Ricoh has updated its rugged action camera with the 4K-shooting WG-M2. The new adventure-focused camera also gains a wider and faster lens which could lead to more immersive footage. While the new camera is both smaller and lighter than its predecessor, it still retains its tough go-anywhere credentials thanks to waterproofing, shock resistance and being freeze-proof.
The Ricoh WG-M2 uses an ultra-wide 204 degree (that's a 9-mm equivalent) F2 lens. This angle of view is significantly wider than the 150 degree lenses of most rival action cameras, meaning it's capable of capturing potentially more immersive footage. However, for those times you don't want the distortion which comes with such a wide lens, a narrow mode will capture a more standard 150-degree angle of view.
An 8-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor is used to shoot stills, or the more likely video footage, which can be recorded at up to 4K 3840 x 2160 at 30 fps (frames per second) or Full HD 1080p video at up to 60 fps. Video quality looks set to be significantly better than what the WG-M1 recorded, with high bit rates on offer up to 100 Mbps.
While the camera has been slimmed down to 34.1 x 57.4 x 77.8 mm (1.3 x 2.3 x 3 in) and now weighs 136 g (4.8 oz), it is just as adventure-proof as the 2013 version. It's waterproof down to 20 m (65 ft) for two hours, shockproof for drops from 2m (6.6 ft) and freeze-proof to temperatures of -10° C (14° F). It's also still compatible with the wide range of WG mounts available.
A 1.5-inch LCD monitor with 115k dots is on hand to compose shots, or nonchalantly check your framing is right as you hurtle down a mountain on your snowboard. There's also an LCD orientation mode which lets users shoot footage in an upright position, even when the camera is held vertically or upside-down.
If you'd rather check your live recording on a bigger screen, there's the option of doing so (depending on resolution settings) with the Image Sync app on a smartphone, tablet or computer. From there, users can also perform various camera functions and share images or video wirelessly if they don't want to take out the micro SD memory card.
The Ricoh WG-M2 will be available by the end of March, in either orange or silver, priced at US$300.
Product page: Ricoh WG-M2