The latest two outdoor cameras from Ricoh-Pentax, the WG-4 and WG-20, will be released under the Ricoh brand and be accompanied by a range of mounts enabling them to be used as go-anywhere action cams.
The high-end Ricoh WG-4 (pictured right) is capable of withstanding depths of up to 14 metres for up to two hours, and withstand being dropped two metres. Along with the WG-20 it operates at temperatures down to -10°C and is crushproof against weights up to 100 kgf (kilogram force). It will be released in a GPS and non-GPS version.
Both models are equipped with a new back-illuminated 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor with a top sensitivity of ISO 6400. The 4x optical zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of f2.0-f4.9 and can focus to 1cm in macro mode. Six LED Macro Lights encircle the lens barrel to provide brighter, more uniform illumination when the Digital Microscope mode is selected. They can also be used in the Self-portrait Assist mode to check whether the subject’s face is in the picture frame.
In the Underwater and Underwater Movie modes, colour rendition and contrast are automatically optimised to provide true-to-life colour rendition and compensate for the loss of contrast caused by the diffusion of light in the water. Camera settings include Shutter Priority and User modes, the latter with 16 different scene pre-sets. Dual anti-shake reduction combines an sensor-shift SR (Shake Reduction) with a Digital SR mode for blur-free images. Both models support Full HD movie recording using the H.264 recording format and include a high-speed camera function for slow-motion playback of captured movie clips recorded with HD resolution and a fast-forward movie function for VGA movies.
Both cameras have 3-inch, 16:9 LCD monitors with approximately 460,000 dots and anti-reflection coatings. The built-in GPS module in the WG-4 GPS automatically records position and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time. Its pressure sensor and digital compass also allow the user to check the pressure, altitude/underwater depth and direction of a shooting location on the camera’s LCD monitor.
The Ricoh WG-20 has a compact, lightweight body that is waterproof to 10 metres and shock resistant to 1.5 metres. It’s equipped with a 5x optical zoom lens and 14-megapixel sensor. It can record HD movies at 1280 x 720 pixels, 16:9 proportions, 30 frames per second and also features the Digital Microscope mode.
The 2.7-inch colour LCD monitor has a 16:9 aspect ratio and approximately 230,000 dots plus anti-reflection coating. Triple anti-shake compensation includes a Pixel Track SR mechanism as well as separate Digital SR modes for stills and movies. Other features include High-speed Face Detection function, with Self-Portrait Assist mode, 12 digital filters and a Digital Wide mode which combines two images to produce an extra-wide-angle picture.
Pentax-Ricoh has also announced a range of optional accessories for mounting these cameras in different ways to allow them to be used as action cameras. The mounting options include suction, handle bar, and adhesive. Overseas distributors show these products as being due for release in late March/early April. No pricing available at this time.
– With assistance, Photo Review