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Theta 360

Started by PhilippeV8, March 05, 2015, 03:43:16 AM

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Esben Oxholm

Looks quite interesting, but just spend the money on a fish eye lens for my camera.

Somebody else have to put the money on the table :)


I am desperately trying to save money for a 70-300mm IS lens for my T2i/500D ... but the money keeps going to fixing my damn car  >:(
Truth be told, you can't go on a storm chase with a lens but with a car that won't start  :P


I think it has potential! It does +—2EV compensation through the app, but I've seen someone has developed an app for it that cycles it through its entire shutter speed range automatically in 9 exposures.. This is 1/7.5 to 1/8000 I believe. The app is bit pricy though..

The beauty is that the stitching is always done in the exact same way, so you won't have much alignment issues when stacking the exposures into an HDR output, and the resolutions is perfectly suited for IBL.

It might not work perfectly in the brightest of sun.. but to be honest most DSLRs don't go beyond 1/800 at 100 ISO either..

Shoots some backplates with your phone or pocket camera and this has the be the lightest (and cheapest) HDRI setup you can get!

I"m debatings selling my DSLR setup for panoramas as it doesn't see much use mainly because of how cumbersome and time consuming the whole process is..



Please tell me where you found that app which enables the auto exposure range recording thing.

Looks like people from work here are interested in this product!

They were looking into making 3D "look around" visits to our showroom etc. possible .. which prompted me to show them this Theta 360 and they were very enthoused by it .. so I'm thinking .. dual use of it .. haha  ;D



I came across it when searching the app store for Theta apps, to see what else is out there besides the regular Ricoh app that comes with the camera.

You can find more here

The developer claims a 13 EV range which is the maximum range of shutter speeds the camera can do, plus perhaps some shift in ISO thrown in. The price on the app store is about $50 or so..



Ok, So i've bitten the bullet and got me one of these!

Just getting used to it, and how best to control it. I didn't get the HDR app for it yet but have been taking some +–2 EV pictures at dusk / indoors which gets pretty good results! I thing the HDR app would help to always get that 1/8000 exposure to get the best chance of catching all the highlights in more challenging lighting conditions.

Below are some of the first results with an example render. These are copied from my phone which apparently only loads a lower res stitched image (2048 x 1024) I haven't figured out how to them straight off the device yet, they should be stored there at 3584 × 1792.

I've been shooting with it mounted onto a nightstand, because it doesn't have any nobs near the tripod mount, as everything around the camera will be in shot.. I use the iPhone app and try to hide somewhere out of sight and capture -2, 0 ,+2 exposures. Then I shoot some backplates on the iPhone.



Thanks for sharing Niels. I am sorely tempted to get one of these! I was shooting some HDRI's last year, but its quite a bit of hassle, and the results sometimes weren't all that was hoped for - I have gotten out of the way of it now. This looks like a great product for quick 360 snaps, to see if its worth taking further (with my DSLR). Would you be willing to share a full res sphere (3584x1792?) and backplate(s) once you figure out how to get them off the device directly? I would like to play about and see if this resolution is good enough for most purposes (i usually find 4K images ok).

Your images look great - the lighting matches the backplate perfectly. If this level can be achieved 'straight out the box' then I am very tempted. £250 seems reasonable (although its a total gimmick of a devise unless you are into imaged based lighting and 3D stuff).

I noticed on the website that it can shoot equirectangular video! That could be an interesting keyshot feature in the future - video lighting environments!(maybe good for time-lapse architecture shots or something like that).

If this thing output 6K environments, I would be in the shop buying one right now!


Edwardo, I was in doing the same thing with a fisheye pano rig.. that stuff was HEAVY and cumbersome to carry around everywhere. And very time consuming to actually assemble into an HDR image. I could never get the sticking to work reliably. There's still a bunch of unfinished ones somewhere on my computer..

With the Theta its much more enjoyable. The stitching is built in and always perfect and all in one shot. Also you can stick this thing in little corners / places you couldn't set up a full pano rig. I should go and shoot some miniature HDRI environments with it!

Anyways, I've now found an app for taking manual control of the shutter speed and iso (aperture is fixed unfortunately). It's called ShpereCam, and is intended for time-lapse shooting with the Thera, but it also has a 'single shot' button. Best of all, its just $1! Only downside over the other HDR app is that you have to manually cycle through the shutter speeds.

Still, with this app and my iPhone for backplates, I can shoot a full set of images in under 5 minutes, with about 10 min of editing on the computer afterwards. So this evening i've gone out to test it, and I'll share that HDRI here, so you can have a play with it.



And here is the HDR:




wow, thanks man, I'll give this a spin. I'v pretty much talked myself into wanting one of these already - there is loads of cool, disused industrial places near me

Esben Oxholm

Thanks for sharing N.
Quite interesting.

How many exposures did you do for the HDRI?


for this one I used 10 exposures with 1 EV between them.

The ones from my earlier post were 3 exposures at 2 EV spacing. That only works if the contrast in the scene is not too great..

the faster shutter speed of 1/8000 at f/2 on 100 ISO is enough to stop down an overcast sky or bright artificial light, but not midday sun. On the other end the slowest shutter of 1/7 at 800 ISO is still good for dimly lit spaces but maybe not night time scenes.

Below are the exposures of the previous HDRI


I have a Ricoh Theta and there is a special silver film you can stick on the body so that you don't see as much of the camera in your shot.  I'll see if I can find the website and link for you. 
I have a long silver extension pole that the camera mounts to
And also a tripod base to screw it on to.  This works for multiple exposure and doesn't show up too badly in the shot. 

Putting it on the pole makes for some insane shots too!  Here's one I took out my office window in New York City, and a few others on Park Avenue.  If you load the shots into the Mac viewer app and do a screen capture, you can get these round looking images.  Sorry this isn't hdr talk but I thought it was a cool example of what this device can do.   The only problem is the resolution.  I have the last version of the camera, so hopefully the latest update is a little better.