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Ricoh Theta Z1 360 camera is announced

Ricoh has revealed full details of the company’s new 360 camera, ahead of the CP+ 2019 (opens in new tab) photo trade fair in Japan. The big story is the new Theta Z1 use of twin 1.0-inch sensors, which are much larger than the 1/2.3-inch sensors used in the Theta V and other consumer-level 360 cameras.

The two 20-megapixel sensor are mounted back to back behind ‘overlapping’ 180+ degree lenses to produce merged 360-degree still images and video footage.

The larger sensors should deliver a big step up in image quality over rival 360 cameras. The Ricoh Theta Z1 offers a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6,300, three aperture values of f/2.1, f/3.5 and f/5.6, and a maximum shutter speed of 1/25,000sec.

Specifications and design

The Theta Z1 supports both raw and JPEG formats, capturing still images at a resolution of 6,720 x 3,360 pixels. 360 4K movies are captured at 30fps at a resolution of 3,840 x 1,920 pixels, which is lower than many of the Theta’s rivals can manage, like the amazing Insta360 ONE X, but its large sensors should compensate with some of the best quality yet seen from portable 360 cameras. This is helped by a rotating 3-axis image stabilisation system.

The body is made of magnesium allow for extra robustness, and it features a small display panel for checking the battery level, number of shootable images remaining, the shooting mode and more. The in-built lithium-ion battery has a quoted life of 300 shots or 60 minutes of video, and there’s built-in storage of 19GB.

The Theta Z1 is very compact, despite its large sensor size, measuring 132.5 x 48.0  x 29.7mm, with a weight of just 182 g. 

The Theta Z1 goes on sale late March 2019 for £899.99 / $999.

Read more:

The best 360 cameras in 2019 (opens in new tab)
How to take 360-degree videos and photos (opens in new tab)
10 of the best 360° videos ever filmed (opens in new tab)

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.