Ricoh Theta X Review: Is it worth it?
Interested? Matterport Real Estate’s Ricoh Theta X review has got you covered with everything you need to know before you buy.
The Ricoh Theta X came out earlier this year and is the latest iteration in Ricoh’s Theta series. Like it’s predecessors, this camera was built to mesh quality with affordability. With top-notch specs for its $800 price point, it is a great entry-level choice for 360 degree photography. Incorporated with Ricoh’s new real-time stitching technology, this camera offers high-end features that are only seen in more expensive models. This allows users to save time while creating the same high quality 3D scans that other 3D cameras can take hours to process and stitch together. Efficient and effective, this provides the opportunity for real-time virtual tours, remote job site inspections, and construction site documentations.
How does the Ricoh Theta X Work?
The Ricoh Theta X is incredibly user friendly and easy to operate. You don’t need any prior camera experience nor do you need to use any special photography techniques to use it. It’s straightforward, simple, and easy to set up. Here’s how it works:
- Start by setting up your tripod and placing the camera on it. Then turn the camera on.
- Use an IOS or Android device (tablet, phone, or computer) to connect to the X using the Ricoh Theta app. This is done by pressing the large circular button on the front of the camera to power it on. You should notice a flashing blue Wi-Fi icon as the camera tries to connect to your device. If you’re having issues connecting through the app, there is a button on the right side of the camera that turns the Wi-Fi feature on and off. Alternatively, you can use the built-in touch display to control the camera.
- Once connected, press the middle button to take your first capture point. If you are not operating the camera with the Ricoh app, follow the prompts on the touch screen to start scanning. Once the camera starts to scan the area, just sit back and relax. You don’t need to do anything else until the scan is finished. It’s important to stay behind the camera as it rotates or hide in another room so that you don’t show up in the 3D image.
- Move the camera to your next scanpoint. Continue scanning until you have captured the entirety of the area.
- When you are done scanning, you will be able to immediately view the imagery that you’ve captured. It will be ready to go at 5.7k 30fps or 4k 30fps and can be downloaded directly to your connected device.
It’s as easy as that! Anyone can easily and efficiently operate. For an in-depth look on how to operate the camera check out this YouTube video.
Ricoh Theta X Specs
The Ricoh Theta X is a piece of cutting-edge technology. It has some pretty impressive hardware under the hood, including the brand new Qualcomm QCS605 chip, which allows it to significantly outperform other 3D cameras. In fact, the Ricoh Theta X is the first 360 degree camera in the world to have stabilized 360 degree video with real time stitching at 5.7K 30fps or 4k 60fps. This even surpasses the capabilities of the Insta360 Titan, which is a 3D camera that retails for over $15,000. With this in mind, here’s what you can expect:
- Ricoh Theta X Size: 51.7mm (W) x 136.2mm (H) x 29.0mm (D)
- Ricoh Theta X Weight: Approximately 170g
- Ricoh Theta X Battery capacity: Approximately 220 still images, 30 minutes of live recording at 5.7K 30fps, and 55 minutes of live recording at 4K 30fps
- Ricoh Theta X Wireless Connections: Bluetooth 5.0 and IEEE802.11 (2.4GHz/5GHz). This is used to transfer the scan data from the camera to your device via the Ricoh app.
- Ricoh Theta X Display Panel: 2.25 inch TFT color LCD, 360 x 640 dots with an automatic brightness adjustment function
- Ricoh Theta X Lens Information: Lens construction consists of 7 elements in 7 groups with an F number of F2.4
- File Size for Still Images: 11K: 11008 x 5504 (Approximately 60 megapixels), 5.5K: 5504 x 2752 (Approximately 15 megapixels)
- File Size for Videos: 5.7K: 5760 x 2880 @30fps (120Mbps), 4K: 3840 x 1920 @60fps (120Mbps), 4K: 3840 x 1920 @30fps (100Mbps), 2K: 1920 x 960 @30fps (32Mbps)
For a complete and more detailed list of the Ricoh Theta X specs you can check out Ricoh’s official press release for the camera.
Ricoh Theta X Cost
The Ricoh Theta X is an innovative 3D camera at the forefront of its kind. However, despite its impressive features the Ricoh Theta X is relatively cheap compared to its competitors. While not providing all the bells and whistles that other 3D cameras offer, it’s a fantastic option for individuals or small businesses who want to explore some of the unique opportunities provided by 3D photography.
If you’re planning to use the Ricoh Theta X for real-estate, it’s important to note that it’s compatible with Matterport’s 3D rendering software. While this is an additional cost of $10/month per property, it’s worth it if you aren’t well versed with 3D rendering applications. Being fully automated, it can save you some time and the hassle of learning how to use new software. If you’re interested in learning more about Matterport’s service you can check out our review of the Matterport Pro2, where we go into detail about how it works. With all of this in mind, here is what the Ricoh Theta X will run you.
Disclaimer: This pricing is based on the current listings on Ricoh’s website and Amazon. It is subject to change.
If you’re dying to get your hands on the Ricoh Theta X but can’t make a new one fit into your budget, you can check out eBay and other public marketplaces for a used one. While it’s still relatively new on the market, you might have some luck if you keep your eye out for it. As with buying any pre-owned camera, it’s important to make sure that it’s in good condition. Here’s a few tips you can use to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
- Camera Check: Check the area surrounding the lens for any oil or gunk that has built up. This is an indicator that the camera’s internal mechanisms may not be functioning correctly.
- Lens Check: Inspect the camera’s lens for any scratches or chips on the glass. These are easier to see if you tilt the lens towards a light. If possible, it’s also helpful to run a scan and inspect the image quality. If there are any lines or blemishes on the image the lens or sensor may be damaged.
- General Wear and Tear: Small scratches, scuffs, and marks on the body of the camera should be expected. However, larger blemishes may indicate that the camera has been dropped and not properly cared for.
- Usage Check: Ask the seller how many scans they’ve done with their Ricoh Theta X camera. This is important because like the engine of a car, the mechanisms of a camera wear down and start to fail with heavy use.
Ricoh Theta X Review: The Final Verdict
Providing a high-end real time stitching feature that similarly priced 360 degree cameras don’t offer, the Ricoh Theta X is an excellent choice if you’re new to 3D photography. It’s easy to use, gives lightning fast results, and, because it’s fully automated, saves you the hassle of learning how to use 3D rendering software. The Ricoh Theta X is also capable of recording 5.7K video @ 30fps and taking high resolution photos up to 11K. This is also a feature that outclasses similarly priced 360 degree cameras.
In our experience using the X we’ve also noticed that it is capable of capturing rich colors with incredible accuracy. The color quality is fantastic and it is among the best we’ve seen for a consumer 360 degree camera; regardless of price. Because of this all-encompassing color palette, the automatic HDR feature works wonders. It really brings your video or photograph to life and adds a breathtaking ambience to your work that only the Ricoh Theta X can provide.
The large 2.25 inch touchscreen is another feature that sets this camera apart from others in its price range. The picture is crisp, it’s easy to use, and it streamlines the process of capturing 360 degree content. This feature proves especially helpful while doing work in the field. Working in conjunction with the camera’s real time stitching feature, users can immediately view their work right after they finish capturing it. This can help save time, as you are able to do an immediate check for any errors or problems that might’ve come up while capturing your content.
Despite the significant benefits for its cost, the X is not an infallible product. Because it is so competitively priced, some features had to be cut for the camera to retain its elite picture quality. To start, the internal stabilization isn’t the best. It can’t correct for vibrations so it’s not the best choice for those wanting to use it on the go. On top of this, we found that it tended to overheat when recording 5K video. This continued to happen in a controlled, room temperature, environment so it’s definitely something you need to keep in mind.
Perhaps the biggest downside of the Ricoh Theta X is it’s incredibly short battery life compared to other 360 degree cameras. While you can get more mileage out of it with still photos, it’s only good for about 30 minutes of video recording. This can prove to be quite a challenge if you need to use the camera for an extended period of time and have a large area that you want to capture. While this is somewhat offset by the battery’s ability to charge quickly, it’s inconvenient to pause your work every half hour to let the camera charge.
With all of this in mind, I would still recommend the Ricoh Theta X for people who are looking to get into 3D and 360 degree photography. It provides elite quality at a non-prohibitive price point and is one the best bargains on the market.
However, If you’ve decided that the Ricoh Theta X isn’t your cup of tea, Matterport Real Estate Tours can create a virtual tour for you. For a one time fee, we will scan your property and provide you with unlimited and unabated access to its virtual twin. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our services page. And if you want to see some of the virtual tours we’ve created, you can take a look at our portfolio of work.