Using Ricoh Theta cameras with ClassVR

Using Ricoh Theta cameras with ClassVR

The Ricoh Theta range of cameras is very popular. Capturing image and video files is straightforward, and these files work well on ClassVR headsets. Depending on the model, these instructions may differ slightly.

This article runs through how to use the Theta cameras to take photos and videos, then upload them to the ClassVR Portal.

Ricoh Theta basics


Using the on-camera buttons

The simplest way to use the camera is to hold it up and press the buttons! Here are the basic functions.

Press the power button on the side of the camera to turn it on.

Press the camera/video button on the side to change shooting mode.

Press the big shutter button on the front of the camera to take a picture or start recording video.

Using the Ricoh Theta app on a phone or tablet

This is the easiest way to capture, process and share images and videos – without your thumb always being in shot! The app allows you to use your phone or tablet as a ‘remote control’.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, install the app from the Play Store:

If you have an iPhone or iPad, install the app from the App Store:

Connecting to your camera with your phone or tablet

Turn your camera on and press the Wi-Fi button on the side.

On your phone or tablet, enter the Wi-Fi settings menu and look for a Wi-Fi connection name that begins with THETA.

Tap to connect to the network. To find the password, look on the base of the camera and find the serial. The password is the number string in this serial.

Once you’ve connected, your phone or tablet may warn you that the network has no internet connection – that’s normal! Stay connected.

Getting started with the app

Once you’re connected to your camera, you can launch the Ricoh Theta app on your phone or tablet.

Open the app and tap the icon at the bottom right of the screen to connect to the camera:

You’ll see a view through the camera’s lenses appear on your screen. Now it’s really easy to capture images and videos directly, using your phone or tablet as a remote control.

Taking photos with the app

Place the camera in the location you wish to capture (using a slim tripod is a great idea). Make sure the mode at the top of you phone/tablet screen is set to photo. Then simply walk out of shot and tap the circle at the bottom of the screen to capture an image.

You’ll hear the camera make a sound, and once the image has been captured and transferred it will appear on screen. Swipe around to view it in 360.

Press the back button on your phone or tablet to return to the camera screen.

Taking videos with the app

Just as with the photos, place the camera in your chosen location.

On your phone or tablet, tap the video camera icon at the top of the screen to switch the camera to video mode. Walk out of shot and tap the circle as before. This will start recording. Tap the button again to stop recording.

Transferring files from the Theta camera

Transferring files from the camera to your PC or Mac

Transferring photos is simple; plug the camera into your PC/Mac using a USB cable and drag the files across to your chosen folder.

Videos are a little more complicated!

It’s not advised to simply plug your camera into a PC/Mac via USB and drag video files across into a folder. If you do this, no processing or converting occurs, and videos will not display correctly.

Instead, you’ll either need to process them using the app (see next section), or install the basic application on your PC/Mac. Find the correct program for your operating system here:

Open the application and plug your Theta camera into your PC/Mac. Within the application, click File and Open. Browse to the camera (which should appear as a drive on the left) and browse through the folders to find the video you wish to transfer. Open this file; you’ll be prompted to convert the file and save it to a location on your computer.

The conversion may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the video. Once it’s complete, the destination file is now ready to upload to the ClassVR Portal.  

Transferring files from the camera to your phone or tablet

In the Theta app, you can view any photos or videos that have been captured. To get back to this Timeline screen from the camera view, tap the icon in the bottom left:

If files were captured using your phone or tablet as a remote control, they’ll appear in the ‘Device images’ section automatically (this means they are already saved on your phone/tablet).

If they were captured by pressing the button on the camera manually, you’ll need to transfer them. Tap to look at the ‘Cam images’ section and see what’s in the ‘Not transferred’ tab. To transfer these files to your phone/tablet, either tap them individually or press and hold to bring up a selection menu. You will need to be connected to the camera via Wi-Fi for this to work.

Now that the files are on your phone or tablet, you can share or transfer them however you wish – you may want to plug your device in to a PC via USB to drag them across, or share them to Google Drive/Dropbox/other services directly – it’s up to you.

Uploading your photos and videos to the ClassVR Portal

Now that you have the photos and converted videos, you can simply log into the portal, navigate to either My Cloud or your organisation’s Shared Cloud, and click upload to add them to your chosen library.

Once they’ve uploaded, you’ll see a thumbnail – drag and drop this onto the Playlist pane like any other Track.

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