Ricoh reveals upcoming Theta SC2 360-degree handheld camera
Ricoh first revealed an awkward-looking 360-degree handheld camera at CES 2013, which looked like engineers had taken a few leaves out of the Star Trek design book. Thankfully, by the time a production model appeared later that year, it looked less like a model spaceship and more like a TV remote. Numerous additions have been made to the Theta family since then, and now Ricoh is prepping an update to 2016's Theta SC for release.
Described as an enthusiast level model, the Theta SC2 has been treated to a minor sensor upgrade to 14 megapixels, though its still a 1/2.3-inch CMOS flavor, and is reported capable of capturing glorious 360-degree 4K video at up to 30 frames per second, as well as stills.
It comes with a mode that automatically registers human faces and applies skin smoothing, as well as a useful night mode for improved low-light footage. And there's something called lens-by-lens mode that controls each opposing lens individually to help compensate for significant variations in brightness on either side of the camera.
As before, the new Theta benefits from a simple button layout headed up by a mid-body recording button on the same side as a small OLED display for quick-checking settings. There's a new button for self-timer mode, making it easier for users to get out of the shot if desired, and the camera comes with 14 GB of internal memory. Users connect to a smartphone running a companion app over a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connection for viewing, storing and sharing recorded footage.
The SC2 will come in a choice of four colors when sales start next month, for a recommended retail price of US$299.95.
Product page: Theta SC2