There were just a few things which blew our mind here in Berlin at IFA 2013, and one of them is the Ricoh Theta WiFi camera. Smartphones have made Panorama shots really popular. Gone are the days when you struggled to shoot multiple photos and stitch them together on Photoshop to create a Panorama. One can get a decent panorama ready in few seconds. But what about 360-degree panoramas? Yes, the one Google calls Photosphere. They aren’t that easy. In fact it takes a lot of time to learn how to shoot a perfect photosphere shot.
Well, not anymore. Ricoh has come out with a cool WiFi camera which can shoot a 360-degree panorama in few seconds, with a single click. Ricoh Theta comprises of proprietary ultra-small twin-lens optical system captures the entire scene around you in one shot. We went hands-on with this interesting gadget which you can check below.
Images are stored on the 4GB internal memory which can hold upto 1200 shots. The battery on Theta can last upto 200 images on a single charge. Other than the microUSB slot for charging, Theta comes with power button, shutter release and WiFi buttons. For now, Theta works exclusively with iOS devices, specifically iPhone 4S/5 and iPod Touch 4th gen/5th gen. Android support is coming soon.
The output image is in JPEG format and needs flash to view and interact with the image outside of the app. For example, you can click on the image below which takes you to Theta’s webpage where you can view and interact with the 360-degree spherical panorama.
For now, Theta does one thing and does it pretty well. Ricoh has made it possible to provide firmware upgrades to Ricoh, so we can expect new functionality to be added in coming days. Addition of Video capabilities would be a great start! Ricoh Theta will be available from October 2013 in US, UK & rest of Europe for USD 399/Euros 399. A bit pricey for what it does, but a great start nevertheless.