Ricoh Theta is 360° camera that’ll set you back a whopping $400


posted Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM EST


At the CP+ show in Japan earlier this year, Ricoh had a prototype for an interesting twin-lens panoramic device — and now, more than half a year later, that gadget is headed to users, but in a very different looking package. Meet the Ricoh Theta, a small, light camera with two wide-angle lenses capable of stitching together two shots into a full 360° panorama with just a push of a button. The downside? It'll set you back some $399 when it arrives in October.

The Theta appears to be a fully automatic device, and is controlled either by simply pressing the shutter button on the Theta itself or pairing it with an iOS device (Android support is in the works), and triggering it remotely. The images are stitched together, and can then be transferred off the Theta either by hooking it up to your computer, or beaming it to your smartphone to share over Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Microsoft's Photosynth.

The device clocks in at less than 10oz, and can tap into your smartphone for GPS geolocation information, as well as viewing and sharing. It'll automatically dial in the ISO from 100-1600, and the shutter speed 1/8000-1/7.5s. According to a hands on from Engadget, it has a fixed f/2.1 aperture, and it's extremely noisy at ISO 800.

While undoubtedly a cool looking device, the pricetag is bound to cause some trouble. When it arrives in October, it'll set you back $399 for one. So, while an instant panorama (or even panorama timelapses, if the video below is to be believed) device might be a lot of fun — the $400 asking price will mark it as too expensive for many.