Ricoh Theta S vs Insta360

July 20, 2020

Action cameras are amazing and versatile for various different applications but if you are already used to them and want a different recording experience, a 360 degree camera like Ricoh Theta S Vs Insta360 One will be a fresh choice to consider and to give your footage a nice twist to offer. Both of these models are reliable but slightly different and before deciding the option, go see below about what they can offer and which of them will be the best option for you.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What are 360 Cameras
  • What are Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One
  • What Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One Look Like
  • What are the Specification of Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One
  • How are the Performance of Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One
  • How are the Image Stabilization of Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One
  • Ricoh Theta S Vs Insta360 One

Action Camera and 360 Camera

Camera is not a new thing anymore, it has become an integral part of our lifestyle especially with the huge and wide usage of smartphones including the popular social media today. It is easy to just snap a picture and talk about an event with the people who are interested from all around the world rather than writing an explanation about what’s happening. It is also a part of today’s entertainment and trend where you can find lots of inspiration for your hobby or professional work. 

Photography enthusiasts will go for a dedicated camera like DSLR and Mirrorless with interchangeable lenses while videographers will look for a camcorder or video recorder for their job but, those who are not professionally invested in the hobby will be reluctant to spend so much in those expensive gears. This left us consumers with tons of choices actually which mostly are affordable, easy to use, as well as versatile. One of the most popular options we can rely on today is the action camera itself.

It is almost like a replacement of the digital pocket camera we used to have in the beginning of 2000s because they can be used either for still image or video recording. The fact that its form factor becomes much smaller with better mounting system makes them the ace of active shooting and travelling purpose as there is no issue about where to put the camera or carrying a heavy unit around. However, as we are getting used to the advantages, some people may start to get bored of it as well.

After the hype of the action camera subsided, there is another device with similar advantages but now offering a much wider angle to capture. It is called a 360 camera and as the name suggests, it is an omnidirectional camera or have a 360 degree field of view which means it covers all of the areas around the recording person as well. It is best in application where a full 360 degree angle is needed such as when you are shooting in panorama mode. 

 Ricoh Theta SInsta360
Best Offerclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions5.1 x 1.73 x 0.9 inches
4.53 x 1.77 x 1.18 inches
Item Weight4.8 ounces
3.2 ounces

One of the most common applications of 360 camera is for monoscopic video and feeds which is a flat rendering to offer an experience where the user can move around the space captured but with no depth or perception. This is the same as those we see in Google Street View and not only a huge service like this anymore, nowadays many other sites such as real estate, dating, and image filtering apps are also using the feature and capabilities of 360 cameras both to enhance their service or just to make your footage more fun.

About Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One

If you have been playing around with action cameras like GoPro Hero 8 Vs DJI Osmo Action and want to get something different or want to try capturing a different type of footage that can only be achieved or best achieved with a 360 camera, then having one will be a great decision. The consideration is since they are not a “common” option like regular wide angle cameras, we do have to think things through if we don’t want to end up with an expensive device that sits idle in your drawer.

360 cameras in general are not as popular and have not yet reached the peak of how action cameras were hyped back then, nonetheless there are quite an option out there from different brands and even one brand usually have more than one camera to offer. Talking about 360 cameras, it is easy to narrow down the option to Ricoh and Insta360. We are sure these two are always showing up whenever you look for related keywords and this is because they are also main players in the market.

They carry more than one camera and seem to also upgrade the products from time to time to meet user’s expectations and overall being better or reliable. Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One are two best examples of good cameras with useful features and ease of use which are not only ideal for those with the hobby but also casual users who want to try a new interesting device to step up their game. They are made with the end-user in mind but are also quite different side by side.

The Insta360 One is more of an iPhone accessories in general compared to similar cameras and even other 360 cameras while the latter is a device built to resemble an action camera and its versatility so we do think they are aimed at different people rather than an equal option. Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One however, are both nice options if you want to capture videos in a unique approach.

Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One Design

As you can see on the sample picture above, these cameras are very different in terms of form factor and shape compared to action cameras. They are smaller and more compact, especially for the Insta360 One as this can be attached to your phone’s lightning port hence, the length itself is not far different from the width of your phone. It has two lenses placed one on each side and the body itself is made of plastic while the form makes it not able to be used without any stick or mounting. 

For Ricoh Theta S, this camera is looking like those memory erasers you see in a popular alien sci-fi movie and instead of compact, it is in the middle in between small and convenient. It has a flat bottom and in a glance almost looks like an audio recorder. It can stand on its own but with a slight shake it can drop easily. It is mostly used in handheld mode and unlike an action camera, it has no screen whatsoever while on the bottom we can find few ports for charging and data transfer.

Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One Specification

Moving further, you must want to know what Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One can offer and starting with the recording ability, both of them are capable of recording in Full HD and 4K respectively, from the two lenses installed on the device. Another difference is on the effective pixel itself because the One is offering still images at 24MP compared to 14MP yet, the sensor is the same 1/2.3-inch, the type we often see in small digital cameras or action cameras out there.

If you want to spend more, One is actually available in larger sensor or 1-inch type caller One R. When you press the recording button, the camera will simultaneously record from the two lenses, creating a full 360 view. Of course you can change the resolution anytime similar to an action camera but both do have dedicated memory so can still use them without smartphone but the full features are available in their respective app.

Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One Performance 

What’s most important about a camera is always their image quality and in this side, we can’t hope too much from affordable models but both Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One are not going to disappoint yet, they are also different. For consumer grade cameras they sure look good but not excelling at anything yet. Side by side the videos are good but compared to each other we do like the result in Insta360 One better.

The color is saturated better or we just like the profile here because everything is not over blown out and you can see plenty of details as well thanks to its higher resolution, while the colors are looking natural yet attractive. The Theta S is a good camera however, its image result reminds us of older pocket cameras and in comparison it is easier as well to hold it compared to Insta One. The best thing is your footage will be uploaded as it is and instantly show as 360 footage on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One Image Stabilisation

The last part we want to mention is their image stabilization because it is important for those who will be doing the recording while moving around. In this part we do think Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One are pretty much the same. None of them are on the level of HyperSmooth by Hero 8 yet but not very shaky like those cheap action cameras as well. But, if possible we do recommend to use mounting to get the best out of your recording or put it in a still state.

Ricoh Theta S vs Insta360

Both of them are amazing for the price point and they are also easy to use so those who are not familiar with the recording mode or content can get in the trend quickly but, personally we do like the color and image result of Insta360 One better. It is not the best but it is more pleasant to see and the image also has better resolution than Theta S as well as can record in 4K already which makes it ideal for those who want to get the better result.

- 360 Degree Spherical Panorama images and Spherical Videos up to 25 minutes
- Live view function on mobile device; Wi Fi communications protocol: HTTP (open spherical camera API 7 compatible)
- Transfer videos directly to your mobile device without the need of a computer
- Full HD Video at 30fps , 360 Degree Spherical Video Supported by YouTube
- Leading image quality - 5. 7K resolution makes your 360 Degree videos look sharp, while 18MP shots make for stunning photo quality. Turn on 50Fps mode to make your video buttery smooth.
- Flow state stabilization - flow state is as smooth as it gets.
- Drift shots - snap into the drifter accessory and let your take flight. Airborne slow-mo. That shoots in every direction at once. You've never seen angles like this before.
- Wi-fi preview and transfer - Shoot and transfer in a snap. 50MB/s Cable transfer and 5 GHz high-speed Wi-Fi transfer.Video Bitrate: Up to 120Mbps


All in all the decision is all yours because we may have different tastes yet, in between Ricoh Theta S and Insta360 One, the latter is a better option since overall it has better image quality while also offers 4K recording already.

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