Theta to the Rescue

In this article:
The Theta X is the latest 360-degree camera from Ricoh that has been designed from the ground up for business use. Goodbye recreation!
  • Launching in March, 2022, the Theta X from the Japanese manufacturer, Ricoh, has promising features for business use. 
  • The device allows you to preview (and pan around) the images from the 2.25 inch LCD touch panel.
  • Internal memory introduced for the first time in the Theta series, along with a detachable battery for long hours of shooting.

With DGCA allowing no more than one hand bag as cabin luggage for domestic travel, you could consider this pocket-sized device to breeze through screening. Yes, it is possible to stuff in other personal items along with the Matterport Pro2 in the same case, but then the trip would be a rather short one, if you don’t want to (or don’t have time to) check-in the additional luggage.

Professional scanning requires professional devices, such as the Matterport Pro2, Leica BLK360, FARO Focus and others. When they cost 4 lakhs and above, it would make sense to invest in such scanners for those in relevant fields already or planning on related ventures.

Anything short of the Pro2, it had to be Ricoh Theta Z1 at the very least – so that the Matterport virtual tours have acceptable quality. Now, Ricoh has finally moved away from the ‘recreational’ market by announcing the launch of the Theta X.

What to Expect?

Consumer 360-degree cameras are a lot of fun, but they lacked the crisp quality of professional scanners. If a builder doesn’t care what device you use as long as the villa looks good on their social media page, you can just use the iPhone 13 Pro or a Ricoh Theta, compatible with Matterport. If you’re yet to buy, you can expect some advanced functionalities with the Theta X:

  • Panoramic images up to 60MP stills, without having to worry about stitching.
  • 5.7K 30 fps video, apparently with improved stabilisation.
  • Built-in GPS – a boon for Google Street View photographers.
  • Capturing large areas are now easier with additional memory cards and batteries.
  • Android-based OS in a refreshing LCD touch screen.
  • Thin, light-weight camera in a magnesium alloy casing, that slips into your pocket.
  • High-speed transfers to a smartphone or laptop using WiFi.
Ricoh Theta X - Matteport - Adostrophe

One of the coolest features of a 360 degree camera is creating content that is VR compatible. At least Zuckerberg’s Metaverse would be accommodative of those immersive images and videos.

The Bigger they are, the Harder they Fall

This phrase could refer to a lot of things – like a politician or a rich person with a lot to lose, in the context of vulgar amassing of wealth/fame, in movies. It could also mean that a big wrestler’s fall to the ground might be match-ending, although wrestlers are taught to break falls.

In the nerdy, yet lucrative world of 3D photogarphy, lugging around a 5 KG professional camera might mean a waste of precious time if there’s a deadline to meet. The Ricoh Theta X (carried around in a light-weight tripod or a monopod with a base) might help cover more ground. Think of a college student shooting a large auditorium or a play ground.

The point here is that bulky scanners (Matterport Pro2) or panoramic cameras (such as the Insta360 Pro2) would need special attention, especially while at construction sites, because servicing could get complicated if they fall.

For inspiration (in terms of effortless, worry-free captures), take a look at 3D scanning options from Skydio drones – https://www.skydio.com/3d-scan 
Not available in India yet, but we are working on the certifications for imports.

3D Scanning India - Adostrophe Skydio

While Adostrophe sells Matterport Pro2 cameras (and can vouch for its quality) there are also SaaS plans for 360-degree camera users. The Theta X is probabaly semi-professional or an enthusiast level device that sets the standard, while still being compact and affordable for the Indian consumer.

When we are out on the field scanning properties, we use the Pro2 and don’t even carry a 360-degree camera. However, for those considering Matteport as a potential business venture might consider these pocket-friendly cameras to get an idea of creating and presenting panoramic content. Now that Ricoh advertises the Theta X as a business-friendly device, creativity is the limit.

Learn more about this upcoming 360-degree camera at https://theta360.com/en/about/theta/x.html

And for those who skim through text content, here a video for you:

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External and Affiliate Links

If you don’t wan’t to wait for the Theta X, you can buy the Ricoh Theta Z1 from Amazon.in. The seller Appario Business is reputed for quick delivery in most locations in India, and for hassle-free returns. The Z1’s compatibility with Matterport is also confirmed. Email us if you have any questions at all. 

You may purchase any of the subscription plans from Matterport, or just go ahead wtih the Free plan that lets you use one shareable space.

https://buy.matterport.com

The tripod is also necessary for Matterport virtual tours. If you’re not planning to upgrade to a professional camera, a low-cost tripod should do, for 360-degree cameras: https://amzn.to/3gjjo8W

If you’re looking for the lowest cost option to try Matterport virtual tours, there’s the Ricoh Theta SC2 at 24K from Appario. 

Update 12th March, 2022, by Kirk Stromberg:


iOS Capture 4.13 (1209) is in Beta via Test Flight and fixes an error that blocked usage of the Theta X.

Android Capture is not blocked with the Theta X, but will offer a reminder that we haven’t optimized performance yet to fully support it.

Android Capture 1.3 (441) is the latest build in the open beta channel.

Both versions should be pushing to production app store channels shortly (exiting Beta). Additional releases will improve performance.

To join the iOS beta, open the following link in mobile safari on your iOS device. This will walk you through installing the Test Flight app and enabling you for the Capture beta builds.

To join the Android beta, open the Capture play store page and scroll to the bottom and select ‘join beta’ – an update will be enabled shortly afterwards.


https://testflight.apple.com/join/htfXQ8jV

Update – 25th Sep, 2022

 – Theta X will be compatible with Matterport soon.

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