THETA+

Compatibility
Z1 V SC2 SC S
mobile app
A specialized smartphone app for editing 360° still images and videos taken with the RICOH THETA.

Creating Unique 360 Photos With the THETA+ App

 

Using THETA+ app with my iPad to edit and share videos

Hi! I decided to take some time this week to figure out what program was best for my needs to share my 360 media. Today I’m focusing on the THETA+ app. 

I used the Ricoh Theta SC Hatsune Miku to capture my photos/videos and an iPad Pro to edit them. 

Initial Thoughts

The THETA+ app has a sleek design that looks kind of like the Ricoh THETA app but in ark mode. The editing capabilities would probably be more comfortable on a mobile device, but the iPad app allows you to magnify the content (zoom in) to fit the screen. The app itself is not optimized for tablets. Annoying but understandable, as the Theta is meant to be used on the go and a tablet is not. 

You can see here that the app does not actually fit my device. This wouldn’t be such a big issue if it wasn’t for…

 

As you can see here, the video I was editing became distorted somewhere between being edited and being exported due to the screen size difference, I believe. What is strange is editing in the app in fullscreen or native size, it still ends up distorting the preview. 

Trial and Error

The app is simple to use. I actually downloaded it from the Japanese App Store and did not find any issues as the app is in English. 

The ability to turn static images into custom 360 videos is also really cool. You will see my crude example below where I was able to pick the tracking/pace of the video (hence why it’s a little jerky!) but they also have custom presets you can use for this. I will say it again: the ability to turn 360 images into custom videos is definitely the driving factor behind me keeping THETA+ installed on my device. 

Despite not really being sure what my content looked like in app, it seems to have exported crisply and quickly. The filtering options are interesting in the app as well, and THETA+ allows you to export directly to your social channels. I didn’t utilize this feature, preferring to save my images to my device because the preview was so bizarre. 

The ability to have different types of views is interesting, as you can see here there is the usual “little planet” but also something called a mirror ball. I tried this out, it’s sort of like if the strangest colors from your photo were pulled out and expanded to create a background for your tiny planet.

 

As you can see, the image is only slightly distorted in that my hands look like I’m praying to an alien overlord. The image itself is crisp and clear, though, and the stitching is nonexistent as it’s wrapped. 

Short Example Video

Interestingly, you are able to cherry pick a part of a 360 video in order to draw attention to it, like I did here with my cat’s face. I think this is interesting and would have been better used if my focal point wasn’t so… focal in the original video. I was weary of taking long videos given the amount of space they would take up, but maybe it is for the best that no one sees him in action. 

Short Example Video2

As mentioned above, the THETA+ app allows you to not only edit your photos and videos but to create custom videos from your status photos. Kind of a game changer for me as it’s rare the entire 360 image is up to my standards (or I’m mid sneeze or something else equally unattractive). In fact, I cut myself out of this video for that exact reason, making my questionable static image into something that I can share on social media without alerting the masses of what I look like sans makeup. 

So here are my pros and cons for the THETA+ app:

 Pros

 Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Export function works much better than other 360 apps have for me in the past
  • Photo to video works great 
  • Can view images as a sphere or flat, can export similarly
  • Integrated with more social networks than Theta app
  • App is not optimized for mobile
  • When you exit out of the editor and go back to your gallery, it can get stuck in a loop and force you to close the app to access the gallery
  • Sharing content removes selected orientation, which is annoying
  • Preset filters do not allow you decide how much filter is used 

 

Concluding Thoughts

If you are using a Theta camera and like the original Theta app, you will probably like the THETA+ app, too! It’s not great for bigger devices but it’s much more seamless than the Theta app has been for me. I did not experiment with the social media capabilities of the THETA+ app, but I wouldn’t have high hopes given my experiences with the Theta app. The photo to video feature is extremely seamless and the biggest draw for me to the app.