We are pleased to announce the launch of the “RICOH THETA Z1 51GB” . It features expanded built-in storage from the top-end predecessor RICOH THETA model.

The new model “RICOH THETA Z1 51GB” is an expanded built-in storage version of the top-end model “RICOH THETA Z1” that was launched in May 2019. The basic performance of the “RICOH THETA Z1” is kept as-is, allowing users to capture 360° still images and videos in excellent image quality, significantly expanding the storage capacity from 19 GB to 51 GB to meet the needs of the market, and ensuring that users do not have to worry about storage space. With this capacity, users can save approximately 900 RAW+ images or approximately 6,350 JPEG images on the camera itself.

Let us introduce the THETA Z1, its functions and the situations that only THETA Z1 can uniquely handle!

What is THETA Z1

The flagship model in THETA series, THETA Z1, is equipped with a 1.0-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor in a compact body, and is capable of shooting high quality 360 degree still images with a resolution of approximately 23 million pixels (6720 x 3360 pixels). It also supports many shooting modes such as aperture priority, and it allows you to shoot high-quality images in any conditions, both indoors and outdoors, even in low light.

THETA Z1 also features 3-axis image stabilization when shooting video, which results in smooth and realistic 360 degree movies in 4K resolution (3840 x 1920 pixels) and 30 fps.

THETA Z1 features many shooting modes, for example, HDR composite, which is especially convenient for indoor shooting, multi-bracket shooting, which allows shooting up to 19 frames with user-selected settings in a single burst, and timed interval shooting which can be used for recording starlight trails. You can also add functions to THETA using plugins, which can be installed on your THETA much like apps on your smartphone.

Created with the interval shooting mode

*Photo by@ikejun3d

THETA Z1 can shoot in RAW (DNG) + JPEG format, allowing image editing (color, contrast, etc.) same as with raw image files from a typical DSLR. The latest model, RICOH THETA Z1 51GB, has greatly increased storage capacity, up from 19GB to 51GB, making it possible to shoot and store about 900 shots when shooting in RAW + JPEG and about 6350 shots when shooting in JPEG.

This storage increase makes THETA Z1 more convenient not only in daily usage but also for commercial use such as in real estate and the construction industry.

Use Case 1: High-definition memories

Whether traveling the world or going about your daily life, you can capture your memories in high definition 360 degree images and video with THETA Z1!

*Photo by @suzuwanders

THETA Z1 is equipped with a 1.0-inch sensor with a maximum sensitivity of 6400-ISO and demonstrates excellent noise reduction performance even when shooting at night or in dim places where high sensitivity is required. THETA Z1 allows three aperture settings, f/2.1, f/3.5, and f/5.6. Selecting a smaller aperture will improve the resolution of the peripheral area of the field of view of each lens.

*Photo by @ikejun3d

THETA Z1 also comes with “Handheld HDR” mode that allows you to easily take HDR shots without attaching THETA to a tripod. You can also save your favorite settings on your smartphone in My Settings, and you can immediately recall My Settings simply by using the function button on the body. Try registering Handheld HDR, or other often-used modes, in My Settings!

Taken with the Handheld HDR setting on a selfie stick

*Photo by @junjunsurf

Whether you’re shooting at dusk or capturing the starry sky, you can save those beautiful moments with THETA Z1!

THETA Z1 allows shooting in RAW (DNG) + JPEG format so you can edit the images with Lightroom Classic on your PC and fully realize your creativity.

Shooting in RAW (DNG) and developing in Lightroom Classic

*Photo by Sam Rohn

Use Case 2: High-quality virtual tours

Due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for virtual tours utilizing 360-degree images is rapidly increasing for real estate and facility tours. For indoor shooting, THETA Z1 can easily shoot a 360-degree space with high image quality even when dealing with high contrast by using the HDR composite mode.

Using a plugin called “Time-Shift Shooting” that allows you to shoot with a few seconds lag for each side, it’s possible to keep the photographer out of frame without the need to hide somewhere during shooting.

Also, by utilizing the HDR-DNG mode in the Dual Fisheye plugin*, THETA can combine up to 9 DNG (RAW) images into an HDR composite natively without the need of an external raw processor such as Lightroom. By comparison to JPEG HDR images, HDR-DNG provides a wider dynamic range, allowing editing of high contrast scenes such as when shooting indoors and outdoors simultaneously (say, through a window).

Taken in HDR-DNG mode with the Dual Fisheye plugin

*Photo by Toyo  Fujita

The HDR DNG mode provided by the Dual Fisheye plugin is used by panorama photographers all over the world for shooting high quality virtual content. Try it out when you want to take 360 images in a particularly special scene.

* Dual Fisheye is a third-party plugin not developed by RICOH.

Use Case 3: Location review for construction and interior design

Since THETA can shoot a 360-degree space in one shot, it is ideal for making detailed records and surveys of construction sites and interiors.

*Mr.Waka Kimizuka / Waka Design Room

With smartphones and ordinary cameras, it’s difficult to cover the entire space in every direction. However, with a THETA 360-degree camera you won’t miss anything, allowing for easy and detailed review of the scene at a later time.

Other THETA models, such as THETA SC2, are useful for recording locations in their entirety. However, THETA Z1 has a 1.0-inch sensor providing higher sensitivity and quality, so that more detail, even in dim lighting, can be recorded compared to other THETA models.

You can make the most out of THETA Z1 as a work tool.

Use Case 4: 360-degree livestreams

Due to the corona pandemic, more and more people want to livestream in 360 degrees with THETA in order to reach people who can’t be there in person.

If you have THETA Z1 and a relatively high-spec computer such as a MacBook Pro, you can stream in 360 degrees with basic hardware and software.

In the THETA range, only THETA Z1 and THETA V (discontinued) support live streaming. Older THETA models could shut down occasionally due to internal heat generation when live streaming for extended periods. Last year, THETA Z1 received a firmware update allowing it to record and stream for up to 24 hours* in an ambient temperature up to about 30 degrees celsius.

*Not a guaranteed value

Try live streaming using THETA Z1 for online events or as on-site confirmation tool.

Use Case 5: Light source information (HDRI) for CGI production

In order to create more realistic CGI, light source information called HDRI can be created with THETA. Typically, a standard camera is used to capture the scene in every direction while bracketing the exposure to create an HDR image of the scene. The data can then be used for creating CG lighting in a virtual replica of the real scene. Recently, the THETA 360-degree camera has been increasingly used in the CGI industry as a tool for easily generating HDRI.

THETA Z1 supports shooting in RAW and allows manual setting of the aperture between f/2.1 and f/5.6, which makes it easier to shoot high quality HDRI on par with DSLR cameras, making it possible to produce realistic CGI.

*Digital Furontia, Mr. Atsushi Doi

Whether you’re capturing beautiful scenery around the world or capturing high quality imagery for your business, THETA Z1 51GB is ready to tackle your project! We hope you enjoy this wonder of a camera!

For more details, please visit the product page on theta360.com.