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Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS debut with premium rugged specifications

By dpreview staff on Feb 5, 2014 at 22:00 GMT
Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS product photos
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The Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS update the previously Pentax-branded rugged WG-series as step-up models featuring a 16MP BSI-CMOS sensor, 25-100mm equivalent F2-4.9 lens and sensor-shift image stabilization. The two models are identical with the exception of the WG-4 GPS' built-in location tagging capability and front-facing display.

Both cameras bear a strong family resemblance to the previous-generation Pentax WG-3/WG-3 GPS, also rated as waterproof to 14 meters/45 feet, coldproof to -10 degrees Celsius/+14 Fahrenheit and shockproof to a 2 meter/6.6 foot drop. The new models offer shutter priority mode and a 'User' mode that stores custom settings.

Available in March, the WG-4 and WG-4 GPS will sell for $329.95 and $379.95 respectively. They're introduced alongside mounting accessories including a camera holder and an adhesive mount, handle bar mount and suction cup mount. 

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Press Release:

Ricoh Imaging Extends the Adventure with Debut of WG-4 GPS & WG-4 Rugged Cameras, Complete with New Mounting System

Advanced Features, Durable Construction and Versatile Mounting System Deliver the Ideal Imaging Solution for the Ultimate Explorer

DENVER, CO, February 5, 2014 – With over 20 years of experience in pioneering the design and development of adventure-ready cameras, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Ricoh Imaging) is pleased to introduce the Ricoh WG-4 series of rugged compact cameras and new modular mounting system. Taking usability and flexibility to the next level, the Ricoh WG-4 series of cameras and its versatile mounting accessories outfit even the most extreme adventurers with an action-ready system that is primed for the most inclement weather conditions and thrilling adventures.

Building on the outstanding ergonomics and sturdy design the WG series is known for, the Ricoh WG-4 GPS and WG-4 offer consumers a form factor ideal for the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of any explorer. When combined with the new WG mounting accessories, adventures become hands-free; extending the ability to capture action from new perspectives and vantage points ensuring that the once-in-a-lifetime shot is never missed. Consisting of a camera base which uses a flexible ball and socket system, these new mounting accessories maintain compatibility with three new mounts; an adhesive camera mount, handlebar camera mount and suction cup camera mount.

"As the 17th generation in our lineup of ruggedized compact cameras, the Ricoh WG-4 GPS and WG-4 represent the culmination of years of experience in manufacturing products that can withstand the elements," said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging. "Using our expertise in the category, Ricoh Imaging has developed an adaptable mounting solution that continues to build our offering for the active photographer while delivering on consumer demand."

Inside its rugged body, the Ricoh WG-4 series houses a variety of photographic tools to bring inspired adventure to life! Advanced shooting modes like HDR mode produce beautifully accurate scenery depicted true to memory, while Slow-Motion Video captures and enhances even the quickest action with details regular video can miss. Other user-friendly features include Panoramic mode and Digital Microscope mode, which uses six LED lights to focus on subjects as close as one centimeter from the lens bringing tiny worlds to life.

Much like Ricoh Imaging’s popular line of PENTAX DSLRs, the Ricoh WG-4 series now provides enhanced flexibility and creative control with the inclusion of USER and Shutter Priority modes. The newly-incorporated USER mode enables quick recall of frequently used settings while the shutter priority mode allows the photographer to obtain the desired creative effect by setting the shutter speed and allowing the camera to adjust the aperture and ISO for the optimum exposure.

Continuing the rugged heritage of the WG series of cameras, the Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS are waterproof to 45 feet, shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet, cold proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and crushproof, withstanding up to 220 foot-pounds of force. In addition, the Ricoh WG-4 series features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a thoughtfully designed folded optical 4X zoom lens, enabling its pocketability while also ensuring its optics are not exposed dust and moisture like those of a protruding lens barrel. Finally, the adventure-prone explorer need not worry about blurry images. Thanks to the WG-4’s fast F2.0 maximum aperture and dual shake reduction system, which combines an image-sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a Digital SR mode, to guarantee clear, sharp images even in shake-prone conditions.

Pricing and Availability
Updated to match the most current color trends in the outdoor industry, the new WG-4 GPS is available in a choice of blue or black for a price of $379.95. The WG-4 is available in silver or lime yellow for a price of $329.95. Both models will be available at retailers nationwide and online in March 2014.

The WG series mounting accessories are compatible will all WG-series cameras and will be available at retailers nationwide and online in February 2014 and are priced as follows:

- Camera holder - $19.99
- Adhesive mount - $44.99
- Handle bar mount - $39.99
- Suction cup mount - $42.99

Additional information including product specifications and press images are available at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com.

Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS specifications

 Ricoh WG-4Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Price
MSRP$329.95 / £279.99$379.95 / £329.99
Body type
Body typeCompact
Body materialComposite
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 1728, 2592 x 1464, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 125-6400
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.3)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–100 mm
Optical zoom4×
Maximum apertureF2.0 - F4.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (7.2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range40 cm (15.75)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Auto Picture
  • Program
  • Shutter Priority
  • User
Scene modes
  • Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Standard, Flower, Sport, Candlelight, Blue Sky, Sunset, Text, Group Photo, Pet, Portrait x Blue Sky, Portrait x Sunset, Portrait x Backlight
Built-in flashYes
Flash range10.00 m (Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, flash off, flash on, auto + redeye, on + redeye
Drive modes
  • One-shot, self-timer, continuous, burst, remote control, auto bracketing
Continuous drive2 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 30p)
FormatH.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, internal
Storage included70MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Remote controlYes
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (waterproof to 14m, shockproof from 2m, crushproof to 220 lbf, freezeproof to -10C/+14F)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionD-LI92 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)240
Weight (inc. batteries)230 g (0.51 lb / 8.11 oz)235 g (0.52 lb / 8.29 oz)
Dimensions124 x 64 x 33 mm (4.88 x 2.52 x 1.3)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNoneBuiltIn
0
I own it
0
I want it
0
I had it
0
I own it
0
I want it
0
I had it

Comments

Total comments: 48
wolfie
By wolfie (2 months ago)

Agree with so many others - when will a decent sensor size ever make it into a rugged camera - and get rid of the resolution destroying periscope lenses! It is the 21st century now guys!

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wed7
By wed7 (2 months ago)

What a waste...

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (2 months ago)

No RAW = NOT premium

3 upvotes
Alphoid
By Alphoid (2 months ago)

The quality of photos from all rugged cameras except for the Nikon AW1 is just atrocious. If someone made a rugged camera without folded optics, I'd surly buy it. It's okay if the lens protrudes, so long as it is reasonably protected. I don't mind no zoom. All I want is good photos. I'm thinking a 1/1.7" sensor and a high quality 24mm-equivalent f/2 lens. GPS. Open wifi interface with Android+iOS apps. Waterproof to 50 feet. Drop proof to 2 meters. Freeze-proof. Dust-proof. Full manual controls (even if through menus) and low-speed RAW shooting. Great automatic modes. At least 30 second max exposure.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (2 months ago)

God forbid Android. And iOS won't happen unless Apple decides to make it's own dedicated compact. Which they won't. Besides - iOS on a camera is stupid too.

0 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

@Alphoid
Well said. I don't mind a fixed lens either if it means we get half decent pics. Why do manufacturers assume we would rather compromise on image quality than zoom?

0 upvotes
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (2 months ago)

1/2.3" sensor. Move on everyone - nothing to see here.

2 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (2 months ago)

anyone can tell me what's the difference between this and WG3? this being the only difference?
"The new models offer shutter priority mode and a 'User' mode that stores custom settings"
Thanks

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (2 months ago)

WG3 was Pentax
WG4 is Ricoh.
;)

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (2 months ago)

What does Pentax have against wifi?

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (2 months ago)

They can't make it work underwater yet.

1 upvote
Cane
By Cane (2 months ago)

They can't make it work out of water either.

2 upvotes
Andrew P Moore
By Andrew P Moore (2 months ago)

I'd hoped for Wifi to be added alongside the induction charging to save needing to open the camera, but it seems they've also removed the induction charging feature :(

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (2 months ago)

are you sure than I have to get WG3

0 upvotes
BrianK
By BrianK (2 months ago)

One of the appeals of this class of camera is the ability to shoot in crappy weather conditions, which one would think might also be associated with less than ideal lighting. Nevertheless, and as far as I know, none of these cameras offer the option to save in uncompressed RAW format which would give one the most flexibility to make corrections to color balance, etc., i.e., the kinds of corrections one might want to be able to make when shooting in less than ideal conditions.

Makes no sense to me.

I hope that when DPReview gets around to its next round-up review of this class of camera that they raise at least a bit of a stink about this omission.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
trekkeruss
By trekkeruss (2 months ago)

The manufacturers probably figure the target market doesn't even know what RAW is.

2 upvotes
BrianK
By BrianK (2 months ago)

Very well could be, but adding RAW is mostly software plus a possibly larger buffer; adding it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

peev:

"lime yellow" is one of the options above.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

I am only interested in their "GPS" model, not the crippled one.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

They're all "crippled" because they don't shoot raw.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

Terrible choices of color for a beach camera. Black will get superhot under the sun very quickly, blue can easily get lost under water. They should be bright-yellow, orange, red.

0 upvotes
GabrielZ
By GabrielZ (2 months ago)

Incorrect, water quickly absorbs red and light. When a couple of meters underwater blue stands out much more.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

peev:

"lime yellow" is one of the options above.

0 upvotes
Nudibranco
By Nudibranco (2 months ago)

Gabriel, you are right about red being absorbed but i can guarantee you that blu will not stand out as much as yellow or pink...

1 upvote
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (2 months ago)

Exactly. My Nikon 1 AW1 is white with the orange condom.

0 upvotes
love_them_all
By love_them_all (2 months ago)

I still don't get used to seeing the Ricoh name on these Pentax cameras.

2 upvotes
Anstup ID
By Anstup ID (2 months ago)

Waiting for the full frame K-1 and Pentax/Rikoh does not matter for me. Pikoh or Rentax OK for me too.

0 upvotes
Resom
By Resom (2 months ago)

Waiting for the Ricoh K-3. I know, some people saying, that only fix lens cameras getting the "Ricoh" label, but why?

I thought that all cameras getting the Pentax label.

It could also mean, that Ricoh try to separate it, to sell the "Pentax" part and having fun with compact cameras, which is still Ricohs strength.

The next news will be "Ricoh release a FF GR" and "Pentax cameras having still APS-C, because it good enough".

0 upvotes
Cideway
By Cideway (2 months ago)

Pentax has become like EOS, Alpha ect.

1 upvote
BG_CX3_DPREVIEW
By BG_CX3_DPREVIEW (2 months ago)

hope to see a review soon,

the button config seems to be Pentax and not Ricoh, i hope the UI is Ricoh , if not, stop confusing me and rebadge it back to Pentax.

0 upvotes
DanielFjall
By DanielFjall (2 months ago)

Rugged compacts looks like running shoes.

1 upvote
Babya
By Babya (2 months ago)

Would have been nice for Ricoh to include Wi-Fi features or NFC.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

Seems the same kind of non-update as Olympus TG-2 over TG-1. And it seems it is still worse than TG-1. :-(
I really need this kind of camera, but buying 20 month old TG-1 (even under a new in a new color) does not seem wise.

I wish Sony made kind of underwater RX100...

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (2 months ago)

The update being a new brandname and different colours.

0 upvotes
Kevin Purcell
By Kevin Purcell (2 months ago)

I'm still a bit suprised that there is no RAW in rugged compact cameras.

It seems the obvious "premium compact" feature to add (along with a slightly bigger 1/1.7 sensor with fewer pixels). I'm sure there are plenty of outdoor folks who PP their images.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

Extrafine JPEG already has 12 bits per pixel. There is not even that much information in these tiny pixels, its all noise after 9-10 bits really, even at base ISO.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

peevee1:

Raw is not simply about better noise reduction.

Raw makes white balance adjustment much better; that feature alone is a good reason to add raw to these small tough cameras.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

How does it make it "much better"? You can adjust colors just fine in JPEGs.
If you compared pliability of RAWs and JPEGs taken by APS-C or even 4/3 cameras, your experience simply does not apply to 16 mpix camera with 1/2.3" sensor. There is simply no useful information in those pixels beyond what JPEG can store. In fact I think even superfine JPEG is overkill, because noise visible IN JPEG even at base ISO if NR is set to minimum (if it is even possible) in such cameras.
Look:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studio-compare?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=mainmenu&utm_medium=text&ref=mainmenu#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=pentax_wg3gps&masterSample=imgp0088&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=pentax_wg3gps&slot0Sample=imgp0088&slot1Camera=canon_eos7d

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

Raw allows you to adjust exposure, white balance, NR, sharpness and more, in a non-destructive manner, i.e. without degrading image quality. You can't do that with JPEGs. With less data to begin with, it would seem like an excellent idea to be able to make such changes without having to apply lossy compression on an already compressed file.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (2 months ago)

peevee1:

Before making statements like the following again, please familiarize yourself with shooting raw instead of simply quoting specs, quoting you from above:

"How does it make it "much better"? You can adjust colors just fine in JPEGs."

It's preposterous that you'd make that comment and not know the answer to that question.

You are simply wrong about the usefulness of raw, and indeed there are even noise artifact advantages to raw with small sensors.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (2 months ago)

peevee1 - JPGs always have 8 bits per pixel. 12 bit option isn't a part of JPG specification.

0 upvotes
rdub
By rdub (2 months ago)

I would like to see another DP Review showdown on these newer "waterproof" cameras.
I really enjoy my Panasonic TS5, a great little camera but always like seeing comparisons. Personally, I'd like to see these cameras in the 12mp area and less noise at higher ISO's....big advantage under water.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (2 months ago)

I hope TG-3 is not going to be "upgraded" by just using 16 mpix sensor of the same size.

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (2 months ago)

I don't know if dropping Pentax name is such a good idea for them, but I am sure they have done their market research...

1 upvote
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (2 months ago)

They did state back in 2012, that the Ricoh name will be for Fixed lens cameras, and interchangable lens cameras will be Pentax. These are just the first examples of this decision.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (2 months ago)

Fair enough. So far they have been good job developing those cameras and they are supposed to have an actual profit this year. So I am sure they know what they are doing.

1 upvote
rtogog
By rtogog (2 months ago)

Ricoh decided to drop their compact camera under Pentax name. By logic, they should move their Ricoh GXR camera series to hold Pentax name on it.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

Unless they see the GXR as a modular compact camera, rather than an interchangeable lens camera.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 48