Ricoh WG-4 / GPS

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Ricoh-WG-4The Ricoh WG-4 is, in effect, the 17th generation of Pentax rugged compact camera.

Pentax Ricoh was formed in 2011 when Ricoh purchased Pentax and made it a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh. In 2013, Ricoh dropped “Pentax” from the corporate name, vowing it would retain the Pentax brand. So here we go: Compact cameras will carry the Ricoh name, DSLRs the Pentax name.

The Ricoh WG-4 GPS and WG-4 offer a form factor ideal for the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of any explorer, says Ricoh. When combined with the new WG mounting accessories, adventures become hands-free. Consisting of a camera base which uses a flexible ball and socket system, these new mounting accessories maintain compatibility with three new mounts; an adhesive camera mount, handlebar camera mount and suction cup camera mount.

Advanced shooting modes like HDR mode produce beautifully accurate scenery depicted true to memory, while Slow-Motion Video captures and enhances even the quickest action with details regular video can miss.

Other user-friendly features include Panoramic mode and Digital Microscope mode, which uses six LED lights to focus on subjects as close as one centimeter from the lens bringing tiny worlds to life.

The WG-4 series includes USER and Shutter Priority modes. USER mode enables quick recall of frequently used settings. Auto Picture mode automatically selects one of 16 different scene modes for a given scene or subject. Handheld Night Snap mode automatically captures multiple images of the same nighttime scene and produces a single blur-free, composite image from them.

The WG-4 and WG-4 GPS are waterproof to 45 feet (14 m), shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet (2 m), cold proof to 14F (-10C), and crushproof, withstanding up to 220 foot-pounds of force (100 kilogram force).

The cameras feature a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor (top sensitivity of ISO 6400) and folded optical 4X zoom lens (approx. 25-100 mm equivalent) with f/2 maximum aperture, along with dual shake reduction system combining an image-sensor-shift-type SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism with a Digital SR mode.

The two models provide Full HD movie recording employing the H.264 recording format, allowing the user to capture high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. They also feature a high-speed camera function for slow-motion playback of captured movie clips and a fast-forward movie function to simplify creative movie techniques. A micro-HDMI terminal (Type D) is also provided for simultaneous output of Full HD movie clips and sound to external audio-visual devices.

These WG-series models incorporate a 3.0-inch color LCD monitor.

The WG-4 GPS comes equipped with a GPS module which automatically records position data and travel log data onto captured images and adjusts the built-in clock to local time. Its pressure sensor and digital compass also allow the user to check the pressure, altitude/underwater depth and direction of a shooting location on the camera’s LCD monitor.

The WG-4 GPS is available in blue or black for $399.99. The WG-4 is available in silver or lime yellow for $349.99. Both models will be available in March.

The WG series mounting accessories are compatible with all WG-series cameras and will be available in February; camera holder, $26.99; adhesive mount, $49.99; handle bar mount, $44.99; suction cup mount, $47.99.

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