We recently held a virtual workshop with New York City-based 360-degree photography expert, Sam Rohn, for a deep dive into his workflow and go-to shooting tips and editing techniques using our flagship model, the RICOH THETA Z1. If you missed it, check out the recap and video below.
The Benefits of THETA Z1
Sam kicked off the workshop by explaining the benefits of the RICOH THETA Z1. With impressive results and shooting range, Sam finds this camera ideal for many professional and personal shooting scenarios. For high-budget professional shoots, he typically carries a DSLR camera to locations, which is large, heavy, and inconvenient for shooting on-the-go. The THETA Z1 is much faster, easier to work with, and satisfies his clients’ needs for high-quality virtual tours. Sam can simply slide it into his pocket and bring it along with a few of his favorite accessories like the TS-2 semi-hard case, tripod, and USB power pack to recharge.
Sam then shared information on the THETA Z1’s built-in HDR Rendering and HDR Handheld modes that produce DNG files. DNG files are ideal because they contain more information and can be processed more efficiently than a JPG or TIF. Sam explored normal DNG shooting with city day and night scenes, sharing the exposure he uses for various scenarios and comparing the final stitched photo to the original.
He also shared an underexposed photo of New York City and the importance of shooting with a low ISO to preserve dynamic range and shadow recovery.
Editing DNG Files
Editing a DNG file allows for much more flexibility than editing a JPG file or TIF because the whitebalance has not been determined yet. DNG files contain much more dynamic range than a developed photo, which makes it easier to adjust highlights, shadows, and more. After editing brightness and colors, Sam used the RICOH THETA Stitcher* to stitch the photo and then brought it back into Adobe Lightroom Classic to add additional clarity and finishing touches.
Dual Fisheye RAW Plug-In
While the built-in modes have advantages on the THETA Z1 and are ideal for beginners or intermediate users, the Dual-Fisheye RAW plug-in is Sam’s recommendation for those who have experience editing RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic or other editing software. Photographing with this plug-in is faster than many cameras, shooting and saving up to 9 exposures in under 1 second and merging them to an HDR-DNG file with excellent results. In addition, this plug-in shoots a single exposure along the merged HDR file which Sam displayed in interior and exterior shooting.
Missed the event or want to learn more? Watch Sam Rohn’s shooting tips and in-depth editing tips.