If you have been eyeing those 360-degree images on Google Street View or the 360-degree routes on the online Indian map platform, Wonobo, now you can create one yourself.
Over the weekend, Japanese imaging company, Ricoh unveiled Theta S, a hand-held-360 degree camera that can take stills as well as videos.
Priced at Rs 40k, the camera is an upgrade over its two-year-old Theta M camera, and offers better video quality and more storage. Theta S comes with two 12MP CMOS sensors placed opposite each other and two F2.0 lenses capable of taking 360-degree images and videos, without any blind spot. The sensors are capable of capturing 1080p videos. The Theta S gets 8GB internal storage (no MicroSD card support, though), and can record 25 minutes of continuous 1080p videos. The device also supports live HD streaming via USB.
Shaped in the form of a slightly large USB stick, the Theta S comes with an easy-to-use interface and weighs just 125g. There are two buttons on the right, a power button to switch on or off the device, and another button to help toggle between video and still model. In the front, a shutter button enables you to capture a photo or video. A speaker phone and a mic is placed at the top.
The device also comes with a universal tripod mount at the bottom placed between a micro USB and micro HDMI port. Ricoh claims Theta S supports shutter speed from 1/6400 seconds to 60 seconds, and a built-in switch that automatically turns off the device, if it heats beyond optimal temperature.
Needless to say, using the device is very easy. All you have to do is point it up, and press on the click button. It will automatically capture the video/photo in the device.
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The device can also be operated without wires, by using the Theta S app, available for Android and iOS devices, and Ricoh Theta app for Windows and Mac desktop. All one has to do is turn on their Wi-Fi, and connect with the Wi-Fi hotspot of the Theta S app. You will need to enter a Wi-Fi password printed on the device. Once connected, you can browse and download stills as well as videos stored on the device to your desktop or mobile phone. A still picture download takes less than two seconds.
You will be able to edit pictures on your phone, and upload it across social media platforms using the Theta+ app, also available for free download on Android and iOS devices.
Price: Rs 39,995
Log on to: theta360.com (to check some examples of pictures)
Available: December 2015
The camera comes with three accessories — a hard case (to protect it from rough weather conditions), a colourful attachment for a strap, and a soft case, which will be available soon