Pro Photo

Ricoh goes after GoPro

With the Ricoh WG-M1, the company aims to cater for the needs of sports enthusiasts, offering speeds of 120 fps… and WiFi.

Although GoPro takes the lead when it comes to action cams, there is still space for other brands to show and sell their models. That explains why Ricoh presented recently their WG-M1, the newest addition to the WG series of cameras for outdoor and underwater activities.

Available in orange and a black finish that will be less noticed, the Ricoh WG-M1 features an ultra-wide-angle lens connected to a sensor with approximately 14.0 effective megapixels, enough for good still pictures and Full HD movie capture in the H.264 recording format, with 1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions, at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It should be noted that the maximum length of a single movie clip is 25 minutes.

Thanks to its digital shake reduction mode, the user is assured of flawless, blur-free movies, with a choice of four angle-of-view settings — Wide (approximately 137 degrees), Medium, Narrow and Underwater. The angle of view may vary depending on the selected image size and the maximum angle of view in underwater movie recording is approximately 90 degrees. Furthermore, users must be aware that the medium and narrow settings are selectable only when the image size of 1920 x 1080 pixels (at 30fps) is selected.

The WG-M1 also provides a host of creative tools to simplify complex movie-recording techniques, including “Motion detection,” which automatically starts recording a movie when the camera detects a moving object within the image field; “Loop recording,” which keeps recording movies while creating new files at five- or ten-minute intervals; “High-speed Movie,” which records movies specifically for slow-motion playbacks; and “Time Lapse Movie,” which produces time-compressed movies using a time-lapse recording technique. In addition, a micro-HDMI terminal (type D) is provided on the camera body for the simultaneous output of movie clips and sound to external audio-visual devices. In the High-speed Movie mode the image size is fixed at 848 x 480 pixels (at 120fps), while the recording duration is fixed at 60 seconds.

Inheriting the design theme of the waterproof WG series, the WG-M1 offers a functional, heavy-duty design perfect for active outdoor shooting. It comes equipped with a 1.5-inch color LCD monitor for easy confirmation of the image composition during shooting and quick review of recorded images and movies during playback. Its large control buttons facilitate camera operations — including instant switching between still-image and movie modes — even when the user is wearing gloves. It also features a tripod socket on the bottom for the direct attachment of various accessories.

The Ricoh WG-M1 is WiFi enabled, waterproof to a depth of 32 feet without requiring a  protective housing, shock-resistant against a fall from 6 feet, and cold-resistant to temperatures as low as -10°C.  The WG-M1 comes complete with a carabiner-equipped strap for easy carrying, and a WG adhesive mount to attach the camera to different surfaces using a powerful adhesive tape. In addition, there are numerous optional accessories available including a wrist strap mount, a helmet mount, and a magnet mount.

By installing a WG-M1-dedicated application in a smartphone or tablet computer, the user can perform various camera functions from a distance: confirm the status of a subject or scene, release the WG-M1’s shutter, and even check movie recordings in real time. The user can also browse and download images and movies recorded by the WG-M1 onto a smartphone or tablet computer for effortless editing using the tools provided by the application, then upload them to social networking and other websites to share them with friends.

The WG-M1 will be available at retailers nationwide and at in October 2014 for a suggested retail price of $299.95.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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