RICOH THETA SC2 for Business is an entry-level model of 360 degree camera meant for various professional use cases.

Released last year and based on RICOH THETA SC2, the business version has functions useful for photography in real estate and used car sales.

One of the main new features in THETA SC2 for Business is the ‘ROOM’ mode. ROOM is an HDR mode that automatically compensates for the difference in brightness between interiors and exteriors, for example when shooting the interior of a car. When you turn on THETA, it activates in ROOM mode, so you can immediately shoot in HDR.

THETA SC2 for Business also has a ‘Time-Shift’ function that allows you to easily shoot with no photographer in the photo. Another big change in THETA SC2 for Business is the ability to set Time Shift Shooting in the self-timer mode.

Of course, it’s totally fine to enjoy THETA SC2 for Business in your daily activities as well.

Today we interviewed Mr. Onishi, a THETA user who uses THETA SC2 for Business for both work and daily life!

Utilizing THETA in the construction industry

Please tell us how you started using THETA.

I’ve always loved cameras, and have been using a PENTAX DSLR for many years. I had PENTAX membership points so I used them to purchase THETA SC a few years ago. I had been interested in it for a long time, ever since I saw a ‘Little Planet’ image taken with THETA.

Taken with THETA SC

I often use THETA when I want to retain the atmosphere of the entire place.

How do you use THETA in your work?

I am self-employed as a contractor for sign installation as well as exteriors and interiors. I originally purchased THETA for private use, but as I used it I realised that it might be useful for project validation in construction, so I started using it for work.

Shooting with THETA SC2 for Business with the ROOM preset and Time Shift

In what ways is THETA useful?

For example, I use it when installing a sign. I have to check the site before commencing the work, but there are many dangerous places, such as building rooftops, where I cannot easily take my clients. So, it is often difficult to explain the situation to the client with only a verbal description or normal images, especially when something goes wrong and it is necessary to inform the client of the situation. In this case THETA comes in very handy!

I used to shoot with a normal camera or smartphone before. But now, THETA 360 degree images are so helpful that I can easily capture the situation on site and then explain it to clients and colleagues.

And so THETA became a must-have in my work.

About THETA SC2 for Business

What do you like about SC2 for Business compared to THETA SC?

THETA SC2 for Business has better image quality, and the ROOM mode is very useful. In particular, I really like the Time Shift Shooting function, which makes it easy to get 360 degree photos without anyone in frame.

Shooting an indoor space

When you still had THETA SC, how did you shoot without anyone in frame?

I’ve tried to take 360-degree shots with no one in the images as much as possible, whether at work or in private. But since THETA SC doesn’t support Time-Shift shooting, I needed to use THETA with a tripod and hide somewhere to shoot remotely.

But at work, I’m often outdoors, such as on rooftops, and I was worried about some risks like THETA falling over in the wind.

Shooting with THETA SC2 for Business with ROOM mode and Time Shift

In fact, the reason I bought a new THETA was because I damaged the lens when I left THETA on a stand for remote shooting. So, I ended up getting a THETA SC2 for Business.

The Time Shift mode allows us to shoot in 360 degrees with a short delay for each lens. So I didn’t have to worry about THETA falling anymore because I can shoot even while standing right next to THETA.

Example of Time-Shift Shooting

And you can do funny things too! The two people in the image below are both me (laughs). I intentionally shot myself on both sides of the lens by using the Time Shift function. After shooting with one side, I quickly moved to the other side for the second shot.

Time Shift Shooting with THETA SC2 for Business

Oh, they are both you, Mr. Onishi! I thought they were two different people since they are posed so differently. This image makes it easy to understand how the Time Shift mode works, doesn’t it?

By the way, do you also usually use HDR via the ROOM mode?

I take 90% of my shots with HDR in ROOM mode. THETA SC2 for Business activates in this mode by default, and we can easily get back to Auto with the Mode button on the body when needed.

HDR mode is very useful because I can take beautiful images even when the weather is bad or with little sunlight.

Shooting in Auto with THETA SC2 for Business

Using THETA SC2 for Business in daily life

Do you also use THETA SC2 for Business in your personal life?

Recently, I haven’t been able to travel much due to COVID-19, so I mainly use THETA for work, but sometimes I still use it for personal photos as well.

The Time Shift function is very convenient for me because I like to shoot the scenery without anyone in it even in my own personal photos.

THETA SC2 for Business in ROOM mode and Time Shift shooting

This is at Kobe Port. I took a quick shot with HDR and Time Shift shooting in ROOM mode, and I was surprised how good it turned out! It’s a beautiful night view image!

I feel the image quality of THETA SC2 is better than THETA SC, even in Auto mode.

Well, thank you very much, Mr. Onishi. Please make the most out of THETA in your daily life as well as in your work.

For more details, please visit the product page.

Interview with:Masatoshi Onishi

Cooperated by :Daiwa real estate company