What is the Ricoh Theta V?
The Ricoh Theta V is the successor to the Theta S and is Ricoh’s current flagship 360 camera. The Theta V shoos spherical video in 4K resolution at 30fps and can also produce 14-megapixel 360 images.
The Ricoh Theta V is priced at £399.99, which places it some £300 cheaper than the GoPro Fusion and Garmin VIRB 360.
The Ricoh Theta V is a mostly user-friendly (the app could use some improvement) 360 camera that shoots really great spherical 4K video. Thanks to a new processor and a range of power enhancements, the Theta V produces 360 videos and images that are full of detail and rich colour.
The Ricoh Theta V is a marked upgrade over its predecessor, the Theta S, and is small enough to take anywhere. However, limited internal memory and the lack of an external memory card slot means you can only record about 20 minutes of 4K video.
Videos are sharp, detailed and full of colour
A new processor greatly increases the speed
Internal memory is 19GB, which is just about 20 minutes of 4K video
The app is buggy and a little confusing
Features & Specifications
- 4K video
- 14-megapixel still images
- 360 livestreaming
The Ricoh Theta V shoots 360-degree 4K video at a resolution of 3840 x 1920 pixels at 30fps, and it produces 14-megapixel still images. It is also capable of 360-degree livestreaming.
In addition to supporting the H.264 file format for video recording, the Ricoh Theta V also supports the more recent video compression standard of H.265.
However, Ricoh states that the dedicated app only supports H.264. H.265 is a specification supported in anticipation of future applications based on the API release.
New to the model is a built-in 4-channel microphone which the Theta V uses to record spatial audio to link to 360-degree videos for a more immersive experience.
Ricoh says it is also launching a 3D Microphone TA-1, priced £249.99, sold separately, that is compatible with the Theta V and allows users to pick up natural sounds with a large volume of information from low to high frequencies.
Along with the microphone, Ricoh is also releasing a TW-1 underwater casing for the Theta V, priced £179.99, which allows you to take the camera to a depth of 30 metres.
Behind its dual f/2.0 lenses are new 1/2.3-inch, 12-megapixel sensors. Ricoh says its new sensors support high-speed shot image data readout and the Qualcomm Connected Camera Platform with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Ricoh says that the new processor in the Theta V is in fact 2.5 times faster than its previous Theta cameras.
What’s more, Ricoh says it has ‘completely changed’ the exposure accuracy and white balance algorithm by incorporating the same image processing technology it has developed for its DSLRs and GR compact camera range, promising less noise.
You can also shoot at a top shutter speed of 1/25,000sec, up significantly from 1/6,400sec on the Theta S.
The Ricoh Theta V also introduces the ‘world’s first’ Remote Playback for 360-degree video, the company says. Installed as a plug-in, Remote Playback allows users to mirror playback of 360 images and video stored on the camera’s internal memory. In short, this means you can view your content over projects directly from the camera.
Like previous Theta cameras the Ricoh Theta V offers Bluetooth and WiFi built-in, and the Ricoh Theta V also employs an Android-based operating system like the previous Theta camera.
What’s interesting about its Android base operating system is that new functions like the Remote Playback feature can be added. This means that Ricoh can update the Theta V over time by drip-feeding new features.
Ricoh says a platform supporting open source plug-ins released by general developers is also in the works.
Other features include in-camera stitching, a high sensitivity of ISO 3200 and 19GB of internal storage (about 4,800 still images).
Ricoh says it has also revamped the Theta V’s gyro sensor and internal acceleration sensor.
There are a lot of things I like about the Ricoh Theta V, and then there are some niggles that have persisted from model to model in the Theta line and haven’t been fixed. And the thing is, most of them are all app-based issues, which should be easier to fix.
I love the image and video quality that the Theta V provides. Read my review of the Ricoh Theta S and I gushed at its colour rendition and detail, and Ricoh has improved on these greatly with the Theta V.
On these criteria alone, the Ricoh Theta V could very well be the best consumer 360 camera on the market today. If the GoPro Fusion’s and Garmin VIRB 360’s 5.2K and 5.7K, respectively, are just numbers to you, and you’re not interested in upgrading your memory cards or computer and buying new storage drives to house 4GB 1-minute videos, let alone the higher price tag, the Ricoh Theta V is the camera for you. Or possibly the Insta360 ONE.
The Ricoh Theta V nails the fundamentals and does it in a body that’s feather-weight and more portable than most car keys these days.
But the apps could be a lot less buggy and make it simpler to get your content.
And what would really set the Ricoh Theta V apart would be a waterproof design and a range of mounts