Ricoh Imaging has announced the launch of the Theta Z1, its latest flagship model of its 360-degree camera system. The Ricoh Theta Z1 can capture 23MP (6720 x 3360 pixels) still images and 4K/30p (3840x1920 pixels) 360-degree video on its two 1"-type backside-illuminated CMOS sensor with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400.

Behind the sensor is a new image processing algorithm and improved image capture support. Specifically, Ricoh has added a new HDR Rendering mode, Interval Composite mode for recording star trails, and a multi-bracket mode for capturing the same scene with different settings. In addition to JPEG still image support, the Theta Z1 now supports Adobe DNG Raw capture for more post-processing flexibility.

To complement the 4K/30p video capture, Ricoh has added a 4-channel microphone that supports 360-degree spatial audio recording. The lens itself has also been updated to reduce ghosting, flaring and purple fringing. An improved aperture mechanism makes it possible to choose between F2.1, F3.5 and F5.6. The Theta Z1 also features 3-axis stabilization to keep stills and video smooth.

The Ricoh Theta Z1 (the black camera) compared to Ricoh's other 360-degree cameras. Note the much larger lens and additional OLED screen.

The camera itself features a familiar two-lens design with a single button on the front of the device and three additional buttons on the side: one for power, one for Wi-Fi pairing and one for selecting the camera mode. A 0.93" OLED screen is used to show various settings and navigate through the shooting modes.

Ricoh has also added additional plug-in support thanks to the Android-based system, including a new 'Time-Shift Shooting' plug-in that makes it possible to remove the person capturing the image from the frame. As with past Theta devices, the Theta Z1 can post media directly to various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and even Google Maps.

The Ricoh Theta Z1 is listed on Ricoh's online shop for $999.95, but the 'pre-order' button only takes you to a sign-up page where Ricoh says you will be notified via email when the Theta Z1 becomes available for purchase.

Press release:

RICOH THETA Z1 — a camera that can shoot 360-degree spherical images in a single shot

Achieving 360-degree still image photo shooting in high-quality 23MP resolution

TOKYO, February 25, 2019 -RICOH Imaging Americas Corporation announced today the launch of the RICOH THETA Z1, the latest model from the family of cutting-edge 360-degree cameras. The RICOH THETA Z1 supports approximately 23-megapixels resolution (6720 x 3360 pixels) 360-degree still image photo shooting as a high-end model of the RICOH THETA camera series, which can shoot spherical images in a single shot, giving consumers the opportunity to adventure, discover and capture life in 360.

Since RICOH launched the world’s first 360-degree consumer camera*1 in 2013, the company has stayed at the forefront of this emerging technology as it continues to evolve, and become an integral tool for the burgeoning industries of virtual reality (VR), social media, business, real estate + more. Exceptional imaging and sleek design come together to deliver unique, expected visuals; a seamless integration into any element of everyday life - business or pleasure.

The RICOH THETA Z1 is the flagship model of this series, with RICOH deploying exceptional optical and image processing technologies, cultivated through years of high-performance camera development, to pursue its highest resolution and quality to date. The compact main body is equipped with a 1.0-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, enabling approx. 23MP resolution 360-degree still images. It supports a diverse range of shooting modes, such as aperture priority, allowing users to take high-quality images regardless of the setting: outdoors, nighttime, indoors, tropical beaches or snowy mountain views - nothing is off limits. Moreover, it is possible to shoot considerably smooth and immersive 360-degree videos in 4K (3840x1920 pixels) and 30 frames per second (fps) thanks to powerful 3-axis rotational stabilization to compensate for rotational shake.

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. In addition to JPEG, RICOH THETA Z1 now supports Adobe® DNG format (RAW) so that users can enjoy professional image editing as with a general digital SLR camera. Basic performance improvements are most evident in the AndroidTM-based system, which now offers flexibility in number of expansions one can add to the Z1 through the installation of additional plug-ins. The overall functionality of the latest model from RICOH not only meets the high demands of serious photographers, offers an optimal performance for professionals and amateurs alike.

Opportunities to use 360 images in innovative ways are increasing at a rapid pace. RICOH THETA is heavily utilized in business use cases around the world. Advanced services leveraging RICOH THETA V in real estate and construction are offered by Ricoh Tours, Zillow 3D Home, Matterport Capture, and HoloBuilder JobWalk, and future integrations with these partners services and the new RICOH THETA Z1 are planned.

RICOH’S THETA Z1 will be available to preview up ahead of its official release at the RICOH Imaging booth during CP+ 2019, the world’s premier show for Camera and Photo Imaging held at PACIFICO Yokohama this February 28, 2019.

*1 As a mass-produced consumer product capable of capturing the scene around, above and below the device in a fully spherical image (as of October, 2013, based on RICOH research).