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The brand new Ricoh Theta Z1 51GB is the same old Ricoh Theta Z1

The brand new Ricoh Theta Z1 51GB is the same old Ricoh Theta Z1
(Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

Ricoh has announced the brand new flagship Ricoh Theta Z1 51GB – but before you get too excited, it's literally just the original Theta Z1 360° camera with expanded memory capacity. 

The original Ricoh Theta Z1 was recently discontinued by the manufacturer, though Ricoh promised that a new 360° camera was on the way. Many naturally assumed that this would be a superior-specced camera that would supersede the Z1, but instead it's the same camera from 2019 with 32GB of additional storage.

• Read more: Best 360 cameras

"We are pleased to inform you that the Ricoh Theta Z1 has been sold out due to its popularity," stated the manufacturer in February. "This is due to the response to new laws and regulations in Japan and the difficulty in obtaining some of the parts used. Currently, we are urgently preparing to deliver products that comply with laws and regulations as soon as possible, and we think that we will be able to inform you by the end of March."

Rather than a new, all-singing, all-dancing version of the Z1, what we have instead is the same camera with a 168% increase in memory (and, presumably, some degree of less hazardous materials inside). Though the ability to use a microSD card would have been more welcome, as 51GB doesn't go as far as you might think when you're shooting 4K.  

The Ricoh Theta Z1 51GB, then, gives you the same 23MP, 7K 360° stills and 4K 30p spherical video as its predecessor with 3-axis rotational stabilization. Spherical videos can be used in a number of end use applications, including VR setups, and 360° images can be stitched and edited in Lightroom Classic CC with the Ricoh Theta Stitcher plugin. 

Available in late May, the Ricoh Theta Z1 51GB will retail for $50 more than the original Z1 at $1,049.95 (approximately £762.33 / AU$1,379.10).

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. An Olympus (Micro Four Thirds) and Canon (full frame) shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a particular fondness for vintage lenses and film cameras.