Ricoh has announced two new rugged compact cameras, WG-20 and WG-4, as well as the HD Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW rear converter.
The inevitable has finally happened! After purchasing the Pentax brand more than two years ago, Ricoh is finally taking the first steps in killing this brand and putting its own print on a series of rugged cameras that have originally been introduced by Pentax.
Ricoh WG-20 and Ricoh WG-4 are now official and they are here to replace the Pentax WG-10 and Pentax WG-3. These last two have been launched one year ago at the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2013.
The company will bring the newer models at the CP+ 2014, where everybody can see them. These rugged compact cameras are the first to make the switch to the Ricoh brand, so it is fair to assume that the Pentax brand is dead and gone when it comes to the compact camera series.
As for the Pentax marque for interchangeable lens cameras, it still has a long life ahead, considering the fact that the new HD Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW rear converter retains its original label.
Ricoh WG-20 rugged compact camera withstands everything mother nature throws at it
First comes the Ricoh WG-20, a compact camera that can withstand the rigors of harsh environments. It boasts a durable construction and plenty of features, while retaining its user-friendliness.
The device is waterproof down to 33-feet, shockproof from 5-feet drops, crushproof up to 220 foot-pound of force, and freezeproof down to temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
It offers 25 shooting modes for users who do not enjoy to manually input the exposure settings, including time-lapse recording and Digital Microscope mode. The latter allows users to focus on subjects located at a distance of only one centimeter.
CCD sensor and 5x optical zoom lens on the Ricoh WG-20 specs sheet
Ricoh WG-20 specs list features a 14-megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type CCD image sensor, ISO sensitivity range between 80 and 6400, 5x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm and f/3.5-5.5 maximum aperture, 9-point AF system, and a 2.7-inch fixed LCD screen on the back with Live View support.
The shutter speed is not out of the ordinary, offering a range between 1/1500th of a second and 4 seconds. The shooter sports a built-in flash to light up dark environments, and records only 720p HD movies.
It stores files on a SD/SDHC/SDXC card, but it captures only JPEG images, so no RAW support in here. HDMI and USB 2.0 ports are available, although a hot shoe mount for external accessories is nowhere to be found.
Ricoh WG-4 takes over the premium rugged compact camera series from the Pentax WG-3
Ricoh WG-4 is a premium rugged compact camera. It is aimed at photographers who want to capture better photos and those who demand even more durable features from their shooter.
Its press release confirms that it is waterproof down to 45 feet, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof to drops from up to 6.6 feet, and crushproof from the same amount of force as the Ricoh WG-20.
The new device sports Panoramic, HDR, Digital Microscope, and a Slow-Motion Video mode. All of these allow users to put their creativity to a test, while enjoying life at the maximum.
Ricoh WG-4 GPS edition adds location features and a front-facing display
As for the specs, the Ricoh WG-4 features 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type BSI CMOS sensor with dual shake reduction technology. This combines the sensor-shift Shake Reduction system with a Digital SR mode, so that blur is eliminated from images and videos.
The ISO stands between 125 and 6400, shutter speed between 1/4000 and 4 seconds, while the 4x optical zoom lens offers a 35mm equivalent of 25-100mm and a maximum aperture of f/2-4.9.
The AF assist lamp and built-in flash will both light up the scenes, allowing users to focus properly while looking on the 3-inch LCD screen in Live View mode. The camera records videos at full HD resolution and JPEG photos, so still no RAW support for professional editors.
A Ricoh WG-4 GPS version exists, too, the only differences between the two being the presence of built-in GPS and a secondary display in front of the camera.
Release date, price, and availability details
Ricoh will release the WG-20 in white and red colors for a price of $199.95 as of March 2014.
The WG-4 will become available in silver and lime yellow flavors for $329.95 this March. The WG-4 GPS will be released in blue and black colors for $379.95 around the same timeframe.
Four accessories are planned to go on sale along with the shooters, including a camera holder, adhesive mount, handlebar mount, and suction cup mount.
Ricoh takes K-mount users 40% closer to a subject with the HD Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW rear converter
Ricoh’s surprise for K-mount camera and lens owners consists of the HD Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW rear converter. It comes packed with all required electronic contacts, meaning that it can focus automatically regardless of the K-mount lens and camera in use.
The new rear converter is based on a design with four elements in three groups. It is weathersealed, therefore photographers should not worry about using it in extreme conditions.
The HD Pentax DA AF 1.4x AW rear converter will take you closer to the subject by 40% as the focal length will be extended by 1.4x. It weighs only 0.28lbs and measures 20mm in length.
The company notes that the aperture will go down by one f-stop when the rear converter is mounted. Ricoh concludes by revealing that the converter will be released at the beginning of spring for $599.95 and you will be able to see it in action at the CP+ 2014.