Ricoh is a company that is pretty well known in the smaller 360 degree camera category. They practically created the simple 360 degree point and shoot action camera industry. This time they have released their latest Ricoh Theta SC 360 degree action camera. It is a $300 mid-range version of their flagship model. the Theta S. It does basically everything that the S does, but $50 cheaper. It is in fact so similar with the flagship that you can read our review of the Theta S as well. What Ricoh has done with the Theta SC, is listen to consumer research and strip down some features. Either way, I’m going to give you the full Ricoh Theta SC review.
- Dimensions: 130×45×23mm / 5.1×1.77×0.9″
- Weight: 102g / 3.6oz
- Video resolutions: 1080p 30fps; 720p 15fps
- Photo: 12MP
- Modes: Single Shot and Video
- Features: WiFi, 360 degree video, tripod hole
- Ports: MicroUSB
- Memory: Internal 8GB
- Battery life: 25 minutes of 1080p at 30fps
- Price: $300
In The Box
- Ricoh Theta SC
- Soft case
- MicroUSB cable
Design & Accessories
The Ricoh Theta SC has exactly the same design as the model S. If you aren’t familiar with the model S, then it is basically slim rectangular bar with 2 lenses sticking out. The front side contains one of the two lenses, a camera status LED, a shutter button, wireless LED and a capture mode LED. The top has both the microphone and speaker. The bottom has a microUSB port and a threaded tripod hole. The left side has a power on button which also contains a LED, a wireless button and a button for charging the capture mode. One design difference between the S and SC is that there is no microHDMI port.
I do really like the overall design though. There is one more design difference between the S and SC. For some reason, Ricoh has dropped the nice rubber texture and the plastic surface is just smooth now. When it comes to the camera, the only thing you need to watch out for is the lens. It can get damaged fairly easily. So keep it in a bag or a pouch when you are not using it.
There are also a number of colors you can choose from: blue, beige, pink and white.
As far as accessories go, the only way to add mounts is by getting a GoPro tripod adapter. That is really the best option. Also, if you are planning to mount the Ricoh Theta SC anywhere, make sure that it’s in a place where it won’t get damaged. The Theta SC is basically a social camera so it isn’t made for extreme environments or action sports.
Video & Features
Just like the Ricoh Theta S, the SC version can record videos in Full HD 1080p resolution at 30fps and 720p at 15fps. One thing they have changed instead of being able to record for as long as the battery lets you, you can now record videos up to 5 minutes long. Another difference is that Ricoh has also dropped the live stream feature. That is mostly due to the removal of the microHDMI port. Now onto the video, because it has the exact same sensor as
Now onto the video, as you can see the video quality is just as bad on the Ricoh Theta SC as on the S. Again, I want to say this is probably the best 360 degree video quality you will get in this price range. The technology is just too new. I mean the only cool thing about the video is the 360 degree feature. It’s pretty cool to be able to rotate around in the video and see everything.
Using the camera itself is as easy as it can be. Just turn it on and push the shutter button. Depending on the mode you are using, you will either start recording a video or snap a picture. Changing between modes is done with the buttons on the camera. It is pretty straight forward. You can also connect the Ricoh Theta SC to your iOS or Android device. This let’s you view the live image from your phone or even start recording from a distance. It’s actually a really valuable feature as you can see the hand holding the camera from the video. It’s much better to use a selfie stick or just mount it somewhere.
The Ricoh Theta SC is kind of a stripped down version of the original model S. The thing is though, Samsung has the Gear 360 camera that can record in 4K quality and it is kind of the same size. Maybe yes a little bit bulkier. But honestly I would much rather spend the $300 on a bulkier camera that has much better video quality. So I personally don’t see any reason to go with the Ricoh Theta SC over the Samsung Gear 360. But that is just my opinion.