Ricoh Theta SC2 Review: Is it good enough for Virtual Tours?

Ricoh has a varied range of cameras in its Theta line-up, from entry level to professional and the Theta SC2 is the newest addition. Released at a time when demand for 360 cameras is booming, the SC2 represents an upgrade from Ricoh’s first entry level camera.

While the SC2 can’t compete with the more expensive Theta Z1 in terms of image quality and features it still makes for a pretty good 360 snapper if you can ignore its lack of unique features. Let’s take a closer look at the Theta SC2 and see if it’s worth buying.

Specs Ricoh Theta SC2
Image
Video
Aperture F2.0
Resolution 4K @30fps
Bit Rate 54MBPS
Format mp4
Modes Auto
Coding H.264
Audio x 2 Microphone
Livestream No
Photo
Resolution 5376×2688
Modes
  • Auto
  • Shutter Priority
  • ISO Priority
  • Manual
Format JPEG
Exposure Modes Auto, Manual (Shutter 1/8000s-120s, ISO 100-3200), Shutter Priority (1/8000s-2s), ISO Priority (100-3200)
White Balance
  • Still images/video: Auto, Outdoor, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent light 1, Incandescent light 2, Daylight color fluorescent light, Natural white fluorescent light, White fluorescent light, Light bulb color fluorescent light, Underwater, Color temperature (2500K to 10000K)
Design
Waterproof No
Battery Still image: Approx. 260 photos - Video: Approx. 70 minutes
Special Features 360 Spatial Audio
Where to Buy Amazon

Ricoh Theta SC2 Review

360 Photos

Like all Ricoh Theta cameras the SC2 sways more towards photography rather than video. Ricoh has a long history of creating excellent photography cameras and this shines through in the Theta line-up.

The SC2 can shoot 14 megapixel photos which compared to other cameras is on the smaller side; the lower resolution means that images may look slightly blurred on larger screens. Ricoh makes up for the lack of pixels with excellent lens technology which results in photos with great dynamic range. Images are colorful and vibrant with decent dynamic range.

The Theta SC2 is the 360 camera version of a point and shoot digital camera; it’s meant for casual use and it does this well. Ricoh’s branding around the SC2 shows its aimed at families or casual users who want to capture vacations and events in 360.

Theta SC2

Last update was on: 5th July 2020 7:07 am

A 360 camera for causal users who want to capture memories in 360

Many people are using 360 cameras to create virtual tours for real estate, restaurants, construction sites as well as many other spaces. Is the Ricoh Theta SC2 a good virtual tour camera? If you are looking for a cheaper solution and you don’t necessarily require the highest quality images then it can be a good option.

Auto +0.7 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The lower resolution means that details appear blurred if you zoom in which is not ideal for high end professional tours. Taking into consideration the price of the camera it does a decent job but there are certainly better options if you have the budget.

Business Edition

Not too long after releasing the SC2 Ricoh also released a slightly difference version of the camera known as the SC2 Business Edition. This version of the camera is very similar to the SC2 but it features two new modes; HDR and timeshift. Both of these improve the cameras ability to shoot virtual tours. This slightly improved version may be a better alternative to those looking for VR tour camera.

See Also: Theta SC2 vs SC2 Business Edition 

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Video

The Ricoh Theta SC2 is also capable of shooting 4K 360 video. Video is not this cameras strong suite due to a lack of stabilization and the average resolution. 4K is no longer considered good for 360 video as there are now many 5K 360 cameras.

The video quality is fine for casual users who aren’t interested in shooting action shots. The quality of the video is average but will look decent on smaller screens.

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Other Features

One of the main issues people found with the original Theta SC was this limited storage capacity which was just 8GB. The Theta SC2 upgrades this to 14GB which is a significant boost but there’s still no way to increase this.

The battery life has also been improved and a single change will allow for 300 photos of 45 minutes of continuous video. You’ll also find a small screen providing information such as the mode that’s currently being used and the remaining battery life.

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Camera Design

One of the best things about every Ricoh Theta camera is the excellent design. Th candy car shape makes it very easy to use both handheld and with a selfie stick. The materials used are high quality and the camera feels like a premium product.

You don’t have full access to every setting on the camera due to the lack of a large screen. You are able to change camera modes, activate wifi and the shutter.

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Verdict

The Theta SC2 is a welcome addition to the Theta range of cameras. Those who enjoyed the original Theta SC for its simplicity will also enjoy the upgraded edition thanks to its upgraded optics and storage capacity.

While the SC2 is a great 360 photo camera it struggles when shooting video. This would be a great camera for those looking for an easy to use point and shoot but perhaps not quite good enough for shooting virtual tours; for that you should check one of Ricoh’s more advanced cameras.

Theta SC2

Last update was on: 5th July 2020 7:07 am

A 360 camera for causal users who want to capture memories in 360

7 Total Score
Ricoh Theta SC

A great starter 360 camera with decent photo capabilities and upgraded storage space.

PROS
  • Excellent Design
  • High Quality Lenses
  • Upgraded Storage
CONS
  • Limited Video Capabilities
  • Limited Image Resolution
  • No Video Stabilization
  • No HDR Mode
User Rating: Be the first one!

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Owner of threesixtycameras.com. Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express.  

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