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Product Review and Buyer's Guide: Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera

Point and shoot cameras are quickly becoming a tech dinosaur. But this camera might change your mind when you see the whole picture. This is our Product Review and Buyer’s Guide for the Ricoh Theta S.

The Theta S is a point and shoot camera that takes 360-degree pictures. The camera captures two 180-degree panoramic pictures and internally stitches them together, so there’s no need to buy any expensive software. It’s small and easy to carry. There is a free smartphone app that you can use to control the camera as well as view the pictures.

To use the camera simply select picture or video mode and then press the shutter button. If you’re using the app, tap the on-screen logo. To view the picture or video, open the app and tap the album where the file is stored. Your file can be shared on Twitter and Facebook directly from the app, or uploaded separately.

The Theta S is the only camera of its kind that does true spherical images. Other point and shoots capture 360-degree panoramic pictures but require extra software to stitch them together. The camera costs $350, which is high for a point and shoot, but inexpensive for a camera that stitches a 360-degree picture together internally.

The Ricoh Theta S is a cool gadget, but not every situation calls for a spherical view. There has to be a purpose for its use: a wedding, a camping trip, a virtual tour. It’s not a bad camera, it’s just not an everyday one.

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