Ricoh Theta Z1 hands on review

We got our first look at Ricoh’s ground-breaking 360 camera at The Photography Show 2019

Early Verdict

Ricoh has achieved something remarkable with the Theta Z1. It uses much larger 1-inch sensors than regular 360 cameras to offer the potential for much better image quality, but it’s achieved this without making the camera significantly bigger. We look forward to testing the Theta Z1 properly when it’s finished, but in the meantime it looks like a very exciting step forward for affordable 360 imaging.


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    1-inch sensors

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    Robust alloy construction

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    OLED information display


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    More expensive than the Theta V

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As we reported in our Ricoh Theta Z1 news story, Ricoh’s new 360 camera might look like the previous Theta V and indeed a host of rival models, but it represents a major step up both in image quality and technical ambition.

It follows the design of other 360 cameras, with ‘overlapping’ 180+ degree lenses that produce a seamlessly stitched 360 image, but where other cameras use small 1/2.3-inch sensors like those found in smartphones and point and shoot cameras, the Theta Z1 takes a massive step up, using a pair of much larger 1-inch sensors.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. 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. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at