Ricoh Theta V vs Ricoh Theta S: How big is the upgrade?

Ricoh recently revealed their new flagship 360 camera, the Ricoh Theta V. This camera is a followup to the very popular Ricoh Theta S, which received praise for its excellent photo taking ability as well as it user friendly design. The Ricoh Theta S was probably the most popular 360 camera of the past few years, will the Theta V be able to live up to its predecessor? Let’s take a look at exactly what Ricoh has improved in the Ricoh Theta V by comparing it to its older brother, the Theta S

Ricoh Theta V vs Ricoh Theta S – What’s Changed

Specs Ricoh Theta V Ricoh Theta S
Number of Lenses 2 x f/2.0 2 x f/2.0
Video Resolution 4K, 3840×1920/29.97fps/56Mbps - 4K, 3840×1920/29.97fps/32Mbps - 2K, 920×960/29.97fps/16Mbps - 2K,1920×960/29.97fps/8Mbps 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps/16 Mbps
Photo Resolution 5376 x 2688 (14 Megapixels) 5376 x 2688 (14 Megapixels)
Stitching Automatic Completed with App
Livestream Yes - 4K (wireless) Yes - 1080p (requires wired connection)
Audio 4 x Internal microphone for spatial audio - Optional microphone attachment for 360 life like audio Basic mono microphone
Waterproof Yes, with extra waterproof case (30ft) No
Shockproof No No
Memory Internal 19GB (Not expandable) Internal 8GB (Not expandable)
Battery Still image: Approx. 300 photos - Video: Approx. 80 minutes 260 photos in 1 charge
Compatibility Android/iOS Android/iOS
Other Points Wireless casting to TV/Laptop Video recording limit : 25 mins per recording
Price $429 $326
Where to Buy Pre-Order Available Now

As you can see a lot has changed. The new Theta V is undoubtedly a superior device, and after 3 years I should expect so too, but is the improvement enough to justify an upgrade?

One major flaw of the original Theta S is that it could only shoot 360 video at a rather low resolution. 1080p is more than enough for a “normal” flat video, but for 360 videos we need a lot more pixels. The Theta V’s flagship feature is 4K video resolution, something we’ve come to expect of all new 360 camera these days, however Ricoh is boasting of advanced lenses with technology borrowed from DSLR’s. Ricoh is no doubt hoping that the advances, and more expensive, lenses will allow the Ricoh Theta V to shoot noticeably better video that the competition.

Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh's long awaited upgrade. 4K video with advanced processor and advanced lens technology.

What’s not in question is that the Ricoh Theta V can shoot much better 360 video than the Theta S. Just look at the difference in quality of the two videos below:

Shot with Ricoh Theta S: 

Shot with Ricoh Theta V:

Even though the footage from the Ricoh Theta V is much shorter, you can still tell that the quality is orders of magnitude better than the Rich Theta S. You can see more footage shot with the Theta V here

Ricoh has put a focus on audio quality in its new device. Not only does the Theta V has 4 internal microphones, but Ricoh has developed a 360 spatial audio attachment which will allow the camera to capture life like audio. In comparison the theta S had rather basic audio capture capabilities.

Other upgrades include the ability to livestream 360 video in 4K and expanded internal memory, now up to 19GB. It must be said that the Theta range of cameras are the only 360 cameras to not feature an SD card slot. While 19GB is certainly an improvement on 8GB, it’s still rather limited.

Photos

360 photos were considered a strong point of the Ricoh Theta S, which could shoot 14 megapixel 360 images with excellent coloring and dynamic range. The new Ricoh Theta V does not offer an upgrade in terms of resolution, but does use more advances lenses with the ability to capture more accurate imagery. Never the less, the failure to upgrade the resolution of the lenses will probably mean that Ricoh loses its reputation for creating the best 360 cameras for photography.

Ricoh Theta V photo example

See also: Ricoh Theta V vs Insta360 ONE

Summary

The Ricoh Theta V is a considerable upgrade from the Ricoh Theta S. Nearly every aspect of the camera has been improved, most importantly it can now shoot 4K 360 video and live stream wirelessly. What hasn’t changed is the design of the camera, which was so good it didn’t  need improving, and the maximum photo resolution.

If you are loyal to Ricoh and you want to upgrade your 360 camera, then the Theta V is certainly a worthwhile choice, if an expensive one. Whether the Theta V can compete against other 360 cameras coming out soon remains to be seen.

Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh's long awaited upgrade. 4K video with advanced processor and advanced lens technology.


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