Feeds
Ricoh Theta 360 degree camera

Ricoh Theta 360˚ camera: Point and click immersive imaging

Your world in a digitally enhanced bubble

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Review The Ricoh Theta is yet another excursion of photographic fun intended to deliver an immersive environment, on-line, on the move or on the desktop. It’s been tried before – remember iPIX anyone? That idea – which in the mid-1990s became a hit among high class estate agents – is still going, and still pricey, stitching two fisheye lens images together to form one seamless 360-degree view.

Ricoh Theta 360 degree camera

Ricoh's Theta: Making the case for immersive photography

For 360-degree imaging, the alternative typically required quite a bit of painstaking effort involving multiple images and some photo stitching software. Apple's QuickTime Cubic VR technology supported scene weaving this way and featured iPIX compatibility too. Where the Ricoh Theta differs, is that by having two hemispherical lenses, it takes two 180˚ images, combines them in-camera and hey presto, you’ve got a globe of visual goodness to play with.

There’s good news and bad news here, though. Depending on where you sit on the photography fence, the good news is it’s dead simple to use. Turn it on, hold it aloft and press the button on the front and listen for the soft whistle and you’ve taken a snap.

Great, so what does it look like? There’s no viewfinder and the good bad (delete according to degree of modernity) news here is you’ll need an iPod, iPhone or iPad running iOS 6 or higher.

Ricoh Theta 360 degree camera

The Wi-Fi is accessed from the usual settings menu, but the connection takes a moment to establish

The iOS device performs several functions, though. One of these4 is to act as a remote control for the Theta, as the camera also features its own Wi-Fi access point to communicate with your iDevice. So not only can you hide behind the bushes as you snap a glorious autumnal scene in the gardens of your stately home, but in a matter of seconds a low-res copy of your shot is sent to the iDevice. That’s the absent viewfinder side of things taken care of – and the fun’s only just started.

The iPhone will supply GPS data to the Theta so each image gets a location tag; the data flow is a bit of a two-way street. The iOS app allows you to interact with the spherical images, each appearing as a globe thumbnail. Click on one and you can pinch-zoom out to turn the view into a mini planet that you can twirl around. If you get in close for detail and start panning, you might find it all a bit on the mushy side, the image being lower-res than those stored in the actual camera.

Ricoh Theta 360 degree camera

Theta camera image viewed flat without processing

The Theta has around 4GB of internal storage, enough for 1,200 images and features a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that’s good for 200 shots. There’s a micro USB 2.0 port in the base for charging and image transfer. With the latter, it’ll pop-up in iPhoto ready to import some very strangely distorted images when viewed ‘flat’. At full-res this measures up at 3584 x 1792 pixels making it a 6.4Mp image; the lower res app view pics are 2048 x 1024 pixels (2.1Mp).

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.