Ricoh Theta Z1 review and comparison Part 1: How does the Theta Z1 compare to Insta360 One X, GoPro Fusion, Xiaomi Mi Sphere, Ultracker Aleta S2C, and other 360 cameras?
B&H Photo:
Camera case that fits the Z1 (but not the TL-2 lens cap):
Waterproof hardcase (kind of bulky):
The Ricoh Theta Z1 is the first 360 camera for consumers and prosumers to feature a large 1-inch sensor. It is also the first 360 camera to feature Raw DNG stitching in Lightroom, which enables more flexibility in editing without creating seamlines. I show how easy it is to edit 360 photos in Lightroom seamlessly with the new Ricoh Stitcher for the Z1. The Theta Z1 also has exposure bracketing up to 19 shots in Raw + JPEG, which can capture the dynamic range of any scene.

However, its specifications are not that much different from consumer 360 cameras.
Its resolution is only 24mp (7296 x 3648 in Raw, 6720 x 3360 in JPG) and its video is only 3840 x 1920. Is this the ultimate virtual tour 360 camera for photographers? Or is it just an expensive, overpriced 360 camera?

In this 2-part in-depth Theta Z1 review, we’ll look at its features for image quality and workflow. I’ll also show you a comparison against other popular 360 cameras for virtual tours including Insta360 One X, Xiaomi Mi Sphere, GoPro Fusion, Ricoh Theta V, Samsung Gear 360, Panono, Ultracker Aleta S2C, Kandao Qoocam and Vuze XR.


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47 thoughts on “Ricoh Theta Z1: The ULTIMATE Virtual Tour Camera? (Theta Z1 Review and Comparison Part 1 of 2)”

  1. I am focused on a 360 camera for personal use. And primary interest is quality and ease of use, with auto stitching and as much in-service non PC processing possible. This would satisfy a lot of travelers who want to simply shoot and share.

  2. Thanks for the great video and detailed review. I need a suggestion from you, we want to use 360 of our camping properties (outdoor pitches) to show to our potential customers. We want to use the camera only for photos (no video) and would like to upload all that on the website (over 1500 360° photos). What camera suggest we use regarding processing, image sizes (in MB) etc. My dilemma is between Theta Z1, Theta V and Xphase? I'll really appreciate your suggestion.

  3. So main advantage is in photos. If I don't care about photos and want to use only for videos is GoPro Fusion the best option for me? To me it looks like Fusion video is better than Z1. Am I wrong?

  4. Informative video. I don't know much about cameras. I am planning on learning by purchasing. I am thinking of a Ricoh Theta Z1 or GoPro Fusion 2. My primary concern is avoiding finding out that I purchased something which will limit what I do. Thanks for this video.

  5. Hey Mic, do you know how to remove stiching errors after using ptgui pro and the z1? I know the theta sticher does a better job stiching but in this case i need to use Ptgui pro. Does working with control points in ptgui do the job?

  6. hello
    i'm shooting for real estate showcasing, i only need photo, i care about quality and ease of use for time saving, can you share the best option i can get regardless of the price ,
    and whats the difference between Ricoh Zeta Z1 and insta 360 pro 2 besides budget ( regarding photo quality factors )

  7. The fact that Adobe steps back onto the scene for the 360 community is indeed a huge leap forward in post production time.

  8. Hey buddy i just received my z1 from Amazon. I unpackaged the camera. Will replay your video’s before using. Which selfy stick and foot do you advise me to use?

  9. I like it. I hope that this will mark the end of Panono cameras. better sensor and small size vs plastic ball full of cheap china phone lenses and sensors. besides just look on the shoot from the basketball place. the Panono should be banned forever.

  10. Everytime I'm set in a cheaper start up camera for virtual tours I run into something alse! What do you recommend for a cheap virtual tour camera to start with but get pro level results?

  11. Hi, I am interested in buying the personal license Pro from PTGui 11 and I wanted to ask you if the 360Rumors Community has any discount code or referral link to make this purchase this week !. Thank you!

  12. It seems you’re the only English speaker who was given a review unit. I wonder why Ricoh didn’t let any other reviewers review it. That’s a worrying move.

    And after 3 weeks we still haven’t heard an honest opinion on whether it’s any good or not. So far it looks worse than the One X for video yet it’s more than double the price. I worry that this camera is going to be a failure.

  13. The previous Theta cameras came with a neoprene sleeve of sorts. Did you get one of those too? (I love the sleeves)

  14. So we still don’t know if it’s the ultimate 360 camera for virtual tours? It’s Friday Mic. For virtual tours, it would seem like the best comparison, maybe even fairest, would be to put it again the Matterport camera(s) right?

  15. Part 2? Also, do you know who has this camera in stock now? I have tried two places already this morning and its not in stock.

  16. I love your channel!! I have a problem. I am really wanting to step up my 360 tours business so that I can compete with a young lady who is shooting like crazy with her DSLR. Her shots are gorgeous but I am sure she charges a lot. I have been using a Madventure camera with GoThru as a host. PLEASE advise which direction you would go.

  17. Hi Mic. What makes a 360 camera a"Virtual Tour" camera. I do instructional videos. Would the larger sensor give me better footage?

  18. Hi mic, thank you for all your videos on your channel. I like the way you show the actual footage.
    Can you tell me if the this z1 is better than taking pics with the Panohero and gp 7 black.
    All the best

  19. Hello Mic,

    This comparison was a great video using many of the current popular 360 cameras. I am looking forward to hearing about the feature you have never seen on another 360 camera and, more about the dynamic range. Another useful comparison

  20. Hey Mic, thanks for the review. Do you think more 360 cameras will start using bigger sensors now that Z1 is out? Insta360 One x next generation? Aloha🤙🏼

  21. Hoho, is that the Rode Wireless Go I spotted at the end? The audio still comes out as muted though… perhaps too much processing/noise reduction?

    Another great review on a 360 camera. Would like to hear your final opinion on whether it's a better value than the Insta One X (quality vs workflow vs price).

  22. Hi Mic as usual great video. Is it 2x as good as the 361x? Looking forward to part #2. I am waiting for the FCP folks to get a 360 plug in. Light room model not worth it for a travel hobbyist Mostly sounding better except for the (3) pre records. Even the lav sounds better. Contact me so I can be more specific and not use this space.

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