Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera review: Every picture is a selfie and more | tech$features | Hindustan Times
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Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera review: Every picture is a selfie and more

360-degree images shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. In virtual reality, you can move around while 360-degree videos are shot from one point and the your only option is to look around from the point where the camera is capturing

tech Updated: Jun 10, 2016 14:59 IST
Sanshey Biswas
360-degree images shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. In virtual reality, you can move around while 360-degree videos are shot from one point and the your only option is to look around from the point where the camera is capturing
360-degree images shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. In virtual reality, you can move around while 360-degree videos are shot from one point and the your only option is to look around from the point where the camera is capturing(Ricoh)

The Ricoh Theta S is a 360-degree camera, which means pictures taken include everything in its point-of-view. It has two cameras back-to-back that capture images or video wider than 180 degrees. Then, using software, these images are stitched up to form a point of view that you can look around in. Just click on a picture in this album and drag the image around to see for yourself. You can get your hands on this future-is-now handycam/digicam on Amazon at Rs 39,000.

360-degree images shouldn’t be confused with virtual reality. In virtual reality, you can move around while 360-degree videos only let you look around from the point where the camera is capturing. That’s also a reason why it’s important to make sure the camera is propped upright while taking the 360-degree photo or video. Else, the entire perspective captured can be crooked.

There are several 360-degree cameras out there, but the Ricoh Theta S is among the compact and slick ones. The camera has a great battery life and shutter speed that to capture sharp images and photos -- in good light. This makes the Theta S great for outdoors during the day and well-lit indoors, but pictures tend to be grainy in anything with lighting less than that. So, reserve the device for weddings, sports events or attach it to a drone. For the less adventurous, you can hook it up to a tripod and using the app -- control it remotely via the app (available on iOS and Android).

While some might think that we really don’t need a 360-degree camera, it makes a case for itself once you get a hang of it. The Ricoh Theta S feels like the digital cameras of the future and past at the same time. Having a camera detached from your camera just feels wrong unless it has a huge lens with stunning zoom.

This technology might make it’s way to our phone camera in a couple of years -- considering there is a smartphone with it already.Till then, these camera sticks remain our best option. The Theta S looks a lot like the digital cameras from 2001 with a lens on top and grip under.The Theta S captures everything around, making the designated photographer feel less left out, because every 360-degree photo is also a selfie.

The Theta S stores the photos on itself, and can be paired with an app on your smartphone (iOS and Android) to transfer them all to the phone. From there, The 360-degree photos and videos can be uploaded to Facebook and Google Photos for sharing and keeping tucked away in the cloud for free, since they don’t charge you for storage. The images are automatically turned into panoramic images, with an integrated viewer — like these samples — for free. Paired with Facebook and Google Photos, Ricoh Theta S proves to be the digital camera you would want to carry around, but the price puts it out of most people’s reach. Especially, since you can get a cheaper LG 360 Cam for half the price.