Unveiled: Ricoh Announces a New WG Tough Camera with Mount System and a K-Mount Teleconverter
As the successor to the popular and distinctive WG-3 “tough” camera, the new Ricoh WG-4 Digital Camera takes things up a notch with a new image processing engine, updated shooting modes, and enhanced waterproof construction. In addition, two of the four new models come equipped with a sophisticated GPS module. The standard WG-4 is available in lime yellow or silver, while the WG-4 GPS is available in black or blue. For expanded functionality and stable camera placement, Ricoh has also released a series of mounting accessories for use with the WG-4. These mounts will attach your camera to windows, handlebars, helmets, or numerous other items and surfaces with strength and aplomb. Finally, Ricoh has also announced a new 1.4x teleconverter for K-mount DSLRs and lenses.
The WG-4 houses a 16MP 1/2.3” Backlit CMOS sensor that captures sharp, high-resolution images with accurate colors and a rich tonal range. The sensor also enables a fast 9-point contrast-detect autofocus system and low-light sensitivity with ISO up to 6400. The new-generation imaging engine brings with it faster response times, including fast shutter lag time and a burst mode continuous shooting rate of up to 14 fps.
Tough cameras are so called because they offer a set of features that allows them to be used in harsh climates, underwater, and to withstand serious impact. They are perfect for the adventurous among us, but just as ideal for those of us who want to take our cameras to the ski slopes and the pool and not worry about damage from the commonplace effects of gravity. Frankly, tough cameras are great for anyone with kids or for those who like to carry a quality camera everywhere and not be too concerned about its welfare. The WG-4 is waterproof to a depth of 45’, shockproof to falls of up to 6.5’, crushproof to 220 lbf, and resistant to temperatures as low as 14°F. It is also designed to be dustproof, which enables fearless trips to the beach, the baseball diamond, or on a trail-bike ride.
The lens on the WG-4 is a 4x optical zoom lens with the 35mm equivalent focal length of 25-100mm, providing wide-angle inclusiveness and telephoto reach. Furthermore, its maximum aperture at the wide-angle end is f/2, which makes it effective in low light and allows fine control of depth of field for beautiful portraits and still life. A triple shake-reduction system combines an image-sensor-shift mechanism with digital Pixel Track and high ISO SR modes to reduce the effects of camera shake and create images with minimal blur, even images shot while moving and in low light. Six LED Macro Lights encircle the lens, providing brighter and balanced lighting when shooting detailed close-ups in Macro Mode.
New on the WG-4, and enabling improved imaging control, is a Shutter Priority mode to help freeze fast-moving action or to creatively add a blur of speed or playful light trails to your shot. Also, a new User mode brings the total number of shooting modes on the WG-4 to 29, some of which provide automatic camera control over difficult shots, while others allow for creative imaging such as time-lapse movies and digital microscope perspective. Two distinct Underwater shooting modes are also supported. And Full HD 1080p video is featured at 30 fps along with HD 720p video with 60 fps or slow-motion 120 fps options.
Image playback and composition is provided by the 3.0” TFT color LCD monitor, with its 460k-dot resolution and 170° wide-angle viewing capability. An anti-reflective coating enables bright and clear visibility even in bright sunlight. The WG-4 has a built-in flash in addition to its LCD light ring, and can throw additional light as far as 34’ when needed. 70MB of internal memory is a saving grace if necessary and SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards are otherwise compatible. With its distinctive and ergonomic form factor, bright coloring, reinforced polycarbonate build with aluminum accents and included carabiner strap, the WG is a most recognizable camera.
As mentioned above, the lime yellow and silver models come equipped with GPS functionality, which automatically records location data onto your images and offers an integrated digital compass, as well as pressure, altitude, and depth gauges for serious trekkers and divers.
To better use your WG-4 on an adventure or when taking group shots or selfies at home, Ricoh has introduced a line of mounting accessories designed to fit the WG camera series. The O-CH1470 WG Holder is the basic element that cradles the camera and, using its versatile ball-and-socket system, can fit into any one of the three available mounts. A thumb screw that fits the the camera’s tripod thread secures the camera, and a rubber latch provides additional and flexible support when mounted on a moving object. The ball-and-socket system allows you to place the camera in any shooting position and enables quick release and transfer to the other mounts.
The O-CM1472 WG Handle Bar Mount uses thumb screws and a pinch-type design to fasten itself to the handlebars of bikes, motorcycles, or hang gliders for extreme action capture. Using a powerful adhesive tape, the O-CM1471 WG Flat Adhesive Mount is a simple solution for semi-permanent mounting of the WG series cameras to any flat or slightly curved surface such as helmets, walls, or tabletops. Lastly, the O-CM1473 WG Suction Cup Mount is ideal for repeated use when mounting your camera on windows, boats, cars, or even surfboards and helmets. The suction cup provides a quick-release lever for rapid removal. The WG Holder and all mounts are available separately and compatible with all WG-series cameras.
Teleconverter for K-Mount Lenses
Ricoh has also announced the release of a new teleconverter for K-mount telephoto lenses. The 1.4x HD DA AF Rear Converter AW for K-Mount Lenses provides 1.4x magnification, increasing the focal length of a K-mount lens by 40%, while retaining the minimum focus distance of the lens. It mounts on the rear of the lens and then on the camera body, and enables autofocus and auto-exposure capability with both camera-driven and lens-driven AF systems. Compatible camera bodies are the K-3, K-50, K-500, K-30, K-5 II, K-5 II s, K-5, K-01, K-7, and K-r; the camera’s firmware must be updated to the latest version for full autofocus compatibility.
The converter’s 4 optical elements are coated with exclusive multi-layer HD lens coating, which improves light transmittance and reduces reflection, which produces sharper images with minimal ghosting and flare. It provides weather-resistant construction to match that of the K-mount DSLR cameras and is a durable, compact, lightweight accessory that allows you to get extended focal-length reach from your telephoto lenses.