“Theta S” Camera shoots & shares 360-degree photos on Google Maps, facebook, twitter etc.

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During IFA event in Berlin, Ricoh – a Japanese imaging company, announced “Theta S” camera as a successor to the original Theta m15. This spherical camera captures 360-degree photos of surroundings and it’s going to be available from next month.

As an upgrade to the original Theta m15, the latest Theta S, captures spherical images of up to 14 megapixels approximately. It can record spherical video in full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps with a maximum recording time of 25 minutes unlike only 5 minutes on previous model. Theta S features an enlarged image sensor of 1/2.3″ and fast f2.0 lenses which are ultra-small twin-lens folded-optical system from Ricoh.

The captured spherical images from Theta S can be uploaded to theta360.com like the older model but in addition the images can also be shared on popular Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr as well as on Google Maps for street view and YouTube 360° Channel. As noted by the company, the Ricoh Theta S API is based on the Google-supported Open Spherical Camera API for compatibility with Google’s services.

Interestingly the Google’s new Street View app was also announced the same day which allows the users to capture and publish photo spheres instantly over to Google Maps for other people to explore.

The WiFi module, in the latest Theta S, has also been upgraded and has the transfer rate four times faster than the previous model. Build wise, the new camera comes only in black rubber coating unlike the previous model which was available in multiple fancy colours. Internal memory has also been increased to 8GB with connectivity interfaces such as microUSB over USB2.0 and micro HDMI Type-d. For more technical detail see the specifications below.

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Availability and Price

The RICOH THETA S will sell for USD 349 in the US excluding taxes. Prices in other regions are inclusive of taxes EUR 399 in European regions and GBP 299 in UK. The camera will go on sale from late October in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK as well as in North America and Asia Pacific.

No words of the official availability in Middle East or Pakistan.

Ricoh Theta S – Full Specifications:

Type
Camera Type Spherical camera
Sensor
Size 1/2.3 (x2)
Effective Pixels Approx. 12MP, Output size: Approx. 14MP
Still L: 5376×2688
M: 2048×1024
Movie L: 1920×1080/30fps/16Mbps
M: 1280×720/15fps/6Mbps
Sensitivity Still image: ISO100 to 1600
Video: ISO100 to 1600
Live streaming: ISO100 to 1600
Lens
Aperture F2.0
Construction 7 elements in 6 groups
Shooting distance Approx. 10cm to infinity (from front of lens)
Shutter
Speed Still image: 1/6400 to 1/8 second
Still image (manual): 1/6400 to 60 seconds
Video (L): 1/8000 to 1/30 second, Video (M): 1/8000 to 1/15 second
Live streaming (USB): 1/8000 to 1/15 second
Live streaming (HDMI): 1/8000 to 1/30 second
Exposure system
Exposure Control Exposure control mode: Auto
Compensation Still image: Manual compensation (-2.0 to +2.0EV, 1/3EV step) *
* A smartphone is required to change modes or configure manual settings.
Exposure Parameters
Modes Still image: Auto, shutter priority, ISO priority and manual*
Video: Auto
Live streaming: Auto
* A smartphone is required to change modes or configure manual settings.
White Balance Still image: Auto, outdoors, shade, cloudy, incandescent lamp 1, incandescent lamp 2, daylight color fluorescent lamp, natural white fluorescent lamp, white fluorescent lamp, light bulb color fluorescent lamp*
Video: Auto
Live streaming: Auto
* A smartphone is required to change modes or configure manual settings.
Movie
Recording Shooting mode: Auto
ISO sensitivity: ISO100 to 1600
White balance: Auto
Shutter speed: (L): 1/8000 to 1/30 second, Video (M): 1/8000 to 1/15 second
Storage capacity*1: (time per recording): Maximum 25 minutes or upper limit 4GB of the file size*2
(total recording time): Approx. 65 minutes (L), approx. 175 minutes (M)
Image file format: MP4 (video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, audio: AAC)
File size: L: 1920×1080/30fps/16Mbps M: 1280×720/15fps/6Mbps
*1. The number of photos and recording times are guides only. The actual number differs according to the photography conditions.
*2. Automatic shut down if the internal temperature increases.
Storage
Internal approx. 8GB
Storage Capacity Still image: Approx. 1,600 images (L), approx. 9,000 images (M)
Video (time per recording): Maximum 25 minutes or upper limit 4GB of the file size*
Video (total recording time): Approx. 65 minutes (L), approx. 175 minutes (M)* Automatic shut down if the internal temperature increases.
File Format Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3), DCF2.0 compliant
Video: MP4 (video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, audio: AAC)
Live streaming (USB): Motion JPEG
Special Features
Features Usage temperature range: 0°C – 40°C
Usage humidity range: 90% or less
Storage temperature range: -20°C – 60°C
Communications protocol: HTTP (Open Spherical Camera API* compatible)
Google Developers Web Site https://developers.google.com/open-spherical-camera/
Interface
Interface External interface: Micro USB: USB2.0, HDMI-Micro (Type-D)
Live streaming (USB): 1280×720/15fps
Live streaming (HDMI)*: L: 1920×1080/30fps M: 1280×720/30fps S: 720×480/30fps
*Switch automatically to adjust to connected display
Power
Source Lithium-ion battery (built in)*
* Charge the battery by connecting it to a PC using the supplied USB cable.
Performance Approx. 260 photos*
* The number of photos that can be taken is a guide based on Ricoh’s measurement method (wireless on, one photo taken every 30 seconds and transferred to smartphone). The actual number differs according to usage conditions.
Dimensions
Height 130mm
Width 44mm
Depth 22.9mm (17.9 mm*)
* Excluding lens section.
Weight Approx. 125g
Accessories
Kit Content USB cable
Soft case
Optional Strap Adapter (colors: Silver, gray, green, blue, orange)
A strap can be attached to the camera via the tripod socket.
Strap Adapter Silver for RICOH THETA – 910711
Strap Adapter Grey for RICOH THETA – 910712
Strap Adapter Green for RICOH THETA – 910713
Strap Adapter Blue for RICOH THETA – 910714
Strap Adapter Orange for RICOH THETA – 910715
TH-1 Hard Case
Hard case to protect RICOH THETA against water droplets and dust. (Please note, this case is not waterproof).
Product color (base only): Black
Hardcase TH-1 – 910717
TS-1 Soft Case
Keep your RICOH THETA safe. This will give the lens extra protection in a sleek and stylish case.
Product color: White and blackSoft case TS-1 White – 910718
Soft case TS-1 Black – 910719

Expand Press Release

September 3, 2015 — Ricoh announced today the release of the RICOH THETA S, the newest model in the RICOH THETA series of spherical cameras that capture 360-degree scenes surrounding the user. Unveiled today in Berlin at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, the camera features extra-high resolution, fully spherical photos and videos in one simple shot, a live preview function and even greater compatibility with social media platforms.The RICOH THETA S, which retains the lightweight portability of the current model—the RICOH THETA m15—captures high-resolution spherical images of up to nearly 14 megapixels. It can also record spherical video in full HD (1920 x 1080*1 pixels at 30fps) with a maximum recording time of 25 minutes. The better quality images are enabled by an enlarged image sensor and fast F2.0 lenses to allow more light through Ricoh’s proprietary ultra-small twin-lens folded-optical system.

Also, superior image processing technology and bulb mode for long exposures produce spherical still images with less visual static, even in low-light settings.

Spherical images can be uploaded to theta360.com, shared via Facebook™, Twitter™ and Tumblr, and posted to Google Maps™, Google+™ and YouTube™360°Channel. The application program interface (API) for RICOH THETA S is based on Google-supported Open Spherical Camera API for compatibility with Google’s services.

Coinciding with the launch of the RICOH THETA S, Google Maps today introduced the new Google Street View app that allows you to capture and publish your photo spheres instantly to Google Maps for people all over the world to explore. The app also offers the ability to shoot photo spheres and to connect to spherical cameras. This new capability to connect to spherical cameras makes it easier than ever to create Google Street View experiences.

The new RICOH THETA S app for smartphones and tablets can be used to configure settings and instantly view spherical photos and video via wirelessly connected devices. An improved Wi-Fi® module transfers data four times faster than the current RICOH THETA model.

The RICOH THETA S also boasts a fully updated design and user interface. Usability has been improved with an elegant but practical sure-grip black rubber coating and handy face-mounted LED mode indicator. Internal memory has been increased to 8GB.

The original RICOH THETA was launched in 2013 as the world’s first mass-produced camera to capture fully spherical images. Since then, the series has inspired a unique genre of visual creativity for capturing everyday scenes from an all-new perspective.

The RICOH THETA S will go on sale at a base price of USD 349 (or equivalent) from late October in Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK), North America (Canada, Mexico, and the United States), and Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand). Ricoh Imaging will market the RICOH THETA S, which was developed and manufactured by Ricoh.

Quotes from Ricoh, Ricoh Imaging and Google Maps

Wataru Ohtani, Ricoh’s Corporate Associate Vice President and General Manager of the New Business and Platform Development Center, said: “Ricoh pioneered the spherical camera market and thereby revolutionized how people view the world. This new model offers even higher image quality than before to satisfy both early adopters and people who enjoy communicating creatively through social media.”

Noboru Akahane, Ricoh Imaging’s President and CEO, said: “We are delighted to offer users increased value and richer 360-degree experiences with our new RICOH THETA S. The model’s enhanced image quality and other exciting new features are sure to expand the scope of RICOH THETA fans in all-new fields.”

Charles Armstrong, Google Maps Product Manager, said: “The Street View app allows people all over the world to explore user contributions, Google’s own imagery, and their own published photo spheres through a seamless world map of landscapes, landmarks, business interiors and more. The RICOH THETA S is a great tool to create this imagery, and we hope it inspires people to contribute to the map.”