Ricoh WG-50 Camera review: resistance before image quality


  • Robustness.
  • Additional lighting LEDs.
  • Recharging via USB.
  • Wireless.
  • Reactivity of the device.


  • Unclear screen.
  • Aging interface.
  • Image quality.
  • Full HD 30p video mode only.
  • No continuous focusing.


The sector of the riders is at half-mast: only three announcements were made this year, among which that of the Ricoh WG-50. Unfortunately, apart from its resistant and waterproof construction, the latter does not present much convincing arguments. The presence of LEDs is the main differentiating element against the competition, as well as its price, twice lower than those of the Nikon W300 and Olympus TG-5.

The Ricoh WG-50 replaces the Ricoh WG-30 and WG-30W which are no longer available for sale. It is equipped with a 16-bit BSI CMOS sensor, a 5x optical zoom equivalent to a 28-140 mm f / 3.5-5.5, a full HD 30 fps video mode only and of the Wi-Fi. It inaugurates a new mode “instantaneous night”, plunges to 14 meters and embeds 6 LEDs to facilitate the taking of macroscopic shots. In short, the Olympus TG-5 does not compete with more advanced features, but its price well below its rival can make a difference.


It is clear that the design of the Ricoh WG-50 has not changed one iota compared to that of its predecessors WG-30 and WG-30W. In any case, the opinions about his aesthetic work diverge: one likes or one does not like. Nevertheless, its robust construction is unanimous and allows it to dive up to 14 meters, to withstand temperatures down to -10 ° C and to withstand crushing up to 100 kg. The ricoh WG-50 seems to be able to deal with all difficult situations without risk. The baroudeur is available in black and orange or in full black.

The Ricoh WG-50 features a 2.7-inch LCD with a low resolution of 230,000 pixels and is less than half the size of the Olympus Tough TG-5. The screen is not orientable or tactile, so we are a bit disappointed.

The advantage of this fighter is the presence of the six small LEDs that encircle the lens. They make macroscopic shooting easier and allow a more homogeneous illumination.

Unlike the Olympus Tough TG-5, the Ricoh WG-50 does not incorporate a PASM mode dial. Here you have to be satisfied with automatic modes, including a program mode, or scene modes like an underwater mode that adjusts the white balance of the device. The 1 cm macro mode is powerful and allows the use of the zoom to take a closer look. Think about activating electronic stabilization to optimize your images.

Although the device is rather simple to use and dedicated to a large audience, its aging interface disappoints. The square keys still pass, but the pictograms used, the typography and the menu appear to be of a different age. A little modernity would be very welcome for the next baroudeurs.

Finally, the Ricoh WG-50 integrates a standard thread step and Wi-Fi to be remotely controlled via a dedicated application. Good news, the gadget recharges in USB.


The reactivity of the device shows good results. The ignition requires 1.27 seconds and the autofocus reacts quickly, both in good light conditions and low light. The latency between two images is finally the longest, since one has to wait about a second and a half between each view. For its part, the burst mode is not exceptional and can record about 1.5 frames per second, but it is continuous over twenty views.


The Ricoh WG-50 incorporates a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, coupled with a 5x lens equivalent to a 28-140 mm f / 3.5-5.5. The ISO range of the device ranges from 125 to 6400 ISO. However, it is not possible to manually mount above ISO 1600, since higher sensitivities apply only automatically. Given the disappointing image quality, it would not have made any real difference anyway. Indeed, the images lack cruel details and homogeneity. As with the Nikon and in the absence of PASM modes, it is not possible to optimize the exposure. This is what most penalizes the device.Moreover, the rapid appearance of electronic noise and smoothing disturbs the image quality. At 1,600 ISO, there are already no details. At both Nikon and Ricoh, image quality is lagging behind. The WG-50 has the merit of a price twice as low as the Nikon W300. Finally, only Olympus takes up the challenge with its TG-5. It is a shame when we know that these three manufacturers are alone on the sector of the barbarian NPC in 2017.

In the field, the macro mode is ultimately the most fun to use, thanks to the very short focusing distance (10 mm) and the use of the 6 lighting LEDs. If you do not zoom in and do not print in large format, some images can still be used in good light conditions. In 2017, we expected a little more.


The video mode is also indented. Its definition does not climb beyond Full HD 1920 x 1080 px to 30 fps. It’s light in front of the Nikon Coolpix W300 and Olympus Tough TG-5 that incorporate the 4K / UHD video definition at 30 fps.

A shortcut key is used to trigger recording, regardless of the mode used. As in picture, a video mode is for the marine environment and automatically adjusts the white balance. The main drawback is the lack of continuous focus. To ensure proper focus, we recommend that you press the shutter button halfway while focusing at infinity. The problem in this case is that your close-up subjects will be blurred and vice versa if you focus on the foreground. It’s far too convoluted for a mainstream camera.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *