Ricoh has introduced a pair of underwater cameras to its WG range that feature enhanced color control for still and movie photographers. The Ricoh WG-40 and WG-40W, which are being released only in Japan at the moment, are very much like the current Ricoh WG-30 and WG-30W models, but offer a new Mermaid mode that boosts contrast and reds when used underwater. Ricoh says its R&D team studied the characteristics of images taken underwater, and produced a collection of settings to compensate for the optical losses that are typically incurred when working in sub-aqua environments.

The company also claims its digital image stabilization system has been improved, and a dual-shot flash-on/flash-off mode has been added that takes two consecutive images – one with flash and one without – after a single press of the shutter release. The WG-40W features Wi-Fi so the camera can be controlled remotely from a smartphone and so that images can be sent wirelessly from the camera to a phone or tablet.

As with the models that came before these, the cameras feature a 16MP back-lit CMOS sensor and a 28-140mm equivalent lent. Ricoh reports that the new models can be used at 14m/46ft for up to two hours – an improvement over the 12m/39ft limit of the WG-30. The cameras are drop-proof from 1.6m/5.2ft, dustproof and freezeproof to -10°C. New shooting modes include Vibrant and Reversal, which have been borrowed from Pentax’s DSLR range, and new white balance optimization in Landscape mode is said to produce brilliant greens.

The face recognition system allows you to have 32 friends that the camera can identify, and pet recognition registers the likeness of one pet – though surprisingly only cats and dogs are compatible, not fish.
The cameras will be available in four finishes; black, silver, blue and yellow.

For more information and the full specification visit the Ricoh website.