Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

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Introduction

The Ricoh WG-4 GPS is toughened and waterproof camera to take on the likes of the Canon PowerShot D30, Nikon Coolpix AW120, Olympus Tough TG-3 and Panasonic Lumix FT5. It’s a direct replacement for last year’s WG-3 GPS from Pentax, now rebranded by parent company Ricoh. The WG-4 GPS is a certainly tough cookie, being shockproof from heights up to 2.0 metres, freezeproof down to -10 degrees, waterproof to a depth of 14m and able to withstand up to 100kg of crushing force. Inside is a back-illuminated 16.0 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of a sensitivity range of ISO125-6400 and you get Full HD video capture as well. This is mated to a 4x optical zoom lens sporting a focal length range of 25-100mm (in 35mm terms) and a maximum aperture of f/2.0. Sensor-shift Shake reduction is also employed to help tame the effects of camera shake. As its name suggests, the WG-4 GPS is also equipped with GPS location mapping to geolocate your images and can be had for £309.99/$329.95/€329.00. Alternatively the standard Ricoh WG-4 makes do without GPS, bringing the price down to around £279.99/$279.95/€279.00.

Ease of Use

The first thing that strikes you about the WG-4 is its toughness. Sure, it hasn’t got the deepest waterproof rating in the class and it’s not quite top dog in terms of shockproofing, but the WG-4 feels more substantial than many of its similarly-specced rivals and it easily shrugged off the abuse we inflicted on it. The Tonka toy styling leaves you in no doubt that this is designed for extreme environments, however such pumped-up looks don’t exactly make this a subtle snapper.

Despite its added toughness, the WG-4 is no harder to use than a regular compact camera. Buttons are kept to a minimum in order to minimise possible water and dust entry points, with the top panel containing only the power button and shutter release. The zoom controls can be found on the rear in the form of two buttons, with playback and video record buttons directly beneath. There’s the usual four-way navigation dial too, which also controls the self timer, macro and flash, as well as accessing the WG-4’s various shooting modes. Lastly there’s a menu button, plus a green button alongside it to delete files in playback mode and also enlarge the display preview when shooting.

Thanks to waterproof seals, the buttons themselves are a bit stiff and spongy to use, requiring more of a prod than most cameras. An obvious alternative would be to use a touch screen controls, however the WG-4’s 3.0” monitor isn’t touch-sensitive. That’s no bad thing though, as capacitive touch screens won’t work underwater or if you’re wearing normal gloves and hence aren’t a great idea for action-orientated cameras. What is irritating is the monitor’s widescreen format. This works well when recording widescreen HD video. However, when shooting stills at maximum resolution in the usual, squarer, 4:3 image format, you’re left with two black bars on either side of the image preview. Consequently what’s technically a 3.0” screen ends up displaying roughly a 2.5” image. Thankfully the screen’s colour reproduction and viewing angles are very good, though it could do with a little more brightness when shooting under sunlight and the 460k-dot resolution is only average.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Front Rear

Underneath the WG-4 sits a double-locked door protecting the battery, SD card slot, data and charging ports from accidental exposure to water or dust. The tripod mount is located in a slightly odd position at the extreme end of the camera. This isn’t the most stable location, however it’s unlikely this action-orientated camera will be spending much time tied down.

Move to the front of the camera and you’ll find a couple of nifty features. Six small LEDs encircle the lens, providing subtle illumination for extreme close-up subjects. Selecting the WG-4’s Digital Microscope mode activates them so subjects as close as 1cm won’t be cast in the camera’s shadow. The lights can also be used as a torch by pressing and holding the green button on the rear panel.

Go for the GPS-equipped WG-4 and you’ll also get a front-mounted LCD screen. It’s not here to help you snap selfies, but it will display the time, even when the camera is turned off. The screen can also be configured to show your height above or depth below sea level, as well as the surrounding air pressure.

Using the GPS function in the WG-4 GPS is a doddle and enables location data to be stored alongside each recorded image so you can map your subjects on a program like Google Earth. The system works well but can struggle to find a satellite signal in built-up areas and is rather power hungry, continuing to work even when the camera is turned off. Considering the rather average 240-shot CIPA rated battery life, you’d be wise to use the GPS function sparingly.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Top Side

The camera’s internally-focussed lens protects it against water and shock, but it also means you don’t have to wait for the lens to extend on start-up. Consequently the WG4 is ready to roll in around 1.5 seconds and the autofocus system wastes no time in findings its mark, locking on to your subject almost instantly in good light. Darker conditions can cause things to slow a bit, but rarely does the camera take more than a couple of seconds to focus.

Now, keen followers of the Pentax/Ricoh camera line-up may have noticed that the WG-4 bears more than a passing resemblance to the old WG-3 GPS. In fact externally they’re identical, and not a lot has changed under the skin either. The only new addition to the WG-4 is a shutter priority mode to help you blur moving subjects like waterfalls, or create car light trails at night.

A new range of optional mounting accessories has also been introduced alongside the WG-4 though. Choose from an adhesive mount to stick the camera to flat objects, a clamp for attaching to handlebars or a suction cup system that’s perfect for mounting the WG-4 to a canoe or kayak. These accessories are great for making the most of the WG-4’s Full HD video capture and can also be used with other WG-series cameras. Other accessories worth noting are the lens adaptor ring that enables an optional DW-5 wide-angle lens to be fitted, plus the included carabiner clip strap for attaching the WG-4 to a bag or belt. This does a great job for its intended use, though it’s not much use as a conventional wrist strap.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Front Battery Compartment

The WG-4 may not have gained much over the WG-3, but it has lost a feature; namely wireless Qi charging. This allowed the WG-3 to charge from an inductive charging mat and consequently reduced the number of times you’d need to open the battery/charging port door and risk water or dust intrusion. Granted, no Qi charging mat was included with the WG-3, hence the WG-4 only loses the potential to charge wirelessly, but it’s a pity that the new model is a step back in this respect.

On the subject of omissions, the WG-4 still has to make do without a panorama capture mode and the dozen Digital Filter effects you do get are edit-only processing features which can’t be applied whilst shooting.

Lastly the WG-3’s menu system remains unchanged for the WG-4. It is fairly clear and easy to navigate, but low resolution icons and fonts make it look distinctly dated compared to the competition. It’s not short on gadgets though and the useful twin-axis level on the shooting overlay makes it a breeze to compose level shots.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Best JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Ricoh WG-4’s 16.0 megapixel, 1/2.3” CMOS sensor is carried over from the WG-3 so it should come as little surprise that the new camera’s image quality is much the same as its predecessor’s.

Photos taken at ISO400 and below stand up well to fairly close scrutiny, with vibrant yet natural colours and decent detail. Shoot a landscape scene with distant foliage and things can get slightly smeary thanks to overzealous noise reduction processing, but the remaining amount of detail is on a par with many other cameras packing the same pixel count and sensor size.

Ramp the sensor sensitivity up to ISO800 and detail takes a marked turn for the worse though, and by ISO1600 colour speckling and blotchiness are plain to see. The noise levels aren’t terrible at this sensitivity, but these days many compact cameras with similar sensors are capable of cleaner results.

You won’t have to worry about getting accurate exposures though, as the WG-4 invariably strikes a good balance between highlight and shadow detail, even if the overall dynamic range is nothing special. It’s a pity the auto white balance isn’t so dependable, being occasionally prone to producing an overly warm colour cast in high-contrast lighting.

The WG-4’s 4x zoom lens is also a little disappointing. Sure, its impressive f/2.0 maximum aperture allows for faster shutter speeds without the need for high sensor sensitivities, but less impressive is the obvious amount of chromatic aberration (purple fringing) visible in high contrast areas. Corner sharpness is also somewhat lacking when compared to detail levels in the centre of frame.

Noise

The WG-4 and WG-4 GPS have seven sensitivity settings available at full resolution ranging between ISO125 and ISO6400. Auto ISO can be capped at lower sensitivities if you’d rather avoid the high level of image noise at higher ISOs.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 

File Quality

Three JPEG compression quality options are available to accompany all image sizes: Good, Better & Best. The ‘Best’ setting produces images 4-5MB in file size. ‘Better’ will drop this to between 2.5MB and 3MB, whilst the ‘Good’ option reduces images to around 1.5MB at maximum resolution.

16M Best (4.34Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Better (2.62Mb) (100% Crop)
   
16M Good (1.58Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Focal Range

The camera’s 4x internally-zoomed lens boasts a focal length range of 25-100mm when converted into a 35mm camera format. The lens is also capable of a maximum aperture of f/2.0 at wide-angle.

25mm

100mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don’t like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Ricoh WG-4 GPS handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The WG-4 will macro focus down to 1cm and in Digital Microscope mode six LEDs around the lens illuminate extremely close subjects.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

Five flash settings are available: Auto, Flash Off, Flash On, Auto + Red-eye, Flash On + Red-eye. Our testing showed the flash produces some vignetting at wide angle from a distance of 1.5m, but the camera successfully eliminates any trace of red-eye.

Flash Off – Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On – Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off – Telephoto (100mm)

Flash On – Telephoto (100mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, both the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Night Scene shooting mode holds the shutter open slightly longer than normal to capture brighter shots in low light. ISO sensitivity is still kept high so a tripod isn’t essential, however you’ll need a very steady hand. If you’d rather a longer exposure with less noise, the new Tv Shutter Priority mode is a better bet but is more likely to necessitate using a tripod.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Digital Filters

The WG-4 and WG-4 GPS contain 12 effects filters: B&W/Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starbust, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature Filter. However, these can only be selected and applied to saved images in playback mode.

B&W

Sepia

   

Toy Camera

Color

   

Extract Color

Color Emphasis

   

High Contrast

Starburst

   

Soft

Fish Eye

   

Brightness

Miniature

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Ricoh WG-4 GPS camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Best JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920×1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 40.3Mb in size.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Product Images

Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Front of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Side of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Side of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Rear of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Rear of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS / Turned On

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Rear of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS / Main Menu

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Top of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Bottom of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Side of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 

Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Side of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS

 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Front of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS
 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS
Front of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS
 
Ricoh WG-4 GPS

Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Specifications

Type
Camera Type

Water proof, dust, sand, crash, cold, pression proof digital compact

Sensor
Type

1/2.3″ CMOS

Total Pixels

Total 16.79 MP

Effective Pixels

Approx. 16.0 megapixels

Still

16M(4608×3456), 12M(1:1)(3456×3456), 12M(16:9) (4608×2592), 7M(3072×2304), 5M(16:9)(3072×1728), 5M(2592×1944), 4M(16:9)(2592×1464), 3M(2048×1536), 2M(16:9)(1920×1080), 1024(1024×768), 640(640 x 480) (Unit:pixels)

3 Quality levels (Excellent, very good, good)

Movie

Full HD 1920 (1920×1080) : approx. 30fps

HD 1280 (1280×720), approx. 60/30fps

Quality: level Fixed

Shake reduction: Movie SR mode

Sensitivity

Auto, Manual (ISO 125 – 6400)

Auto ISO range: ISO 125-200, ISO 125-400, ISO 125-800, ISO 125-1600, ISO 125-3200, ISO 125-6400
*Fixed at ISO 125-1600 in Green mode.
*Fixed at ISO 125-200, 125-400, 125-400, 125-1600 in Handheld Night Snap mode.
*Fixed at ISO 125-6400 in Report mode.

Shake Reduction

Sensor-Shift-Type (SR : Shake Reduction),

Dual (SR & Pixel Track SR),

High-sensitivity anti-shake mode (Digital SR)

Auto ISO range for SR: ISO 125-6400

Motion blur reduction Pixel Track SR, Hi-sensitivity anti-shake mode (Digital SR)

Lens
Focal Length

4.5 – 18mm, approx. 25 – 100mm in 35mm

 

Aperture

Aperture: F2.0(W) – F4.9(T)

Smallest aperture: F11.3(W)-F18.5(T)

Digital Zoom

approx. 7.2x

Intelligent zoom: approx. 6x at 7M and 28.8 x at 640 (including optical zoom)

Optical Zoom

4x

Construction

RICOH lens, 9 elements in 7 groups (4 aspherical elements)

Focusing System
Type

TTL contrast detection auto focus system

Functions

Infinity-landscape, Pan Focus, Manual Focus

9-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF (anticipating moving subject)

AF Modes

Normal : 0.4m ‐ infinity (entire zoom range)

Macro : 0.1m ‐ 0.5m (entire zoom range)

1cm Macro : 0.01m ‐ 0.30m (mid-zoom to telephoto)

Manual AF Modes

0.01m –  infinity (Depends on the zooming steps)

AF assist

AF assist lamp

Special Macrolight (6 LED at front to assist close-up shooting)

Screen
Type

3.0’’ wide-TFT color LCD, Wide viewing 170°, AR Coating (LCD Cover only), with protection acrylic cover

LCD frame rate: approx. 60

Resolution approx. 460k dots
Playback

Slideshow, Image Rotation, Small Face Filter, Ink Rubbing Filter, Collage, Digital Filter (B&W/Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starburst, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature), HDR Filter, Original Frame, Movie Edit, Red-eye Edit, Resize, Cropping, Image Copy, Protect, DPOF, Start-up Screen

Shutter
Speed

1/4000  – 1/4sec (Mechanical and electronic shutter)                            

1/2000- 4sec (Night Scene mode setting)

 

Exposure system
Metering

Multi-segment metering, Centre-weighted metering, Spot AE metering

Exposure Modes

Exposure Modes:
Auto Picture, Program, Shutter Priority, USER, HDR, Handheld Night Snap, Movie, Digital Microscope, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Interval Shot, Underwater, Underwater Movie, Interval Movie, High Speed movie**, Time-Lapse movie**, 1cm-Macro Movie, Digital SR, Surf & Snow, Kids, Pet, Sport, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Fireworks, Food, Report*, Green

Auto picture Scene Modes:
Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene Portrait, Standard, Flower, Sport, Candlelight, Blue Sky, Sunset, Text, Group Photo, Pet, Portrait & Blue Sky, Portrait & Sunset, Portrait & Backlight

Compensation

±2EV (1/3EV steps)

Auto Bracketing

Available

Flash
Type

Integrated auto flash control

Modes

Flash-on and Flash-off modes

“Red-eye” compensation function with pre-discharge

Effective Range

Wide: approx. 0.2 – 10.4 m (ISO Auto)

Tele: approx. 0.2 – 4.2 m (ISO Auto)

Exposure Parameters
Modes

Drives modes:

One shot, Self-timer (10 sec, 2 sec, Remote Control (immediately, 3 sec)), Continuous Shooting, Burst Shooting, Remote Control*, Auto Bracketing

Image Tone: Bright, Natural, Monochrome,

* Remote control compatible, receivers located in the front and back of the camera

Face Recognition

Face detection AF&AE available for all modes up to 32 faces, Smile Capture, Self-portrait Assist, Self-portrait Assist + Smile Capture, Blink Detection

Pet detection: detects up to 1 pet’s face (auto)

White Balance

Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light (D:Daylight Color, N:Daylight White, W:White Light), Manual

Digital Filter

B&W/Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starbust, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature Filter

Release Function

Approx. 0.016 sec

Movie
Recording

Sound : Yes

Movie : Movie shake reduction Mode (Movie SR)

Duration : Depends on memory card capacity

Resolution * : Full HD 1920 (1920×1080), approx. 30fps
HD 1280 (1280×720), approx. 60/30fps

* Recorded pixels is fixed to 1280(1280×720), and frame rate is fixed to 120fps for shooting, 30fps for playback in High Speed Movie mode.

* Recorded pixels is fixed to 640(640×360), and frame rate is fixed to 15fps for shooting, 240fps for playback in Time-Lapse Movie mode.

* Still Picture Saving during Movie Recording (up to three still pictures per each continuous movie recording, with the focus fixed at the start of recording and the number of recorded pixels fixed to 12M(16:9). The angle of view may change, depending on the number of recorded pixels for movies. The image may be distorted, depending on recording conditions.

Editing

Save as still image, Divide movies, Adding title picture

Playback
Digital Filter

B&W/Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starbust, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature Filter

Options

Playback modes:

Slideshow, Image Rotation, Small Face Filter, Ink Rubbing Filter, Collage, Digital Filter(B&W/Sepica, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Extract Color, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starburst, Soft, Fish-eye, Brightness, Miniature), HDR Filter, Original Frame, Movie Edit, Red-eye Edit, Resize, Cropping, Image Copy, Protect, DPOF, Start-up Screen

Playback functions:

One Shot, Index (6 thumbnails, 12 thumbnails), Enlargement (up to 10x, scroll available), Movie Playback, Histogram, Folder display, Select&Delete, Calendar, Changing Folder name

Storage
Internal

approx. 70 MB

External

SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards

Compatible with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards

File Format

Photo format :JPEG (Exif 2.3), DCF 2.0, DPOF, PRINT Image Matching III

Video format : MPEG-4 AVC/H.264

Audio : Movie/Underwater, Movie/Time-Lapse, Movie/1cm- Macro Movie, 32KHz, 16bit Stereo High Speed Movie: 8KHz, 16bit, stereo

Special Features
Features

Innovative new features for trekking and nature observation
Sophisticated GPS function records your position data during travelling, in order to show your friends and family where pictures were taken, on such websites as Google EarthTM or FlickrR.
Electronic compass
Barometer (information on the front display)

Date Imprint Available*** (Date, Date & time, Time)
World Time
Macro light
Changing folder name
Electronic level

Others: Noise reduction automatically applied when the shutter speed is slower than 0.25 sec

Digital Shake Reduction system
Eye-Fi cards compatible

Dynamic Range: Shadow/ Highlight adjustment

Waterproof/Dustproof  
Equ. to JIS Class 8 waterproof **** and JIS Class 6 dustproof capabilities****

**** Waterproof (Up to 14m(45ft) for 2hours), Shock proof (Up to 2.0m (6.5ft))

**** Operating Temperature -10° to 40°

Language

English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Russian

Delay Start-up time: approx. 1.8 sec
Shutter Release Delay Approx. 0.016 sec
Interface
Interface

Video output (NTSC/PAL)

USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed), USB/AV terminal,

HDMI terminal (Type D) (Micro) port

Power
Source Rechargeable D-LI92 Lithium-Ion battery
Optional AC adapter available
Performance

Still**: Approx. 240 shots
Playback**: Approx. 200 min
Approx. 65 min in movie mode

** Recording capacity shows approximate number of shots recorded during CIPA-compliant testing. Actual performance may vary depending on operating conditions.

**According to the result of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING in-house testing.

 

 

Dimensions
Height

6.45 cm

Width

12.5 cm

Depth 3.2 cm
Weight

216g (unloaded)
236g (with battery & SD card)

Compatibility
PC

Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and 7, 8 and 8.1

Mac

Mac: OS X 10.6 or above

Accessories
Included Software

PC: MediaImpression 3.6.2 LE 

Mac: MediaImpression 2.2 LE

 

 

Kit Content

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery D-LI92

Power adapter D-PA135

USB cable I-USB7

Carabiner strap O-ST144 (for black and silver WG-4/GPS)

Carabiner strap O-ST145 (for blue and lime yellow WG-4/GPS)

Macro stand O-MS2

Software (CD-ROM) S-SW145

Optional

Rechargeable battery Li-Ion D-LI92 – 39800

Charger kit K-BC92E – 39804

AC adapter K-AC117E – 38971

Video cable I-AVC7 – 39552

USB cable I-USB7 – 39551

Macro stand O-MS2 – 38642

Lens adapter O-LA135 – 38654

Wide conversion lens DW-5 – 171930

Carabiner strap O-ST118 (Y&B) – 39003

Carabiner strap O-ST103(OR) – 39861

Chest harness – 50284

Remote control O-RC1 – 39892

Floating Strap – 50195

Black neoprene case – 50282

WG Flat adhesive mount O-CM1471 – 37030

WG Handle bar mount O-CM1472 – 37031

WG Suction Cup mount O-CM1473 – 37032

WG Holder O-CH1470 – 37033

WG Repair parts 1 O-CM1474 (for O-CM1471) – 37034

WG repair parts 2 O-CM1475 (replacement nut for O-CM1471/72/73) – 37035

WG Repair parts 3 O-CM1476 (for O-CH1470) – 37036

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

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Conclusion

There’s no doubt that the Ricoh WG-4 makes a very good rugged camera. Its toughness credentials may not be the best on paper, but in the hand the WG-4 feels like it’ll survive almost anything you could throw at it.

But exactly the same could be said of its predecessor, the WG-3, which is a virtually identical camera. That means image quality is unimproved and shows more detail loss and colour speckling at higher ISO sensitivities than you may expect from a ‘new’ camera.

And it’s not as if the WG-4 only has the WG-3 to worry about. The Olympus TG-3 is just as tough but adds even more features, whilst Canon’s new PowerShot D30 raises – or lowers – the waterproof bar to a 25-metre depth rating and packs a 5x zoom lens against Ricoh’s 4x optic.

Features-wise, the WG-4 can still just about keep pace with the competition thanks to its excellent digital microscope mode and large-aperture lens, whilst the GPS-equipped version is quite the adventurer’s companion with its digital compass, height/depth gauges and geolocation abilities.

This all helps make Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS good tough cameras capable of producing pleasing images below ISO800, however whilst the Pentax WG-3/WG-3 GPS is still available at reduced-to-clear prices, there’s no benefit in paying the extra for a WG-4. Once the old WG-3 stock has dried up, the WG-4 does make a tempting buy, providing its price tag undercuts its more evolved competitors.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3.5

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS.

Canon PowerShot D20

Canon PowerShot D20 Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot D20 is an all-action compact camera that’s water, dust, freeze and shock proof. The new Canon D20 is a distinctively designed 12 megapixel camera with a 5x zoom, 1080p HD video, built-in GPS and a 3-inch screen. Read our detailed Canon PowerShot D20 review now…

Fujifilm FinePix XP60

Fujifilm FinePix XP60 Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm FinePix XP60 is a tough water, freeze, shock and dust proof 16 megapixel compact camera. The XP60 also offers 1080i HD movies, a 5x zoom lens and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. Read our expert Fujifilm FinePix XP60 review to find out if this is the right camera for all your family.

Nikon Coolpix AW120

Nikon Coolpix AW120 Review thumbnail

The Coolpix AW120 is Nikon’s latest all-action compact camera. The 16 megapixel Nikon AW120 has a 5x zoom lens (24-120mm), 3 inch OLED 921K-dot screen, built-in GPS and wi-fi, 8fps burst shooting and can record full 1080p video. Read our Nikon Coolpix AW120 review to find out if it’s the right tough camera for you…

Olympus Tough TG-2

Olympus Tough TG-2 Review thumbnail

The Olympus Tough TG-2 is a new water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera for 2013. Boasting a fast f2.0 aperture high-speed lens, the TG-2 also offers full 1080p HD movies, a 4x zoom lens and a 3 inch OLED screen. Read our Olympus Tough TG-2 review to find out if it’s still one of our favourite all-weather cameras…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 is a new freeze, shock, water and dust proof camera. The well-appointed Panasonic FT5 also features built-in GPS, wi-fi and NFC functionality, a compass, altimeter and barometer, 4.6x zoom, 1920×1080 full-HD movie recording and a 16 megapixel sensor. Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 review to find out if this is the best do-it-all camera for your family….

Pentax Optio WG-3

Pentax Optio WG-3 Review thumbnail

The Pentax Optio WG-3 is a new shock, freeze, dust, water and crush proof compact camera. The Pentax WG3 offers 16 megapixels, a 3-inch LCD, a 4x zoom lens, Full HD movie recording and built-in LED macro lights. Available for £279.99 / $299.95, read our in-depth Pentax Optio WG-3 review now…

Samsung WP10

Samsung WP10 Review thumbnail

The WP10 / AQ100 is Samsung’s first foray into the world of waterproof cameras. Sporting a 12 megapixel sensor and 5x zoom lens, the WP10 can be used at a depth of 3 meters / 10 feet. Available for less than £179.99 / $199.99, read our Samsung WP10 review find out if this budget shooter is all the camera you need.

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Ricoh WG-4 GPS from around the web.

ephotozine.com »

The Ricoh WG-4 GPS is a new outdoors camera, released in January 2014. The latest model is waterproof down to 14m and features a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0. The GPS model is available in blue or black for around £290, the non-GPS version is available in silver or lime yellow for around £260, and is simply known as the Ricoh WG-4.
Read the full review »

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Ricoh WG-4 GPS Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

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SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/ricoh_wg4_gps_review