Friday, September 30, 2016

Detu Twin 360 copies the Ricoh Theta's design but has different image quality






The Ricoh Theta S (reviewed here) is still the one of the most popular 360-degree cameras, and has an iconic design that is not only beautiful but which also minimizes parallax stitching error.  Perhaps then it is no surprise that its design has been copied by the Detu Twin 360, a fully spherical camera from the makers of the Detu F4 and Detu Sphere.  But even though the Detu Twin 360 has a similar design to the Theta, its internals are completely different and in some ways better than the Theta.




DETU Camera Twin TB401 specifications:
- two fisheye lenses, with an aperture of f/2.2
- two 4-megapixel 1/3-inch "low-illumination" sensors
- Video resolution: 2880 x 1440 @ 30fps
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro SD card up to 64GB
- Dimensions: 12.3cm x 4.1cm x 2.3cm.
- weight: 67 grams


Let's break it down:
Lenses: It is interesting that Detu was able to copy the Ricoh Theta's slim design.  The Theta uses a complex folded optical path in order to minimize the distance between the lenses.  Until now, the competitor that has come closest to copying this design was the LG 360 Cam (reviewed here), but even the 360 Cam is noticeably thicker than the Theta.  However, the Detu Twin was able to duplicate Ricoh's engineering feat, with a distance between its lenses that is pretty much identical to the Theta.  The Theta's thickness is 22.9mm while the Detu Twin's thickness is 23mm.




Sensors: The Detu Twin uses two 4-megapixel 1/3-inch sensors.  Detu says the sensors are 'low-illumination,' which may mean they are backlit CMOS (which can absorb more light than a conventional CMOS).  The resolution is significantly lower than that of the Theta S, which uses two 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensors.  The Twin's sensors seem more similar to that of the Ricoh Theta m15, which has two 3.2-megapixel sensors.

Photo resolution:  Detu has not stated the photo resolution of the Detu Twin.  It is definitely lower than the Theta, though, simply because the Theta has higher resolution (and physically larger) sensors.

Video resolution:  The Detu Twin has a significantly higher video resolution than the Theta.  The Theta video resolution is 1920 x 960 @ 30fps.  The Detu Twin's video is 2880 x 1440 @ 30 fps, more than double the video resolution of the Theta.

Micro SD card:  One more difference between the Theta and the Twin is that the Twin has a removable Micro SD card, whereas the Theta has an internal 8GB micro SD card (some intrepid users have opened their Theta to replace the micro SD card).




Livestreaming:  The Ricoh Theta S is one of the few 360 cameras capable of 360 livestreaming. The Detu Twin does not have such a capability.
Price and availability: The Detu Twin is expected to be around $250, which is a little higher than the Ricoh Theta m15 ($209 on Amazon) but much lower than the Theta S ($350).  The Detu Twin is not yet available for purchase but is 'coming soon.'