Ricoh is better known for its range of street photography focused GR cameras, along with the DSLRs from Ricoh’s Pentax sub-brand, but now they are serving up something a little different in the shape of the WG-80, a super-tough compact that’s idea for taking along on vacations.
Make no mistake, the beach is this camera’s natural habitat and boasts some pretty impressive resistance stats. In the WG-80 isis not only waterproof down to a depth of 14 metres for up to two hours of continuous operation (equivalent to IPX 8 or JIS Class 8), but is also shockproof against falls from a height of 1.6 metres. Ricoh also says the WG-80 is dustproof (equivalent to IPX 6 or JIS Class 6), freeze-proof to temperatures as low as -10°C, and crushproof against weights up to 100kgf (kilogram force). Basically, you’d have to try very hard to damage this camera.
But there’s more to the WG-80 than just its superior toughness, because the camera boasts a 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS image sensor that delivers 16-megapixels of resolution. The camera also offers a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and innovative features as Handheld Night Snap mode, which automatically captures several images of the same nighttime scene and produces a single, blur-free composite image from them.
Having the ability to dive underwater and capture photos in the ocean without the need for an additional housing will be of great interest to travel photographers and Ricoh says the WG-8- offers Underwater and Underwater Movie shooting modes are programmed to optimise colour and contrast, based on the data of images actually captured under the water. These modes deliver sharp, true-to-life images by enhancing shades of red which are lost in underwater photography, while effectively compensating for the loss of contrast caused by the diffusion of light in water. In the Underwater mode, the Flash Off + Flash On option allows the user to consecutively capture two images with a single shutter release — one without flash and another with flash.
If you need to get closer to the action, the WG-80 (which tips the scales at just 194g) features a five-times optical zoom lens with a focal-length coverage from 5mm to 25mm (equivalent to approx. 28mm to 140mm in the 35mm format). What’s more, there’s also an Intelligent Zoom function to extend the zoom range to approximately 36 times (equivalent to 1008mm in the 35mm format).
However, one of the most impressive features on the WG-80 is its macro credentials – along with being able to focus just one centimetre away from a subject, the camera has building LED lights which aim to banish shadows ( a common pitfall when capturing close-up imagery). Images can be composed and reviewed using the 2.7-inch LCD, which offers both 2300k dot resolution and a AR (Anti-Reflection) coating – in fact the LCD includes a Outdoor View Setting mode, which sets the optimum monitor brightness level for a given lighting condition.
Other features include Face Detection autofocus, remote control receptors, a Pixel Track SR anti-shake mechanism and the ability to shoot Full HD video footage.