RICOH THETA Z1 - Calibrate Your Compass


If you see a little symbol in your THETA Z1 OLED screen that looks like this:


Hold the Z1 in front of you and move your Z1 through a large sweeping “Figure 8” motion. For me, I started with small figure 8s, but eventually had to make rather large movements with my whole arm.

Your compass will be calibrated and the small warning symbol in the OLED display will go away:



It worked for me. I think the V needs to be calibrated sometimes as well.

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Great Tip!

is there an option in the Ricoh SDK so this information could be pushed on the mobile app screen?

this would be very useful because non pro or “non paying attention” users will never notice this!


RICOH can push notifications to the mobile app. However, I don’t think this is going to justify a broadcast out to all users in-app. Maybe we can push this to social media more widely. I’ll put it out on Twitter and Facebook now.

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Hi, guys.
Sometimes it doesn’t work well. then, try to reboot Z1. The compass びっくり notification will be gone.

Good luck!


@Juantonto OK, thanks for posting this. I believe I have seen this behavior, too.


I noticed that event if this icon doesn’t show up, the compass can be very wrong.

I try to do the calibration process before each shot : north positions are really average, even very wrong…

i think the compass isn’t reliable at all

anyone has good values on a set of several pictures shot during one session?

best regards


I’m a drone pilot. Drones heavily rely on a number of different sensors, one of them being a compass.

The compass device built into the THETA is probably of a very similar type. Just to give an idea of these, have a look here:

When using a drone, calibrating the compass correctly is critical to flight control. A common mistake is to do the calibration in an environment with ferromagnetic metals, for example on a bridge, near a car or in a building. Even outside on a meadow, there may be stuff in the ground that affects the compass during calibration. In the best case, you get an error during calibration, in the worst case the calibration is done with incorrect data and the drone performs a fly-away afterwards …

And even if the calibration is correct, you won’t get correct data from the compass if used in an environment with ferromagnetic metals. For a drone, this is usually only relevant during start (e.g. from the roof of a car) because in the air the drone is typically away from steel constructions, power lines, etc. But a camera will usually be very near to lots of stuff that may affect the compass, especially when used indoors.

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