While Ricoh has sought to keep its 360-degree cameras distinct from its Pentax product line, the two may be due for a closer pairing in the future. At CES, the company previewed technology that would allow Pentax DSLRs (or any DSLR, for that matter) to merge 360-degree capture with traditional photography.
The concept, informally dubbed “Multi-Imaging Technology”, combines a Ricoh Theta mounted onto the hot shoe of a DSLR. Both the DSLR and Theta are connected to a PC and a remote shutter trigger. Once both cameras are triggered, the 360-degree image from the Theta and the standard image from the DSLR are transferred to the PC and processed.
The computer analyzes the 360-degree image and locates where in the sphere the DSLR image fits in and swaps out the portion of the scene taken by the Theta in favor of the higher-resolution DSLR image. This way, users can pan around the 360-degree image taken by the Theta and then zoom in close on the portion of the image taken with the DSLR.
The effect looks something like this:
According to Ricoh, you can take numerous DSLR images within a 360-degree frame so that your ability to zoom in on a portion of a 360 image isn’t restricted to a single frame.
While Ricoh hasn’t specified exactly when it will roll out Multi-Imaging Technology, the company did note that it’s looking to leverage cloud processing so that users won’t have to be tethered to a PC to render a Multi-Image.