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Ricoh WG-80 Overview: A Robust Digicam within the Unsuitable Line of Work


The Ricoh WG-80 is an attention-grabbing prospect because it encompasses a highly-durable development that’s exceedingly waterproof and crushproof, plus it has the flexibility to optically zoom and shoot macro pictures. On paper, there’s a lot to love.

Level-and-shoot cameras priced within the few-hundred-dollar vary aren’t useless but, and more and more they’re coming within the type of what we see with the Ricoh WG-80. To distinguish extra clearly from smartphones, this style of waterproof cameras gives increased safety, higher zoom capabilities, and some additional options not simply replicable in cellular units.

Let’s check out the WG-80 and decide the place its potential is finest realized.

Construct High quality

The Ricoh WG-80 measures 4.8 inches large, 2.4 inches tall, and is 1.2 inches at its thickest. On the dimensions, it weighs 6.8 ounces (195 grams) with each the battery and SD card put in. The scale and weight mixture do give an impression of hardiness as there’s a bit little bit of heft to it.

Ricoh WG-80

The outside is principally made from textured plastic that feels good within the fingers, and there’s a steel plate spanning the entrance face that ought to present extra sturdiness. When the digital camera is moist, it doesn’t appear to have an effect on the grip and it doesn’t get slippery.

Printed proper on the again of the digital camera are a number of stats about its ruggedness. The WG-80 has been examined to be waterproof as much as 45 toes (14 meters), crushproof in opposition to weights as much as 220 kilos of drive (100 kilograms), freezeproof to temperatures as little as 14 levels Fahrenheit (-10 levels Celcius), and shockproof in opposition to falls from a top of as much as 5.2 toes (1.6 meters). It’s protected to say that this digital camera will maintain up higher than most conventional digital camera our bodies in the case of accidents and might proceed for use in additional circumstances, like underwater, with out specialised equipment.

Ricoh WG-80

A part of what helps earn its toughness is that aside from the buttons, there aren’t any transferring components on the skin. Though the Ricoh WG-80 has a 28-140mm f/3.5-5.5 optical zoom lens (full-frame equal), it doesn’t lengthen outdoors the entrance protecting factor and solely strikes encased behind it. From the look of it, the entrance factor is held in place with six screws and a plastic panel, but it surely doesn’t seem that Ricoh gives alternative glass direct to shoppers to be simply replaceable. This was stunning to me, and I believed for positive I’d have the ability to choose one up cheaply in case of injury like how GoPro does it.

LCD Display

For monitoring, there isn’t a viewfinder constructed into the digital camera, so there’s a robust reliance on the LCD display screen to be good. Sadly, this show will not be on the digital camera’s listing of strengths. It’s 2.7 inches which feels cramped, and worse, it’s solely 230,000 dots of decision which implies the whole lot appears to be like pixelated and you may’t truly inform in the event you obtained a topic in focus till the pictures and video are off the digital camera.

Ricoh WG-80 rear.

There’s an anti-reflection coating on the display screen, which is at the least a bit useful for viewing in sunny circumstances, but it surely’s not going to get rid of the issue in a approach {that a} brighter display screen may assist. Within the menu choices, there’s an “Outside View Setting” mode which isn’t useful for sunny circumstances. This mode might be set to -2, -1, Off, +1, or +2.

Utilizing -2 or -1 is sweet for when it’s darkish, and also you don’t need the display screen brightness at full energy and blinding you. Off is the default, and +1 and +2 don’t change the precise display screen brightness in any respect in comparison with Off. All this does is lighten the perceived publicity and scale back the distinction of what’s on the display screen, but it surely doesn’t make the precise display screen luminance brighter. It simply makes monitoring in sunny circumstances worse than leaving it at Off.

Picture High quality

The digital camera is predicated round a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. As a result of this can be a point-and-shoot digital camera, I’ll supply the reference level that an iPhone 13 is 12 megapixels however makes use of a barely bigger 1/1.9-inch backside-illuminated sensor. The WG-80 shoots JPEG pictures solely, no RAW, and has an ISO vary of 125 to six,400.

The 5x optical zoom lens is a 28-140mm equal focal size and makes use of 11 components in 9 teams, 5 of that are aspherical. The aperture can’t be manually chosen, however it seems that on the large finish, the aperture vary is f/3.5 to f/4.2, and on the telephoto finish, it’s f/5.5 to f/6.6. It is a versatile zoom vary contemplating it’s all transferring internally, and I can seize number of pictures which have a unique really feel to them based mostly on the focal size chosen.

Ricoh WG-80 at 1x zoom.
1x zoom.
Ricoh WG-80 at 2.2x zoom.
2.2x zoom.
5x zoom.
Ricoh WG-80 ISO comparison.
ISO comparability. 100% cropped.

image high quality, I’m not impressed with the outcomes. The principle downside is a noticeable lack of readability, and plenty of particulars get washed away at any ISO. Even for an individual who’s trying to seize moments in life, not essentially wonderful pictures, I don’t assume they’d be all that pleased with the smeariness in individuals’s faces nor would they recognize stunning landscapes and trip pictures which are decreased down to paint and distinction as a result of the element is simply not being resolved in a approach we anticipate in 2022.

I don’t imply to slam the WG-80 too harshly as a result of we have now to think about that this digital camera is $330. Nonetheless, in a world the place many individuals have competent cameras on their smartphones, there may be definitely an expectation {that a} standalone digital camera ought to, at minimal, be simply nearly as good, and I don’t assume that’s the case right here in the case of picture high quality. Sure, this can have extra zoom and higher dealing with, however I’m discovering that the outcomes are a bit powerful to like.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.
HDR mode off.
Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.
HDR mode on.
Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.
Shot in portrait mode which is meant to make pores and skin tones look finest.

In Program mode, I’m capable of manually set the ISO sensitivity and set the publicity worth (EV) between -2 to +2, which is useful. One factor that may be irritating in regards to the WG-80 is that most of the image settings are reset to default as soon as the digital camera is turned off and again on once more. These embody the EV, white stability, ISO, and even the Auto ISO vary. This may very well be by design to keep away from confusion with first-time digital camera patrons who mess around and set the digital camera a method and days later get confused as to why their pictures are popping out trying blue with awful publicity. That stated, I believe Ricoh ought to have simply let the Auto Image mode deal with this kind of consumer and let these settings be remembered in Program mode.

One of many advantages of utilizing the WG-80 is its extraordinarily shut focusing distance in Macro and Digital Microscope modes. In Digital Microscope mode, it may well focus as shut as one centimeter and helps optical zooming as much as 1.8x. Within the field of the WG-80 is a “macro stand,” which is a plastic ring that clips to the top of the lens. It may be used to set the digital camera on a flat floor, lens pointed down, to get secure excessive closeups.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.

For those who’re pondering there could be no gentle coming via and due to this fact be unimaginable to shoot like this, you’d be proper if it weren’t for the truth that the digital camera has six built-in LEDs circling the top of the lens to light up shut objects. As well as, a menu possibility permits me to fine-tune the sunshine output with 5 intensities, and in response to Ricoh, it’s now double the brightness of its predecessor. Oddly, I can’t change depth in Digital Microscope mode, however I can with common macro taking pictures.

From my testing, the macro gentle isn’t fairly vibrant sufficient to make a lot of an affect when there’s reasonable lighting already. Even within the shade on a sunny day, I wouldn’t discover any distinction between the macro gentle on and off if I wasn’t explicitly searching for the very delicate distinction within the shadows. Indoors, the distinction is rather more obvious for macro topics, and beneath are examples shot with out the macro gentle, with the macro gentle, and with the usual flash.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.
Macro gentle comparability. Off, Macro gentle on (full energy), Common Flash.

Macro pictures undergo from the identical downside that plagues common taking pictures on the WG-80, that there’s not a lot element being resolved. It will possibly focus carefully, however being in focus with this digital camera can typically imply “when it appears to be like least blurry.” Even after setting the digital camera on a tripod and utilizing the two-second timer to keep away from digital camera shake, I’m not pleased with the smeary picture high quality general. The candy spot for this digital camera appears to be focusing from an arm’s size away to possibly 10 to fifteen toes away; when it’s not so shut you actually see the shortage of readability, and when it’s not so far-off the whole lot is melted collectively and also you solely get an impression of a scene.

Laborious on the Exterior, Mushy on the Inside

Mushy image high quality points apart, I don’t assume I’d take into account the WG-80 a complete failure. It’s a easy digital camera to function, it may well shoot close-up photographs and has macro lights in-built for dimly lit circumstances, and the construct high quality is made to final. Maybe it’s a failure in imaginative and prescient. There are a heck of plenty of random digital camera modes on this factor and all kinds of fluff that distract from the very fact this could in all probability make for a fairly good job-site digital camera. A comparatively cheap digital camera that doesn’t stop can have extra worth than a weaker digital camera that takes excellent imagery.

Ricoh WG-80 sample photo.

Are There Options?

One different to the WG-80 could be the Ricoh WG-6. This waterproof point-and-shoot digital camera got here out in early 2019 and options most of the similar favorable elements because the WG-80 such because the macro capabilities and six-LED macro gentle. Though it’s older, the digital camera may be very shut in value and has just a few upgrades. On the highest, there’s a devoted mode dial as a substitute of urgent a button and biking via an on-screen menu. It’s additionally 20 megapixels and might shoot 4K video. The rear show is a contact bigger at 3 inches versus 2.7 inches, however the pixel decision is significantly better at 1.04-million-dots versus 230,000 dots.

Elevating the funds to $450, there’s additionally the Olympus Robust TG-6 to think about. The downsides to this digital camera could also be that it’s 12 megapixels, doesn’t attain as far on the telephoto finish, and the macro gentle is a $100 add-on piece. Nonetheless, there are stable enhancements on supply as properly: it may well shoot RAW pictures, the aperture opens as much as f/2 on the large finish, it has 25 focus factors relatively than 9, and it may well do 20 frames per second steady taking pictures for as much as 14 RAW frames or limitless JPEGs till the cardboard fills. It even has a Professional Seize mode for getting 5 frames previous to urgent the shutter button. On the subject of the toughness elements like waterproofing, dustproofing, crushproofing, freezeproofing, and shockproofing, the TG-6 matches or barely exceeds the WG-80.

Lastly, a bit outdoors the product class however price mentioning nonetheless is the trusty GoPro HERO 10. As an motion digital camera, it won’t be able to zoom to wherever close to a 140mm equal just like the Ricoh. Nonetheless, the digital camera is fairly sturdy for most individuals and might go underwater as much as 33 toes (10.1 meters). The stabilization and 5.3K 60p video additionally blow the pants off of what the WG-80 gives. As of publication time, the HERO 10 was on sale for $400, which is $70 greater than the WG-80.

Ought to You Purchase It?

No, not for artwork. The Ricoh WG-80 in all probability isn’t going to be sufficient for you if you’re aiming for a digital camera that takes the perfect pictures. Having stated that, I can nonetheless see the utility in having a digital camera like this for documenting and work-related duties which is little question a goal for Ricoh.

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