Ricoh WG-5 GPS Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Ricoh WG-5 GPS
Resolution: 16.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 4.00x zoom
(25-100mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 6400
Extended ISO: 125 - 6400
Shutter: 1/4000 - 4 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.0
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.5 x 1.3 in.
(125 x 65 x 32 mm)
Weight: 8.3 oz (236 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 03/2015
Manufacturer: Ricoh
Full specs: Ricoh WG-5 GPS specifications
16.00
Megapixels
4.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Ricoh WG-5 GPS
Front side of Ricoh WG-5 GPS digital camera Front side of Ricoh WG-5 GPS digital camera Front side of Ricoh WG-5 GPS digital camera Front side of Ricoh WG-5 GPS digital camera Front side of Ricoh WG-5 GPS digital camera

Ricoh WG-5 GPS Review -- First Impressions

Preview posted

Olympus E-M5 II review -- Front left quarter view

The Ricoh WG-5 GPS is of course the successor to last year's WG-4 GPS, and among its updates are improved shock resistance, a refined underwater mode, and enhanced interval shooting.

In terms of physical appearance, it's near-identical to its predecessor, with only some tweaks to the screen-printed markings such as displaying the maximum aperture of F2.0 instead of the rated maximum depth next to the lens, as well as being offered in different body colors.

Exposure. The WG-5 GPS offers a myriad of shooting modes including Auto Picture which automatically selects from about 16 scene types, Program, Shutter Priority, USER, HDR, Night Scene, Handheld Night Snap, Movie, Underwater, Underwater Movie, Digital Microscope, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Interval Shot, Interval Movie, High Speed Movie, Time-Lapse Movie, 1CM Macro Movie, Digital SR, Surf & Snow, Kids, Pet, Sport, Fireworks, Night Scene Portrait, Food, Report, and Green mode.

The Ricoh WG-5's improved underwater mode is said to offer optimized white balance to suppress the blue cast often produced while under the surface, for more natural color reproduction. As previously mentioned, interval shooting is also said to be improved over its predecessor, however specifics were not provided at time of writing.

Shutter speeds in most exposure modes range from 1/4,000 to 1/4 second, although speeds as slow as four seconds are possible in Shutter Priority and Night Scene mode. There's +/-2 EV of exposure compensation available adjustable in 1/3 EV steps, and a choice of Multi-segment, Centre-weighted or Spot metering is on offer.

The WG-5 GPS also has 13 digital filter effects that can be applied in playback mode: B&W, Sepia, Toy Camera, Retro, Color, Color Extract, Color Emphasis, High Contrast, Starburst, Soft, Fisheye, Brightness, and Miniature.

Life-proof. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS is, like its predecessor, impressively rugged and world-proof. Maximum depth remains at 45 feet (13.7m), which will more than meet the needs of snorkelers, and most recreational scuba divers too, however the WG-5 GPS's shockproof rating has been increased to 7.2 feet (2.2m), up from 6.6 feet (2m).

Other "tough" ratings remain the same: crushproof to 220 foot-pounds (100kgf), freezeproof to 14F (-10C), and dustproof (to IPX6 / JIS 6 standards.) Like its predecessor, you've no reason not to take the WG-5 GPS almost anywhere, and can safely let anybody use it -- even kids.

GPS. A built-in GPS receiver is used to geotag your images with their capture location, so you can easily retrace your day's shooting, or find images by browsing through them on a map. And as well as geolocation, the WG-5 GPS sports a digital compass and a pressure sensor, letting it record the altitude (or depth beneath the surface), and the direction the camera was facing when you pressed the shutter button.

Sensor. At the core of the Ricoh WG-5 GPS is a 1/2.3-inch, backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor with an effective resolution of 16 megapixels, and a total resolution of 16.79 megapixels. The WG-5 GPS offers sensitivities from ISO 125 to 6400 equivalents under automatic or manual control. Full-res burst shooting rate is still sedate, at only 1.5 fps for 60 frames. Drop the resolution to five megapixels, though, and you can capture as many as 30 shots at a rate of about 12 fps, while at four megapixel resolution a rate of 14 fps for 30 shots is possible.

Lens. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS places its sensor behind a 4x optical zoom lens. The lens' optical formula consists of nine elements in seven groups, four of them being aspherics, behind a protective glass cover with SP coating. The lens offers 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from 25 to 100mm; actual focal lengths range from 4.5 to 18mm. Maximum aperture is a bright f/2.0 at wide angle, falling to f/4.9 by the telephoto position.

Stabilization. Although it already sports a relatively bright aperture for its class, the Ricoh WG-5 GPS also includes true sensor-shift mechanical image stabilization. The company says this is one prong of a dual shake reduction system, with the other component being a Digital SR mode. This simply raises ISO sensitivity, and hence shutter speeds and noise levels.

Autofocus. Like almost all fixed-lens cameras, the Ricoh WG-5 GPS uses a contrast detection autofocus system. Courtesy of face detection technology, the system can locate and take account of up to 32 faces within the image frame. The same tech is also used to provide a self-portrait assist mode, for quick and simple selfies.

Focusing modes include 9-point and spot, and an automatic tracking function is also included. Ordinarily, the WG-5 GPS will focus to as close as 1.31 feet (40cm), and in macro mode this is reduced to as little as 0.33 feet (10cm). In Super Macro mode -- also known as Digital Microscope or 1CM Macro mode -- the WG-5 GPS can focus as close as just 0.4 inches (1cm), although the lens is fixed at the middle of the zoom range, and resolution plunges to just two megapixels with a fixed 16:9 aspect ratio.

The WG-5 GPS includes an AF assist lamp, helpful when focusing on nearby subjects in low light, as well as six LED lights to provide even illumination of macro subjects.

Displays. Catering for framing and reviewing of your images and movies, the Ricoh WG-5 GPS offers up a 3.0-inch, TFT LCD panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a resolution of around 460,000 dots. (That equates to around 153,000 pixels.) To make the most of the display's wide 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, Ricoh has included an anti-reflective coating. The camera also features a dual-axis electronic level.

The WG-5 GPS also sports a small monochrome status display on the front panel. This can show a clock, and either the air pressure or altitude.

Flash. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS also includes a built-in five mode flash strobe with red-eye reduction capability. When using Auto ISO sensitivity -- so in other words, ISO 6400 -- this has an effective range of 34 feet (10.4m) at wide angle, or 14 feet (4.3m) at telephoto.

Video. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS can shoot more than just stills: You can also record high-definition movies. These use MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 compression and include stereo PCM WAV audio. For the best quality, you'll want to shoot at Full HD (1080p; 1,920 x 1,080 pixel) resolution, with a rate of 30 frames per second. You can achieve higher frame rates to 120fps max. for a 1/4 speed slow-motion effect, too, but the movie will be captured at a low resolution of just 640 x 360 pixels. There's also a time-lapse movie function.

Connectivity. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS sports a combined USB 2.0 High Speed data and NTSC/PAL composite video output port, and a Type-D Micro HDMI terminal. There are also two infrared remote control receivers, one each on the front and rear of the camera body, letting you trip the shutter remotely whether you're behind the camera or in front of it. (A rather nice touch, we think, made even more useful by Ricoh's new, optional camera mounts!)

Storage and battery. Images and movies are stored via a Secure Digital card slot, which also accepts higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC cards. Saving the day if you accidentally leave your flash card at home, there's also around 70MB of built-in memory, enough for a handful of the most critical shots. Eye-Fi Secure Digital cards are also supported, so you can shoot wirelessly -- but as noted previously, you'll now need to crack the battery compartment every time you want to recharge, since inductive charging is no longer a feature. Power comes from a D-LI92 lithium ion rechargeable battery pack, rated as good for 240 shots on a charge.

Bundle. A power adapter, USB cable, AC power cable, carabiner strap and macro stand are included in the product bundle. The carabiner strap lets you clip the camera to a backpack, belt loop, or somewhere else that will keep it safe.

Optional accessories. Probably the coolest is an O-LA135 lens adapter, which lets you mount the Ricoh DW-5 Wide Conversion Lens, taking wide-angle coverage out to 22mm-equivalent. Other options include the WG adhesive mount, WG handle bar mount, and WG suction cup mount, each of which are attached via the WG holder, as well as three WG mount repair kits. There's also an O-CC135 camera case with belt loop, O-CC1352 protector jacket, and O-ST1352 float strap.

Price and availability. Available from March 2015, the Ricoh WG-5 GPS is priced at around US$380, the same price as its predecessor at introduction. Two body colors are slated for availability in the US market: Orange or Gunmetal Gray.

 

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