Ricoh is trying to push its 360-degree cameras into live streaming territory with a new camera called the Ricoh R. It looks similar, if a bit more rugged, to the Theta S and the cheaper SC that have come before it, but it’s company’s first spherical cameras that can apparently live stream without a bunch of workarounds.
The Ricoh R can live stream 2K, 360-degree video at 30 frames per second. The camera also stitches the images from the dual lenses together in real time, and Ricoh says that — when hooked up to an outlet — the camera can live stream that 360-degree footage for up to 24 hours.
Why exactly you’d want to execute a 24-hour live stream in 360 degrees is a great question, and it might be why Ricoh is marketing the camera as a “development kit.” (In the press release, Ricoh says it hopes the camera will find its way into the hands of entertainers, gamers, educators, and researchers.)
So for now, it seems, you won’t be able to buy the R on store shelves like you can with the Thetas. But the Ricoh R is promising evidence that the company is building on the groundwork that was laid by those Theta cameras. What the Thetas lacked in image quality they made up for in ease of use, and any continuation of that is welcome in such a new format.