With the WG-40 only released in Japan, the WG-50 is the first widely available update to the series since the WG-30W in December 2014. The Ricoh WG-50 uses a 1/2.3 inch backlit sensor for 16-megapixel stills or 1080p HD videos at 30 fps. The compact camera also includes Ricoh’s Pixel Shift image stabilization. The camera’s autofocus uses nine focal points, while facial detection technology can focus on up to 32 faces — or even one pet.
Unlike the WG-5, a rugged camera launched in 2015 that is no longer listed on Ricoh’s website, the two-digit WG series family is designed for affordability, not advanced features. The camera is not as fast as pricier models, with 10 fps only available if the resolution drops down to 5 megapixels and about 1 fps available at full resolution. Unlike the older big brother WG-5, the WG-50 uses a f/3.5 to f/5.5 lens, which is not as bright for shooting in low-light scenarios. That lens does, however, still offer a five-times optical zoom and macro focusing as close as 0.4 inches (1 cm) from the lens.
But what the Ricoh WG-50 offers is a rugged go-anywhere design to affordable compacts. The WG-50 is rated to dive down to about 45 feet (14 meters), as well as withstanding five-foot (1.6 meter) drops. The weather-sealing also offers dust protection and the ability to shoot in colder weather, down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The WG-50 also uses a new Outdoor View mode that adjusts the brightness of the LCD for easier viewing outdoors. Despite the rugged exterior, the camera weighs less than seven ounces and still includes a battery rated for 300 shots.
While the WG-50’s specs are not best-in-class in every area, the camera could grab some attention with a $280 price tag. The camera is expected to start selling on June 23.