Tokyo, Japan—Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation introduced the Ricoh Theta Z1 360º-capable camera. The Z1 supports approximately 23MP-resolution (6,720×3,360), 360º still image capture. The high-end model of the Ricoh Theta series also shoots spherical images in a single shot.
Since Ricoh launched the first 360º consumer camera in 2013, it has continued to evolve the category. As a result, the cameras are becoming an integral tool for the burgeoning industries of virtual reality (VR), social media, real estate and more.
The Ricoh Theta Z1 is the new flagship model, with Ricoh deploying its latest optical and image-processing technologies to achieve the line’s highest resolution and quality to date. The Z1’s compact main body incorporates a 1-inch backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor.
Moreover, it provides a range of shooting modes, such as aperture priority, allowing users to take high-quality images regardless of the setting. It’s also possible to shoot smooth, immersive 360º video in 4K (3,840×1,920) at 30 frames per second (fps) thanks to 3-axis rotational stabilization that effectively compensates for rotational shake.
The camera’s main body also has a 0.93-inch organic EL monitor and a function (Fn) button. As a result, users have access to camera information at a glance, including the number of possible shots and exposure settings. In addition, aperture-priority automatic exposure (Av), shutter-priority automatic exposure (Tv), ISO sensitivity automatic exposure (ISO) and manual (M) were added to the exposure settings, allowing for more video options.
Also, in addition to JPEG files, the Theta Z1 supports the Adobe DNG format (RAW), so users can perform image editing as with a DSLR. Furthermore, the Android-based system now offers flexibility in the number of expansions users can add to the Z1 via plug-ins.
Additional Ricoh Theta Z1 Features
The camera’s new multi-level aperture mechanism let users set the F-number to one of three levels: F2.1, F3.5 or F5.6. In places where the camera can take in a lot of light, the resolution of surrounding areas increases. Moreover, the new lens unit keeps ghosts, flares and fringing down.
The camera also supports ISO 6400 for night and dark indoor photography. And a new image-processing algorithm achieves low- and high-sensitivity, as well as low-noise, high-resolution images. Moreover, Dynamic Range (DR) compensation is automatic for normal shooting, reducing blown-out and pitch-black shadows with brightness contrasts. The Z1 also offers various shooting modes: HDR rendering; interval composite shooting to record star trails; and multi-bracket shooting to take continuous shots with 19 settings.
To augment the immersive VR experience, Ricoh equipped the camera with a 4-channel microphone for 360º spatial audio recording. Recording omnidirectional audio, in both horizontal and vertical directions, makes it possible to reproduce sound and video as it was in the shooting environment by linking 360º video and audio.
Users also can directly post 360º spherical images to Facebook or upload them to theta360.com and share them on social networks like Twitter and Tumblr. In addition, unique cropped images can post to Instagram. It’s also possible to submit captured spherical videos to the YouTube 360º channel and images to Google Maps.
Other features include: shutter speeds up to 1/25,000 sec; 19GB of internal memory; the THETA+ application to edit still images and export image data files for printing; dual communication using Bluetooth and wireless LAN; and the new time-shift shooting plug-in that avoids capturing the photographer’s reflection in images.
Ricoh’s Theta Z1 will be displayed ahead of its official release at Ricoh Imaging’s booth during CP+ 2019. CP+ is at Pacifico Yokohama on February 28, 2019.