Ricoh updated the firmware of the Theta X and Theta Z1 to add new features, namely 8K 2fps and 10fps modes for the Theta X and the promised AE bracket mode for the Theta Z1. Here’s how you can use these features.
Theta X 8K mode
Ricoh Theta X (reviewed here) is the first 360 camera to offer 5.7K video with stabilization with no stitching required. It also captures 11K photos, one of the highest resolutions available for consumer 360 cameras.
Today’s update adds new 8K video at 2fps and 10fps. Those frame rates are far lower than typical 30fps or 24fps video. However, they could be useful for Google Street View or for hyperlapses (if played at normal framerates).
Theta Z1 AE Bracket
Theta Z1 (reviewed here) was the first consumer 360 camera to have 1-inch sensors, which made it very popular for virtual tours.
The new firmware update adds AE Bracket shooting mode, which enables the Z1 to capture a bracketed series of photos in JPG or Raw DNG, up to 9 shots, with adjustable exposure intervals. It is functionally similar to Yoichi Hirota’s Dual Fisheye plugin and the Dual Fisheye Raw plugin. However, I did not see an option to set the aperture, unlike the apps for DFE and DFR. On the other hand, the AE Bracket mode lets you see a live preview before shooting, a feature that was not available with Dual Fisheye plugin or Dual Fisheye Raw.
The update will be very helpful for iOS users, who until now had no app to remotely trigger the camera when shooting with the Dual Fisheye or Dual Fisheye Raw plugin because Apple blocked the app developed by Mr. Hirota despite Ricoh’s support. Now, both iOS and Android users will be able to use the Theta app to shoot remotely with the AE Bracket.
Firmware update tutorial
To get these new features, you have to update the firmware. The easiest way to do that is to connect your Theta X or Theta Z1 to your PC or Mac via a USB type C cable then launch the Ricoh Theta app. Under the File menu, choose Firmware Update. The software will then automatically update your camera’s firmware.