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Ricoh Theta camera unveiled for 360-degree panorama lovers

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Ricoh Theta camera unveiled for 360-degree panorama lovers

Ricoh has unveiled Theta, a WiFi-enabled camera which captures 360-degree panorama photos with the help of two lenses.

At the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2013, Ricoh has demoed a 360-degree omnidirectional camera concept. It involved a camera with two lenses placed on each side of the device, which captured two photos at the same time, then stitched them together in order to create beautiful panoramas.

Ricoh Theta
Ricoh Theta is a 360-degree panorama camera with two lenses placed on each side of the device.

Ricoh Theta 360-degree panorama camera becomes official with two-lens design

More than half-a-year has passed since CP+ 2013 and now that device is finally official as a consumer product. It is called Ricoh Theta, it packs a similar, but yet so different design and it should start capturing panorama photos as of October.

Ricoh Theta boasts a very sleek design with a couple of ultra-small lenses, placed on each side of the camera, capable of taking photos at the same time, in order to provide a consistent 360-degree panorama.

Ricoh Theta functions
Ricoh Theta functions and buttons explained.

Specifications list lacks the “wow” factor and RAW support

The Ricoh Theta specs list is not awe-inspiring. However, it is packing decent features, such as a minimum focusing distance of 10 centimeters. Its shutter speed will range between 1/8000 and 1/7.5th of second. The design team could have gone even lower, but slow shutter speeds are not advisable when shooting panoramas.

It comes with 4GB of internal storage, which could provide home to about 1,200 images. The ISO sensitivity starts at 100 and tops at 1,600, while the integrated battery provides 200 shots on a single charge. Unfortunately, the camera takes only JPEG photos, as the RAW format is not supported.

A microUSB port is provided to copy photos onto a computer and to recharge the battery.

Theta camera
Theta camera can be connected to an iPhone via WiFi. Users can then use their smartphones to control Ricoh’s device from a distance. An Android app is in the works and it’s coming by the end of 2013.

Theta can connect to an iPhone via WiFi

Perhaps the second most exciting feature of the panorama shooter is WiFi. It allows users to connect to an iPhone and send photos to iOS smartphones. Users will have to install a free app for that, but they will be able to edit and share photos on social networks through their mobile phones.

WiFi function is a must, since there is no LCD screen on the Ricoh Theta camera. The app can also be used to trigger the shutter button among others, while a tripod mount allows photographers to stabilize the device.

The lack of an LCD screen for framing the images is a major downside, but the company is hoping that owners will rely on their smartphones, as an Android version is coming in late 2013.

These panoramas can be made to look like tiny planets, too, so they will surely amaze your friends.

Ricoh Theta panorama
Ricoh Theta panorama can be made to look like a tiny planet.

Ricoh poised to release Theta this October in several key markets

Ricoh’s Theta is a very small and lightweight camera. It measures only 42 x 129 x 22.8mm and weighs 95 grams.

It will become available for pre-order in the US, UK, France, and Germany for a suggested price of $399 in late September and its release date is set for October.

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Ricoh Theta camera unveiled for 360-degree panorama lovers