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4.0 out of 5 stars16
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Colour Name: Blue|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I reviewed a similar model last year, and this most recent version is basically a slight change of looks, but in all other regards, it is pretty similar to the Pentax WG-3.
In my review for that camera, I said that this is definitely the camera for you if you are into outdoor adventures and that is still the case for this new one. It's built with a rugged robustness which suggests that it will cope well with the great outdoors, come rain (because it's waterproof) or shine. The 4x optical zoom doesn't protrude beyond the camera, but is all sealed in, and the charging port is behind a waterproof seal too, although you can buy an additional accessory to charge wirelessly. More accessories are now available for this new model including three different types of mount, including a suction cup mount, although these need to be purchased separately as they are not included in the box. As with the previous model, photo quality is pretty good, sharp well exposed images and a responsive zoom. The optical zoom is on 4x but I guess this is the price you pay for it all to be sealed inside the waterproof and rugged casing. The camera is quick to respond to pressing the shutter button.(this is important. Shutter lag drives me crazy!) The HD video looks pretty good too. The menus look a bit dated to me although there quite a few options both when shooting and viewing images, most of which I probably won't use. This updated version of the WG-3 now has shutter priority mode which you might find useful.
All in all then, a pretty solid camera which should suit the most intrepid explorer although you might want to ask yourself how much you really need underwater shooting, or a GPS on your camera and the other bells and whistles this camera has in order to decide whether it's worth the price tag to you. If you don't need shutter priority mode, or the option of more mounts for your camera, then you might instead seek out the WG-3 from Pentax which is effectively the same camera but at a lower price because it is last year's model.
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I know [from using my first digital camera] that bulky camera designs make for shaky hands, which in turn means blurry pictures. Add a protruding lens and multiple button pressing to the bulk, and taking simple snaps can be bloody hard - especially in tourist hotspots whilst on holiday or in a club etc, where crowds are jostling you, so I feel more confident using something which doesn't use a extending lens, and is labelled as shockproof AND crushproof. Plus the shape and texture of the outer casing is easy to get a good grip on - even under water!

Fortunately the Pentax WG-4 is very easy to use: Slide in the lithium ion battery in the base opening, charge the camera [it takes about fifty minutes to charge], insert a SD memory card [it slides in the base opening, alongside the battery] and then enter the date and time [It asks as soon as you turn it on]. That's it, you are ready to go in under an hour - straight out of the box.

I've used different levels of zoom, with flash, without flash and the results have been fantastic every-time; the colours have all been true to life - direct sunlight nor strong lighting have bleached the resulting photos in any way. I'm not sure would someone more experienced would think of the image quality, but I honestly can't fault it. I'd thought my old 12 million pixel camera was great, but now I can compare photos side by side I can instantly see the improvement made by those extra 4 million pixels. One thing; I've found that using the 2 second timer really helpful, to make sure my hands are steady, before the picture is taken.

I use auto mode for regular photos most of the time myself and have only played about with all of the other various setting options and in all honesty, I think that most people will be fine on auto, as it works in every situation for me. The other shooting modes [including the underwater mode] are easy to select - I'm no David Bailey, but I've not encountered any problems navigating the settings and shooting with the WG-4. It look and sounds complicate to use, but it really a souped up point-and-shoot camera.

I've taken a few short videos too and have been quite impressed. The image is slightly fuzzy and distorts when I used the zoom, but the audio is largely clear. I view the video camera as an extra, so will rarely [if I again witness someone something funny, embarrassing] use it, so the less then perfect playback isn't a issue for me.
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
RICOH WG 4 GPS and waterproof camera
Sadly (most) cameras/electronics and water ( particularly sea) do not mix ( except for specially designed / very expensive equipment) although in recent years more technology has become available allowing underwater pictures and video or at least pictures to be taken in wet and or cold conditions with wrecking the camera or requiring cumbersome protective housings
My particular interest with this camera is in snorkelling and taking pictures and video underwater so how does this Ricoh camera stack up?
Out of the box –
This was a free VINE sample for review ,and the user manual was absent. The Quick start guide was present but was not clear in this as to how the battery should be charged (in camera , via the AV socket in the sealable battery/SD card compartment ).
NOTE all manuals are available for free download from www.ricoh-imaging.eu .
The main manual is 253 pages! Suggest you download this even to evaluate what the camera can do and certainly after buying.
The unit comes with aD-Li92 battery , a carabiner strap ( be warned the camera sinks in water and this is NOT a wrist strap) , USB cable with Power adaptor , a software CD ROM ( NO MANUAL ON IT!) a macrostand ( a ring used when using the camera as a microscope using LED lights built into the lens mount)
There is a mini HDMI output point under the battery/SD card compartment seal.
This really is a neat little unit with extensive features and modes.( Normally I use just automatic ( when I do not want to miss a picture) or a semi manual mode on a DSLR like Aperture priority).There are some 28+ different modes including extreme close up ( with LED illumination) ,night modes , HDR mode ( for extreme tonal ranges) , interval still , interval movie , slow play back , fast playback and a plethora of U/W modes for still and movie. Whilst there is a speed priority mode ( Tv) there is no apparent Aperture priority mode for controlling depth of field although there appears to be a fully manual mode .. The F2 lens appears to work well and gives good general sharpness on the computer screen – even at extreme macro. Will report further when I have made some A4 prints and compared with other cameras
There is a software CD ( no camera manual) for downloading / editing and there are also some 24 playback /editing modes in the playback mode on the camera. Personally I rely on Photoshop elements (9) for both data acquisition to the computer and editing. Downloading of pictures and video to a computer can be via the provided USB lead put in the AV socket ( this lead / socket doubles in charging the battery) OR ( my preference) an SDHC card reader – note SD readers on old computers may not work. There is a mini HDMI socket ( lead NOT provided ) for viewing on TV
Initial test results - General photographs and video
a) Automatic mode – No problems in normal daylight BUT at night the system sometimes resorted to flash ( OK – very powerful) OR tried to take in night mode with the ISO jacked up and all at F2 - losing depth of field / sharpness. . It also tended to give an unwanted flash through a window in daylight. I need to evaluate more and check for any camera software upgrades! To be fair I have seen this occasional schizophrenic behaviour on cameras like a Nikon D3100 and Panasonic TZ20
b) Individual modes – these worked as expected for a normal digital compact and are a good way to avoid the odd glitches found with full auto – you can easily set the flash modes ( including “off”).
c) U/W photographs and video – many cameras are limited to 3m depth ( or less) , this one is rated to 14m –I am unlikely to test this to this depth but will go to 1.5 – 3m snorkelling ( NOTE at 3m there is only blue light filtering down from the sun so how well will this camera cope? There are special U/W still and video modes claimed to colour correct for the light absorption) Will report on tests later after visiting the Red Sea. There is a double lock system on the battery/SD card compartment so ( in theory) there should be no risk of it coming open under water, Apart from a leak test in a 200L water barrel ( no leaks),full underwater testing ( still and video) awaits our holiday next week.
Unique positives –heavy duty body , extreme macro , ring lighting , GPS, compass, pressure / height / depth gauge and many many modes
(GPS is an interesting feature IF you must embed the exact location of the photograph in the electronic image. The usual downside is that GPS is a battery bandit , constantly searching for satellite signals – carry (charged) spares!)
Other product options ( see Amazon pages) – Ricoh ( different models) Pentax , Nikon Coolpix – all at different price breaks even on Amazon. NOTE Ricoh and Pentax were the same company!
After 3 days ( very short) period of evaluation ( Amazon requires review within 30 days and I am at Sea next week for a month) ,I reasonably impressed by the offering and rate it provisionally 4 stars - given a few oddities in found in automode where the flash sometimes operates when not required ( eg through glass) and at night where flash might be expected automatically.
Quality –I checked against my DSLR’s and bridge cameras – seemed very impressive - await my long term results - . There are two stabilisation modes which work extremely well if slow shutter speeds are required although use of a tripod is recommend for night shots
So who is the camera for?
Beach and sea lovers , rain forest explorers , extreme sports enthusiasts ( white water) , the whole family ( will it really stand abuse by the kids?).
Other recommended accessories (IMHO)
ESSENTIAL ( as not supplied) - A good , fast SD card - preferably a reliable Class 10 such as Sandisk ( 16Gb ca £10) – this will be essential for HD movies and will give ca 2-3000 pictures at 12MP resolution or 2h video ( the camera will take up to 25 minutes continuous video in any one shot).Have not yet tested how well the battery lasts on continuous video
. (You can get up to 16MP resolution on this camera) but remember that A4 prints only require 2-3MP for excellent pictures. Running at Hi-res does allow for cropping)
A neoprene carrying pouch to protect the Plastic LCD screen cover – ca £4-5
I do suggest you invest in a wrist strap for use in the sea snorkelling – cameras are easy to drop (and this one will sink) if you ever have a snorkel problem and need 2 hands free. ( is this only me?) .
You cannot have enough spare battery power – in this case ( compatible or original) D-LI92 batteries – I purchased 2 D-LI92 compatibles at ca £6 each from ExpressPro via Amazon with 2 yr warranties .. NOTE – batteries have to be charged in camera and Ricoh do not recommend leaving them fully charged for months on end. So do cycle the batteries ( use them!)
Price – there are cheaper versions of this camera ( possibly with less functions) both with Ricoh and Pentax (via Amazon) if you do not want the GPS or compass functions
Overall a good effort - ENJOY!
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on 13 July 2015
Takes great photos and is packed with user friendly features but sadly - like numerous other reviews - after just 4 days use in shallow, calm waters - water was making its way inside the case and it was game over. Pretty expensive for a limited life camera. Despite the double lock seal over the battery and card compartment I was amazed just how much water got in.
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on 1 April 2015
Does what it says on the box and I agree with the majority of reviewers so far. I have yet to try out the underwater side of it but the ordinary photos have been good even in low light. It's been bought for a specific reason will if necessary I will update after that
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on 17 September 2014
worked as expected, got some pictures when i went snorkeling which i was quite pleased with even though i couldn't stay upright so ended up with quite a few pictures of seal body parts!
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on 5 April 2016
Hand and fun camera, but after 2 weeks of use it leaked water and had to be returned. i was in the early stages of a an 8 week island hopping trip and this left me camera-less. Ricoh did replace the camera for me when i returned to Europe, but i had already bought a go pro as a replacement for it and in preference I now use my go pro for all underwater photography. Sadly now i just don't trust the camera not to leak and be destroyed.
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on 7 May 2015
I've had several of the Pentax waterproof cameras in this range as well as the WG-1 that was the the first in this line. Pentax have been taken over by Ricoh and so the cameras have been rebranded, but they remain the same product line. I've found them to be excellent cameras over a period of 6+ years and have taken more than 10,000 photos, some of which have been published in magazines and elsewhere. I've always especially liked the 'macro ring' that allowed the use of filters and all the creative flexibility that brought. However, with this new model I've reached the end of the line and instead have purchased Olympus TG-4 and TG-860 cameras. They've simply been left behind by the competition. Firstly they have become steadily bigger and heavier over the years; which undermines the main reason I use them - compactness. At this size I might as well, and do, use an SLR. Also the TG-4 offers RAW facility as well as a better range of upgrades and accessories; including waterproof housing allowing use at greater depths and an excellent fish eye lens and a ring light. It also has a WiFi function that this camera lacks, which allows operation remotely via a smartphone. It also shoots faster - the slow 'boot up' always being one of this ranges achilles heals. The TG-860, meanwhile, has an excellent flip up screen that is a real boon. It's a shame as it's been great range of cameras that has served me well.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 April 2014
Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Warning: video contains macro political statement.

It was not until I transferred its pictures to computer that I realised this camera's best quality. Colour. My two Canon cameras each profit from Auto Color Correction in Elements. When I click on this with Ricoh pictures nothing happens. They are already vivid, glossy colour. I am sure the electrickery involved in making the photographs is also part of making movies. I do not know of movie software that can tweak colour. And remember this Ricoh is built for underwater.

Strength is this camera's specialty. Freezing cold: no problem to -10ºC. Drop it about 2 metres from the ground: no problem. Crush it up to 100kgf: no sweat. Even sweat proof under 14 meters of it!

So, five stars for colour. And for macro setting, including an incredible 1cm movie making setting! Clearly close-up work is a specialty. But its widescreen horizon photos are great too.

Make sure you download and print the 247p manual. The Pan Focus option, for example, is for when someone else takes a picture of you: the entire scene front to back is in focus. I shall be using this Ricoh primarily for cycling. A handlebar bracket is available attaching centre of camera. That Shockproof statement will be severely tested. A movie entitled 'The Potholes of Cheshire' may be made. And I won't care if it rains!

Clearly its greatest strength is its underwater capabilities. Snorkelling through Australia's Great Barrier Reef should be easily recorded with this camera. From the smallest mollusc to the widest horizon.
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on 5 April 2015
Bought as a gift! Promises some good underwater photos
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