Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera hands-on, first impressions

Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera hands-on, first impressions

Photo spheres or 360-degree images are fun ways of capturing places since they allow you to take a snapshot of the entire environment –far more immersive than the usual flat photos.

Normally, this is achieved by manually snapping photos of the whole surrounding one by one and using an app to stitch them all up into one image. What we have here is the Ricoh Theta S which uses its dual 180-degree cameras that easily produce 360 photos and videos.


Ricoh Theta S (mini stand not included in the package)

The Ricoh Theta S is a compact and slim camera that looks like an oversized USB with lenses on both sides. It has a minimalistic design with its monochromatic approach. The use of matte black is appreciated as it doesn’t easily attract smudges or fingerprints and is nice to hold and look at.


It touts a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor on both the front and back sides which cover 180 degrees each. They’re really the main attraction of the device which gives it away as a tool for shooting.


At the bottom part is the company’s branding and logo that more of blend with its background and doesn’t attract too much attention. I personally like this subtle approach rather than having a flashy/tacky design.


With the Theta S, navigation is simple and buttons are straightforward. The big one at the face is the capture/record button while at the right side there’s the power, Wi-Fi, and mode switcher between photo and video capturing.


At the top we have the holes for microphone and speaker.



Meanwhile, connectivity ports are at the bottom namely: microUSB for charging and transferring files plus an HDMI terminal that’s used for live streaming content.


It has a 22.9mm thickness which is just right to firmly wrap your hands around it when in use. At 125 grams, it’s got a bit of heft to it but not at all cumbersome.


Its build mostly comprises of plastic which makes the device feel flimsy when put under light stress.


The front panel has LED lights embededd in it that serves as indicators for shooting modes, Wi-Fi connectivity, memory warning, and camera status.


The Theta S also comes with a sleeve so users can just slip it in and toss it inside a bag without the fear of scratching the body and most importantly, the dual lenses.

We’ve already took some shots using it, and we could say we’re already having fun. Stay tuned for our review coming in just a few days. For now, here’s one sample of the many effects you could do with the Ricoh Theta S:


Ricoh Theta S specs:
2x 1/2.3-inch 12M CMOS sensor
14MP output pixel count equivalent
F2.0 lens
Full HD video at 30fps
8GB internal storage (non-expandable)
44 x 130 x 22.9mm (dimensions)
125 grams

Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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