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Ricoh WG-M2 rugged action cam gets stronger body, upgrade to 4K video

Ricoh has a follow-up to the WG-M1 action cam it announced in 2014. The new WG-M2 has a similar form-factor as its predecessor, although there are noticeable design changes. Ricoh has made the camera more rugged, and improved the components and capabilities.

With an emphasis on video, the WG-M2’s still image resolution drops from 14 to 8 megapixels. But the camera can now shoot video at 4K at 30 frames per second (fps), as well as Full HD 1080p at 60 fps and HD 720p at 120 fps; the previous model could only shoot up to 1080p at 30 fps. Eight-megapixel isn’t bad (that’s what the iPhone takes), but it’s clear that video is the highlight.

Related: Pentax’s long-awaited full-frame DSLR goes on sale in April

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The lens field-of-view has increased. The ultra-wide-angle lens has a FOV of 204 degrees, compared to the WG-M1’s 160 for stills and 130 for video. There is a 1.5-inch color LCD for video playback – same as the WG-M1, but rare in most action cams – and Wi-Fi for remote operation or uploads via phone or tablet.

The WG-M2 is tougher. It can dive down to 65 feet, and is shock-resistant from 6.5 feet; freeze-proof remains the same at 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike many action cams, the WG-M2 doesn’t need a special housing.

Other features include vibration-based confirmation when it starts or stops recording (handy for underwater use); shake reduction; and new special video effects.

The camera hits stores in April. At $300, it’s competitive to 4K action cams from GoPro and Sony.

Pentax K-3 II Silver Edition

Following the special silver edition of the GR II, Ricoh is releasing the Pentax K-3 II Silver Edition DSLR. Available in the spring, only 500 cameras were made, and will be available via Ricoh’s website for $1,000. The camera, made to commemorate Ricoh’s 80th birthday, is the exact same model as the standard K-3 II.