Ricoh Unwraps Theta SC: Affordable 360-Degree Camera Geared Toward Every User

Theta SC and Theta S cameras

A Ricoh representative disclosed the company made a few minor changes to the features found in the Theta S for the Theta SC.

Ricoh updated its Theta S iOS and Android apps for controlling the camera, too, mainly making the interface more intuitive for less tech-savvy users. Nestled in between the entry level Theta M15 and the flagship Theta S, the newly-announced Theta SC comes with a price point of just under US$300, a rather enticing price point indeed.

The $350 Theta S is Ricoh's third-generation 360 degree camera that launched a year ago with Full HD video-streaming capabilities, 8GB of internal memory, dual 12MP 1/2.3-inch image sensors paired with bright f/2 twin lenses, a sensitivity range from ISO 100-1600, and built-in Wi-Fi.

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According to Kaz Eguchi, president of Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp., Ricoh's wants the Theta SC to "introduce more people to 360-degree spherical imaging".

Ricoh offers the industry's most extensive line of spherical imaging cameras, known for their high image quality, sleek design and ease of use. Additionally, the camera should be even simpler to operate for teens and moms through a redesigned Theta app. The Theta SC uses the same 12 megapixel pair of 1/2.3-inch sensors as its $350 sibling. First, the SC has a continuous recording time of 5 minutes, compared to 25 minutes with the Theta S. It can also record up to five minutes of 1920×1080 video at one time, up to 30fps. You can then upload to Ricoh's Theta 360 cloud service, or share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Maps, YouTube, Google+, and Tumblr. While the Theta S still takes the top honors for 360 cameras from Ricoh, the streamlined, slightly less expensive model is nice to see as additional 360 competitors enter the market. Once done creating multimedia content, owners can wirelessly transfer photos and videos to the Theta app for quick editing.

When paired with a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the Theta SC will also broadcast live footage to the device's screen.