THETA HOW-TO VIDEOS
Upon purchase of THETA, first install RICOH THETA, the THETA basic app (free of charge), to your smartphone.
Using this app, connect THETA and your smartphone via Wi-Fi. Images captured using THETA will be stored temporarily in THETA and then transferred to your smartphone through the Wi-Fi connection. Transferred images can be viewed using the RICOH THETA basic app. You also need to connect THETA and smartphone via Wi-Fi when you shoot THETA remotely.
After carrying out the Wi-Fi settings on the RICOH THETA basic app just once, you will be able to connect easily to THETA during subsequent image transfers.
* The transferred images can be viewed on the app “RICOH THETA”.
<Settings upon purchase>
(1) Install the RICOH THETA app to your smartphone.
(2) “Register” on the app.
・ Enter the serial number listed on the back of THETA.
・ Tap “Register” on the top right to complete the registration.
<When transferring images>
(1) Turn THETA on.
(2) Check whether the Wi-Fi mark on THETA is flashing. If the mark is not flashing, press the Wi-Fi button (below the power button).
(3) Start the app.
Tap the “THETA” icon.
(4) Select the camera to connect based on the displayed serial number.
(5) Tap “Join”
(6) After connecting via Wi-Fi, tap the “Images in camera” icon on the bottom left to display the list of captured images.
Image Taken with a Smartphone
In selfies taken with a smartphone, faces and food are often cut off at the edges.
①Set THETA to the self-timer mode.
*For instructions on how to set the self-timer mode in each model, refer to the details under “Shooting in the Self-Timer Mode” on this page.
②Mount THETA on a tripod and place it at the center of the table. Adjust the tripod so that THETA is at your eye level.
*If you don’t have a tripod, you can place THETA directly on the table.
③Press the shutter button and smile!
④Open the THETA+ app and select the image that you captured.
⑤ Turn your smartphone sideways in the landscape orientation and select "Dual Screen."
⑥Adjust the image such that the faces and food are positioned at the center of the image.
⑦Save to camera roll and share on SNS!
THETA has a front side and rear side, and it is recommended to face the front side, the side without the shutter button, toward the subject that the image will be centered on.
The side without the shutter button is the front side, and the side with the shutter button is the rear side.
By facing the front side without the shutter button toward the subject that the image will be centered on, the subject captured with the front side facing toward it will be displayed in "First view" when you are viewing your photos.
When shooting at a new location for the first time, there are many users who want to see what sort of images they can shoot in that place by first checking the image on their smartphones. For such users, we recommend shooting remotely with “Display after shooting” switched on so you can check images immediately after shooting.
Carry out the settings in the following procedure to automatically transfer images immediately after shooting. This will enable you to easily check what sort of images were captured right on the spot.
①Tap the gear icon on the top right of the RICOH THETA basic app.
②Switch on “Display after shooting.”
③Capture an image using the shutter button on the app.
After turning on “Display after shooting”, image you took will be transferred soon after shooting.
THETA makes a shutter sound to notify users that a photo has been taken. This shutter sound makes it easy for users to know when the photo has been taken, but there are places and occasions where it is better not to have a shutter sound. THETA’s shutter sound can be turned off and its volume settings can be changed from the RICOH THETA basic app.
Switching off the shutter sound is recommended for shooting in quiet locations, or when shooting people’s natural expressions. The shutter sound setting stays as it is once it has been turned off, so if you feel that you need the shutter sound to notify you when the photo has been taken, return the sound volume back to the original.
①Tap the gear icon on the top right of the RICOH THETA basic app.
②Tap “Camera shutter volume.”
If you hold THETA in your hand to take a photo from the device itself, your fingers may appear extra large in the photo. On the other hand, capturing images remotely by connecting THETA to your smartphone via Wi-Fi can be troublesome. To solve these issues, use the self-timer mode. When set to the self-timer mode, THETA will automatically take a photo a few seconds after the shutter button is pressed. Try taking a photo by mounting THETA on a monopod or tripod and then pressing the shutter button and moving away from the camera. You’ll find that you can easily take natural-looking 360-degree images.
There are two setting methods to shoot in the self-timer mode.
1) Setting using the THETA device
2) Setting from the RICOH THETA basic app
①Press and hold the Wi-Fi button (while the power is turned off).
② While doing so, press the power button to start THETA.
After carrying out the above steps to start THETA, the camera status lamp will light up in green. Press the shutter button on the camera to start the countdown, and a photo will be taken after five seconds.
*For THETA Z1, press the Fn button once to switch to the self-timer mode.
2) Setting from the RICOH THETA basic app
①After connecting THETA to your smartphone, tap the settings button on the top right of the shooting screen.
③Tap the self-timer and specify the time until the shutter is released.
After carrying out the setting above, the camera status lamp will light up in green. Press the shutter button to start the countdown, and a photo will be taken after five seconds.
*For THETA Z1 and THETA V, install the self-timer plug-in for easier shooting with the self-timer.
To install the plug-in, click here.
For installation instructions, click here.
THETA uses two fish-eye lenses with a wide angle of view that exceeds 180° and combines two images shot simultaneously to create 360° spherical images. In addition to having the feature of being able to photograph a wide area, fish-eye lenses characteristically make distant subjects appear smaller and make nearby subjects appear larger, and can easily produce a feeling of remarkable perspective. Deciding the distance from the subject with awareness of this feeling of perspective allows the photographer to create intense impact and clear separation in a photo such as size differences that are not actually possible. It is also possible to create a feeling of perspective when editing such as Little Planet.
Objects appear smaller with THETA fish-eye lenses even when just 1 meter away. While quite the opposite, the feeling of perspective is exaggerated the closer THETA is to the subject, and you can see that the subject appears much more impressive.
The form of the face looks natural but tends to appear backlit when shooting against bright backgrounds such as the sky, and this causes the face to appear dark.
Raising the camera to a position where you look up also makes your expression appear bright and clear. A good tip is to raise your chin, not just your gaze, and face the camera.
When you don’t want to photograph your face, place THETA on top of your head. Your hand will appear a lot in the shot but you can shoot while hiding your face and body.
THETA has a built-in sensor that detects camera tilt so the vertical plane of spherical images is always recorded correctly regardless of THETA’s angle when shooting. This means that there is no need to hold THETA perpendicular to the ground but you must be careful because holding THETA sideways at the same height as your face, as in the example, will cause you to mess up the shot as your own hand will hide your face.
Just set your thumb on the THETA shutter button, relax your grip while not worrying about slightly tilting the camera, extend your arm and shoot the photo.
When you have set up THETA, as long as the lens is not hidden by your fingers and it is all visible, you can take a photo without your fingers covering your face.
You can still shoot the vertical plane correctly even when going to the extreme of laying THETA on its side. However, this may cause your face and body to be hidden by your hand.
THETA captures every direction so during the daytime while outdoors sunlight enters the lens and the image will have a mixture of areas with direct sunlight and back lighting.
This will cause no problems for front lighting in which light hits the main subject. However, the subject will look darker than it appears when there is back lighting.
In places surrounded by a dark environment, such as at night, people will also appear too bright. In such a case, be sure to use exposure compensation or the HDR rendering function that enable you to either adjust the brightness by compensating with exposure or increase the width of tone exposure.
With the sun at the subject's back, in other words, back lighting. Shooting using automatic exposure will set the brightness of the photo based on the bright sky. This will cause the front side of a person in shadow to look darker than they appear.
Adjust the brightness using the exposure compensation function. While checking the results of the compensation at live view, ensure that the brightness is such that the subject's facial expression is clearly visible and the background does not have significant blown out highlights before taking the shot.
Part of the image has blown out highlights and there is gradient loss.
HDR rendering is a function that renders images that were shot continuously while changing the brightness automatically. It allows you to obtain images that have far less blown out highlights and blocked up shadows than images without compensation. It is essential to secure the camera in place such as using a tripod to prevent the camera from moving during the rendering process.
First, download the THETA app for Smart phone from the RICOH THETA website, or App store.
Save 360-degree images received from others to your smartphone, and then start the RICOH THETA basic app.
(1) Tap “Album” on the top left.
(2) Tap “All photos” or “Camera roll.”
(3) Select the 360-degree image you wish to view.
(4) View the 360-degree image in the RICOH THETA basic app.
First, download the THETA app for computer from the RICOH THETA website.
Both 360-degree videos and still images can be viewed on the THETA app for PC.
(1) Connect THETA and your PC with a USB cable.
(2) Start the THETA app on your PC, and drag and drop the THETA images you wish to view into the app.
3) Click either “>” on the bottom right of the screen or “<” on the bottom left of the screen to view the images in the folder.
Images captured on THETA are to be viewed from your smartphone, not from THETA itself. For this reason, images must be transferred from THETA to your smartphone after being captured. Images can be transferred one by one immediately after being shot, or with multiple images in one batch. As the transfer of 360-degree images takes some time, we recommend transferring multiple images in one batch after you have finished shooting, rather than transferring images one by one each time the shutter button is pressed. Transferring the day’s worth of images in one batch during travel time or after you get home is also a good idea.
(1) After connecting via Wi-Fi, tap “Not transferred” in “Images in camera,” and then tap the image selection icon at the top right.
(2) Insert a check mark (㋹ icon) for the images that you wish to transfer and tap “Transfer” at the bottom right.
(3) Images with a check mark will be transferred from THETA to your smartphone in one batch.
(4) When all the images in (3) have been transferred, tap “Device images” to display the images saved in your smartphone.
*In the usual camera roll, images captured using THETA will not be displayed in the 360-degree format.
(5) Tap an image to view it as a 360-degree image.
“theta360.com” is the comprehensive THETA website.
If you create a user account, you can upload 360-degree images that you have shot to theta360.com. You can also specify a URL address on theta360.com for sharing 360-degree images with other people.
On the theta360.com computer website, you can acquire the embedded HTML code of the uploaded 360-degree images to embed and display on your own blog.
In order to use theta360.com, you first need to create a user account.
*Note that regulations prohibit the commercial use of embedded 360-degree images on theta360.com. For commercial use, sign a 360biz agreement (https://www.theta360.biz/).
*360-degree videos and still images can be saved and viewed on theta360.com.
(1) Tap the menu icon on the top right of https://theta360.com and then tap “Log in.”
*This example is for smartphone.
Enter your account ID and your password to log in.
(3) After logging in, your user account screen will be displayed.
In the RICOH THETA basic app, select the images to share from “Device images.”
(1) Tap the share icon on the top right.
Select either “Share in this orientation” or “Share without specifying the orientation.”
(2) Swipe the “#theta360” option and tap “Complete.”
You can also share a link to theta360.com on Twitter.
(3) Upload complete.
Tap the right arrow icon, start Safari and check your upload.
(4) Safari screen
Share images by selecting the images and then tapping the share button to create a URL link
(5) View the images uploaded on your theta360.com user account page.
Start the THETA app for computer
Open the 360-degree image captured using THETA or drag and drop the image into the app. (Refer to 5) Saving/Viewing images on your PC)
(1) Click “Log in” under the “theta360.com” menu.
*To share images on Twitter, click “Login with Twitter.”
(3) Enter your Facebook account ID (phone number or e-mail address) and your password to log in.
(4) After clicking “Post (share on social media)…” under the “theta360.com” menu,
(5) Click “Check with browser.”
(6) The web browser starts and you can check that your images have been shared to theta360.com.
(1) Log in to theta360.com on a computer.
(2) Select your image of choice from the image list on My Page.
(3) Click “Embed” copy the displayed embedded HTML code and embed it in the blog HTML.
Overwriting the “500” section of the code with “100%” displays the image in full size on the page.
*360.com images cannot be embedded on some blog sites.
Sharing images on Facebook:
You can share 360-degree images taken by THETA to multiple friends since Facebook supports 360-degree images.
By using Facebook, you can specify and share only the person you want to share 360-degree images, or you can share it as an album.
Both 360-degree videos and still images are available on Facebook.
(1) Select an image from the thumbnail screen of the RICOH THETA basic app.
(2) Tap the share button on the top right.
(3) Tap “Share on Facebook, etc.” and then tap the Facebook logo.
Post to Facebook after setting the privacy and adding comments as necessary.
(1) Tap “Photo/Video” on the Create a Post screen on Facebook.
(2) After selecting the image to share, tap “Done”.
(3) Enter a caption and tap “Share.”
The image will have a 360-degree image icon.
(4) After sharing your post, an icon with the angle of the 360-degree image that is currently displayed, and the message “Tilt or drag to look around” is displayed.
We recommend “Google Photos” app when you want to share multiple 360-degree images and images taken with a smartphone camera to other people at once.
First, please install the “Google Photos” app (iOS/Android) on your smartphone. If you turn on automatic backup, 360 images transferred to your smartphone will also be automatically backed up on Google Photos.
Both 360-degree videos and still images can be saved and viewed with “Google Photos”.
On Google Photos, images captured with THETA will have a 360-degree image icon on their top right. Tap these images to display them in 360 degrees.
<Sharing images one by one>
(1) After selecting an image, tap the share icon.
(2) Specify an e-mail address, or obtain an image URL by tapping "Create link."
Send the image by e-mail, or share the image by pasting the acquired URL to text messages or social media.
Using Google Photos, you can create an album with multiple images and then share the album.
(1) After selecting the album to share, tap share button on the top right.
(2)Share your album URL by the way you prefer
When shooting with the shutter button on the camera, your fingers will always appear large in the shot. This is something “typical of THETA”. However, there are times when you want to avoid your hands standing out in the photo. A selfie stick is useful at times like this. It also has the advantage of being able to change the vertical angle in an instant, in addition to ensuring your hands do not stand out in the shot.
You can also get closer to the subject because you are holding THETA at a shooting position you cannot reach just by extending your arm, and this enables you to take a photo that is both unexpected and has impact. It is not possible to push the shutter button on the camera when using a selfie stick so you should use either remote shooting from the smartphone app or use the self-timer function. It is also important to be careful not to allow camera shake in dark locations.
There is a distinct difference when comparing shooting in hand and with a selfie stick. When significantly changing the view and visual point with such as the THETA+ app, the scene may appear more unnatural so it is recommended to use this method as required. When you want to make your hands not stand out by just a small amount, not extending the selfie stick all the way makes a big difference in how they appear in the shot. Try to find the best length for your own shooting style and usage.
You can freely decide the high angle and low angle if you have a selfie stick. Shooting with a selfie stick that can lift THETA high up enables you to look down at the entire scene more than in hand shooting.
When you want to capture a wide range in the direction of the ground this way, a high angle is the best. Conversely, a low angle is suitable for fixing the sky or a tall object into the background.
Many selfie sticks have an angle adjustment mechanism for the part where the camera is attached (camera platform). With THETA, you do not have to directly face the lens so don't tilt the selfie stick at an angle to ensure the stick does not appear in the shot.
When shooting with the camera platform tilted at an angle, only the stick section appears in the shot and this looks unnatural. Ensuring that THETA and the selfie stick are in a straight line, will hide the stick in the shot.
THETA can stand up by itself on a flat surface but we do not recommend this method. The reason is that THETA has a high center of gravity and accidents may occur such as the camera falling over and the lenses can get scratched. Be sure to use a stand or tripod when you want to secure THETA so that you don’t regret a careless accident. If you have a stand or tripod, every single THETA function will be at your disposal such as slow shutter shooting and HDR rendering. It is also necessary to use remote shooting or the self-timer function when using a stand or tripod.
There is no blur even with slow shutter shooting for nightscapes or in dark rooms. You are free to take photos how you like by lowering ISO sensitivity with the ISO priority mode and using HDR rendering with the automatic mode, etc.
Secure THETA on a tripod and use the self-timer or remote shooting. If the photographer is hidden from view, you can shoot a spherical image without any people on the screen.