Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh Theta V Review

Ricoh Theta V gives 360-degree video the audio it deserves. Ricoh Theta V, the imaging company’s new 360-degree camera announced atIFA 2017, might look like its predecessor, the Theta S, but inside just about everything is new.

The lens system remains unchanged, but behind the twin fish-eye f2.0 lenses are new 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel sensors that produce less image noise and have a far faster shutter speed of 1/25,000 second (up from 1/6,400 second). That means its low-light shots will be a little cleaner and sharper and shooting on a sunny day won’t result in lost details from blown-out highlights.

Speaking of lost details, the Theta S’s low resolution, low bit-rate video has been replaced with 3,840×1,920-pixel resolution video that records at 29.97fps with a bit rate of 56Mbps. Lower resolutions might be passable on small phone screens, but when viewed in a VR headset you end up with mushy scenes with few discernible details. The increased resolution and improved image processing (courtesy of a new Qualcomm processor) greatly improves detail and it can store up to 40 minutes to its 19GB of internal memory.

The processor also allowed Ricoh to speed up stitching to the point where it now happens as you record instead of when you transfer. That means when you go to move a clip you want to share to your phone, it happens far faster than before. Significantly faster Wi-Fi helps here, too, and the addition of Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) keeps a persistent connection between your phone and the camera, so when you want to fire up the mobile app to see what you’re shooting or change settings, it takes just a few seconds to connect.

Increasing the immersive effect of its spherical video are the camera’s four mics for omnidirectional audio recording for 360-degree audio. For example, Ricoh played a clip of a string quintet performance for me shot with the Theta V at the center between the musicians. With headphones on, you could pan around the scene from performer to performer and could hear the individual instruments move from one ear to the other. Also, if you zoomed in on one specific performer in the video, their instrument would be more pronounced while the others fell back to the rear.

Ricoh Theta V

Body type
Body type VR/Action camera
Max resolution 5376 x 2688
Effective pixels 12 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Snapdragon 625
ISO Auto, 64-6400
White balance presets 9
Custom white balance No
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format No
Optics & Focus
Field of view 190.00°
Number of lenses 2
Maximum aperture F2
  • Single
  • Live View
Manual focus No
Normal focus range 10 cm (3.94)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD No
Touch screen No
Live view Yes (via smartphone)
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/25000 sec
Aperture priority No
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash No
Metering modes
  • Multi
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264, H.265
Videography notes 360 degree
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 56 Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 1920 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Microphone Multiple
Speaker Mono
Storage types Internal memory
Storage included 19GB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11ac + Bluetooth LE
Remote control Yes (via smartphone or wired switch)
Environmentally sealed No
Durability Waterproof with housing
Battery Battery Pack
Battery Life (CIPA) 260
Weight (inc. batteries) 121 g (0.27 lb / 4.27 oz)
Dimensions 45 x 131 x 23 mm (1.77 x 5.16 x 0.91)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes via smartphone
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