Nuneaton Casual photographer
- Great quality images, strong build quality
- A tad expressive
Published on: 13 September 2019
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The Theta Z1 is Ricoh's flagship 360º camera offering the best possible immersive professional footage in a compact form-factor. This outstanding 360º camera features two 1" back-illuminated CMOS sensors. In conjunction with improved processing, these dual sensors capture video with boosted noise reduction and low-light performance. Record video, live stream in 4k and capture 23MP RAW image files with the most refined consumer level 360º camera on the market.
Renewed the image processing algorithm achieved to get low- and high-sensitivity, low-noise, and high-resolution images. Moreover, Dynamic Range (DR) compensation is automatically made for normal shooting, effectively reducing blown out and pitch-black shadows for outdoor locations with brightness contrasts. The camera offers a range of shooting modes, including HDR Rendering, Interval Composite shooting that can be used to record star trails, and Multi-bracket shooting that can take continuous shots with up to 19 settings.
The camera has 3-axis rotational stabilization while shooting videos to show superior image stabilization. This makes it possible to shoot high-resolution, smooth 360-degree videos in 3840 x 1920 pixels, equivalent to 4K size, and 30 fps (frames per second). Aperture-priority automatic exposure (Av), Shutter-priority automatic exposure (Tv), ISO sensitivity automatic exposure (ISO), and Manual (M) have also been added to the exposure settings, allowing for more meticulous video settings.
The camera has a 4-channel microphone that supports 360-degree spatial audio recording built into its body. Recording omnidirectional audio including both horizontal and vertical directions makes it possible to reproduce sound and video as it was in the environment where the video was shot by linking 360-degree video and audio together. This delivers the enjoyment of creating immersive VR video content and watching videos on large monitors more realistically.
The camera has a 0.93-inch organic EL (OLED) monitor that displays shooting information in the lower part of the main body. With nothing but the camera itself, shooting information can be checked at a glance, including remaining battery, shooting mode, the number of possible shots, F-number, and ISO sensitivity.
The new function (Fn) button can be used to switch what is displayed on the organic EL monitor, switch between normal shooting and self-timer shooting, switching between three plug-ins, and switching light out and silent mode.
Shooting settings from a smartphone can be saved as My Settings in the camera (one for still images and one for videos).
In addition to the existing JPEG format, RAW (Adobe DNG) and JPEG files can be saved in the camera. RICOH THETA Stitcher, an application for stitching in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC, will be provided free. After processing files recorded as RAW, the plug-in can be used to generate spherical images in which the seams are invisible. Details about zenith corrections, directional corrections, and stitch distance setting can be freely changed. As with a general SLR camera, users can enjoy the professional editing of hues and image quality.
Users can directly post 360-degree spherical images shot using the camera to Facebook or upload them to the theta360.com dedicated website and share them on social networks such as Twitter and Tumblr. Unique cropped images can also be shared with Instagram. It is also possible to submit captured spherical videos to YouTube TM 360-degree channel and images to Google Maps TM
"Remote Playback" for 360-degree video is installed as a plug-in. Using a general-purpose receiver equipment such as 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 on large displays or over projectors by operating the camera.
The camera employs a lightweight and robust magnesium alloy for the body materials. It not only ensures robustness that can withstand severe use, but texture casting on the surface gives a luxurious texture that is suitable for a high-end model.
Metal tripod screw holes are set in anticipation of use in harsh environments. Moreover, the external connector uses the next-generation standard of USB 3.0 (Type-C) to allow for even smoother transfer speeds. The shape is top-down symmetrical, so it can be inserted either way.
Following on from the RICOH THETA V, the camera uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon TM and an Android-based operating system. Firmware updates facilitate continuous functional expansions and performance improvements.
Users can access a variety of expanded functions by installing various plug-ins. Besides Ricoh genuine plug-ins, an environment was built for adding and using plug-ins releases by general developers through the RICOH THETA Plug-in Partner Program.