Ricoh’s next-gen THETA S captures 360-degree scenes surrounding the user. The new model captures high-resolution spherical images of up to nearly 14-megapixels. It can also record spherical video in full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 fps) with a maximum recording time of 25 minutes.
The better quality images are enabled by an enlarged image sensor and fast f/2.0 lenses to allow more light through Ricoh’s proprietary ultra-small twin-lens folded-optical system.
Also, superior image processing technology and bulb mode for long exposures produce spherical still images with less visual static, even in low-light settings.
Spherical images can be uploaded to theta360.com, shared via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, and posted to Google Maps, Google+ and YouTube360°Channel. The application program interface (API) for the THETA S is based on Google-supported Open Spherical Camera API for compatibility with Google’s services.
Coinciding with the launch, Google Maps introduced the new Google Street View app that allows you to capture and publish your photo spheres instantly to Google Maps for people all over the world to explore. The app also offers the ability to shoot photo spheres and to connect to spherical cameras.
The new camera app for smartphones and tablets can be used to configure settings and instantly view spherical photos and video via wirelessly connected devices. An improved Wi-Fi module transfers data four times faster than the current model.
The S also boasts a fully updated design and user interface. Usability has been improved with a sure-grip black rubber coating and face-mounted LED mode indicator. Internal memory has been increased to 8GB.
The Ricoh THETA S is expected to be available in Canada in late October for a list price of $449.99.