Ricoh WG-80 Review: A solid camera on the wrong line of work

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The Ricoh WG-80 is an attractive prospect because it features a high-durable construction that is highly waterproof and crashproof, as well as the ability to optically zoom and macro take pictures. On paper, there is so much to like.

Point-and-shoot cameras, priced in the hundreds of dollars range, are not yet dead, and are increasingly coming in the form we see them. Ricoh WG-80. To distinguish it more clearly from smartphones, this section of waterproof camera offers higher protection, better zoom capability and a few additional features that are not easily replicated on mobile devices.

Let’s take a look at WG-80 and determine where its potential is found.

Construction standards

The Ricoh WG-80 measures 4.8 inches wide, 2.4 inches long and is the thickest 1.2 inches. On a scale, it weighs 6.8 ounces (195 grams), with both batteries and SD cards installed. The combination of size and weight gives the impression of rigidity because it has a slight ebb.

Ricoh WG-80

The exterior is basically made of textured plastic that feels good in the hand and has a wide metal plate on the front that will provide extra durability. When the camera is wet, it does not seem to affect the grip and it is not slippery.

Several figures about its roughness have been printed directly on the back of the camera. The WG-80 has been tested to be waterproof up to 45 feet (14 meters), crushproof against weights up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms), and frostproof from temperatures up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). Shockproof against showers from a height of 5.2 feet (1.6 meters). It’s safe to say that in the event of an accident this camera will hold up better than most traditional camera bodies and can continue to be used in more situations like underwater without special accessories.

Ricoh WG-80

Part of helping to achieve this firmness is that there are no moving parts on the outside, except for the buttons. Although the Ricoh WG-80 has a 28-140mm f / 3.5-5.5 optical zoom lens (equivalent to a full-frame), it does not extend beyond the front protective material and simply sticks behind it. From its appearance, the front component is held in place with six screws and a plastic panel, but it does not appear that Ricoh offers customers a replacement glass directly to be easily replaceable. It was amazing to me and I thought for sure that in case of loss I would be able to take the cheap one Such as how GoPro does it.

LCD screen

For monitoring, there is no viewfinder in the camera, so there is a strong reliance on LCD screens for better. Unfortunately, this display is not on the camera’s power list. It’s 2.7 inches which seems to shrink, and even worse, it’s just 230,000 dot resolution which means everything looks pixelated and you can’t tell if you’ve got a subject in focus until the picture and video camera is off.

Ricoh behind the WG-80.

The screen has an anti-reflection coating, which is at least somewhat helpful for viewing in sunny conditions, but it’s not going to eliminate the problem in a way that a bright screen can help. In the menu options, there is an “outdoor view setting” mode which is not conducive to sunny conditions. This mode can be set to -2, -1, off, +1, or +2.

It’s best to use -2 or -1 when it’s dark, and you don’t want the screen brightness to be at full power and blind you. Off default, and does not change the actual screen brightness compared to +1 and +2 off. All of this lightens the perceived exposure and reduces the contrast of what’s on the screen, but it doesn’t brighten up the actual screen light. This makes it worse than just keeping the observation off in sunny conditions.

Image quality

The camera is based around a 16-megapixel 1 / 2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. Because it’s a point-and-shoot camera, I’ll offer the reference point that an iPhone 13 uses a 12-megapixel but a slightly larger 1 / 1.9-inch backside-illuminated sensor. The WG-80 only shoots JPEG photos, not RAW, and has an ISO range of 125 to 6,400.

The 5x optical zoom lens uses a 28-140mm equivalent focal length and 11 components in 9 groups, of which 5 are aspherical. The aperture cannot be selected manually, but it turns out that at the wide end, the range of the aperture is f / 3.5 to f / 4.2, and at the end of the telephoto, it is f / 5.5 to f / 6.6. Considering it’s a versatile zoom range it’s all running internally, and I can capture a variety of shots based on the focal length I choose.

Ricoh WG-80 1x Zoom.
1x zoom.
Ricoh WG-80 2.2x Zoom.
2.2x zoom.
5x zoom.
Ricoh WG-80 ISO comparison.
ISO comparison. 100% cropped.

Looking at the picture quality, I’m not impressed with the results. The main problem is the noticeable lack of transparency, and many details are washed away in any ISO. Even for someone who wants to capture life’s moments, not necessarily amazing photography, I don’t think they’ll be so happy with people’s facial scars or they’ll appreciate the beautiful landscapes and leisure photos that have faded in color. And vice versa because the details are not being resolved in the way we expect in 2022.

I don’t want to slam the WG-80 too harshly because we have to consider that this camera is $ 330. However, in a world where many people have cameras capable of smartphones, there is certainly an expectation that a standalone camera should be just as good as the minimum and I don’t think it comes down to image quality. . Yes, it will have more zoom and better handling, but I find the results a bit tough to love.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.
HDR mode off.
Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.
HDR mode is on.
Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.
Shot in portrait mode which is supposed to look the best in skin tone.

In program mode, I can manually set the ISO sensitivity and set the exposure value (EV) between -2 to +2, which is convenient. One thing that can be frustrating about the WG-80 is that many image settings are reset by default when the camera is turned off and turned on again. These include EV, White Balance, ISO, and even Auto ISO ranges. This may be through the design to avoid confusion with first time camera buyers who set the camera to play around and after a few days get confused as to why their photos are looking blue with bad exposure. That said, I think Ricoh should only be allowed to manage Auto Picture mode for this type of user and remember these settings in program mode.

One of the advantages of using WG-80 is its very close focusing distance in macro and digital microscope mode. In digital microscope mode, it can focus around one centimeter and supports optical zooming up to 1.8x. The WG-80’s box has a “macro stand” with a plastic ring that clips to the end of the lens. To get stable extreme closeup it can be used to set the camera on a flat surface, the lens indicated below.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.

If you think that no light will come on and therefore it is impossible to shoot like this, you would be right if the camera has six built-in LEDs at the end of the lens. Illuminate closed objects. Also, a menu option allows me to fine-tune the light output with five intensities and, according to Ricoh, it is now twice the brightness of its predecessor. Oddly, I can’t change the intensity in digital microscope mode, but I can with regular macro shooting.

From my experiments, macro light is not bright enough when there is already moderate light can have many effects. Even in the shadows on a sunny day, I wouldn’t notice any difference between turning the macro light on and off, unless I definitely find a very subtle difference between the shades. The difference is much clearer for indoor, macro subjects, and below are examples shot without macro lights, with macro lights and standard flash.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.
Comparison of macro lights. Off, macro light on (full power), regular flash.

Macro photos suffer from the same problem that plagues regular shooting on the WG-80, which has not been addressed in great detail. It can focus closely, but staying in focus with this camera sometimes means “when it looks the least blurry.” Even after setting the camera to a tripod and using a two-second timer to avoid camera shaking, I’m not happy with the overall amazing image quality. The sweet spot for this camera seems to be focusing 10 to 15 feet from the length of an arm; When it is not so close you really see a lack of clarity, and when it is not so far everything melts together and you only get the impression of a scene.

Hard on the outside, soft on the inside

Excluding the Soft Picture Quality issue, I don’t think I would consider the WG-80 a complete failure. A simple camera to handle, it can shoot close-up images and has macro lights designed for dimly lit conditions, and build quality is long lasting. Perhaps it is a failure of vision. This thing has lots of random camera modes and all sorts of fluffs that distract from the fact that it will probably make for a pretty good work-site camera. A relatively inexpensive camera that will not leave will cost more than a weak camera that takes outstanding images.

Ricoh WG-80 Sample Image.

Have options?

WG-80 will be an alternative Ricoh WG-6. This waterproof point-and-shoot camera was released in early 2019 and has many optimal components like the WG-80 such as macro power and six-LED macro lights. Although it is old, the camera is very close to the price and it has a few upgrades. At the top, there is a dedicated mode dial instead of cycling through a button press and an on-screen menu. It can shoot 20 megapixels and 4K video. The rear display is a touch big at 3 inches vs. 2.7 inches, but the pixel resolution is much better at 1.04-million-dot vs. 230,000 dots.

Raising a budget of $ 450, there are also Olympus Tough TG-6 To consider. The downside of this camera may be that it is 12 megapixels, does not reach the end of the telephoto, and the Macro Lite is a $ 100 add-on piece. However, the offer also has strong improvements: it can shoot RAW photos, the aperture opens up to f / 2 at the wide end, it has 25 focus points instead of 9 and it can shoot 20 frames per second continuously until the card is full 14 RAW frames or unlimited JPEG. It even has a Pro Capture mode to get five frames before pressing the shutter button. In the case of hardness factors such as waterproofing, dustproofing, crashproofing, freezing and shockproofing, the TG-6 matches or slightly exceeds the WG-80.

Lastly, trustworthy to mention even a little outside the product category GoPro HERO 10. As an action camera, it won’t be able to zoom anywhere near the 140mm equivalent like the Ricoh. However, for most people the camera is quite durable and can go up to 33 feet (10.1 meters) underwater. The stabilization and 5.3K 60p video also blows his pants off what the WG-80 offers. At the time of release, the HERO 10 sold for $ 400, $ 70 more than the WG-80.

Will you buy it?

No, not for industry. The Ricoh WG-80 Probably not enough for you if you aim for a camera that takes the best pictures. Having said that, I can still see the usefulness of having this kind of camera for documenting and work-related work which is undoubtedly Rico’s goal.



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