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Ricoh puts 360-degree video capture in your pocket with new Theta camera

The sci-fi-looking camera can capture panoramic photos in a single shot as well as video that can be endlessly manipulated with your fingertips on your iOS or Android device.


Ricoh's Theta is a slim stick of a camera that, with a single press of its shutter release, captures the entire scene around you -- top to bottom -- in one shot, creating fully spherical images using its proprietary ultra-small twin-lens optical system.

The shots, which can be viewed and played with on a Windows or Mac computer, or iOS or Android devices, are pretty awesome all things considered, but whenever I showed the Theta to someone the inevitable question was, "Does it shoot video?" It didn't, but now it does.

The new second-generation Ricoh Theta M15 is capable of capturing spherical videos up to three minutes long that Ricoh says have no stitch lines when processed with its video-creation tool that's part of the Theta's Windows or Mac application.

Like its photos, the Theta's image size, shape and composition can be changed simply by pushing it around with your fingers on a touchscreen or with your mouse. You'll also be able to share up to six seconds of video using Ricoh's dedicated site, which can then be pushed out to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Ricoh is also opening up its API and providing a SDK so others can develop apps for the camera.

The Ricoh Theta M15 arrives in November for about $300 in the US ($100 less than the original) and around £270 in the UK. Australian pricing wasn't announced, but it converts to roughly AU$338.