Ricoh lights up underwater photography with WG-80 rugged camera
Though many smartphones today can survive a dunk in the drink, taking photos or videos while submerged can be a challenge. A dedicated case might help, but you may still struggle to match the underwater capabilities of a rugged camera like Ricoh's new WG-80 compact.
The latest in a long line of rugged cameras from Ricoh, the WG-80 has been designed for outdoor adventures, underwater content creation and for the rigors of work on an industrial job site.
The airtight body is waterproof to 46 ft (14 m) for up to two hours and as light travels differently underwater, the WG-80 compensates for contrast losses while also enhancing the usually weak shades of red for more vibrant photos and videos.
The compact is also dustproof to IPX6 standards, can survive a drop to the ground from a height of 5 ft (1.6 m), is crushproof to 100 kgf and can operate in temperatures as low as 14 °F (-10 °C).
Inside, there's a 1/2.3-inch 16-MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, with super-resolution image processing technology onboard for the promise of "sharp, clear, high-resolution images." The WG-80 offers ISO light sensitivity up to 6,400 and is capable of Full HD video recording at 30 frames per second in H.264 format, with a built-in micro-HDMI port allowing for simultaneous output to an external monitor.
The 5x optical zoom lens has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 28 mm to 140 mm, though an Intelligent Zoom function is reported to digitally extend that zoom range to 36x without compromising image quality.
Electronic image stabilization comes as an anti-shake triple made up of Pixel Track shake reduction that "effectively compensates for camera shake by digitally processing affected images," a Digital SR mode that automatically raises light sensitivity to the max so that higher shutter speeds are employed to minimize the effects of camera shake, and a Movie SR mode that compensates for misaligned images with the "use of exclusive software to produce beautiful, blur-free movie clips."
Out front is an integrated light ring comprising six LEDs with five adjustable intensity levels for macro photography, lighting up underwater scenes or even making selfies shine. And around back there's a 2.7-inch outdoor-viewable LCD monitor with adjustable brightness.
The WG-80 rugged compact goes on sale next month for a suggested retail price of US$329.95.
Product page: Ricoh WG-80