Ricoh WG-5: Reassuringly rugged feeling

The Ricoh WG-5 comes with a variety of shooting modes, such as for underwater and a macro mode.
The Ricoh WG-5 comes with a variety of shooting modes, such as for underwater and a macro mode.PHOTO: RICOH

Of all the five cameras covered in this issue's reviews, the Ricoh WG-5 looks the least like a camera and more like a military-grade walkie-talkie instead.

The exterior of the camera is surrounded by a tough rubber and plastic shell, and it feels reassuringly rugged in the hand.

The lens sits in a recessed dent in the centre of the camera, a design touch which offers some protection should it happen to fall face-first onto the ground.

It is shockproof up to 2.2m, and dropping it from height did not make a dent to the camera's casing.

 

Picture quality is decent for a point-and-shoot, but it is far from fantastic. Fine details, like hair or grass, tend to get muddied and smoothened out.

There is a fair bit of noise visible, even in shots taken under natural lighting.

Focusing also takes a while, which may be a problem if you are trying to get a quick shot of something candid happening.

The WG-5 comes with a variety of shooting modes, such as for underwater and a macro mode.

The underwater mode compensates for the different lighting conditions when the camera is submerged and results in more natural, colourful shots. The "digital microscope", or macro, mode allows you to take pictures of subjects less than 1cm away, such as close-ups of sea shells or rocks you may encounter during your beach vacation.

The nice, large 3-inch LCD monitor makes it easy to frame shots and to review photos later.

However, it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you won't be able to immediately send photos to your smartphone to upload to Facebook from wherever you are.

•Verdict: A tough, rugged camera that looks and acts the part that takes decent holiday snaps.


TECH SPECS

PRICE: $499

IMAGE SENSOR: 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor

WATERPROOF: 14m

SHOCKPROOF: 2.2m

DISPLAY: 3-inch wide-TFT colour LCD

WEIGHT: 236g with battery


RATING

DESIGN: 5/5

FEATURES: 4/5

PERFORMANCE: 3/5

OVERALL: 4/5

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Reassuringly rugged feeling'. Print Edition | Subscribe