Ricoh Theta S


I hate Ricoh, this japanese camera company just makes awful cameras these years. But I gave Ricoh one more shot on Theta S, the new Spherical camera. This really might be my final chance to a Ricoh product.




The package is not a big one, a brick. There is no plastic film, even no tape seal. Everyone can easily open it, I don’t understand why a product like this does not use a safer package.


Get all the stuff out, from left: protect soft case, quick start guide, Theta S body, message to customers, micro-USB cable.

The protect soft case is totally useless! too tight to grab the camera into it. You can use force to complete this, but it takes a risk of damaging the two convex lenses.

The quick start guide and  message to customers are rubbish, everyone knows.

The micro-USB cable is extremely short, with a length of 10 cm I think, so I will not even open the plastic package.

The accessories, overall, all rubbish!


So obviously the only valuable thing is the camera body itself. However in my first hands-on minute, I began to suspect if there is a Initial failure.


The left (when I hold the shutter faces to me) side, the gray bar without any buttons is very loose! A simple push on it can lead to a flexible collapse. Totally poor quality control or bad structural design. Remember what I have said, I hate Ricoh!


On the opposite side, on the car there are three buttons: power on/off, WiFi on/off, still photo and movie switch. No problem here, and the response rate of the buttons are all nice.


From the top of the camera, the two fish-eye lens can be seen clearly, each of them takes one half side of 180° images and stitch into a 360° Spherical image. Also, on the top there is a stereo mic, no expect too much on them however the test shows a nice perform of recording the sounds indoor.


The bottom side is a cramped space, Ricoh put a Micro-USB port, a standard tripod port and a Micro-HDMI port here.

Good news is: by link the Micro-USB cable, the camera can even charging during power on. Also the HDMI output support a full HD live stream.

Bad news is obviously very hard to plug the cables when using a tripod. I will try to figure it later.



By linking to a smartphone via WiFi, the control to the Theta S can be fully unleashed. Ricoh gives a Auto, ISO priority, Shutter speed priority, Manual modes in Theta S. Because of no aperture inside these fish-eye lens, the controls except the aperture can be all manual, very happy to see this.


To me, another important function is the linkage between Google street view app and Theta S. Since Theta S is officially authorized by Google, a direct upload by putting the spherical photos to google street view is allowed. Explore the world!

Sample shots:

これは面白い! – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Mita line #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

exploring the city #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

See all max quality photos in my Google Photos: google photos

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