Ricoh wants us to go spherical! @ IFA 2015

September 3, 2015

Add your photo sphere creations to Google Maps

The concept of a 360-degree shooter that enables you to shoot and publish your own photo spheres and add to Google Maps for people anywhere to explore, is at least on paper, simply awesome. At IFA 2015, Ricoh have announced the Ricoh Theta S. The device is in its third iteration, having made its debut in 2013 as a pocket-sized camera that could capture a 360-degree spherical image with a single click. At IFA 2014, the Theta M15 featured full-HD video. And now we come to the Theta S.

Unveiled at IFA, the Theta S offers full HD recording (1,920 x 1,080 at 30fps) for a maximum time of 25 minutes, and a larger image sensor plus f2.0 allows more light through the ultra-small twin-lens folded-optical system.

There is also a new grippy black rubber coating and multi-color variants, a face mounted LED mode indicator and the onboard storage has been upped to 8GB, thus meaning up to 25 minutes of recording. Add in the new Wi-Fi module that can transfer data four times faster than the current Theta and it’s an impressive piece of kit. You can also shoot via the app with dynamic-range compensation and noise reduction for low-light shots. The Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB ports on the bottom of the camera can be used for live streaming to an external display.


Once you’ve got your spherical shots transferred, you can upload them to Ricoh’s site, which can then be shared to Twitter or Facebook, or you can embed them. But, since the Theta S app is based on the Google-supported Open Spherical Camera interface, the images are also compatible with Google’s services, including its new Street View app for iOS and Android. Using the Street View app you can shoot and publish your own photo spheres with the Theta S to add to Google Maps. The camera’s images can also be shared on Google+ and uploaded to the YouTube 360-degree channel.

The Ricoh Theta S should be in retail by the end of October with a suggested retail price of $350.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2015 and 2016. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering.  Reach him at: