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What is the difference between the RICOH THETA SC2 and THETA V 360 degree cameras? Find out with tips and image comparisons!

About THETA

Posted date : 2021.02.22

THETA V, the most advanced RICOH THETA 360 degree camera for its time, has been discontinued!

But if you were thinking about buying a THETA V, don’t worry! We have developed THETA SC2 and SC2 for Business, which provide photo and video quality on par with THETA V but at a more affordable price!

In addition, both versions of THETA SC2 have useful functions not found in THETA V. Here we introduce the charm and features of THETA SC2 and SC2 for Business, which is great not only for personal use such as travel, but also for business purposes such as real estate.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA SC2 for Business in Room mode (HDR)

Whether you are purchasing the THETA series for the first time or you are considering upgrading your existing THETA, this article is for you!

THETA product lineup

Currently, we have three flavors in the THETA 360 degree camera lineup.

Flagship model: RICOH THETA Z1

THETA Z1 is our premium model with the highest still image quality in a 360-degree camera, and excellent build quality. With a 1.0-inch CMOS sensor and RAW shooting support, the THETA Z1 meets the creative needs of working professionals and photo enthusiasts.

THETA Z1

Entry level model: RICOH THETA SC2

THETA SC2 is an entry model with simpler operations while still providing high image quality.

There are four color variations to suit your personal taste. With affordable pricing, this model is widely recommended for those who are trying out a 360 degree camera for the first time, and for those who are considering upgrading their old THETA series camera such as THETA S or SC.

THETA SC2

Entry level 360-degree camera for working professionals: RICOH THETA SC2 for Business

THETA SC2 for Business is based on THETA SC2, with easy-to-use functions useful in business cases such as real estate, construction, and the used car industry. ‘Room’ mode is the default and allows you to take HDR photos. ‘Time-Shift’ shooting is also enabled, which lets you easily capture the scene without the photographer in frame.

THETA SC2 for Business

We recommend this model for easily creating beautiful indoor 360-degree images that you need for your job.

Differences between THETA SC2 and THETA V: Still images

Both THETA SC2 and THETA V have exactly the same resolution for still images: 5376 x 2688 pixels. If you are considering buying a 360 degree camera mainly for still images, we recommend THETA SC2 because of its image quality and cost performance.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA SC2 for Business in Room mode*

*HDR and Time-Shift shooting

Even with the same still image performance, the image tone may differ slightly between models. The HDR images from THETA SC2 are higher in contrast in the highlight area and have a more natural tone compared to images from other THETA series cameras.

THETA SC2 for Business in default Room mode (HDR + Time-Shift)

Shooting in Room or HDR mode can generate a bright and natural atmosphere even when shooting indoors.

THETA V image in HDR mode

For users who would like higher resolution, as well as RAW support, we recommend the flagship model, THETA Z1.

Differences between THETA SC2 and THETA V: Physical Camera Controls and Functions

Although THETA SC2 is an entry level model, it was released after THETA V and it reflects customer feedback for an improved user experience.

1. Display on the body

Since THETA V and earlier THETA series such as S, SC, and others did not have a display on the body, we received feedback that it was difficult to see how much battery life is remaining and also the shooting mode status. The remaining charge could only be checked from the THETA app on a smartphone via Wi-Fi, so in some cases users would realize the battery is low only at the time they actually wanted to use THETA, resulting in a lack of charge for their intended use.

Display on THETA SC2 body

THETA SC2 has a small display screen on the body, so you can visually check the current battery level.

2. Self-timer button on the body

In THETA V and earlier THETA series such as S, SC, and earlier models, it was necessary to connect your smartphone and THETA via Wi-Fi in the THETA app in order to use the self-timer. Another way to activate the self-timer is by pressing and holding the power button and Wi-Fi button on the body simultaneously. However, users reported that it is a little difficult to press the two buttons at the same time.

The self-timer button on THETA SC2 body

To solve this problem, THETA SC2 has a dedicated self-timer button on the body. Now you can shoot in self-timer mode easily with one click on the body without connecting a smartphone.

The self-timer can be set from 1 second to 10 seconds, so it is convenient for shooting scenery or an indoor space because it gives you time to remove yourself from the scene.

3. Fast activation

Another new feature in THETA SC2 is its quick response time, which allows you to shoot about 1.5 seconds after the power is turned on.

You can take it out and shoot immediately, so you won’t miss your photo opportunity!

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Taken with THETA SC2 in Auto

Photo by @suzuwanders

4. Default shooting mode

THETA SC2 has a number of default modes that can be enabled immediately on the body, covering a variety of scenes commonly encountered by users. There are 3 default modes on THETA SC2: Face, Night View, and Car Window modes, as well Room mode on THETA SC2, which combines HDR and Time-Shift shooting.

Easy to activate default setting with the Mode button

You can select the shooting mode at any time using the Mode button on THETA.

5. Time-Shift function *SC2 for Business only

THETA SC2 for Business supports the Time-Shift function that allows you to capture 360 degree photos easily without anyone in the frame by shooting each half of the photo with a delay.

Example of Time-Shifted Shooting

Though Time-Shift is a popular function available as a plug-in on THETA V and THETA Z1, however you first need to install the plug-in from your PC.

Time-Shift setting

On the other hand, THETA SC2 for Business comes with Time-Shift pre-installed as a standard function, so you don’t need to install it as a plug-in.

Differences between THETA SC2 and THETA V: Other functions

We introduced many good points of THETA SC2, but THETA V has a few pros.

1. Maximum continuous recording time

Both THETA SC2 and THETA V support 4K video with the same image quality, but the maximum continuous recording time for SC2 is 3 minutes, while it’s 25 minutes for V. If you want to take a quick and easy shot in your everyday life, SC2 is recommended for its better affordability.

Even so, if you want to shoot a longer high quality video, THETA Z1 is better suited as it can shoot continuously for up to 25 minutes.

THETA Z1

On top of that, THETA Z1 supports continuous live streaming for 24 hours, and it is possible to stream with more stability than THETA V.

*For 360-degree live stream, a PC and network environment to support 4K streaming is required. Click here for details.

2. Plug-ins

THETA SC2 does not support plug-ins. On the other hand, THETA V and Z1 support them, for example ‘Time-Shift*’ and ‘Bluetooth remote control’ can be downloaded via a PC.

*Time-Shift is only supported by THETA SC2 for Business.

THETA SC2 and Bluetooth remote control

If you want to broaden your possibilities with many other plug-ins, please consider THETA Z1, which has the highest image quality with its 1-inch sensor!

THETA SC2 is an entry level model, but it has been greatly improved in both image quality and ease-of-use compared to previous THETA releases. And it is the best option for people who are getting their first 360 degree camera or those who are considering replacing their old one.

We hope you’ll find the best THETA for your lifestyle!

For more details, please visit the product page.

 

 

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