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Ricoh THETA Z1 360 Camera Boosts Sensors

Ricoh just announced their flagship 360-degree video camera called the Theta Z1 for $999. It improves upon Theta V with the addition of larger 1-inch 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. Theta Z1 also adds aperture priority and support for Adobe DNG format (RAW).

The main body of the camera, with a 0.93-inch organic EL monitor and a Function (Fn) button, grants users access to a multitude of information at a glance, including number of possible shots, exposure settings, and more, thus greatly improving the operability of the camera itself. Basic performance improvements are most evident in the Android-based system, which now offers flexibility in number of expansions one can add to the Z1 through the installation of additional plug-ins.

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 (VR) viewing experience.

Overall design remains the same. A 0.93″ OLED display provides rapid access to essential shooting settings and information. A new function button switches 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.

Theta 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 a Lens Caps ($19.95) and a Semi-Hard Case (29.95).

Price and Availability

Ricoh Theta Z1 is available for pre-order now for $999.95 at Amazon with an expected release date of April 11, 2019.

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