Ricoh’s lastest 360 camera, the Theta V, is officially available for purchase. Costing $429.95 and shipping September 24, Ricoh’s Theta V can record and livestream 4K 360 video at 30 fps with a bit rate of 56 Mbps and 120 Mbps, respectively. It can also capture 4K timelapses and 14 MP still photos.
The Theta V looks very similar to previous Theta models, and its twin fisheye f2.0 lenses are the same. But, the Theta V boasts new 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel sensors to produce less image noise, capture better low-light shots, and result in fewer blown-out highlights.
Today, Ricoh also shared samples from the Theta V on its YouTube channel (it shared one very short video sample in July):
The samples show off much better exposure and white balance features and significantly improved performance across many lighting situations. The camera’s dynamic range is also impressive. The Theta V has auto, manual, aperture priority, and ISO priority modes. Compared to the Theta S, the Theta V also has faster shutter speeds (up to 1/25,000th of a second from 1/6,400th) and an expanded ISO range (from 64 to 3,200 for photos and 6,400 for videos).
Its also worth noting that despite a minor loss in detail and chromatic aberration (in the video above, look at the rocks to your left), and difference in exposure, the stitching is almost unnoticeable.
The Theta V also feature four microphones to capture spatial audio. With two on the side of the camera and two on the top, the camera will be able to record spatial audio based on direction and height. Ricoh is also already selling a $269.99 360-degree microphone that can plug into the bottom of the Theta V.
Ricoh shared some 4K samples from the camera, showing off its spatial audio capture features this morning on its YouTube channel:
Ricoh will also be selling a waterproof case for the camera for $199.95, starting in October. The TW-1 case allows you to control the camera even while the case is on, and minimizes distortion and chromatic aberrations underwater. It can withstand depths up to 30 meters.
Although the case is pretty noticeable and quite large, the stitching is among the best I’ve seen, especially from consumer 360 cameras. Here’s a sample video:
Another feature unique to the Theta V from previous Theta models is a handful of software plug-ins for the camera that Ricoh said will add new functions to the Theta V over time. The first plug-in offers wireless playback to broadcast content onto TV or other monitors while using the Theta as remote control (by holding the shutter button and moving the camera around). You can experience this and other features of the Theta V in the video at the top of this post. However, Ricoh didn’t share further details of plans for other plug-ins.
The Ricoh Theta V can connect to smartphones via Bluetooth or over WiFi to transfer data and remotely control the device. It also has a new high-speed wireless radio for faster data transfer (up to 2.5 times faster than the Theta S). The delay between still shots has also been reduced, from 8 seconds to 4 seconds.
The camera has 19GB of internal storage, which can hold around 40 minutes of 4K video or 4800 photos. Its non-removeable lithium ion battery can last up to 65 minutes while recording video. Unfortunately, the Theta V won’t have a slot for removeable media.
In addition to the microphone jack, the camera also has a Micro USB 2.0 port. The Theta V weighs 121 grams and is 45.2mm x 130.6mm x 22.9mm.
The Ricoh Theta V is available for pre-order now for $429.95 on Amazon and is expected to ship September 24.