October 26, 2021 THETA Plug-in plug-ins Camera burst

New RICOH THETA Functionality - Burst Shooting Mode

Original file can be found here in Japanese


Hello! This is @mShiiina. In this article, I am going to explain a new RICOH THETA function, burst shooting, which has become available with the RICOH THETA Z1 Firmware V2.00.1.

What is burst shooting?

First, let’s talk about burst shooting. THETA has a function called interval shooting, which allows you to take continuous pictures. Interval shooting shoots pictures at regular intervals (2 seconds or more), and allows you to shoot time-lapse movies.

Burst shooting is the same as interval shooting in that it takes pictures continuously, but it is possible to shoot with a minimum shooting interval of several tens of milliseconds. When is this useful? It is often used to take a lot of pictures all at once of subjects that move around freely, such as small children and animals. By shooting a lot of pictures over a short interval, one of them likely should be a good photo! I’ll try it out with this in mind.

Overview of Burst Shooting

Documation has been added to api.ricoh covering burst shooting. Please follow this link for details: https://api.ricoh/docs/theta-plugin-reference/camera-api/#burst-capture-mode Please note, the link has an in-page anchor jumping you to the correct section in the page.

The following is a brief description of the features of this API.

  • You can specify an odd number from 1 to 9.
  • If the shutter speed is less than 1/30, the shooting interval can be as short as 30 milliseconds.
  • The reason why there is an upper limit of 9 shots is that the images are stored in RAM in order to achieve high-speed shooting, but RAM capacity is limited.
  • An odd number is required because this API was created with a focus on high-speed bracket shooting. Useful for shooting original HDRI data.
  • The data format can be saved not only in JPEG but also in DNG. (However, it is stored in RAM.)

How to Implement with THETA

Since the burst shooting API does not provide a WebAPI, it cannot be called and used from a smartphone application. It uses the Camera API (see this article), so it must be implemented as a THETA plug-in.

There is an example plug-in, where the burst shooting has been implemented, called the Continuous Shooting Plug-in.

Parameter Settings

First, specify burst shooting using the Camera API.

mParameters.set("RIC_SHOOTING_MODE", "RicStillCaptureStdBurst");

Tells shooting mode that it is set to burst shooting. Set various other parameters. (Click here for source.)

The shooting parameters that can be specified for burst shooting are as follows:

Parameters Meaning
RIC_AEC_BURST_CAPTURE_NUM How many pictures taken
RIC_AEC_BURST_BRACKET_STEP Specifying the EV interval when shooting brackets
RIC_AEC_BURST_COMPENSATION Exposure compensation value
RIC_AEC_BURST_MAX_EXPOSURE_TIME Upper limit of exposure time
RIC_AEC_BURST_ENABLE_ISO_CONTROL Whether to enable ISO sensitivity control

Each value has a default value, so you can shoot without explicitly setting the value.

Taking Pictures

Just hit this to shoot.

mCamera.takePicture(onShutterCallback, null, onJpegPictureCallback);

Up to this point, it’s the same as using the Camera API.

Saving Files

When shooting using the Camera API, the shooting result is received by Callback, and you need to implement the file saving process yourself. Callback will be made to the onJpegPictureCallback instance specified at the time of shooting. (Source is here)

Saving a file is the same as before. What changes this time is that the number of shots is received by Callback. The Continuous Shooting plug-in confirms that Callback is called for the specified number of shots when Callback is received.

If you need to manage the completion of shooting, make sure that Callback is received correctly for the number of shootings.

Conclusion

We hope that you can use this article as a reference to develop plug-ins that use the burst function.Not only simple continuous shooting but also high-speed bracket shooting is possible, which is useful for creating your own HDRI plug-in. Please try it!

About the RICOH THETA Plug-in Partner Program

If you are interested in THETA plug-in development, please register for the partner program!

Please be aware that the THETA with its serial number registered with the program will no longer be eligible for standard end-user support.

For detailed information regarding the partner program please see here.

The registration form is here.