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Ricoh announces a smaller, cheaper 360-degree camera

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The Theta SC looks better, but its pictures won't

Ricoh Theta SC in photos Ricoh

Ricoh has just announced a smaller, cheaper version of the Theta S — the company’s handheld 360-degree camera. The new camera is called the Theta SC, uses twin f2.0 lenses and two 12-megapixel sensors to capture 360-degree stills and 1080p-quality spherical video. It costs $300 and it's on sale today at Ricoh's website and other traditional camera retailers.

If it’s anything like the Theta S, the Theta SC will be easy to use. But that ease of use comes at a price. The Theta S’s muddy video quality was forgivable when the camera was announced one year ago, but the 360-degree camera landscape has changed dramatically since then. Samsung, Nikon, Kodak, and dozens of startups all offer cameras that are either just as approachable as the Theta S, offer better quality, or both. It’s nice that this new camera costs less and is a bit smaller, but the Theta SC likely wont push any of the boundaries of this new type of photography.