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Ricoh announces Pentax WG-90, a take-anywhere rugged compact camera: Digital Photography Review

Ricoh has announced the WG-90, an update to its WG series of rugged compact cameras. The big change is the WG-90 sees a badging switch back to Pentax. The switch in branding, according to Ricoh was to capitalize on Pentax’s reputation for, “developing dustproof, waterproof and weather-resistant products.”

The WG-90 is designed to be rugged and waterproof with a 28mm to 140mm equivalent 5x optical zoom lens with integrated ring light. It’s built around a 16MP Type 1/2.3 (6.17 x 4.55mm) BSI CMOS sensor. It has stated water resistance down to a depth of 14m (46′), shockproof against a fall from a height of 1.6m (5′) and freeze-proof against temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F).

The WG-90 is available in two new colors: blue and “Classic” black.

The WG series of waterproofs was begun by Pentax in 2011, the same year Ricoh bought the company, and was marked as such for the next three generations. The series was moved under the Ricoh name in 2014, with the Pentax name solely used for interchangeable lens cameras, but the launch of the WG-90 sees it revert to its original branding.

Ricoh has yet to share pricing but did say this model would replace the WG-80 in early 2024. The WG-90 will be offered in either blue or black body finishes.

Ricoh announces PENTAX WG-90 waterproof digital compact camera

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey, November 14, 2023 — Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the PENTAX WG-90 digital camera. The WG series all-weather adventure cameras – known for their rugged chassis, plus waterproof and shock-resistant features – will now be offered under the PENTAX brand which is regarded industry-wide for developing dustproof, waterproof and weather-resistant products. The PENTAX WG-90—available in early 2024—effectively replaces the current-model RICOH WG-80 camera, which will continue to be available through the holidays and into the new year.

The PENTAX WG-90 is a compact, waterproof digital compact camera with a lightweight body that features a high-performance, five-times optical zoom lens with a focal-length coverage from 5mm to 25mm (equivalent to approx. 28mm to 140mm in the 35mm format). Its back-illuminated, 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor and high-performance imaging engine deliver a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and produce super-high-resolution images.

Offered in either an attractive blue or classic black body finish, the PENTAX WG-90 assures outstanding reliability and operability even under harsh conditions where ordinary compact cameras and smartphones may be unusable. Its outdoor-friendly monitor swiftly optimizes the image brightness level to improve the visibility of a scene in bright outdoor locations. It also features a built-in ring light with adjustable illumination levels that powers the PENTAX-original Digital Microscope mode, allowing the user to capture clear, vivid images of a microscopic world normally undetectable to the naked eye. The PENTAX WG-90 can be used for a wide range of scenes and subjects, ranging from casual snapshots to outdoor and underwater photography, and even in specialized worksite applications.

The PENTAX WG-90 is designed to be waterproof down to a depth of 46 feet (14 meters), shockproof against a fall from a height of five feet (1.6 meters), and freeze-proof against temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C).

|Main Features of the new PENTAX WG-90|

1. Heavy-duty construction assuring underwater shooting down to 46 feet (14 meters), for up to two hours of continuous operation

The WG-90’s solid, airtight body is not only waterproof down to a depth of (46 feet) 14 meters for up to two hours of continuous operation (equivalent to IPX 8 or JIS Class 8), but is also shockproof against a fall from a height of five feet (1.6 meters),* and dustproof (equivalent to IPX 6 or JIS Class 6), freeze-proof to temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C), and crushproof against weights up to 100kgf (kilogram force).** Thanks to this heavy-duty construction, the WG-90 performs superbly and dependably even in harsh, demanding outdoor conditions.

2. Exceptional image quality

The WG-90 is equipped with a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, which assures excellent high-sensitivity and low-noise characteristics and high-speed readout of image data signals. Coupled with a high-performance imaging engine, this image sensor delivers a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 and super-high-resolution images with approximately 16.0 effective megapixels. It also provides advanced image processing functions, made possible by super-resolution technology, to deliver sharper, clearer, higher-resolution images. It even offers such innovative shooting features as Handheld Night Snap mode, which automatically produces a single, blur- free composite image using several images of the same nighttime scene.

3. Six Macro Lights to assist close-up photography

Ideally positioned around the circumference of the lens barrel for macro shooting, six LED Macro Lights provide bright, uniform illumination on a subject when the Digital Microscope mode is selected to magnify a given subject on the LCD monitor, closely observe the microscopic world undetectable with the naked eye and capture the subject in a high- resolution macro image. In the Macro Lighting mode,*** the camera even allows the user to adjust the illumination intensity in five levels, and optimize the close-range flash photography based on the subject or the photographer’s creative intention.
In order to minimize the effects of camera shake and subject movement, the Instant Illumination Enhance function lets the photographer use a higher shutter speed by automatically raising the discharge level of the Macro Lights at the moment of shutter release. The Self-Portrait Assist mode uses the blink of an LED lamp to check if the subject’s face has been safely captured within the picture frame, while the LED Lighting mode makes the Macro Lights function as a lighting device in the dark.

4. 2.7-inch LCD monitor with Outdoor View Setting mode

The WG-90 comes equipped with a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with horizontally expanded 16:9 proportions and approximately 230,000 dots. Thanks to the AR (Anti-Reflection) coating applied to its surface, the monitor minimizes annoying glare and reflections to assure a sharp, clear on-screen image, even in the harsh sunshine often encountered during outdoor shooting. It also provides the Outdoor View Setting mode, which automatically optimizes the monitor’s brightness level for a given lighting condition to improve the visibility of the on- screen image.

5. Underwater-exclusive shooting modes

Based on the data of images captured underwater, the Underwater and Underwater Movie shooting modes are programmed to effectively compensate for the loss of contrast caused by the diffusion of light in the water, while enhancing the reddish hues which fade away in the water. These underwater-exclusive modes capture sharp, clear images of underwater scenes.

In the Underwater mode, the Flash Off + Flash On option allows the user to consecutively capture two images with a single shutter release — one without flash and another with flash.

6. 5X optical zoom lens with a 28mm wide-angle coverage

The WG-90 features a high-performance, five-times optical zoom lens with focal-length coverage from 5mm to 25mm (equivalent to approx. 28mm to 140mm in the 35mm format) to accommodate a wide range of scenes and subjects, including sweeping landscapes. It also provides other user-friendly shooting functions such as: the Intelligent Zoom function that extends the zoom range by approximately 36 times**** (equivalent to 1008mm in the 35mm format) for super-high-magnification telephotography without compromising image quality; and an interval shooting mode that comes in handy for fixed point photography.

7. Triple anti-shake protection to prevent blurred images in all applications

(1) Pixel Track SR mechanism:
When recording still images, this advanced shake-reduction mechanism effectively compensates for camera shake by digitally processing affected images.
(2) Digital SR mode:
When the camera detects low-light conditions in still-image shooting, this mode automatically raises the sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400, making it possible to use a higher shutter speed and effectively minimize the adverse effect of camera shake and subject shake in poor lighting conditions.
(3) Movie SR mode:
During movie recording, this mode effectively compensates for the misalignment of images caused by camera shake through the use of exclusive software to produce beautiful, blur-free movie clips.

8. Full HD Movie recording for extended shooting of high-quality movies

The WG-90 provides Full HD movie recording using the H.264 recording format, letting the user capture high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 X 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. To add some creative touches to movie recording, it also features a high-speed camera function***** for slow-motion playback of captured movie clips, and an interval movie function. A micro-HDMI terminal (type D) is also provided on the camera body for simultaneous output of Full HD movie clips and sound to external audio-visual devices.

9. Other features:

(1) Macro stand (included) to maintain a minimum focusing distance of one centimeter to the subject during extended observation and shooting of macro images
(2) Auto Picture mode to automatically select the most appropriate shooting mode from 16 different scene modes
(3) High-speed Face Detection function to capture as many as 32 faces in focus in approximately 0.03 seconds (minimum); Smile Capture function to automatically release the shutter when the subject’s smile is detected
(4) Outdoor-friendly Style Watch function to display the current time on the LCD monitor, using an extended push of the OK button when the camera’s power is turned off
(5) Delay-free, pushbutton start of the playback mode, using an extended push of the playback button while the camera’s power is turned off
(6) Compatibility with the optional O-RC1 Remote Control unit****** to facilitate wireless, remote shooting
(7) Compatibility with the optional O-CC1252 Protector Jacket to protect the camera from stains and scratches

* Measured using RICOH IMAGING-original testing standards — from a height of 1.6 meters, onto a surface of 5cm-thick plywood — conforming to Method 516.5-Shock of the MIL- Standard 810F.
** Measured using RICOH IMAGING-original testing standards.
*** The Macro Lights can be used in Program, Movie and Report modes.
**** This function is available when the recorded size of 640 is selected.
***** When this function is selected, the recorded size is fixed at 1280 X 720 pixels.
****** This accessory cannot be used in the water.

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