism of a scene. The Theta V can connect to and be controlled by any Android or iOS-based smartphone or tablet using the Theta S app. Connection is either via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-which enables an “always-on” connection between a camera and phone-or Wi-Fi, providing users with greater flexibility in how they wirelessly control the camera. A new and unique feature of the Theta V is that Ricoh will be able to create new functions for the camera via software plug-ins. The first of these plug-ins was developed by Ricoh and is already integrated into the phone. It enables the Theta V to deliver the world’s first remote playback capability in a commercially-marketed, fully spherical camera. The camera has a 4-channel microphone that supports 360 Degree spatial audio recording built into its body. Omnidirectional audio is recorded not just in the horizontal direction but also in the vertical direction, making it possible to reproduce sound and video as it was in the environment where the video was shot by linking 360 Degree video and audio together. Furthermore, using the dedicated accessory 3D microphone TA-1 (optional) scheduled for launch With the camera will allow users to pick up natural sound with a large volume of information at low to high frequency. Wireless communication protocol (WLAN)- HTTP (Open Spherical Camera API compatible). Battery Life - Still image - Approx. 300 images, Video - 80 minutes
Shooting Functions :
Shooting with self-timer
shooting with multi brackets.
Top reviews from the United States
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So I ordered as soon as it was available on Amazon.
Right away I was disappointed by stitching artifacts—double images at the borders between the images produced by either lens. These were absent in the images produced by previous, less expensive model—Theta S. Quite frankly, the fact that there were no stitching artifacts on Theta S was comforting. It was nice knowing that a usable image is possible out of camera right away. This is not the case with Theta V.
Further analysis revealed that Theta V has a worse compression—simply looking at the images revealed that there si a visible macroblocking, especially visible at the edges of objects, making any improvement of the optics almost pointless.One of the reasons behind worse JPEG compression is smaller file size.
Original from Theta S is 3.7MB while the Original from new Theta V is 1.1MB. Theta V has the same number of pixels, same JPEG encoding schema, but allocates only about 31% of the file size to the same image content. A pessimist in me thinks—is this what Ricoh doing to advertize improved transfer speeds per image?
PROS: shaper optics, UHD for Video; possibly better color accuracy; better purple fringe control.
CONS: stitching artifacts resulting in doubled image at any cross over edge between field of view of two lenses;
significant quality loss due to smaller file size and therefore higher compression ratio
(Images provided for reference are from Theta V (pinkish or orangeish hue) and from Theta S (cyan or greenish hue). For legend see side-by-side combined images)
Camera 2 has had nothing but major connection problems. Now, I run a company and I gave it to an agent. Most of my agents are amazing, however, I am usually walking them through tech stuff. So when an agent says she is having connection issues, I think it's like I had with mine. I gave her a few pointers, counted it goo.d She still reported problems. Finally, I go to take a look at it over the weekend. The whole "camera wifi" is broken. It simply won't connect to anything for more than a few seconds, if at all. I updated the firmware, no difference. It's not an app issue, it's a camera issue. So it's past the 30-day exchange window, and Amazon wants me to mail it back for a few weeks for "repairs". I want an exchange since it's never worked right, Amazon was adamant it would not happen. They gave me Ricoh's warranty site, but trying to register goes nowhere because at the bottom of the warranty registration page it asks for what product type and "Camera" is not an option, so you can't continue (you choose type, then enter a serial, and the serial won't work with other product types).
Camera 3 I paid for new (as the others), from Amazon Fulfillment. It came used. Data cable was missing, and the camera already had someone else's photos on it. It works ok though, so I never messed with it. I run a company, I don't have time to deal with crap like this. I told Amazon while trying to chat with them about Camera 2 today, they offered to have us send it off for repairs. Lovely. I don't want it repaired, I want them to recognize they sent a used product and charged me new. And we have the dated photos to prove it. No dice, they didn't even acknowledge it.
So here's the deal: When it's working, I love it! Video quality and stitching are top notch. Audio is great. My clients love it. I upload the videos to youtube (unlisted) and send links to them, nothing but praise. The app sucks, and you definitely want to upgrade the firmware on the camera. You cannot just drag video files via a wired connection to your computer unless you want a weird video that' s useless, you need to either send it via "camera wifi" to your phone for it to convert to a videosphere, or download the Ricoh software to your computer and convert it through there. So getting the end product is a bit f a pain. Also, since the app on Android at least rarely works right, don't bother using your phone as a start/stop remote. Just push the button on the camera, transfer it later.
It's a great concept, great technology, highly flawed software and transfer flow, and be sure to triple. check everything because you may end up with a used camera you bought new, or one of their many defective ones. You just keep rolling the dice until you get one that works.
For starters, the manual, iso priority and the EV adjustments only work now and then, you can adjust the exposure on the iPhone app, click capture and find yourself with a un-addjusted capture.. this is more a rule than an exception.. so kindly forget all about using the manual anything adjustments.
instead shoot auto with applied "HDR RENDER" its not perfect, but by far the best looking exposure.
*sometimes the EV adjustment will take in AUTO. I prefer to shoot a bit under exposed to recover the highlights. however find im generally more successful when using the "HDR RENDER" feature.
Firmware update.. was successful after trying 4 different USB cables. "Like Seriously"
OK big one for me.. to share these images on the go.. you must log into the THETA 360 website. you can ONLY do that with either Facebook or Twitter.. im just going to repeat my headroom and say ""Like Seriously".....
SERIOUSLY.. let users setup accounts with email & password so we don't have to involve FB and Twitter in every frame we share via txt ;-)
Last HUGE problem. this camera is all about the two huge fisheye lenses.. but ship with absolutely no lens protection. any serious lens you buy come with a lens-cap. so should the THETA, or even better a VERY simple hard-case plastic sleeve or similar that you can drop it into for protection. if you damage the lens the camera is done. so make something that will protect it before you take it backpacking.
That said. getting past the immature app and webservice, use something like kuula.co to share the files. get yourself a monopod with legs to have less to remove from the ground part of the shot. shoot in AUTO because it works.. and you DO get a surprisingly good file with virtually no stitching errors for a minimum of effort. (im used to shoot commercial spherical which takes lots of time per click) this is truly a 1-click ready to use spherical camera..
If the camera came with a protective anything, had a working manual / EV adjustment.. and could be used without setting up a facebook account. I would probably rate this 4-5 stars.. the camera is surprisingly good, BUT those issues.. im sorry that complete package have too many problems to be anything more than 2 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
Here are the Pro's of the V in my experience, compared with the S and other cams:
- 4k video is really good quality and copes with low lighting well (far far better than the Nikon KeyMission).
- 4k video can be streamed to youtube via a PC (a driver, currently in beta, is needed to do this but it does it well).
- the transfer speeds over wifi are very fast (a big step up over the Theta S)
- The app is still really great.
- It can be charged with any charger (Theta S would refuse to charge with a high amp usb charger)
- Ability to run apps on it seems promising (edit: This is being rolled out soon 2018)
- Ability to sense tilt seems promising (edit: now auto stabilises video)
- Small deadzone. the lenses are close together, there's very little dead space in the image.
- images every 4 seconds with timelapse mode rather than 7
- can stream to a tv that has an amazon firestick.
- Same image sensor as the Theta S. The camera has a faster processor and you should get less noise on the images, but the resolution is the same.
- Image stitching seems worse.. maybe due to the new lens system.. Imagine a firmware update will fix this. (edit: some way to being fixed)
- Still no SD Card slot. Don't feel like opening this one up just yet, but all the others have had SD cards hidden inside them.. these have probably been kept hidden as they'd need a fast SD card to work well with 4k video.. perhaps people would complain their card didn't work all the time if they put an access slot in? insta, samsung, mija all have this.
- Still has a plastic tripod thread, this was a bit fragile and actually broke on my S.
- There's no autostabilistion like on Mija or insta360 cameras, despite it having sensors to do so.. this should at least be able to be applied in post production on the app. (Edit: the autostabilisation now works)
- Bit pricey really.
1. It takes 360° Spherical images.
2. It does not spin around
3. You need to use two apps. The Ricoh Theta App and the Ricoh Theta+ app.
4. You need to learn how to remove the Nadir. Check YouTube for tutorials on this. The nadir is the image that remains of the tripod mount you use when you take a picture.
5. You need to learn about Tiny Planets. These are app made filtered images that are pretty cool. Again check Instagram this time for examples.
6. Learn how to take images using the self timer function.
7. You will also need a monopod with a tripod base suitable for this camera. The Ricoh one is overpriced. I bought a carbon fibre one and a separate base. You don’t need one straight away - but as you develop your 360° photo taking skills it will be a requirement.
Essentially this is the latest model of the Theta family. (UPDATE MAY2019 THE Z1 IS NOW THE LATEST MODEL) It has a faster processor and offers 4K 360° video as well as spherical sound (with added microphone) (UPDATE- I USED THE EXTERNAL MICROPHONE AND IT ADDED NOTHING IMHO - OTHER THAN A WIND NOISE SUPPRESSING FOAM, THERE WAS NO BENEFICIAL INCREASE IN SOUND CLARITY)
The theta has the best examples of stitched in camera stitching of all the cameras out there. For the money you can’t really get better. So there’s one reason to get it.
The camera uses its in house Wi-fi to connect to your smart phone and you take the photo using the theta app. You can extend the connection by connecting the camera to your home or any router - a feature only V can do.
I would also advise getting a silicon skin straight away. Cheap enough to buy. (UPDATE - A SILICON SKIN CREATES A SHADOW IN THE IMAGE, SO BUY A CASE INSTEAD)
There is a more technical side to manipulating and displaying 360° photos so you do need to do your research otherwise you will be disappointed.
However if you’re set on joint the 360° revolution (pun intended) this is the best camera you can get for the money.
Both the little sister and brothers of this camera the S and the SC are equally good at taking still photos - you just lack the 4K and a few other features. So if you don’t want to spend £300+ I would advise getting one of those. They’re a bit slower due to the processor but they are pretty brilliant too.
I thought about a drone, but went for this instead, and I am SO Please that I did.
Some of the results are fantastic.
I've put a couple "little planet" Conversions up. I love how these come out.
First, let me start off by highlighting the GOOD things about the Theta V, because unfortunately in my opinion there are far fewer positive things than negative when it comes to this little doodad:
- The physical design and footprint of the device is good - it's relatively small and unobtrusive which makes it totally viable for recording a small or private event without being in the way. It does have LEDs when it's on and recording, but in my opinion they are not distracting which is also a good thing.
- It's easy to use - when the app connects properly, it's quite simple and straightforward to use. I say when because in my experience with the Theta I've had a lot of connectivity issues in terms of my phone dropping the connection to the camera, even when I'm standing right next to it...but I'll talk more about that when I get to the cons below.
- The software is also easy to use - when it comes to importing and converting your files to be compatible in a 360 space, it's as simple and dragging and dropping the original file into the window, selecting where you want the converted file to be saved, and that's pretty much it. There are a couple of other options available as well: one lets you downsample the quality from 4K to HD, and the other lets you choose whether you want the stitching software to "fix" the top and bottom of the file...all in all, it's quite easy to use which I was really happy about since sometimes the software you need to operate special camera equipment can be more difficult to figure out than the equipment itself.
- The standard tripod mount on the bottom of the Theta makes it compatible with just about any tripod and makes it mountable just about anywhere, and it can also be used handheld, so it's very versatile in that regard.
- The battery life seems fairly on-par with the limited internal memory - I'm listing this as a pro because the battery did last long enough for me to record the footage I needed, but if your plan is to use it professionally you may find that both the internal storage and battery life are limiting.
- The flat bottom - I'm really glad they made the bottom flat so that you can just stand it up on a flat surface. There might only be specific situations where you could or would want to use it like that, but I'm glad it's at least possible.
- One thing I like about the app is that you can view the camera feed output in stitched or unstitched view which is sometimes helpful to be able to switch back and forth so easily.
Okay, now onto the BAD things about the Theta V...here we go:
- One of the biggest and most frustrating issues with the Theta V, as I see it, is that you lose access to live view through the app while you are recording. So when the camera is setup but not recording, you can see what the camera sees inside the app (in stitched or unstitched view). But as soon as you start recording, live view is no longer available inside the app until you stop recording. I understand that they maybe couldn't have programmed it to have live view while filming, but all I'm saying is that it is a major downside to not be able to see what you're capturing as you're capturing it. This was a huge strike against the Theta V for me.
- Due to the file format and how the 360 video files need to be converted before they can work properly in a 360 space, I could not seem to play any of my recordings back through the app. I know you can configure the camera to work as a remote to watch live playback on a television, but frankly this feature is pretty useless in a lot of (most) situations since how often are you going to have access to a TV for playback? Maybe there is a way to watch your recordings in the app, but I couldn't not figure out how. Again, it's a small inconvenience but when you stack it on top of all the other small inconveniences, well...you'll see what my verdict is.
- No expandable storage OR exchangeable batteries - if the first two cons I listed weren't dealbreakers for you, this one very well could be. You are limited not only by the internal storage of 19GB (which is not much, especially when it comes to 4K video) but you're also limited to its built-in battery. No, you cannot expand the memory with a MicroSD card once the internal memory is full. No, you cannot purchase extra batteries to be able to continue using the camera after the internal battery dies. In my opinion, these types of limitations are pretty inexcusable in 2017. Even if these were the only two things that they "fix" for the next version of the Theta, it would be an immensely more useful device.
- Another con is that there are visible stitch lines in certain weather and/or certain lighting situations. Obviously the stitching can't be perfect, so if you're expecting it to be, you're likely going to be disappointed. The way they stitch the videos together is quite good in my opinion and certainly usable, but again, just don't expect it to look perfect.
- In my experience, even the picture quality on this 4K Theta seems a little poor. Based on my comparisons with footage shot with the previous version of the Theta the quality is certainly much better, but when you compare it to footage shot with an actual 4K camera it definitely doesn't measure up. Which is to be expected because the thing only costs $500...I would expect a $1,000+ DSLR to produce better quality so this isn't really a surprise, but it was a little disappointing nonetheless that the quality wasn't still a little better than it is.
- I do like that Ricoh included a soft pouch for carrying the Theta V, but for the price it would have been nice if they could have also included a simple hardshell case with a soft inner material to protect the lenses.
- I've already mentioned the fact that you can't buy extra batteries, but another thing worth mentioning is the battery life. I know I listed it as a pro because for me personally the battery lasted long enough, but like I said above, if you plan on using it professionally I expect that you will feel very limited by the life of the internal battery.
- Poor connectivity - in my experience with the Theta V, the wifi range is extremely poor especially outdoors. My phone would drop the connection to the camera if I was moving around, and even when I was standing just a few feet away from the Theta it would still disconnect and none of the app features would work until I reconnected the wifi connection. Again, this is just another inconvenience that, when paired with the rest of them, makes for a frustrating user experience a lot of the time. If the wifi connection wasn't such garbage and you could start/stop recording from a number of feet away (like you should be able to) then it would be so much better.
- As easy as the software is to use, it's still kind of a pain that you need special software to convert or play these videos. I understand that is just the nature of the beast of 360 videos, but it's still a con as far as I'm concerned.
- Price. Obviously I have no idea what it costs to design or manufacture a device like this, but based on my use and experience with it, I would say that a price tag of around $300-400 would seem much more reasonable, especially given its limitations. In my opinion $500+ is a lot of money to spend on this item which is certainly neat but has some serious and restrictive shortcomings.
- In my experience it is ideal to use mounted on a stationary tripod. Not only is the 360 video a bit hard to watch if the camera is also in motion, but the stitching from the software that removes the Theta from the frame becomes really noticeable and weird-looking when the pixels around it are moving.
- Very poor dynamic range, especially in low light - I wouldn't expect the low-light performance of any $500 camera to be great, but even with that being said it is quite awful. The dynamic range is much better when there's lots of available light, but if you're shooting in an area that's even slightly dim you will lose almost all of the detail in any dark or shadowy part of the frame.
- I would have liked the ability to rotate a recording within the app whether before or after filming. For example, so you could hold the Theta upside down in order to get an extremely low angle. Perhaps this is a feature and I just didn't see it, but I don't think it's possible and I think that a rotation option would make it a lot more versatile.
- The total remaining recording time left on your internal memory is hidden in the live view settings - I'm listing this is a con because I think this information should absolutely be displayed on the main app/live view screen, not buried in a menu somewhere. When you're limited to 19GB of internal memory, it becomes extremely important to manage your space and I think that would be much easier if the remaining memory was always visible within the app, just like the battery meter.
All in all, the Theta V is a really neat and interesting piece of equipment that does a relatively good job of recording 360 video and audio in a fairly simple way. However, it has some pretty significant limitations that make it impossible for me to be able to justify keeping it. I think that if Ricoh addresses some of these problems for the next version of the Theta, it could be a truly wonderful device that would absolutely have a spot in my camera bag. But for now it feels like something that is almost there but just not quite enough to be worth having at this point in time.
Even though Amazon's description says it can, or rather, doesn't actually state implicitly that you need the microphone to achieve 360 spacial audio recording.
If you don't want the 360 spacial audio then it's a great camera by itself. Converting software is required to get it into an equirectangular format and download times from the camera to a laptop is quite slow, to a phone (I have an iPhone 7) is reeeeeeeeeally slow!
As long as you have patience and planning, the footage is great.