Ricoh WG-50 Review

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  • Waterproof to 14m
  • Shock and drop-proof
  • Impressive macro mode
  • 6 LEDs for macro shooting
  • HDR mode built-in
  • Red LED light flashes every time you take a photo
  • Tripod socket position
  • Noise in images
  • 16:9 aspect ratio screen with low-resolution
  • Lacks optical image stabilisation
  • No orientation sensor
  • Poor low-light performance
  • Poor value for money
  • No Wi-Fi!

Ricoh WG 50 Black (2)

The Ricoh WG-50 updates the WG-30 (and WG-40 which was available in some markets), with a slightly improved specification, including improved waterproofing down to 14m, and increased the shockproof rating of 1.6m. The camera has a tough design and grip, being freezeproof and shockproof, but the camera does not feature GPS, nor does the camera feature Wi-Fi. The Ricoh WG-50 is available in black or orange and features a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, and FullHD video recording.


Ricoh WG 50 Black (3)

The Ricoh WG-50 features a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28mm to 140mm in 35mm terms. The camera uses digital shake reduction rather than optical and has a built-in flash for low-light situations, as well as 6 LED macro lights around the lens for close-up photos. The camera comes with a macro ring to let you place the camera directly onto flat surfaces.

When shooting there is an Auto Picture mode which automatically selects the best camera settings for the detected scene. There are a number of other scene modes such as HDR, digital microscope, time-lapse and more. When you’ve finished shooting you can edit your pictures in playback using a range of filters.

The WG-50 is waterproof to 14m, shock resistant to 1.6m, freezeproof to -10°C, crushproof, and dust-proof.

Videos are recorded in Full 1080p HD at 30 fps, and you can also record high-speed videos at 120fps. The WG-50 can be connected to an HDTV for playback via HDMI.

Ricoh WG 50 Black (4)

Key Features
  • 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, f/3.5-5.5
  • 2.7inch screen, 230k dots
  • Waterproof (14m), Shockproof (1.6m), Freezeproof, Crushproof
  • FullHD video recording
  • ISO125 to ISO6400
  • 1cm macro
  • HDR mode, Digital Microscope
  • Interval Shot, Interval movie
  • Available in black or orange


Ricoh WG 50 Black (6)

The Ricoh WG-50 has a chunky style with a number of different textures, shapes, and ridges making is easy to get a grip of the camera, even if it’s wet. The grip is particularly effective on the front of the camera. On the back are a number of raised dots to give better grip for your thumb, and a large metal strap loop makes it easy to attach the wrist strap. The camera feels tough, as you would expect for a drop and crushproof camera.

The buttons on the back of the camera are fairly close to each other, and if you have big clumsy hands then you may have some difficulty with them, but for the most part, there were no problems using the camera. Pressing the green button on the back brings up a shortcut screen, that lets you select four different options using the 4-way controller.

The screen is a 2.7inch screen with a wide aspect ratio (16:9), so when shooting 4:3 aspect photos, there are large black borders on the left and right of the screen, meaning the image appears quite small. If you choose to shoot everything in 16:9 aspect ratio to make the most of the screen, then images are shot at 12 megapixels.

Ricoh WG 50 Black (8)

Menus – The menus are quite easy to use, and when switching modes the camera gives a brief explanation of each mode. Built in help for the menu options would make the camera even easier to use. Ricoh WG 50 Black (1)

Battery life – Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Ricoh / CIPA test results, which is good for a compact camera, although we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more.


Speed – Shutter response, and focus speeds are quick, and shot to shot time is reasonably good. Continuous shooting at full resolution is slow at 1fps. To shoot at a higher continuous shooting speed, you have to switch to High-speed continuous shooting, with a reduced resolution of 5mp, and the camera will then shoot at roughly 15fps for almost 30 shots.


The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Sample Photos

VW Campervan2 | 1/640 sec | f/5.0 | 7.5 mm | ISO 125

Blueman | 1/800 sec | f/4.2 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Cooking In A Tent | 1/200 sec | f/4.2 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Flash Portrait | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 16.7 mm | ISO 1000

Sample Photos – The camera has reliable exposure and will produce images with bright saturated colours in most situations. Portrait photos with flash often increase the ISO setting, and in this example using ISO1000 has created an image with very low detail and a blurry image with poor colour. D-Range settings let you select whether highlight and shadow correction is switched on.

Lens test images

Macro With LEDs | 1/60 sec | f/4.4 | 9.1 mm | ISO 1000

Macro | 1/60 sec | f/4.4 | 9.1 mm | ISO 400

Low Light | 1/15 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 1000

Tyre Crocodile (CA) | 1/125 sec | f/4.4 | 9.1 mm | ISO 125

Hall | 1/160 sec | f/4.6 | 11.1 mm | ISO 125

Lens Performance – Image quality is a little disappointing, with images appearing soft, particularly at the longer end of the zoom lens. Macro performance is a strength of the camera, and the 6 LEDs that surround the lens can help light the subject. Noise is visible at all ISO settings, although this won’t be a problem if you avoid viewing images at 100%. The lack of image stabilisation and a fairly slow lens limits the camera’s low light performance. Images should be suitable for sharing on social media websites, where the reduced resolution and bright colours will help.

ISO test images

1/13 sec | f/4.8 | 13.7 mm | ISO 125

1/80 sec | f/4.8 | 13.7 mm | ISO 800

1/320 sec | f/4.8 | 13.7 mm | ISO 3200

1/400 sec | f/5.8 | 13.7 mm | ISO 6400

ISO Noise Performance – Noise is lowest at ISO125, although is still visible when viewing images at 100%. Detail is quite good at ISO125 and ISO200. Detail drops off at ISO400, as noise increases. For lower light situations ISO800 to ISO1600 may provide usable results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO3200 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO6400 is best avoided as noise is high, and detail is very low.

White-balance test images

AWB Tungsten Light | 1/15 sec | f/3.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 125

WB Tungsten Light | 1/15 sec | f/3.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 125

AWB Mixed Light | 1/30 sec | f/3.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 125

AWB Fluorescent | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 125

WB Fluorescent | 1/13 sec | f/3.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 125

White Balance Performance – Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a warm colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving an accurate result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a slightly warm result.

Digital filters

Festival HDR | 1/640 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Festival | 1/400 sec | f/4.2 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Ricoh WG 50 Brightness RIMG0171 | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 16.7 mm | ISO 640

Ricoh WG 50 Extract Colour RIMG0167 | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 16.7 mm | ISO 640

Ricoh WG 50 High Contrast RIMG0168 | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 16.7 mm | ISO 640

Ricoh WG 50 Ink Rubbing RIMG0170 | 1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 16.7 mm | ISO 640

Digital Filters – There are very few effects are available when shooting, although you can adjust the image tone, with a choice of bright, natural, vibrant, slide film and monochrome. There are a large number of effects available in playback mode. Options include Small face filter, Collage, HDR, Original frame, as well as further examples above. The camera doesn’t feature a panoramic shooting mode.

Video – The camera records Full HD video at 30fps or 1280×720 video at 60fps. Optical zoom is available while recording video. Slow motion video is also available, recording with a resolution of 1280×720, and a frame rate of 120fps. Care needs to be taken to ensure you hold the camera steady while recording video, as only electronic image stabilisation is available.


Manufacturer Ricoh
Max Aperture f/3.5 – f/5.5
35mm equivalent 28mm – 140mm
Optical Zoom 5x
Image Sensor
Pixels 16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4608
Pixels (H) 3456
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 2.7in
Screen resolution 230k dots
Touch Screen No
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 1/4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted – Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 125 – 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting No Data
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920×1080 FullHD
Video FPS 30fps
Stereo Sound No Data
Optical Zoom with Video No
Other Features
Image Stabilisation No
Wi-Fi No
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable D-LI92 lithium-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating) 300shots
Box Contents
Box Contents Digital camera, Power adapter, Lithium Ion battery, USB Cable, Strap, Macro Stand
Weight 194g
Width 122.5mm
Height 61.5mm
Depth 29.5mm


Due to the price, and lack of built-in Wi-Fi, there’s simply no reason to choose this camera over the Fujifilm FinePix XP120, unless you’re someone who is allergic to Wi-Fi. The WG-50 has unique macro LED lights that surround the lens, which will help illuminate macro photos. The camera also gives good colour, and generally reliable exposure, however the lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS), along with soft images, makes it difficult to recommend this camera. The camera also struggles with noise and gives poor low light performance. For low-light, you’d be better off using a smartphone with a brighter aperture, and ideally OIS.




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