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.

theta-sc_sideIt 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.”

theta-sc-being-controlled-b

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.

Ricoh Theta SC Specs

ricoh-theta-sc

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • sfmike

    Kind of disappointed as I was hoping for an improved version of the Theta S. We need more resolution when viewing images and video with a HMD.

  • Had a Theta S.. was very very impressed with its ease of use… Stills looked great and can the apps were fun to use… Video though… was unfortunately pointless at this res… so the lack of live streaming isn’t a biggy…. roll on the theta S2 and twin 4k cameras please

    • Area 1

      Agreed! I was hoping for an improved version, but this seems to be a step backwards. Live streaming is better then nothing, but there are bottelnecks as mentioned.

      BTW: the video time for the Ricoh Theta S is 25 minutes (or max 4GB) at HD (1920×1080) resolution.

      We using this feature for our clients and Apps and so far everyone is happy with this and it works with iPhones too.

      But for the SC I expected a 4k camera to compete with Samsung’s Gear 360.

  • Scott Nebeker

    Ugh… Just ugh… The Theta has been a pain since it first came out. This is no different.