- 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!
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.