Ricoh, the Japanese imaging and electronics company, today announced a new model of the Theta, the company’s pocketable 360 camera. It’s called Theta SC.
The new Theta SC is a lighter, more colorful version of the Theta that has almost everything the $350 Theta S camera has. Almost.
It has the same twin-lens design for 360 video and still images, same 12 megapixel sensors, same internal 8GB storage, same estimated battery life of 260 photos—the list goes on. It does however lack one big thing: the Theta S’s HDMI-Micro terminal, meaning you won’t be able to livestream video to online platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but in exchange, the SC comes in at $300, $50 less than its older sibling.
Positioned as a standard option between their Theta S and lower-spec Theta m15 model, Ricoh decided to sacrifice livestreaming video in the Theta SC (it can still take video, just not live) while offering a lower price-point, lower weight, and more mature swatch of your choice of four metallic colors (beige, blue, pink and white)—a clear bid to hit something of a consumer sweetspot for newcomers to 360 image capture.
According to Kaz Eguchi, president of Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp., Ricoh’s wants the Theta SC to “introduce more people to 360-degree spherical imaging. With the growing popularity of immersive imagery, augmented and virtual reality, we wanted to produce a high-quality camera at an affordable price point that appeals to anyone who is interested in capturing and sharing the world around them in this new, exciting digital imaging format.”
Like the Theta S, the Theta SC captures up to 5 minutes of fully spherical mp4 videos at 1920×1080 pixels at 30 frames per second, and can hold around 1600 photospheres at 5376×2688 pixels in JPEG format. Images can be uploaded to the theta360.com website, and shared across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, and of course videos can be uploaded to sites like Facebook and YouTube for full 360 playback.
Katia – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Alongside the Theta SC’s unveiling, Ricoh will be updating the Theta S app for iOS and Android devices to make capturing, viewing, managing and sharing 360 photos an easier process.
Using the smartphone app, the camera can be handheld with one-button operation or placed on a flat surface or tripod to be remotely controlled. The Ricoh Theta SC also has an LED indicator on its front panel for at-a-glance confirmation of the current mode, and a still-image/video switching button on the side panel, letting users operate the camera in a stand-alone mode without the need of a smartphone or computer.