Camera 'Drift' when converting older Theta S videos in the Theta desktop app

Hi all!

I’ve discovered an interesting problem this week when working with some older videos that I haven’t seen written about elsewhere online. I’ve reached out to Ricoh about it but haven’t heard back yet, hoping someone here has had a similar experience and maybe has a solution.

So for context first, I have two Theta cameras, a Theta S I purchased in 2016 and a 4K Theta V I purchased in 2018. Using the Theta S I shot, converted, edited, and uploaded 360 videos with no problems for years. Recently however I’ve been returning to some of those older Theta S videos and when I run them through the Ricoh Theta desktop app they come out with a strange issue that never happened before.
I’ll put the Theta S raw video into the program, select top-bottom correction, and the resulting video will have a kind of ‘drift’ to it. Basically its as if the video is adjusting to whats on happening on screen, in a 360 video viewer this will look like the camera is moving without user input to follow things like cars and people as they walk by. Note that this doesn’t occur when I don’t select top-bottom correction, but due to my camera positioning I really need to use that feature. This also doesn’t occur with any video shot on the newer 4K Theta V.
As an experiment I reconverted a video I had finished in 2016 and while the new video had this shake, the original video did not despite both being converted in the Theta app using top-bottom correction.

So I’m wondering:

  1. has anyone else experienced this problem and have a potential solution?
  2. Any ideas what may be causing it to happen in the first place? My guess is because of an update to the desktop app its now treating those Theta S videos differently than before, maybe converting them as if they were shot on the Theta V? Or maybe there’s a different app I should be using for the Theta S?
  3. If I can’t find a solution, any suggestions for other stitching apps I could use to finish up these older videos?

Thanks all!

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Are the videos shot from a fixed position?

If so, I would just export/stitch the video without the top/bottom correction in the Theta desktop app and then adjust the **tilt, pan and roll " of the footage in your NLE editing program. I use the reorient controls in Final Cut Pro X.

I’ve been experimenting with filming from a vehicle — with my Theta V mounted on the window in a fixed position. If I choose to export the videos with Top and Bottom Correction-- the inertia of the vehicle accelerating and decelerating affects the gyroscope information which makes the footage feel like I’m on a boat.
Without the top and bottom correction, I can then fix the “horizon” of the footage and I no longer have the seasick issue.

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Here is an example of how the “re-orient” controls look like for 360 footage in Final Cut Pro. Although I’m sure Adobe Premiere has the same type of tools.

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This is a great suggestion, thank you! My videos are a combo of stationary monopole stuff and stuff shot in cars like yours but for whatever reason I’ve been getting that same inertia you mentioned in all of them. I edit with Final Cut as well so I’ll definitely give this a go today.

Would still be really interested to hear if anyone else has had this issue recently since it seems to be new to the desktop app.

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Last May (2019) I recorded some clips with just released (at the time) firmware for the V and the footage had a gradual slow tilt into the horizon when stitched with the desktop app. (They had just introduced improved stabilization for the camera). It was a bug with the firmware which Ricoh fixed later.

Unfortunately, the footage was “unsalvageable” for me, unless I was a key framing fool in editing.

Ricoh doesn’t make older versions of desktop apps available(?) Perhaps restitching with an older version of the desktop app could address and confirm that issue with the older footage?