CP+ 2015: A Demo of the Theta m15 Spherical Camera, and the WG-30W
The Theta m15 Spherical Digital Camera from Ricoh is the very slim one-touch 360-degree camera. With two lenses on either side of its 0.9" thick frame, the camera takes an image that is not only panoramic but spherical… everything around you, including you. Ideal for fun selfies and numerous creative options, it’s meant to be used easily and automatically, although it does offer a degree of manual control including Auto, Shutter Priority, and ISO Priority exposure modes. It can also take short 1080p video clips. There is no screen on the camera, but its built-in Wi-Fi sends it to your smart device easily, where a free app enables manipulation, and of course, avenues for sharing. The open software development kit enables users to develop their own apps specifically for the Theta m15.
The booth at Ricoh included a balloon room for experimenting with the Theta and I tried it a few times. The one-touch performance, wireless transfer, and image control all worked quickly and effortlessly, and the crew then printed out a 4 x 6" photo for you. The camera is available in Blue, Pink, White, and Yellow and comes with a cool soft pouch with a neck strap for storage and easy access.
Also at Ricoh was the WG-30W Digital Camera, the smallest member of the WG series of waterproof, crushproof, and freeze-proof point-and-shoot cameras. Noticeably thinner and lighter, but with the same unique form factor as the WG-4 models, it upgrades to a 5x zoom lens and has an updated processor for fast performance. Its “tough” specs are virtually the same as those of its bigger sibling, it offers built-in Wi-Fi and the Digital Microscope mode and built-in LED ring light around its lens. Having used the WG cameras extensively, I can attest to their fast response time and continuous shooting capability for action shots. The brand new WG-5, which is the direct successor the WG-4, was not yet on display, although I preferred the more pocketable WG-30W.
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