Ricoh is a multinational imaging and electronics company founded on 1936, as a humble sensitized paper manufacturer. Since then, Ricoh has followed all the tendencies and different changes that have hit the photography industry, helping the company survive in a quickly evolving market.
Back in 2013, during the IFA industrial exhibition, Ricoh launched a device that surprised the whole tech community for its simplicity, called the Theta. The new device served as a camera to easily capture 360-degree spherical images, with the touch of a single button; Ricoh had a lot of success with the original Theta, which led the company to quickly launch a new version of the 360-degree camera at IFA 2014, called the Theta M15. This newly released version of the camera, added some great new features, such as full-HD 360-degree video (although it was limited to roughly 15 frames per second and up to 3 minutes) and higher quality photos. This year, Ricoh has once again surprised the whole tech community with a brand new 360-degree camera, called the Theta S. Ricoh promises that the new Theta S offers a lot of new functionalities without sacrificing the simplicity for which the first and second models were praised for.
The new Ricoh Theta S records full-HD spherical videos at 30 frames per second, which is twice of what the Theta M15 had to offer; the total lenght of the videos were also vastly improved, as the Theta S is now able to record up to 25 minutes without stopping and with stereo sound. The newly announced 360-degree camera also offers twin f2.0 lenses, which make use of folded optics to allow for a longer optical path without increasing the device’s overall size too much, leaving space for two 12MP, 1/2.3-inch image sensors which work together to create 14MP spherical photos (5,376×2,688-pixel-resolution equirectangular JPEGs). The Theta S connects to any Wi-Fi network to be accessible from any paired mobile device, and seamlessly transfer images and videos between the two. The speed of the transfers has been upgraded to 8Mbps, coming from a mere 2Mbps speed. Ricoh’s latest 360-degree camera will be available for purchase in October for around $350.