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Buyer Guide for RICOH THETA Cameras

Find out which THETA model works best for your specific use case

Check out RICOH cameras: THETA Z1 | THETA V | THETA SC2
Please read the document to verify that we've tested the specific model.
Thank you for supporting freely available community documentation by buying from the links above. We receive a small referral fee.

RICOH has a wide range of 360° cameras that can handle a wide range of use cases, depending on requirements and budget. This guide is intended to make it easier to make a clear decision on which THETA model works best for your specific use case. If you are buying in large volumes, you can connect with RICOH for sales discounts.

Quick Summary

THETA Z1

Use case: Professional photographer, business such as real estate, used car, or enthusiast. The best.

Reason: Best possible images. Only camera that supports DNG/RAW images. Highest resolution image. Largest image sensor. Highest cost.

THETA V

Use case: Enthusiast that can pay $363 for the V, but not the $999 for the Z1. Live streaming. Mid-priced and mid-features.

Reason: Supports live streaming, plug-ins.

THETA SC2

Use case: Consumer. Business that is focused on still images, but wants to reduce cost. OK with using RICOH official mobile app. This is the cheapest camera of the current models. Least amount of features.

Reason: Image and video resolution are same as V. Takes longer to process image inside camera and be ready for next shot. Does not support plug-ins or streaming. Does not work with all third-party mobile apps. Developers should note that SC2 does not work with SDK (as of March 16, 2020).

Note that the S, SC, and m15 are older models. We do not recommend buying them.  


THETA Z1 - Highest quality camera produced by RICOH, highest resolution images, large 1” sensor means great in low-light conditions, API and SDK available, OLED screen. Only model to support DNG/RAW images. Supports plug-ins. Good for VFX. 4K streaming.

Prize: $999.95 - Buy Now!

THETA V - Great value for the price, used widely, API and SDK available, wide range of articles and information on theta360.guide. Supports plug-ins. 4K streaming.

Price: $363.00 - Buy Now!

THETA SC2 - Newest model released December 2019, consumer focused with small informational OLED screen, multiple colors. A THETA SC2 for Business is now available (spring 2020) though its exact specs are not included in this guide. If budget is critical for your specific use case, the THETA SC2 for Business may be a good choice. You may be able to use the  API for mobile development, but the SDK is reported by multiple community members to have troubles and as of March 18, 2020, the SDK is not usable. Does not support plug-ins. As of March 16, 2020, people have problems with some third-party mobile apps such as Google Streetview. Not good for VFX. Does not support live streaming. Does not support wireless LAN client mode (as of March 18, 2020)

Price: $299.93 - Buy Now!


THETA SC - Consumer focused camera, does not have plug-in API access. Does not support plug-ins. 

THETA S - Excellent camera, but getting long in the tooth. Video is 2K, which is no longer an acceptable resolution for 360° cameras. Does not support plug-ins. 

THETA m15 - Outdated camera that still shows the potential for 360° imagery, but is not appropriate for business use. 


Specifications

 

 

THETA V

THETA Z1

THETA SC2

API

Yes

Yes

Yes

Plug-in architecture

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pixels

12 MP (x2)

20 MP (x2)

14MP (x2)

Sensor Size:

1/2.3 CMOS (x2)

1.0-inch Type (x2)

1/2.3 CMOS (x2)

Total Memory:

19GB

19GB

14GB

F-Stop:

F/2.0

F/2.1

F/3.5

F/5.6

F/2.0

Weight:

121g

182g

104g

Colors:

Gray

Black

White, Blue, Pink, Beige

Object Distance:

10cm – ∞ (from front of lens)

40cm – ∞ (from front of lens)

10cm - ∞ (from front of lens)

Still Image Shutter Speed:

1/25000 to

60 sec.

1/25000 to

60 sec.

 

Still Image ISO Sensitivity:

ISO 64 – 1600

ISO 80 to 6400

 

Video ISO Sensitivity:

ISO 64 – 6400

ISO 80 to 6400

 

Live Streaming ISO:

ISO 64 – 6400

ISO 80 to 6400

N/A

Video:

4K

4K

4K

Max. Stills Image Resolution:

5376×2688

6720×3360

5376×2688

Max. Video Resolution:

3840×1920 /  56 Mbps

3840×1920 / 56 Mbps

3840×1920 / 54Mbps

Max. Live Streaming Rates:

3840×1920 / 120 Mbps

3840×1920 / 120 Mbps

N/A

Video FPS:

30fps

30fps

30fps

Photos Per Battery Life:

Stills: 300

Video: 80 mins

Stills: 300

Video: 60 mins

 

Stills Storage Capacity (“Large” Files):

4,800 Photos*

350 Photos (RAW)

 

Stills Storage Capacity (“Medium” Files):

Not Specified

2400 (JPEG)

 

Max. Recording Time Per Clip:

Max. 5 minutes / 25 minutes

Max. 5 minutes / 25 minutes

 

Total Video Storage Capacity (“Large” Files):

40 Mins.

40 Mins.

 

Total Video Storage Capacity (“Medium” Files):

130 Mins.

130 Mins.

 

Shooting Modes:

1. Auto

2. Shutter Priority

3. ISO Priority

4. Manual

1. Auto

2. Aperture Priority

3. Shutter Priority

4. ISO Priority

5. Manual

 

Ports:

Micro USB: USB 2.0 Microphone Jack

USB Type-C: USB3.0

Micro-USB: USB 2.0, microphone terminal

360º HD Live Streaming:

x

Tripod Mount:

Google Street View Connectivity:

Not specified

Not specified

Long Exposure:

Audio For Video Recording:

4-Channel Microphone:

x

Bluetooth:

Image Stabilization:

 

Multi-Bracket Shooting:

RAW Recording:

x

x

 

 

Thank you for supporting freely available community documentation by buying from the Buyer Guide. We receive a small referral fee.

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