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Ricoh concept camera makes spherical panoramic images in one shot

By dpreview staff on Feb 6, 2013 at 22:00 GMT

Ricoh exhibited a concept camera at CP+ that captures spherical panoramic images and sends them wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet. 'The idea is, the pictures you take arrive automatically,' [in the phone] said a Ricoh representative (via DigInfo.tv translation). 

Ricoh concept camera that makes spherical panoramic images in one exposure. [Image credit DigInfo.tv]

Apparently produced mainly to gauge market reaction, Ricoh released no technical info on the camera apart from the fact that it uses two opposed 180-degree lenses whose images it combines into one spherical panorama. Users can zoom in on the image elements and swipe to look around the sphere; they can also zoom out to a circular image. The company imagines printing images on spheres as a potential product concept, and is considering video capture as well as stills.

Demonstration video by diginfo.com

Comments

Total comments: 55
steveo baird
By steveo baird (Feb 20, 2013)

I can't wait for this technology to get smaller, lighter, and cheaper.
10 years from now, everyone's mobile phone has a standard spherical camera.

0 upvotes
JRBrown
By JRBrown (Feb 13, 2013)

I can't believe this! It just happens in a one shot, thats so cool! I want to use this at least one time. In the market you can also find different types of watermark software. To know more please visit www.masswatermark.com

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frederick Lim
By Frederick Lim (Feb 11, 2013)

Google can use this to take better photo for google map I think. It would increase productivity too.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Feb 10, 2013)

Pretty sure the spherical image file would be proprietary.

If the file would be universally open such as JPG, then this would really take off.

That's why FujiFilm's 3D cameras are epic fails... they are great, but "locked in" on proprietary readers and display gadgets.

.

2 upvotes
lucavascon
By lucavascon (Feb 9, 2013)

Nothing new here. Pentax proposed an even nicer concept some years ago,but many other did. http://www.sandydan.com/photo/wide/sphere/nikonlrg.jpg
Stitching two emispheres brings some problems to the final result. You need a quite perfect fisheye lens, with a very corrected CA and fringging down to the very border. Let's say more. You need more than 180 degrees, 200 at least, an incredible flare resistance and a very precise exposition and synchro of WB, or you will ALWAYS see the stitching seam, fisheyes must be closer or you will have a large blind area!
Then is better to use a squared, or a 4/3 sensor, in order not to throw away a lot of black pixels. Let's say they use a 24MP apsc sensor. The circle dia would be 4000 pixel. Cut edges, overlap area etc. and you end up with a 3500x7000 panoramic image. I stitch panoramas since 1998, and project software and panoheads since 2003. I've seen it all, nobody is doing a really GOOD non-stitching camera

0 upvotes
oscarchong
By oscarchong (Feb 12, 2013)

Besides Ricoh, is there a product which takes 360 degrees shots in one shot and capable to do a demo video ?

0 upvotes
way2trivial
By way2trivial (Mar 5, 2013)

yes
http://www.gopano.com/store/

0 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (Feb 8, 2013)

Great for sports. Stuck on top of our race car we could see everything that happened around us after the race. Software would allow distortion free prints in any direction

0 upvotes
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Feb 8, 2013)

You might be able to wear it as a hat - like one of those "propellor hats". Certainly any advantage of being able to take street shots without pointing the camera directly at the subject might be lost by the attention generated by the hat. Certainly you would be able to see what was going on behind your back and watch out for knives being planted there. Sounds like a great tool for big business and politicians.

Or make it into a regular lens and then go about holding your camera on your head? Image to smartphone seems better.

0 upvotes
Lin Evans
By Lin Evans (Feb 7, 2013)

Not a new concept - my old 360 One VR from Kaidan parabolic mirror lets me do that with a number of my cameras, but the resolution is low. Having a small device like this might gain some traction in the real estate market for low-cost walk-through photos but I can't see it replacing serious pano work with panoramic heads and high resolution photos.

0 upvotes
canondigi
By canondigi (Feb 7, 2013)

Looks cool to me!

1 upvote
GURL
By GURL (Feb 7, 2013)

Google "multi-cameras in a backpack" version:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/google-trekker-backpack-maps-the-grand-canyon/

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 7, 2013)

Ah, but can it capture a recognizable face if placed in a 7-Eleven? This would be a real time saver for high end real estate. Looks a bit like a Toucan with batteries, though.

0 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Feb 7, 2013)

Looks like something from WALL-E

0 upvotes
Marksphoto
By Marksphoto (Feb 7, 2013)

Finally I would be able to take a wedding photograph with myself included in it cuz guests always say you have been taking photos all day long, let me take a picture of you.

It may make me rething on what to wear on the day of the photoshoot. The possibilities are limitless ;)

now we need a 360 degree fill flash cuz I like to be lit properly

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
acidic
By acidic (Feb 7, 2013)

Get a speedlite with Sto-Fen diffuser. Not quite 360 degrees but close. Watch out for the flare!

0 upvotes
Richard Ettinger
By Richard Ettinger (Feb 7, 2013)

Will probably end up as a surveillance device.

2 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Feb 7, 2013)

Interesting that mobile viewer he's running shows a "Share to Facebook" icon - AFAIK Facebook has dropped support for the few panorama viewing apps that were prototyped on their service. Panoramic photography won't be coming to the masses until the popular social media platforms support some standardized panorama rendering engines, be they QTVR, Flash, HTML5 or whatever.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Yves P.
By Yves P. (Feb 7, 2013)

Just a COOL toy ...

0 upvotes
mrdancer
By mrdancer (Feb 7, 2013)

The biggest issue with these types of cameras is the resolution of the captured image. To get any decent resolution, you are going to have to have a LOT of megapixels (gigapixel for anything realistic). Lotsa mpxls/mb and wifi to phone/tablet usually don't jive too well if you have a lot of photos or are in a hurry or have limited storage space, and definitely not for a data plan.

The built-in panoramic functions of most compact cameras suffer similar fates, giving you a panorama of maybe 5mb up to 20mb in size if you are lucky. To get detailed panoramas, you really need to get up above 50mb, and that is just for a 360* pano with one plane. For a 360 sphere, you would need at least 3x that for detail. So far as I know, that is only done manually, outside the camera, on a potent computer (maybe Defense industry has in-camera tech, but we will never know).

All that being said, I love the idea/concept. Please give us options for different resolutions!

0 upvotes
pebar_Walsall
By pebar_Walsall (Feb 7, 2013)

Where does the photographer hide to avoid being seen in every shot?

2 upvotes
andy amos
By andy amos (Feb 7, 2013)

Maybe the photographer wears it ontop of the head? A small photographer too!

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Feb 7, 2013)

You asked for it: http://www.richardbarryphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/minime.jpg

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 8, 2013)

umbrella...poke it through

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ted Williamson
By Ted Williamson (Feb 7, 2013)

Separated at birth? Admiral Akbar - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Ackbar

1 upvote
Rocky ID Olympian
By Rocky ID Olympian (Feb 7, 2013)

My God you are right, it is indeed looks like Admiral Ackbar!

0 upvotes
Kursun
By Kursun (Feb 7, 2013)

It should be god sent for applications like this:
http://www.mekan360.com/360fx_nevravillanevrainsaat-izmir-cesme-markali-konut-villalar-insaat-tamamlanan-projeler-luks-konutlar-tamamlanan-projeler-konut-firmalari.html

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Feb 7, 2013)

This would work well for shots taken in fairly large spaces (church interiors, landscape), but there are problems with tight places like car interiors or when there are objects close by at the stitching seam area. This is because there is a slight parallax error as the lenses can not be at the same spot, this does not happen with nodal point panorama heads, which, on the other hand, are clumsy and slow.

Otherwise a good idea.

2 upvotes
DemonDuck
By DemonDuck (Feb 7, 2013)

Exactly. And the parallax error looks to be pretty big given how far apart the lenses are.

Small images in large spaces look like the best use. Maybe for journalistic purposes like crowds, fires car wrecks etc.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Feb 7, 2013)

Perhaps it can be redesigned to kill the distance between the lenses and diminish the parallax problem? Maybe it would be possible with some back-to-back sensors arrangement.
Using three lenses seems more sensible, as their FOV would overlap so much that seamless stitching would be flawless.
However, this has a lot of potential, worthy of further exploration. I like it.

0 upvotes
buda1065
By buda1065 (Feb 7, 2013)

Patent monopolists will try to kill it, just like they stifled QTVR innovation. I hope I'm wrong, because I want one (travel size, please).

0 upvotes
KoKo the Talking Ape
By KoKo the Talking Ape (Feb 7, 2013)

Printing images on spheres! The images would have to be inside-out, so that looking at the spherical print would be like looking through a crystal ball into the room.

1 upvote
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 8, 2013)

or project the movies on to the huge bubble ping pong ball helmet for virtual reality or video games

1 upvote
LFLee
By LFLee (Feb 7, 2013)

they already exhibit this camera in last year Photokina, though this is a smaller version of that. So this is not new.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Feb 7, 2013)

"Clark, those little lights aren't twinkling."

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Feb 7, 2013)

geonaute360 (we-sphere) already has a compact 360 degree spherical panorama camera (triple lens) that handles videos/stills (navigate/zoom with mouse):

http://www.wesphere.com/swf/embed.php?id=video_007

http://www.wesphere.com/#video_007
http://www.wesphere.com/

sdyue

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
atabora
By atabora (Feb 7, 2013)

very nice! increase the production of these and similar devices.

0 upvotes
DemonDuck
By DemonDuck (Feb 7, 2013)

They aren't live yet.

0 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Feb 7, 2013)

Looks cool but I hope the non-functionality of their site and inaccessibility of www.geonaute360.com is not a clue to their viability. But using 3 8MP sensors starts to put it in a reasonable ballpark for resolving a 360deg panorama.

0 upvotes
noss
By noss (Feb 7, 2013)

nice

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Feb 7, 2013)

OMG it looks like Admiral Ackbar!

Cool idea. Can't wait to see it in action. Looking forward to seeing all-sky camera applications for this. Entire sky in one shot? Yes, please.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
VividExposures
By VividExposures (Feb 7, 2013)

A better viewer and a larger screen probably makes a big difference. It would have to have a ton of megapixels to make much sense though imho.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Feb 7, 2013)

Bingo!
Big, big screen.
Oceans and continents of pixels!
Gimme.

The little one is nice, though, for now.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Feb 7, 2013)

I dub thee "Hammerhead"

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Feb 6, 2013)

nice! Very nice!

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 6, 2013)

2x180º simultaneous, no registration issues. This has Winner written all over if they can make visualization trivial.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (Feb 6, 2013)

Video capture would allow very immersive photography! Much like this: http://krpano.com/video/video.html

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 6, 2013)

Could be cool to use for security with wifi sending images in say 3 second intervals of stills. Mount it in a dome and attach to interior exterior of home with motion detector car or entry or helmet ect.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Feb 7, 2013)

Seems over the top for that, several regular wide-angle CCTV cameras would be a much cheaper solution with the same coverage.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 6, 2013)

Can they make one as an interchangeable lens for EVIL cameras to reduce bulk of battery and electronics ect.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 6, 2013)

No they can't. You need to capture 2x180º pictures to have a 360% panorama.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 6, 2013)

It would stick out or up like a periscope to make use of both 180 degree images

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 7, 2013)

I understood your idea, but the issue still remains... you'd be taking only one shot when you need two! Your idea needs two lenses, two cameras aligned and in synch, which isn't far from some extreme 360º setups.
This effort by Ricoh does it all.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 8, 2013)

I dont think you get it. The idea is to use the camera body for battery and processor ect so you slap this on with its own sensors and lenses. the camera body has all the expensive stuff to make this better and cheaper.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 8, 2013)

I admit don't get it...
Which camera that you know could make a 360º from a single attached lens?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 55