Ricoh rebadges Pentax WG-series rugged cams, introduces 3 new models

Just ahead of the 2014 CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Japan, Ricoh announced a few new products that include three rugged compact cameras. As we’ve said, rugged cameras are one area manufacturers are focusing on, as a way to distinguish traditional cameras from smartphones – so expect to continue to see more of these cameras from Ricoh and others.

With the new rugged WG cameras, we’ll see a brand change from Pentax to Ricoh. As you may know, Ricoh acquired Pentax a few years back and is now integrating the Pentax brand under the Ricoh umbrella. The Pentax brand will stick around, but used only for interchangeable lens cameras, lenses, and sport optics; the Ricoh name will be attached to compact cameras.

The new WG-4 and WG-4 GPS have some cosmetic and firmware upgrades from their predecessors, the WG-3 and WG-3 GPS, but otherwise are similar. The 16-megapixel cameras are waterproof down to 45 feet, shockproof from 6.6 feet, freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and crushproof up to 220 foot-pound of force. New are User and Shutter Priority modes. Just like in cameras that have them, Shutter Priority lets you adjust the shutter speed, while the User mode is handy for calling up frequently used settings, like when underwater.

Like the previous models, both cameras have a backlit CMOS sensor and optical 4x internal zoom lens, f/2 aperture, dual-shake sensor-shift reduction system, 1080 video capture at 30 frames per second, 3-inch LCD (460k dots), and photographic features like HDR mode, slow-motion video, panorama mode, and Digital Microscope mode (a close-up shooting mode that uses six LED lights for macro photography). Ricoh says users can expect better performance and underwater IQ enhancements. The difference between the two models is the inclusion of GPS for geotagging in the WG-4 GPS, of course.

Both cameras will go on sale in March. The WG-4 comes in silver or lime yellow, and will cost $330. The WG-4 GPS comes in blue or black, and will cost $380. The

In addition, Ricoh is introducing the 14-megapixel WG-20, an entry-level rugged camera that’s exclusive to Target stores. The camera, which succeeds the WG-10, will sell for $200 and come in white and red. It’s slightly less rugged than the WG-4/WG-4 GPS: It’s waterproof down to 33 feet, shockproof from 5 feet, freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and crushproof up to 220 foot-pound of force. It uses a CCD sensor – not as strong as the CMOS, and video capture is only up to 720p. The camera is all about ease-of-use, so there are plenty of auto shooting and creative modes. You don’t get the same performance as the WG-4/WG-4 GPS, but it costs less.

To accompany these and all WG-series cameras, Ricoh announced new mounting accessories that will go on sale this month. They allow users to turn the cameras into action cams. There’s a camera holder ($20), adhesive mount ($50), handlebar mount ($40), and suction cup mount ($43).

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Mobile

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.