Ricoh announced their newest addition to the Theta 360-degree camera lineup – the RICOH Theta SC. The latest Theta SC is a more affordable options for consumers and enthusiasts who want to make the jump into the world of 360-degree video without breaking the bank. Billed as the “360-degree camera for everyone”, the new Theta SC is the standard model to the Theta S, which bears quite the resemblance to the S model released back in 2015. The new RICOH Theta SC is priced at the $300 mark in the US, while in the UK you can get one from Amazon for £249.95, and this time you have a choice of colours including – Beige, White, Blue, or Pink. Much like the Theta S ($347 at B&H), the new SC model still lives in Full HD 1080p land, but at least the price is not anything to bulk at. It would be nice to have a 4K/UHD recording option, but with the nature of sphere-shaped 360 degree video, I really don’t know if there’d be much benefit to image quality. I do have a hunch however, that Ricoh will bring out a UHD model at some point.
Here is an example of a timelapse with the other Theta model – the Theta S, which by looking at the specs has the same cameras as the new SC model.
Of course, being cheaper, the new and more affordable Ricoh Theta SC does have some limitations compared to the more high-end Theta S and those are the Theta SC is limited to 5 minute takes in video and it cannot stream live. However, you can still upload your photo “spheres” to Google Maps and upload your 360 degree videos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc.
The Ricoh Theta SC as well as the other S model, still seem to be aimed at the mass consumer, to whom the 360 degree experience is much more of a “wow” factor compared to the average video quality coming off these cameras. You probably won’t see them used in a professional video environment (yet), but nonetheless for $300 you could you ask for more? Plus the Theta SC can be a quirky gift choice for the adventure seekers in your family this Christmas.
Personally, I am yet to wrap my head around the whole VR and 360 degree experience. Whether they have the potential to stay long-term or quickly fade away faster than consumer 3D did, as more and more affordable 360 enabled products make their way chances are you’ll see more of these videos pop-up online.
RICOH Theta SC Tech Specs
Object distance – Approx. 10cm – ∞ (from front of lens)
Still image: Auto, Shutter Priority, ISO Priority, Manual
Exposure control mode – Program AE, Shutter speed priority AE, ISO sensitivity AE, Manual exposure