Ricoh Announces Theta SC2 Spherical Camera with 4K Video

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Big news for spherical imagery enthusiasts! Ricoh has just announced the Theta SC2, an exciting follow-up to the original Theta SC and welcome addition to the entire Theta family. The Theta SC2 retains many of the features that made its predecessor so popular—easy to carry, easy to use—and goes several steps further by incorporating several new upgrades and enhancements, including 4K video, a lot more memory, and some cool new shooting presets and modes.

Ricoh THETA SC2 4K 360 Spherical Camera
Ricoh THETA SC2 4K 360 Spherical Camera

In terms of form factor, it’s hard to distinguish the Theta SC2 from the original. The first Theta SC was celebrated for its lightweight, take-anywhere design, and the new model champions that look with a near-identical footprint. It’s also just as easy to use, thanks to its intuitive build and button layout. But that doesn’t mean everything is the same. For example, the Theta SC2 now features a new front-facing status display OLED, and on the side are a self-timer and Bluetooth button (a new connectivity feature we’ll touch on below). Those additions round out the Theta SC2’s very clean, very sleek-but-accessible aesthetic that made the original so popular.

Ricoh THETA SC2 4K 360 Spherical Camera

Exterior design aside, the Theta SC2 offers some major performance upgrades over its predecessor. For starters, the Theta SC2 can now record 4K spherical video. This is a big jump up from the original Theta SC, which maxed out at 1080p. The resolution boost is owed to the Theta SC2’s new image sensor, which was ported over from Ricoh’s advanced 360-degree camera, the Theta V. Storage also got a big bump. Where the Theta SC offered 8GB of base memory, the Theta SC2 gives you 14GB—nearly double. Still image resolution remains the same at 14.4MP (5376 x 2688).

Now, with a powerful new image sensor come powerful new features. For starters, the SC2 boasts several new image presets and modes, which should greatly improve your shooting experience. One of those new presets is Face Mode, which automatically detects the face of the subject and applies fixes where needed. If a face is slanted or in the wrong location, Face Mode centers it. It also brightens the skin, when needed, and reduces noise to improve the overall appearance. There’s also a Night View preset and an Underwater Mode, both of which optimize the Theta SC2’s settings to capture the perfect shot in those particular environments.

Not only was the Theta SC2’s image sensor beefed up, so was the processing power behind it. For example, the Theta SC2’s HDR algorithm no longer produces chromatic aberration, fringing, or unnatural color saturation. In terms of performance, the Theta SC2 processes and transfers images and video as much as 4x faster than the original SC. These improvements mean the SC2 now produces better videos and stills and can transfer them faster than ever before.

We mentioned that the Theta SC2 now includes a Bluetooth button. That’s because—you guessed it—the Theta SC2 now features Bluetooth connectivity, in addition to its built-in Wi-Fi. The addition of Bluetooth adds more flexibility to how you can use the Theta SC2, including how you shoot, transfer, and share images. It also enables the use of a Bluetooth remote to control the Theta SC2.

The new Ricoh Theta SC2 adopts all the features that made the original so popular—portable, powerful, and easy to use—and dials them up several notches. With its 360-degree 4K video, handy image presets, and boosted performance, the Theta SC2 is a great option for spherical video enthusiasts and those looking for a good entry point into the world of 360 shooting.

Ricoh THETA SC2 in Pink, Blue, Beige, & White
Ricoh THETA SC2 in Pink, Blue, Beige, and White

What do you think about Ricoh’s latest Theta device? Let us know in the Comments section.

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