Background to our Ricoh Theta Z1 review
We were one of the fortunate few to get our hands on a Ricoh Theta Z1 to test and put in to practical use (a big thank you to our suppliers). The Ricoh Theta Z1 has already made a huge impact in the 360 industry, selling out almost immediately upon release (May 2019) and with no cameras available at the time of writing this blog (16th June) and suppliers suggesting it may now be July before they have them in stock.
My360’s platform is used by both real estate agents and photographers and has been built specifically for property virtual tours so the testing of the Ricoh Theta Z1 is purely from a 360 photo and workflow point of view and we chose not to test it’s 360 video capabilities at this time.
What My360 is looking for in any 360 camera is to be able to shoot and create virtual tours in the quickest time possible, so our agents and photographers can focus on running their business and working on their next sale.
Ricoh Theta Z1 Specifications
Image sensor_size 1.0-inch type (x2)
Field of view – fully spherical
Aperture – f/2.1, 3.5, 5.6
Photo Resolution – 6720 x 3360 in JPEG or DNG raw
Shutter speed – Still image: (Auto) 1/25000 to 1/8 seconds,
(shutter priority mode) 1/25000 to 1/8 seconds
(Manual mode) 1/25000 to 60 seconds
ISO – 80 to 6400
Storage – internal memory – Approx. 19GB
Still image: RAW+ Approx. 350 photos, JPEG Approx. 2400 photos
Compatibility – iOS, Android, Window, Mac
Battery – Still image: Approx. 300 photos
Everyone likes to look at specifications but maybe not everyone understands what all the above means, so the most important point to know here is the Ricoh Theta Z1 has two 1 inch sensors (4.3 x larger than the 1/2.3 inch sensors typically used in consumer 360 cameras) producing a 23mb image.
Larger sensors have higher image quality than smaller sensors, greater bit depth, wider dynamic range, and better low light performance, all in all capturing more data which means better quality images.
Putting the Ricoh Theta Z1 to the test
As already mentioned My360 have chosen to test the Ricoh Theta Z1 from the quickest workflow point of view, so if you want to take great quality images in the shortest time possible then you must shoot using HDR and that way, regardless if you are technical or not you don’t have to worry about any of the specifications mentioned above you can shoot amazing quality images in literally seconds.
The Proof is in the results
Take a look at this complete tour of a luxury 3 bedroom ground floor apartment in an urbanisation that has 2 outdoor swimming pools and an indoor pool – the whole tour was shot in less than 30 minutes with the Theta Z1 set on HDR and the only editing we have done is to remove the tripod shadow – we wanted to show you the amazing quality that can be achieved with minimum effort.
Sunrise to Sunset
Just to put the Ricoh Theta Z1 through its paces and to show that this single shot 360 camera can produce the most amazing results even in low light. We took shots from the exactly the same spot from sunrise – 6:35 through to sunset 22:00 so you can see the range that this camera has – zoom in and check out the detail the Z1 picks up.
Summary & Conclusion
People are already calling the Ricoh Theta Z1 the “DSLR” of the single shot 360 camera market and after testing it we would agree 100% with that title.
The amazing detail in the Z1 images and the quick workflow when shooting HDR makes this an exceptional single shot 360 camera.
Although Ricoh have clearly aimed this camera at professionals as you can also shoot in DNG raw and edit the images in Lightroom and it does has the price tag to go with it (US$999) however, if you do have the budget and you want to produce the highest quality images for you vendors or clients then you have to invest in a Z1.