Ricoh Focuses on Image Quality with Flagship THETA Z1
Beyond the sensors, the Z1 has a redesigned image processing algorithm that will help create the sharpest and cleanest images possible in any given situation. Dynamic Range compensation is automatically applied to limit loss of detail from blown-out highlights and deep shadows. There are many other modes to choose from, as well, including HDR Rendering, Interval Composite, and Multi-bracket shooting.
Image quality is important and, for professionals, there are numerous options for manual control. This includes aperture-, shutter-, and ISO-priority modes, in addition to full manual operation (manual mode requires a smartphone). The previously mentioned multi-level aperture now provides the choice of f/2.1, f/3.5, and f/5.6 for handling bright situations. Still images can be saved as DNG raw files for maximum flexibility, while RICOH THETA Stitcher for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC makes editing easier. Backing up this image quality is a four-channel microphone array for 360-degree spatial audio recording. With 360-degree audio and video being recorded, the Z1 will provide a completely immersive virtual reality viewing experience.
Massive changes to the imaging pipeline, fortunately, did not mean a change in overall design, with the THETA Z1 using tri-fold structure technology to have a thickness of just 24mm. A 0.93" OLED display provides rapid access to essential shooting settings and information. A new function button can then help you switch between display modes and select modes. The body is also tough, with magnesium-alloy construction and a luxurious texture. Tripod screw holes are metal for durability, and it uses the now-standard USB 3.0 Type-C connection for fast transfer.
The THETA Z1 is most certainly Ricoh's best 360-degree offering yet and likely will become one of the best currently available.
Product Discussed: RICOH THETA Z1 360° 4K Videos and 23MP Photos