Denver — Ricoh kicked off the online launch of its Ricoh Theta spherical-image-capture camera.
The camera, which begins selling for $399 in the United States on Tuesday, is also being rolled out to consumers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany through Ricoh Imaging online stores. It will also be sold by Ricoh on Amazon, via Theta360.com, and by B&H and Adorama.
The Theta, which was first announced last month at the IFA show in Berlin, captures a roughly 180-degree view of the scene in front of the camera and a second view of the area in the rear. The two scenes are then combined edge to edge in the camera to produce a single image.
Images can be viewed on smartphone apps as well as Windows and Mac desktops, offering a fully spherical view of the area surrounding the camera. Images can be rotated and panned to view everything around the photographer, including the sky above and the ground below.
Apps for the Ricoh Theta are available for iPhone 4S and 5 running iOS 6.0. Android compatibility is expected before the end of the year, the company said.
The camera includes built-in Wi-Fi to wirelessly connect to devices to send images for viewing.
The app also allows images to be pinched, swiped or rotated to edit size, shape and composition.
Ricoh said images can be uploaded to Theta360.com for sharing on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, as well as Microsoft's Photosynth.