Monday, 16 June 2014

Ricoh WG- review: The adventure-proof camera

With the city temperature soaring high, how are you planning to beat the heat this summer? Surf, swim or trek? Whatever your crazy adventure plans may be, camera companies have a ready companion for you.

With consumer cameras facing stiff competition from high-end cell phone cameras, the world’s optical giants are outbidding electronic mobile companies with an area outside their current reach, for some time at least.

The Ricoh WG-4 is Pentax’s latest offering in the all-weather camera segment. It replaces its predecessor Pentax WG-3 with the only visible change being its brand name. Pentax has decided to use the Ricoh brand for its compact fixed lens cameras and keep the Pentax brand name for interchangeable lens DSLR cameras.

Pentax is well known for making tough cameras with dust-proofing and water resistivity incorporated in almost every mid-segment DSLR for several years now. But even compact camera users can now expect an amplified weather and shock resistivity with the Ricoh WG-4. A small but robust beast, this camera is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock resistant enough not to mind your bursts of outdoor adventure and experiments in thunderstorms within the city.

This is a camera that is adventure proof, and go through the everyday abuses of life as well as uncompromised outdoor adventure. It is a perfect all-weather companion to adventure travelers, beach lovers or even doting parents who will capture their children swimming with them.


Design and Handling

From first-impression, camera resembles an accessory that a Star Wars character would happily own. The ‘Tonka-toy’ design gives it a very compact yet chunky feel.

The exterior finish is a combination of textured rubber and corrugated plastic, giving a much-needed frictional grip, even if your palms are sweaty from running about! The camera is truly designed for extreme environments – being a device that will easily fit into your pocket while withstanding shock of up to 100 kg weight (approximately1000 Newtons).

Being a first time Ricoh user, I quite liked the camera’s easy-to-go navigation buttons. There are very few buttons in the camera, to reduce chances of dust and water entering the device. The top panel of the camera has two buttons, power and shutter release. Its 16 MP zoom can be accessed through the two buttons on the back. There’s a four-way navigational dial on the rear panel that gives direct control to the self-timer, macro, flash and the various shooting modes.

The buttons are a little stiff compared to regular digital cameras, which is understandable given their sealing mechanisms.

The 3.0? screen has good colour quality and viewing angles in dim light. However, despite having an anti-reflective coating, the screen’s visibility under harsh sunlight is  less than satisfactory.

I can’t omit mention of its double-locked slot for battery, SD-card, data and charging ports. Meant for rough use, this is a very smart move by the manufacturers to ensure a continued…

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