Today Ricoh announces the WG-4 series of rugged cameras. In addition to adding a new generation of cameras, they are also introducing a new modular mounting system. The WG-4 offers the same rugged body style as the previous version, the WG-3 and WG-3 GPS. The new cameras feature a 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and an optical 4X zoom lens (25mm- 100mm equivalent). They also have an f/2.0 maximum aperture (at wide angle) and dual shake reduction system. The cameras have a maximum ISO of 6400.
The Ricoh WG-4 series offers 29 shooting modes. Creative options are available like HDR, Slow-Motion Video, Panoramic mode, and Digital Microscope mode (focuses on subjects as close as one centimeter from the lens). Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to using the Digital Microscope mode is that the recorded size of the image is fixed at 2.0 megapixels. User and Shutter Priority modes are also now available on the WG-4 series cameras. The User mode is similar to the custom mode settings on other cameras. It enables quick recall of frequently used settings. The shutter priority mode allows the user to choose the desired shutter speed. The camera automatically adjusts the aperture and ISO.
The Ricoh WG-4 and WG-4 GPS are waterproof to 45 feet, shockproof from drops of up to 6.6 feet, cold proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and crushproof, withstanding up to 220 foot-pounds of force. The WG-4 series cameras have a 3.0-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots of resolution. The screen includes AR (Anti-Reflection) coating that minimizes glare even under harsh sunshine. The WG-4 GPS model come with a sub-display on the front panel to indicate time and GPS data.
The Ricoh WG-4 GPS and WG-4 provide Full HD movie recording 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. However, when using these last two functions, the recorded resolution drops to 1280 x 720 pixels and 640 x 360 pixels, respectively.
The WG-4 can be combined with the new mounting accessories for a hands-free shooting experience. Four accessories are being announced: a camera holder base ($19.99), an adhesive camera mount ($44.99), handlebar camera mount ($39.99), and suction cup camera mount ($42.99).
The WG-4 GPS is available in blue or black for a price of $379.95. The WG-4 is available in silver or lime yellow for a price of $329.95. Both camera models will be available in March 2014.
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