Ricoh Theta S Brief Review



  • Captures 360 degree spherical images and video
  • Two 12 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensors
  • f/2.0 lens
  • Shutter speeds from 60 seconds to 1/6400
  • ISO range 100 to 1600
  • Image shooting modes: Auto, shutter priority, ISO priority, manual
  • HD video at 30 fps (up to 25 minutes continuous shooting)
  • Live streaming
  • Wi-fi
  • 8 GB built-in memory
  • Li-ion battery rated at 260 photos
  • Weighs 125g
  • Release Date: 2015-08-28
  • Final Grade: 82 4.1 Star Rating: Recommended

Ricoh Theta S captures the world in 360 degrees
The Ricoh Theta S may be unusual, but there are plenty of possibilities with the 360 degree camera.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 1/4/2016

Forget a wide 180 degree perspective, the Ricoh Theta will do you one better with a 360 degree perspective. The third camera in the line, Theta cameras are unlike any other because they use two lenses and two sensors to capture a 360 degree spherical image, to show the entire scene.

The Theta S uses two 1/2.3" sensors and combines the images instantly for a 360 degree photo. Video is possible as well. While the images have an odd spherical shape, with the right software (on a PC or a smartphone), the 360 degree perspective can be viewed nearly like you're standing there again, swiping to navigate through the image. To really get the full effect, browse through the Theta Gallery to see just what a 360 degree image looks like.

The mobile app allows for viewing the images, as well as remote triggering. Of course, the 360 degree perspective means you'll be in the image too, so that remote trigger comes in handy if you don't want to be in the photo.

The sensors on the S have a bit more resolution than the previous model. The S is also capable of long exposures and live streaming, where the Theta M15 was not. Videos can also now be recorded in clips up to 25 minutes in length, compared to just five previously. The battery life has also been improved, though the latest version is also slightly bigger than the previous one.

The Ricoh Theta S is a neat concept that really expands the possibilities of what you can do with a single photo. While excellent, it's more limited in it's uses than a traditional point-and-shoot camera. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pick one up--but if you do, it's a good idea to have a second, more traditional camera too. That 360 degree perspective makes for an excellent yet unique way of capturing your memories, or places that you've been.

The Ricoh Theta S will be available beginning at the end of October, 2015.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

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