When it comes to reputable names and 360-degree cameras, Ricoh was something of an early mover when launching its Theta spherical camera back in 2013. It has since taken on video capabilities and been joined by the likes of Nikon, Kodak and Samsung, but is looking to keep its product lineup fresh with the release of the Theta SC, a lighter and cheaper version of its predecessors.
Just like the Theta S that was launched in 2015 as a higher-grade version of the earlier models, the Theta SC packs a pair of F2 aperture lenses and twin 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensors for 360-degree images and full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 30 fps.
This may be adequate image quality for things like social sharing and snapshots of a family holiday, but those looking to push the envelope with 360-degree video may do better to look elsewhere. Around the same time the Full HD Theta S was released in September last year, Kodak launched a 4K 360-degree camera, while Nikon did the same not long after that.
So while maintaining the same resolution is unlikely to draw in new fans, Ricoh is hoping that the lighter form and lower price point might appeal to those interested in testing the spherical shooting waters. The Theta SC weighs in at 102 g (3.6 oz) compared to the 125 g (4.4 oz) Theta S, and also comes in a few playful color options: blue, beige, pink and white. It is available now for preorder at a cost of US$300, undercutting the Theta S at $350.