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Ricoh WG-4 GPS Waterproof Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
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- Reliable waterproof construction to assure worry-free shooting at adepth of 14m
- Exceptional shockproof capability; it can withstand a fall from aheight of 1.5m
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Colour Name: Black
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Ricoh WG-4 GPS Waterproof Digital Camera
The WG-4 GPS offer outstanding waterproof performance down to 14 metres and shock resistance against drops from up to two metres. While inheriting the easy-to-hold, non-slip design of the previous models, it provides a choice of body colours which stand out in the outdoors. The WG-4 GPS also incorporates features including a large-aperture, four-times optical zoom lens (with a maximum aperture of F2.0 at the wide-angle end) and a high-sensitivity, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor to deliver high-quality, low-noise images even in the water, at night and at indoor sporting events where the subject is poorly illuminated. Other significant improvements have been made to upgrade the camera’s operation and performance, including faster AF operation in macro shooting, improved image quality in underwater shooting, and the addition of the USER mode for instant recall of the user’s favourite settings.
The RICOH WG-4 GPS model also boasts an advanced GPS unit to record position data and travel log data for captured images. It also provides GPS-related functions including a pressure/altitude/depth gauge and a digital compass to further facilitate outdoor shooting.
WG4 GPS boast Heavy-duty construction for underwater shooting to 14 metres, for up to two hours.
Thanks to the fully watertight construction, the WG-4 GPS assures outstanding waterproof performance to a depth of 14 metres, for up to two hours of continuous operation (equivalent to IPX8 or JIS Class 8). It is also designed to be shock-resistant against falls from a height of two metres, dustproof (equivalent to IPX6 or JIS Class 6), cold-resistant against temperatures to –10°C, and crushproof against weights up to 100kgf (kilogram force).All of these features combine to make this model truly dependable and heavy-duty in harsh, demanding outdoor conditions.
Exceptional image definition, thanks to a large-aperture zoom lens and imaging technologies
The high-performance optical zoom lens offers a maximum aperture of F2.0 (at wide-angle end) to capture bright, clear images with minimal noise, even in dimly lit locations. With its four-times zoom coverage from 4.5mm to 18mm (equivalent to approx. 25mm wide angle to approx. 100mm medium telephoto in the 35mm format); this versatile zoom lens accommodates a wide range of applications, from macro shooting of flowers to wide-angle photography of sweeping landscapes. Thanks to the upgraded AF algorithm, the focusing speed in macro shooting has been greatly increased to facilitate close-up applications. In the Underwater and Underwater Movie modes, the colour rendition and contrast of a captured image is automatically optimised based on the original image data: Red tints and shades, which tend to be lost in underwater photography, are enhanced for true-to-life colour rendition, while the loss of contrast caused by the diffusion of light in the water is effectively compensated for producing sharper, clearer images.
A comprehensive selection of shooting modes
Including the Shutter Priority and USER modes, a first for the WG series, the WG-4 GPS provides a total of 29 shooting modes. In the Shutter Priority mode, the camera automatically sets the aperture and ISO sensitivity for a user-selected shutter speed to assure optimum exposure. In the USER mode, the photographer can instantly recall pre-programmed settings for more personalised camera operation. In addition, the Auto Picture mode automatically selects one of 16 different scene modes for a given scene or subject. With a wide choice of shooting modes, the user can always find the ideal mode to suit every subject and occasion.
High-performance, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
The WG-4 GPS comes equipped with a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, which excels in high-sensitivity and low-noise characteristics, and assures high-speed readout of image data signals. Coupled with a high-performance imaging engine, this image sensor delivers a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and super-high-resolution images with 16.0 effective megapixels. This model provides image processing functions made possible by super-resolution technology to produce sharp, clear, high-resolution images. This model also offers features including a Handheld Night Snap mode, which automatically captures multiple images of the same night-time scene and produces a single blur-free, composite image from them.
Dual anti-shake protection for sharp, blur-free images
TheWG-4 GPS’s dual shake reduction system combines an image-sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a Digital SR mode to more effectively compensate for the adverse effects of camera shake and subject movement in shake-prone conditions, such as photographing poorly lit subjects in ambient light, or when shooting sunset scenes.
Six Macro Lights to assist close-up shooting
With six LED Macro Lights positioned around the circumference of the lens barrel for macro shooting, the WG-4 GPS provides brighter, more uniform illumination on the subject when the Digital Microscope mode is selected. With the Macro Lights, the user can clearly see a magnified view of a microscopic world often unseen by the naked eye on the camera’s LCD monitor and effortlessly capture eye-catching images. In order to minimise camera shake and subject shake, the instant illumination enhance function allows for the use of a higher shutter speed by automatically raising the illumination level of the Macro Lights at the moment of shutter release. In addition, the Macro Lights can provide other user-friendly features, such as a Self-Portrait Assist mode to check if the subject’s face is safely captured within the picture frame using the blink of an LED lamp, and an LED Lighting mode that uses the Macro Lights as a lighting device in the dark.
Full HD movie recording for extended shooting of high-quality movies
The WG-4 GPS provides Full HD movie recording employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The WG-4 GPS also features a high-speed camera function for slow-motion playback of captured movie clips and a fast-forward movie function to simplify creative movie techniques. A micro-HDMI terminal (Type D) is also provided on the camera body for simultaneous output of Full HD movie clips and sound to external audio-visual devices.
Extra-large, high-resolution, wide-frame 3.0-inch LCD monitor
These WG-series models incorporate an extra-large, high-resolution 3.0-inch colour LCD monitor with horizontally extended 16:9 proportions and approximately 460,000 dots. The AR (Anti-Reflection) coating minimises annoying glare and reflections to assure a sharp, clear on-screen image, even under the harsh sunshine often found in outdoor shooting. The wide-view design offers a clear view of the monitor from approximately 170 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it possible to check an image from different angles.
Built-in GPS functions and pressure/altitude/depth gauge to facilitate outdoor shooting
The WG-4 GPS comes equipped with a sophisticated GPS module, which automatically records position data 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.
Ricoh WG-4 GPS Camera
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery D-LI92
Power adapter D-PA135
USB cable I-USB7
Macro stand O-MS2
Software (CD-ROM) S-SW145
Top customer reviews
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.
When I unboxed and unwrapped this camera and held it in my hand I was a little underwhelmed. The plastics felt cheap, the design was far from simple and I felt it was overloaded by too much writing on the case. For instance shockproof, crushproof waterproof, adventure proof, cold proof all printed in two places on the front and repeated on the back. Like a Ford Escort 1.3 that had been blinged with go-faster stripes, self painted silver wheels, an exhaust trim and a green sun glare strip fastened to the top of the windscreen.
It has a combination of grooves and bumps in the plastic for grip. The function buttons on the back are the usual basic layout that you would find on most compact cameras. Unfortunately the buttons have a not very nice plastic feel to them and they look cheap, made of grey hatched plastic.
However, let's get one thing straight, this is a camera that is supposed to go places and survive. Drop it, submerge it to 14 meters, use it in the snow, use it on the beach, swim with it or even drop it down the toilet. It will survive this and more. There are a lot of grooves on the outside that sand might get into or mud and other detritus might find its way to stick to but the camera will not be affected.
Both the LCD screen on the back and the lens cover are made out of plastic, without a case expect these to pick up the odd scratch. There is a flimsy plastic clip on ring in the box so that you might use the odd filter. The plastic ring is not robust.
You will either love the design or hate it, but if I was going to Glastonbury and the weather turned for the worst I would be happy to have this in my pocket.
It has a good quality and sized LCD on the back and the menu system is easy to navigate. The screen is easy to read in sunlight and reflections are at a minimum.
The optical x4 zoom is slow but photographs taken are generally good, though compared to my Nikon P300 it falls a little behind. Still I wouldn't be able to drop the Nikon in a puddle and expect it to survive.
The digital zoom goes up to x28 but in the upper regions leaves a bit to be desired.
Macro photographs are generally goodish and the LED lighting around the lens helps illuminate the object in front of you.
There are also I think around 29 picture taking modes including shutter priority and it offers full HD video but not when using slow motion settings. It will also tell you where you took your photo's and how high or deep you were when you took them.
This isn't going to replace a GoPro as an action camera because of the weight.
In conclusion, the camera was designed for the outdoors, it was designed to put up with all sorts of abuse and it does. There are better cameras and more expensive cameras but as with anything of this genre you have to ask yourself if it fits what you want to do with it. 4 stars are for the fact that it has no other pretensions other than being what it is.
Just be aware that this Ricoh is a repackaged Pentax WG-3, it has a few improvements over the last model but is generally optically similar. Whether it offers you better value for money over its previous incarnation I will leave that to you.
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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