As we gear up (excuse the pun) for the release of the new Samsung Gear 360 2017 edition, I think now is a good time to compare this much-anticipated camera to the most popular 360 camera ever released. The Ricoh Theta S is a few years old now, but it was way ahead of its time when it came out and has become the most used consumer 360 camera out of the dozen or so available now.
Can the new Gear 360 dethrone the mighty Theta S as the top 360 camera? Both are small and powerful, with differing strengths and weaknesses, but at the end of the day, I think there is a clear winner. Let’s take a look at the specifications of both the Gear 360 and the Theta S side-by-side to get a clearer view.
New Samsung Gear 360 2017 VS Ricoh Theta S Comparison Table
|Features||New Gear 360 (2017)||Ricoh Theta S|
|Number of Lenses||2||2|
|Video Resolution||4096 x 2160 at 24 fps||1920 x 1080 at 30 fps/16 Mbps Video recording limit : 25 mins per recording|
|Photo Resolution||15 Megapixels||5376 x 2688 (24 Megapixels)|
|Memory||256GB MicroSD||Internal 8GB (Not expandable)|
|Battery||1160 mAh (130 minutes continuous video)||260 photos in 1 charge|
|Livestream||Yes 2K resolution||Yes 1920 x 1080|
|Where to Buy||Released in late Spring 2017||Amazon|
The new Samsung Gear 360 looks like its going to be a great consumer 360 camera, but is it good enough to beat the Ricoh? Firstly, let’s look at the video resolution; the Gear 360 has a much high video resolution and is able to shoot in full 4K, where as the Ricoh Theta S can only shoot video at 1080p. If you are looking to shoot 360 video there is a clear winner here in the Gear 360, however, 360 photo is another thing altogether.
Gear 360 Video Example
It looks like the Ricoh Theta S will be able to take 360 stills at nearly double the resolution of the Gear 360 2017. While we have not yet seen still photos taken with the new Gear camera, one can only assume that with a much higher resolution that the photos taken on the Ricoh will be sharper.
As for other features, Live-streaming is becoming more and more popular, particularly in 360 cameras. Both the Ricoh the new Gear 360 can live stream 360 video to Facebook and YouTube, however, the Gear can do so in 2K video quality while the Theta S is limited to 1080p. This resolution results in very poor quality video in 360 degrees.
Both cameras are designed to be used by hand, but both can also be attached to a tripod or selfie stick. The Ricoh is compatible with a greater range of smartphones but the Gear 360 has a much greater memory capacity.
As you can see there are plus and minus points for both, but all in all, I would say the winner is the new Gear 360. Why? The video resolution of the Ricoh is simply too poor to compete and the very limited memory capacity is a great let down. To top it off the Gear 360 will be around $70 cheaper than the Ricoh when released, so it really is a no-brainer.
The Ricoh is still a great 360 camera, particularly if you are more interested in taking 360 photos (it’s really, really good at that), but if the choice is between these two then the Gear is the winner.