Testing the Ricoh WG-4
I had been thinking for some time about getting some underwater photographic capability. Later this summer I have a video project coming up where some underwater shots would help advance the narrative. With this in mind I started doing my research on cameras that might suit my needs. While the Go-Pro systems continually improve and are an obvious go to camera for the adventure crowd I find the 15 mm (35mm equivalent) just too wide for most of the reportage style work that I will be doing. Of course the other option would be to pick up an underwater housing for your DSLR. Just not in the budget for me as this was meant to be a fun personal project and I am not sure how much use I would really be getting out of an underwater photography kit.
After reading the online reviews of the latest point and shoot adventure cams I headed to the mall and found a Ricoh WG-4 on sale. The camera was reviewed favorably on several sites particularly for its underwater colour so I bit the bullet and laid down the $290.00 CDN plus tax. The camera is intuitive and easy to use unfortunately however in order to charge the battery you have to plug the camera in as it does not come with a dedicated charger, a trend in Camera design that I find annoying.
16MP BSI-CMOS sensor (4:3 resolution 4608 x 3456)
Sensor-shift image stabilization
Waterproof to 14 meters/45 feet
Cold proof to -10 degrees Celsius/+14 Fahrenheit
Shockproof to a 2 meter/6.6 foot drop
Video recording modes 1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 30p)
The WG-4 came along on an annual canoe trip to Frontenac Provincial Park just north of Kingston, Ontario with 15 of my closest friends. I was really chuffed with the underwater results for stills and video so I thought I would share some of the photographs this small camera produced. Not great in low light but it reproduced underwater colour very well as advertised.