The company’s Theta line of 360-degree cameras began in 2013 and have come a long ways in that time. Reviews of the Theta line are good in that people praise its ability to simplify the process of capturing and creating spherical media down to a mere button press. However most of these cameras also come with small 1- or 2.3-inch image sensors, which means optics or image quality isn’t always the best.
That should change now.
The Z1 is the first Theta camera with two, 1-inch image sensors that shoot 23-megapixel resolution, 360-degree stills. It also does digitally stabilized 4K spherical video (3,840×1,920-pixel resolution) at 29.97fps with a bit rate of 56Mbps. It even does 4K live streaming. With these larger sensors, which are about four times the size of their predecessors, you can expect less noise and better low light shots.
Another cool feature is that it allows for variable aperture, so you can toggle between f2.1, f3.5, and f5.6, if needed. There’s also support for Adobe DNG format (raw) and a new plugin, called Ricoh Theta Stitcher, for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC. If any of this interests you, the Theta Z1 will launch for $999 (or £899). We don’t yet know where it’ll be available, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
For more news out of MWC 2019, see our guide here.