It might look like a colourful ladies’ razor, the kind of thing you’d use as a stocking filler to bulk out your missus’ presents on Christmas Day. You’d be grossly mistaken. This simple-looking device is capable of capturing a spherical panoramic image in an instant at the mere click of a button.
What’s more, you can capture 360-degree stills and videos without having to pan, spin or stitch, like you normally have to when tackling panoramic shots on conventional cameras.
Ricoh Imaging UK will release the Ricoh Theta on November 14, 2014, the perfect date to whip consumers into pre-release frenzy but give them enough time to purchase the sophisticated spherical device for an ultra-cool Christmas present.
Contributing to the pre-release consumer excitement is of course the tech press, who, by all accounts, would love to get their hands on a colourful Theta M15.
Tech Radar reveals the Theta’s instant spherical panoramic imaging secret as being the super wide-angle lenses which lie on either side of the camera’s slim body. By facing opposite directions, each lens captures a 180-degree image. The Theta then stitches the two images together and, hey presto, a 360-degree image of the world is created.
How many times have you opted to take a picture on your smartphone opposed to your camera? You know the quality might not be quite as good but at least you can upload the image directly onto social media whilst ‘the moment’ is still alive and kicking.
With built-in Wi-Fi you have similar freedom with the Theta M15. You can transfer the still or video to your Android or iOS smartphone and display the images on the Ricoh Theta app.
You can even upload your panoramic creations to the Ricoh theta360.com website and zoom and pan at your leisure in the web browser.
Ricoh have obviously cottoned onto the fact that the majority of 21st century camera users are into taking images and then sharing them with the world on social media, instantly. As a Ricoh spokeswoman said:
“We’re targeting users who are into sharing via social media. We developed this camera and its video feature in response to user demand.”
For Tech Radar, what makes the M15 stand out is the fact it is possible to shoot panoramic videos, for up to three minutes.
For Ubergizmo, what makes this camera superior to other action-capturing cameras, is its petite size, small and slim enough that it can easily slip into your pocket.
PC Advisor are quick to point out, if you’re into action sports, then this is the camera for you. In its review of the Theta M15, PC Advisor informs how Ricoh wants to get external developers interested in spherical photography, stating an API and SDK will be released for the device.
Other notable feats of the M15? It has 4GB of internal memory, a lithium-ion battery which you can charge via a USB connector, a shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second and an ISO range of 100 t0 1600 for stills and 100 to 400 for video.
You can even choose which colour you want – Pink, blue, white or yellow?
For £270, it’s pretty safe to assume, there’ll be a fair share of zealously-captured Theta M15 spherical videos and images getting uploaded onto Facebook on Christmas Day.