Since being launched in 2013, Ricoh's Theta 360 degree camera has grown in number and capabilities. Now the company has added the latest iteration to the range – the Theta Z1.

The Z1 becomes the new flagship model for the Theta line of 360° handheld cameras, which not only allow users to create immersive YouTube videos documenting their adventures, but have also found use in real estate and virtual reality content creation.

The camera features a 1-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor that can manage 23 megapixel (6,720 x 3,360 pixels) 360° stills, and is capable of recording 4K 360° video footage at up to 30 frames per second. And there's cooked-in 3-axis image stabilization to help smooth out camera shake.

As well as JPEG stills, RAW format files can be saved to the camera's 19 GB of internal storage, and there's a multi-bracket mode for continuous shooting with up to 19 settings applied.

Users can quick check settings – such as shooting mode, F-number, ISO sensitivity and remaining battery life – on the 0.93 inch OLED display on the Theta Z1's body. For 360° video recording, there's a built-in four-channel microphone, with support for spatial audio.

The Z1 runs an Android-based operating system that allows for plug-ins to be installed for flexibility, and a new Time-shift Shooting mode is due to be released next month that will help remove the photographer from the all-around footage.

Elsewhere, the camera has a manual light sensitivity of between ISO80 and ISO6,400, though users can opt for Auto mode to allow the camera to make adjustments itself. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi cater for wireless date transfer, and its Li-ion battery offers about 300 stills or 60 minutes of video recording per charge.

Visitors to Japan's CP+ 2019 photo and imaging expo later this week will be able to get a closer look at the Theta Z1 ahead of its release in late March for US$999.95.

Product page: Ricoh Theta Z1

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