Yesterday (or still today, depending on where you are), Ricoh Imaging Company in Japan has announced the launch of the Ricoh Theta Z1 360-degree camera. First introduced in 2013, Theta was Ricoh’s foray into consumer-grade 360-degree imaging. Since then, there have been a couple of iterations and the Theta Z1 you see here, unveiled ahead the CP+ (Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2019), is the latest that boasts some really serious improvements.

Ricoh Theta Z1 360-degree Camera

For starter, it now flaunts a new image sensor, a 1.0-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, that allows the Z1 to capture 23 MP resolution 360-degree still images and couple with a 3-axis rotational stabilization to counter rotational shake, the Z1 is capable of shooting “considerably smooth” and immersive 360-degree videos in glorious, eye-watering 4K (3,840 x 1,920 pixels) resolution at 30 frames-per-second.

Another major improvement is the inclusion of a 0.93-inch organic EL monitor and a Function (Fn) button that gives you access to information that matters at a glance, including number of possible shots, exposure settings, and more. Moreover, it has another new feature which I personally didn’t think a 360-degree camera of this stature would ever have: it can record in uncompressed RAW ”DNG” format – in addition to JPEG. So I guess it kind of makes this the DSLR of 360 imaging?

Ricoh Theta Z1 360-degree Camera

Finally, under the hood, it has an Android-based system that affords flexibility in number of expansions through installation of additional plug-ins (presumably, with an app).

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It is crazy how far Theta, and consumer 360 imaging in general, has progressed, ain’t it? But progress often comes with a hefty price and in the case of the Theta Z1, it will cost you a whopping $999.95. That’s like 2.5 and 5 times more over the V and SC currently being sold in stateside. Ouch.

Anywho, Ricoh Theta Z1 will be showcased at the CP+ where visitors will be able to see it in action and handle the device themselves. Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2019 is set at Pacifico Yokohama in Japan, happening from February 28-March 3, 2019. During the CP+, visitors will get to experience the recently announced Ricoh GRIII digital camera too.

All images courtesy of Ricoh Japan.

Published by Mike chua

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.