B&H Photo would like to share the announcement of the Ricoh THETA Z1 360 Camera. This latest model to Ricoh’s immensely popular 360-degree camera series is now the flagship and boasts the best image quality ever delivered by the company in 360 degrees. Much of this improvement is due to the use of large 20MP 1″ back-illuminated CMOS sensors and an updated image processing algorithm that enable stills capture at up to 23MP (6720 x 3360) and recording of 4K (3840 x 1920) video at 30 fps and with 3-axis stabilization.
Larger sensors also mean better image quality in more situations, because the sensitivity can be boosted to ISO 6400, and there is a multi-level aperture mechanism with three levels of control. Beyond the sensors, the Ricoh Z1 has a redesigned image processing algorithm that will help create the sharpest and cleanest images possible in any given situations. Dynamic Range compensation is automatically applied to limit loss of detail from blown-out highlights and deep shadows. There are plenty of other modes to choose from, as well, including HDR Rendering, Interval Composite, and Multi-bracket shooting.
Ricoh THETA Z1 360 Camera
Highly Accurate 360° Image Stitching
Dual 6720 x 3360 1″ Type CMOS Sensors
360° 4K Videos and 23MP Photos
Selectable f/2.1, 3.5, 5.6 Aperture
360° Live Streaming in 4K or 2K
Twin-Lens System with 4-Channel Mics
19GB of Internal Memory
Edit with Lightroom Classic CC & Plug-In
THETA+ Android App
Status Display, Magnesium Alloy Body
Image quality is important and, for professionals, there are numerous options for manual control. This includes aperture-, shutter-, and ISO-priority modes, in addition to full manual operation (manual mode requires the use of a smartphone). The previously mentioned multi-level aperture now provides the choice of f/2.1, f/3.5, and f/5.6 for handling bright situations. Still images can be saved as DNG raw files for maximum flexibility while RICOH THETA Stitcher for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC makes editing easier. Backing up this image quality is a four-channel microphone array for 360-degree spatial audio recording. With 360-degree audio and video being recorded, the Z1 will provide a completely immersive virtual reality viewing experience.
Massive changes to the imaging pipeline, fortunately, did not mean a change in overall design, with the THETA Z1 using tri-fold structure technology for a thickness of just 24mm. A 0.93″ OLED display provides rapid access to essential shooting settings and information. A new function button can then help you switch between display modes and select modes. The body is also tough, with magnesium-alloy construction and a luxurious texture. Tripod screw holes are metal for durability and it uses the now-standard USB 3.0 Type-C connection for fast transfer.
Connectivity and upgradeability are an important part of the THETA system and the Z1 features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in. The THETA+ app makes it simple to share and edit photos and an internal capacity of 19GB can hold up to 2400 JPEGs without issue. Coming soon is a new feature called Time-shift Shooting that will make it possible to capture images without the photographer being in the frame. New accessories include Lens Caps and a Semi-Hard Case.
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