Ricoh Announces Theta V 360-degree 4k Video Camera With Surround-Sound Audio For A Truly Immersive Experience
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the Ricoh Theta V camera, offering 360-degree 4K video capture and live-streaming, spatial “surround-sound” audio recording and high-speed image transfer that make it simple to capture highly realistic imagery, as well as experience and share exceptional immersive content. The Theta V is the new, top-of-the-line model in the pioneering and industry-leading Theta camera series.
When launched in 2013, the Ricoh Theta was the world's first 360-degree, single-shot camera, enabling users to express themselves in new and unique ways. 360-degree still photos and videos redefined photography by giving the viewer the ability to control what he or she sees in a scene. In addition, the resulting 360-degree images were easily shared with others, allowing them to virtually experience a scene as if they were there. Theta cameras today are being used for a broad range of consumer and business applications, ranging from documenting vacation memories to real estate listings and virtual tours, and the rapid growth of virtual reality (VR) and emergence of social media services supporting 360-degree images are expected to drive increased demand for Ricoh Theta cameras.
Retaining the award-winning, slim-line design of previous Theta models, the Theta V is lightweight, easy to use and compact enough to carry everywhere. Enhancements including a new image sensor and processor for improved image quality allow the camera to produce more realistic “as-if-you-were-there” 360-degree content. The Theta V incorporates advanced technologies originally developed for high-end PENTAX DSLRs that increase exposure accuracy and white balance, and deliver dramatically expanded dynamic range, producing higher quality images even in challenging lighting conditions. The camera's new high-speed data transfer is 2.5 times faster than previous Theta models, allowing users to quickly and wirelessly upload 14 megapixel stills and high-resolution 4K videos for immediate showing and sharing. Omni-directional audio recording functionality enables 360-degree audio that is a strong complement to the high resolution video, dramatically enhancing the realism of a scene.
The Theta V can connect to and be controlled by any Android or iOS-based smartphone or tablet using the Theta S app. Connection is either via Bluetooth low energy (BLE)—which enables an “always-on” connection between a camera and phone—or Wi-Fi, providing users with greater flexibility in how they wirelessly control the camera and upload images through the Theta S app. Built-in 19GB storage allows for up to 4,800 stills and approximately 40 minutes of 4K (H.264) video to be stored.
A new and unique feature of the Theta V is that Ricoh will be able to create new functions for the camera via software plug-ins. The first of these plug-ins was developed by Ricoh and is already integrated into the phone. It enables the Theta V to deliver the world's first remote playback capability in a commercially-marketed, fully spherical camera. Using a compatible wireless display adapter, it is possible to mirror playback of 360-degree still images and video data stored on the camera. This allows users to enjoy powerful 360-degree video a large screen monitor or via a projection display.
“The Theta V represents a number of breakthroughs in 360-degree imaging, all geared to make it easier for anyone to capture and get the most out of their 360-degree stills and videos,” said Kaz Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas. “In addition to extremely high-quality video, our new 4K camera offers truly realistic spatial audio and the easiest approach to sharing—via our industry-first remote playback function. We are proud of the Theta V, and expect consumers and businesses alike will benefit from our new camera.”
Two accessories are being announced with the Theta V: the 3D Microphone TA-1, designed exclusively for use with the Theta V, which is intended for use when shooting music or theatrical performances as well as for outdoors; and in October, the Underwater Case TW-1, which allows use of the Theta V (as well as the Theta S and SC) at underwater depths up to nearly 100 feet (30 meters).
The Ricoh Theta V will be officially unveiled at IFA 2017, the world's largest consumer electronics show, held in Berlin, Germany, September 1-6, 2017.
| Price and Availability |
The Ricoh Theta V is available for pre-sale today for $429.95 at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retail outlets nationwide. The 3D Microphone TA-1 is also available today for $269.99, and the Underwater Case TW-1 will be available in October for $199.95.
| Quotes from Ricoh partners participating in the Theta V launch |
“Qualcomm Technologies is empowering a comprehensive 360/VR ecosystem from our connected camera platforms to VR HMDs, aiming to allow manufacturers to deliver solutions for content creation, communication and consumption,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With the launch of the Ricoh Theta V 360 camera, built on the Qualcomm Connected Camera Platform, we are very excited to bring superior connectivity and powerful compute capabilities to the 360 camera industry, which we believe will be an important content generator for VR.”
“The Ricoh Theta V is the first Street View Mobile Ready camera to be certified by Google. This distinction means that RICOH THETA V owners will be the first to experience the all-new auto mode, which allows you to create Street View imagery while you walk, bike or even drive—a huge improvement over having to photograph and connect individual 360 photos,” said Charles Armstrong, product manager for Google Street View: “The Ricoh Theta line of 360 cameras has consistently set the bar for combining quality, convenience, and affordability in a single product. We're excited to offer our avid contributor community such a powerful new option for Street View authoring.”
In addition to the new Google Street View Mobile Ready certification, Ricoh's existing Theta S and SC cameras have also gained been certified as Street View Workflow Ready for their abilities to shoot individual 360 photos and publish them to Street View.
| About Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation|
Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions.
The company now known as Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation was originally founded in 1919, under the name Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. and launched its first SLR camera in the 1950s under the PENTAX name. Today, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation continues to produce the heritage-rich, award-winning line of PENTAX DSLR cameras, lenses and sport optics equipment as well as Ricoh's offering of stylish and compact digital cameras, known for their wide-ranging, rich set of features.