Simplified 360° Photos and Movies: The New Theta m15 Spherical Digital Camera
The original Theta may have slipped by without too many people taking notice, but its stylish, austere form factor and the simple manner in which it creates 360° spherical images impressed enough folks that Ricoh has introduced its successor. The new Ricoh Theta m15 Spherical Digital Camera is now available in Blue, Yellow, Pink, and White, and offers not only one-click spherical panoramic stills capture but 360° spherical panoramic movies, faster Wi-Fi speed, and enhanced exposure controls.
With one push of the shutter button, lenses on both sides of its thin and lightweight body capture an entire 360° perspective. Then, using its built-in Wi-Fi—which is rated to be twice as fast as the original—or its USB connection, the camera’s files are transferred to your computer where the free upgraded Ricoh Theta app for Windows/Mac stitches the images together into one interactive photo that can be zoomed in and out or spun to bring any part of the image front and center. Also, the Theta app is equipped with an SDK (Software Development Kit), which allows users to create their own apps for the 360° images. The m15 provides not only the user-friendly Auto exposure mode but adds shutter priority and ISO priority modes for further image control. ISO sensitivity on the camera runs from 100 –1600 and shutter speeds from 1/7.5 – 1/8000 of a second.
The most notable update on this new model is 360° spherical panoramic movie mode, which is available in full HD 1080p at 15 fps to produce clips up to 3 minutes long with a total recording time of approximately 40 minutes. A specialized tool in the Theta app enables size, shape, and composition changes to your video and 5MB of movies can be shared on theta360.com or Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. 4GB of internal memory provide sufficient space to store numerous stills and video and a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery provides long run time between charges. Using its Wi-Fi connectivity and iPhone app, the Theta m15 can be synced to your iPhone for remote control of the camera’s shutter, as well as for image geo-tagging and, ultimately, to share images from your phone to social media sites.
The m15 does have a ¼"-20 threaded tripod mount, which is important for taking remote-controlled shots without you appearing in the 360° perspective. The small, colorful design of this unique camera makes it ideal to carry with you for spontaneous creativity.
|Ricoh Theta m15 Compact Digital Camera|
|Image Sensor||Not Supplied by Manufacturer|
|Effective Pixels||Not Supplied by Manufacturer|
|Maximum Resolution||Not Supplied by Manufacturer|
|Still Image File Format||JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.3), DCF2.0 compliant|
|Storage Media||4GB Internal Memory|
|Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)||Not Specified by Manufacturer|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||3.9" / 10 cm|
|Shutter Type||Programmed AE Electronic Shutter Mechanism|
|Shutter Speed||Stills: 1/8000 to 1/7.5 seconds; Video: 1/8000 to 1/15 seconds|
|Exposure Metering System||Auto|
|Exposure Modes||Auto, Shutter Priority, ISO Priority (Changes made via smartphone)|
|Exposure Compensation||-2.0 to +2.0 in 1/3 EV steps. (Changes made via smartphone/app)|
|ISO Sensitivity||Stills: ISO 100 to 1600; Video: ISO 100 to 400|
|Autofocus System||Fixed Focus|
|Focus Modes||Fixed Focus: 3.9" (10 cm) to infinity from lens surface|
|White Balance Modes||Stills: Auto, Indoors, Outdoors, Cloudy, Incandescent Lamp1, Incandescent Lamp 2, Daylight Color Fluorescent Lamp, Natural White Fluorescent Lamp, White Fluorescent Lamp, Light Bulb Color Fluorescent Lamp (Changes made via smartphone/app.) Video: Auto|
|Movie Recording||1080p at 15 fps|
|File Format||MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264|
|Audio File Format||Linear PCM|
|External Microphone Input||N/A|
|Maximum Recording Time||3 minutes per clip; 40 minutes total recording time (temperature override)|
|Interface||microUSB: USB 2.0|
|Power Source||Built-in Lithium-Ion - charge via USB Cable plugged into computer|
|Battery Life||200 images per charge|
|Operating Environment||32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C); Up to 90% RH|
|Dimensions||1.6 x 5 x 0.9" (0.69" excluding lens protrusion) / 4.1 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm (1.8 cm excluding lens protrusion)|
|Weight||3.35 oz / 95 g|