Basic Specifications
Full model name: Ricoh G900
Resolution: 20.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 5.00x zoom
(28-140mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 6400
Extended ISO: 125 - 6400
Shutter: 1/4000 - 4 sec
Max Aperture: 3.5
Dimensions: 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.3 in.
(118 x 66 x 33 mm)
Weight: 8.7 oz (247 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 05/2019
Manufacturer: Ricoh
Full specs: Ricoh G900 specifications
20.20
Megapixels
5.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Ricoh G900
Front side of Ricoh G900 digital camera        

Ricoh G900 Review -- First Impressions

by Mike Tomkins
Preview posted 02/21/2019

Ricoh has long been a camera company that thrives on the niche market. Its GR-series cameras live for image quality, while its Theta-series are VR-ready 360-degree panoramic cameras, and its WG-series are action, adventure and outdoor specialists.

And then there's the G-series, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. (The very first in the line was the one-megapixel Ricoh RDC-100G, which to the best of our knowledge never shipped outside of the Japanese market.)

A brand-new aesthetic for the 20th anniversary of Ricoh's rugged industrial digicam line

Now in its ninth generation, the Ricoh G900 -- alternately known as the G900SE -- exists in a very different world to that first model back in 1999 -- and yet two full decades later, it's laser-focused on precisely the same market niche: Industrial usage on worksites and in other similarly challenging conditions.

In the past, the G-series cameras have always been beautiful for what lay beneath, with ugly duckling exteriors that placed function light years ahead of form. The G900 changes all that, inheriting a stylish new body from the simultaneously-launched Ricoh WG-6, a rugged consumer model aimed at fans of the great outdoors. (The handgrip is tweaked somewhat for better grip, however, since the G900 is aimed at environments where gloves may be a requirement.)

Just as in that camera, the new body is impressively rugged. It's capable of being immersed up to 65 feet (20 m) for as long as two hours, is dust-, cold- and crushproof to JIS class 6, JIS class 8 and 100kgf (220lbf), respectively, and is shockproof to 6.5 feet (2 m). In addition, Ricoh also describes the G900 as being chemical-resistant, something it doesn't specifically claim for the WG-6.

The Ricoh G900 inherits its body and most hardware from the consumer-friendly Ricoh WG-6

We'd imagine that the mass-market WG-6 will sell in droves more than the Ricoh G900SE will, but it's the G900 which offers the higher specification of the pair. Although in most respects, they're much the same camera under the skin, too, there are certainly a couple of areas where the G900 pulls ahead in terms of its hardware.

In particular, the WG-6 has just 27MB of internal storage available in addition to whatever is inserted into its SD card slot, whereas the G900 has 6.5GB of internal storage. That will prove infinitely more useful if you forget to bring a flash card with you to the work site. Or, reasons Ricoh, you might want to shoot exclusively to the internal memory to avoid your images being revealed if the tiny flash card is lost.

The G900 also ships with an external battery charger in the product bundle, where the WG-6 must charge in-camera unless you separately purchase a battery charger. (Admittedly, doing so will be far cheaper than paying the premium for this business-oriented model, though.)

The features you're really paying for are in the firmware

So if the hardware is relatively little-changed from the WG-6, which retails for just US$400, why would you want to pay twice as much for the G900, which lists for US$800 or thereabouts? The answer can be found in the firmware, which is pretty heavily customized to add features which will appeal to business use and most especially to industrial work, rather than to the selfie-snapping general public.

In aid of that goal, the Ricoh G900 sports features for which the G-series lineup has become known, like the ability to use the camera to scan and tag images with barcodes, or to overlay a previously-captured image on the LCD's live view feed as an onion skin, allowing you to more precisely line up a later capture from the same angle.

There's also an enhanced memo function that allows one of 100 predetermined 128-character text snippets or 30 seconds of audio to be attached to images. And up to 999 images from other sources -- for example, plans and blueprints, suggests Ricoh -- can be viewed on the camera's LCD. There are also additional scene modes targeting certain use cases -- for example, emergency services are courted with firefighting and haze removal functions, while text and skew correction scene modes are also clearly aimed at business use.

You can even lock and password protect the camera to prevent unauthorized use. Here, multiple users and user levels are available, such that an administrator could lock others out of the menu system, and a regular user could lock others out of the camera entirely. You can also separately control access not just to the menu or to the camera as a whole, but also to the internal memory and the USB connection. The password can be entered either via an on-screen keyboard or by scanning the correct barcode.

In other respects, features are similar to those of the WG-6

That pretty much rounds things out for the new, business-specific features. In other respects, the Ricoh G900 is a whole lot like the consumer-grade WG-6. If you want to know more about that model, you'll want to continue by reading our Ricoh WG-6 preview!

Ricoh G900 pricing and availability

Ricoh has not disclosed availability for the G900 digital camera in the US market. Pricing is set at around US$800, which is a premium of around US$400 over the cost of the WG-6 on which it is based.

 

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