The newly announced Ricoh WG-M1 is the latest addition to the WG-series of rugged adventure cameras. But its quirky form-factor differs from the rest of the line-up, and the new 14-megapixel camera is clearly designed to compete in the action camera market. It features a wide-angle lens, built-in Wi-Fi and a 1.5-inch LCD screen.

Ricoh's WG-M1 shares the same level of toughness as the firm's other cameras in the WG series, and the Pentax cameras before them. Its air-tight construction is waterproof to a depth of 10 meters (33 ft) without the need for additional protective housing, shock-resistant against falls from two meters (6.6 ft), and cold-resistant to temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F).

On the front of the WG-M1 is an ultra-wide-angle 16.8-mm equivalent F2.8 lens which gives a 160 degree field of view when shooting stills, though this is reduced to 137 degrees when recording video. Inside there's a 14-megapixel 1/2.3-inch type CMOS sensor. The camera has an ISO range of 100 to 800 and can shoot bursts of images at speeds of up to 10 frames per second.

The Ricoh WG-M1 is capable of shooting video at Full HD 1080p 30 fps, and can increase the frame-rate as resolution drops, by 848 x 480 it can record at 120 fps to produce slow-motion footage. There's also an integrated stereo microphone to capture your whoops and gasps throughout whatever madcap action-based activity you're recording. Video modes include motion detection, which starts recording when a moving object is detected in the frame, loop recording, which keeps recording movies while creating new files at intervals, and time lapse, which produces time-compressed movies.

Measuring 42.5 x 66.5 x 89.5 mm (1.7 x 2.6 x 3.5 in) and weighing 190g (6.7 oz) the camera also features a 1.5-inch color LCD monitor with 115K dots for checking real-time images during both still-image and movie shooting modes. Big buttons like those on the Ricoh WG-4 GPS should make it easy to control the WG-M1 whether you are surfing or snowboarding with gloves on, and built-in Wi-Fi is on hand for sending still images and movies to your smartphone.

However, if you're still thinking the WG-M1 looks like it could be awkward to hold and carry, it's worth noting that it comes complete with a carabiner-equipped strap for easy transportation. There's also a WG adhesive mount in the box, so that users can attach the camera to different surfaces. It's also compatible with other WG mounts, including ones to mount it on handle bars, on a helmet, or with a suction cup or magnet.

The Ricoh WG-M1 is available for pre-order now priced at US$300. It should hit stores in orange and black options, from October.

You can see the Ricoh WG-M1 in action in the promo video below.

Product page: Ricoh WG-M1

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