Z1 Firmware update 2.10.3 - Heating issues


As some of you know I’m developer, working for 2 years now on a high quality wireless live streaming plugin, similar to Ricoh’s plugin, but with better image quality, longer operation time and with much more options.

Until June this year, my plugin was running fine on firmware 2.00.1, which means I was able to live stream for hours in 24 FPS with my plugin in 4k resolution.

Now after this summer I updated the firmware to 2.10.3 the performance degraded, heating became again an issue like it was at earlier firmwares. :frowning:

I also tested original, Ricoh’s Wireless Live Streaming plugin:

  1. I can confirm that there is also an issue, in 4k resolution I was able to run it for 25 minutes only and it shut down because of heat. With earlier firmware I did some tests and it was running for about an hour in same conditions (25°C)

  2. Another issue is that I can barely call it a video as it’s only rendering in 11-12FPS as you can see:

@craig , @jcasman ,
this topic is really important as earlier Ricoh did a significant improvement regarding heat issue, I understand that new features were added with this latest firmware, but it should be configurable, and rest of plugins should work without significant degradation in operation.

Regarding presets, any shooting mode with a camera preview is causing heating issues like earlier…

In firmware 2.00.1 and 1.80.1 this heating issue was fine for both Ricohs and my own plugin. The difference is significant.

As is I wasted months of efforts, I put lot of efforts to get more efficient encoding, integrate libraries, etc. and this firmware update ruined majority of my effort. I was able to make my plugin work in 4k , 24FPS even in HDR mode vs. original Wireless Live streaming plugin that can stream only in 11-12 FPS for the same time in same environment(25°C) for 20-25 minutes.


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Thanks for compiling this report. I’m including it in an agenda we have with RICOH.

I have two Z1s available for testing, one with firmware 2.00.1 and one with firmware 2.10.3.

I am first testing firmware 2.00.1 with the RICOH Wireless Live streaming plug-in from the store.


version 1.2.1

With firmware 2.00.1, the Z1 is overheating at 13 minutes, but is continuing to function.

I am strreaming at 4K 30fps.

At 16 minutes, continues to stream, camera shows thermometer.

There’s now a black stitch line on my live stream.

at 19 minutes, line has now vanished. camera continues to show thermometer.


At 24 minutes, camera feels hot. But, it is still streaming.

Thermal shutdown at 24 minutes 35 seconds using firmware 2.001.

I will test FW 2.10.3 for comparison


Craig, thanks for the test, did you use 5ghz wifi mode or 2.4?

Logging and debugging was turned off on z1?

That black line is only visible when you view it in low resokution…

Could you please also test with my plugin in 24fps mode?

I just remembered that this is now the udated Ricohs plugin and not the same version as before. I will try to test with the earlier version too.


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I may be wrong with 2.00.1, I’m searching now for someone with version 1.80.1. I know that I didn’t upgrade my cams for long time, until about end of last year, beginning of this year. I did my initial tests around Christmas last year with my updated plugin. Any chance that you know someone with 1.80.3 firmware? :frowning:
I’m just sure that one of these firmware made a significant difference, but now I get same results as earlier last year. :frowning:

What do you think, if I buy another cam, what will be it’s firmware version?


I believe I used 2.4GHz.

The plug-in was downloaded from the store. Thus, I believe that logging and debugging were disabled prior to publishing. I did not compile from source.

I do not think you should buy another Z1 to test older firmware. There is no way to downgrade the firmware, so it would not be possible for your customers to revert to 1.80.1.

I do not have access to a RICOH THETA Z1 camera with firmware 1.80.1.

I can try and get more information about the changes between 1.80.1 and 2.00.1

Do you now believe that firmware 2.00.1 and firmware 2.10.3 have similar heat characteristics?

Yes, Craig, that could be the only reason. Please try to ask them about 1.80.1 vs 2.00 1. Thanks!

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There were a large number of changes from 1.80.1 to 2.00.1 as it was a major version upgrade.

Using firmware 2.10.3, does the Z1 still overheat at 25 minutes if you test the streaming of your HDR Wireless Live Streaming plugin when streaming in dual-fisheye, without the internal stitching of the camera.

There were changes in firmware 1.60.1 to improve wired streaming continuous operation length.

We can speculate on what those changes could have been. Some of those changes could have also improved the continuous operating time for wireless live streaming as well.

YES! You are right, that was the version that helped a lot. Please help me to get some details and if potentially they removed or changes same settings in firmware 2.00.1…?

What do you think when will we get some details? :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for your support on this!

I can commit to asking the questions about the firmware changes, which the relevant people will most likely not see until next week due to timezone differences. It is currently Saturday in Japan.

In the meantime, we should try to narrow down the problem by posting our own tests in this forum topic.

Z1 Firmware 2.10.3

This is a comparison to the RICOH THETA Wireless Live Streaming reference plug-in running RICOH THETA Z1 2.00.1 (previous test) and Z1 firmware 2.10.3 (test below)

For comparison, the previous firmware 2.00.1 lasted 25 minutes before thermal shutdown.

I am doing the test in an air conditioned office

5 minutes into stream at 4K 30fps, 20Mbps bitrate.

camera looks fine.

At 15 minutes, no problem.


19 minute heat warning


still running at 25 minutes

30 min


45 Minutes

No problems with firmware 2.10.3. Decided to stop tests.



@craig, thanks for testing!

Environment temperature has an effect on operating time, especially if there is an air conditioner in place because there is some airflow/wind usually.

According to my earlier test around end of last year, beginning of this year, my plugin was able to work for hours on firmware 1.80.1, while on later firmware 2.00.1 and 2.10.3 it stops much earlier, because of heat shutdown in a 25-26°C (~78°F) room without air conditioning.

Craig, did you share my thoughts with Ricoh about some potential changes in firmware and power management? Clearly, battery consumption could be important for some plugins while not for others. Also for live streaming it may be enough to have a stitching texture composition with less vertexes when dualfisheye → equirectangulat transformation is done, which could also help a bit to lower CPU/GPU overhead during live stream. What I miss to to be able as a developer to change a bit or limit GPU/CPU usage. Clearly with root access, directly Ricoh is doing this as well as power optimization settings. With just exposind 2 or 3 different custom “profiles”, developers could pick when building their plugin and when a plugin is started by a user, that cpu/gpu profile would be applied.

Let me also know what is your opinion please?

Thanks in advance!

Hi @biviel @craig
I m facing the exact same trouble except I m using Theta X. We re new to Ricoh world, we wanted to develop something around live 360 stream but this 25m limit is too restrictive.
In Theta X firmware’s updates there s nothing about any hot device fixes.

We shared the question. To try and collect information faster, @jcasman is going to send the question out to a larger group of people.

hi, @hAppywAy ,
what kind of 25 limit are you referring to? You built a plugin to live stream, or when streaming via usb cable it Theta X also overheats?

Just to avoid confusion: with my plugin, if set to 20FPS, I can live stream wirelessly for 7-8 hours in a 24-25°C room or even longer. Mainly what I tried to higlhight that I noticed an important degradation after a firmware upgrade at Z1.

By saying you are facing the exact same problem, please share some details, which plugin are you using, some core settings, like FPS, bitrate envirnoment temperature where you are facing shutdown?


I’m streaming through usb cable. I dont have any info for moment I received the device 2 days ago.
When I say I’m facing the same trouble :

  • 1st try was with firmware 1.00 I couldnt stream more than 23 minutes
  • 2d try I updated firmware to 1.20 then I had overheat after 25 minutes of streaming

I’m using GStreamer on Linux. Come back to you when I would have set different setting.

Do you have the WiFi and Bluetooth turned off in addition to the screen?

some USB ports will supply enough power so that you can take the battery out of the camera. If the battery is not being charged, there may be less heat.

Hi, @craig ,
I’ve some updates…

  1. I’m able to achieve hours of streaming time in a warm room again. :slight_smile:
  2. I spent ~2 weeks of effort to debug, profile, measure heat, usage, etc. during live streaming.

I’m happy, but also a bit concerned about next firmware update… Or we need just to accept how this is and learn from it. Next it will take probably only a few hours to change my plugin. Any way it would be good to get some more details from Ricoh next time if there a change. Especially if it has effect on stitching, thread handling, priority changes on system level, etc.

I’m also doing this because it’s important for me to have the best quality, smallest camera that can stream from a warm room for hours, without air conditioning, or cooler/fan. OF course in highest quality, in HDR and high FPS, it will still overheat, but I’ve that camera again: Theta Z1. Now I’m wondering what could I do with Theta X, I dont know if Ricoh underclocked it via firmware or overclocked? :slight_smile: How will power consumption, thread prioritization change on system level next 1 year…?

@craig , @jcasman , thanks for your support on this any way!

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Laszlo, great news about your plug-in. Are you going to update it on the public store?

Yes, after I cleanup my changes I did last 2 weeks… I added 5 lines of new code in 2 weeks for this operation time increase, doubled operation time decreased heating up speed by 30%. Some frame drops may occur but barely noticeable if noticeable at all in an hour of streaming time.

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That’s fantastic. Are you able to get increased streaming time beyond the limits of the Wireless Live Streaming plug-in from RICOH?

yes, definitely, but even more, because Ricohs Wireless Live Streaming plugin can only provide in Z1 in average 12FPS, I measured it, also anyone can try and see when streaming to Facebook, even if it’s set in plugin to 4k & 30FPS, it will be able only to provide around 12FPS. In FB during stream, it’s visisble at dashboard. I noticed there is an update made so that 15FPS is also selectable, but I’m referring to earlier version. The operation time was about the same earlier vs my plugin in the same environment, but hard to fairly compare as I could get less FPS only, movements were not smooth at all via Ricohs plugin vs in my plugin I was really able to stream around 24FPS for same time/operation length in average ~25-30 minutes, like others measured too in a warm room ~25°C without air conditioning.

Now with recent changes I did in my plugin, in same room ~25°C I think I can stream forever in normal video mode quality (same video quality as with Ricohs plugin quality).

Now I will try to go a bit further and adjust thread handling more, I think I can lower heat a bit more. What I really like here is that now I can live stream even in HDR video mode for more than an hour in 24FPS with my plugin. This was my goal when I was able to start streaming in HDR mode, sharpness, colors were looking soo much better… but oepration time was limited. Now with this solution I found I was able to go back to operation times I had with 1.80.1 firmware. Any way this is still a concern: effect of firmware update on my plugin. So kind of pretest, “beta” test by developers could help, before releasing an upgrade.