Ricoh Theta S spherical VR camera

Virtual Reality

After an interesting customer experience with Bubl Technology I cancelled my order for the Bublcam and will wait and see what happens over there in Toronto before reordering.

Instead I decided to try the Ricoh Theta S placing a back order through Jessops. After mailing their customer services for an update I was advised there were Europe wide shortages on stocks and that they had no delivery date for me. I was both surprised and delighted then when the next day I was mailed a tracking number for my Theta S order!

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I’ll be writing a review of the Ricoh Theta S once I’ve spent a little more time with it. At under £300 my first thoughts however are good for the money! But bear in mind as in all things you generally get what you pay for! It doesn’t offer the resolutions I achieve from my Google Street View (Business View) equipment – Canon 5D mark ii and Sigma fish eye lens combination mounted on a Nodal Ninja R10 pano head but let’s be realistic here it comes at a fraction of the cost!!

It is relatively easy to use and in fact shooting spherical images is literally a point and shoot affair. It was necessary to update the firmware but this too was relatively straightforward. The video resolutions aren’t great but at least I have the opportunity to create seamless spherical 360 degree VR videos. It looks like Ricoh have hit the market with a more or less finished product all ready for sale. They are available from UK outlets NOW and their customer support and backup is well established.

This is not the impression I get from Bubl Tech sadly – I say sadly because it does look like it could offer better technical spec and resolutions certainly in VR video making. The impression I get is the Bublcam is simply not ready yet, and there are a few QC issues with some of those that have been delivered to back this up. Nor do they have distribution networks internationally like Ricoh do. They also need to manage and develop their customer support and enquiry systems a lot better otherwise it will never be able to compete.

I will be keeping an eye on Bubl Tech and when it looks like they have got it sorted I’ll probably put an order in on one. Fingers crossed they do get it sorted because it does look like a very exciting product. For now though check out one of my first Theta S stills from our Walkabout Camera Club outing to Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia.

Cwm Idwal #theta360 #theta360uk – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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