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Ricoh Theta SC2 is a new entry-level 4K 360 camera; Theta SC2 vs. Theta V comparison (updated)

Ricoh Theta SC2 is a new entry level 360 camera with 4K 360 video capability, designed to be a 360 camera for everyone.  Here is the product video:

The SC2 appears similar to the Ricoh Theta V, with identical photo and video resolution, but is not compatible with Theta V plugins.   Here is an in-depth review by 360 photographer and 360 Rumors contributor Yuqing Guo.

Here is a summary of differences between Theta SC2 and Theta V:

Theta SC2 advantages vs. Theta V

  • SC2 features a small LED display that shows the battery level and shooting mode.
  • Startup time is faster than Theta V (starts up in 1.5 seconds).

  • Preset modes  (Face, Night View, and Lens-by-Lens Exposure modes).  Face mode detects faces in the photo and appears to prioritize the exposure for faces.  Night view optimizes the exposure for low light shots by using a slower shutter speed.  Lens-by-Lens Exposure lets you prioritize the front lens or rear lens for exposure.

  • Glossy surface, available in multiple colors (Theta V is only available in black).

  • SC2 is lighter at 104 grams compared to the Theta V’s 121 grams.

  • Lower price.  The SC2 is $299.95, while the Theta V is $339 (prices as of November 2019).

Theta SC2 disadvantages vs. Theta V

  • Cannot use plugins from the Theta plugin store. One of the plugins, the Dual Fisheye plugin, significantly improves the image quality of the Theta V, therefore to me, this is the biggest disadvantage of the SC2 compared to the Theta V.
  • The maximum recording time for videos is 3 minutes (compared to 25 minutes for the Theta V).

  • Theta V has 4k 360 video live streaming while Theta SC2 does not.

  • Internal memory is smaller at 14GB vs 19GB for Theta V.  The internal memory can story 3000 photos or 32 minutes of videos.

  • Theta V features 360 spatial audio, whereas SC2 has monoaural audio.

  • Theta V has a microphone jack while SC2 does not.  Theta V is compatible with the TA-1 spatial audio microphone whereas SC2 is not.

Theta SC2 Price and availability

The Theta SC2 is $299.95, and will be released on or around December 2, 2019.   With a slightly lower price than Theta V, the Theta SC2 may be an attractive and affordable option for entry level virtual tours and casual videos.

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