Ricoh has introduced the WG-M1 Action Cam, a water-resistant, shock-resistant and cold-resistant still/video camera. The M1 features an ultra-wide angle lens, a water-resistant enclosure that’s rated to a depth of 32 feet, and a cold-resistant design that’s rated to temperatures as low as -10°C.
The M1 is equipped with Wi-Fi and by installing a WG-M1-dedicated application in a smartphone or tablet computer, the user can perform various camera functions from a distance including, confirm the status of a subject or scene, release the WG-M1’s shutter, and even review 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.
» 14 megapixel CMOS sensor for high-resolution images
» Fast f/2.8 ultra-wide angle 160° lens
» Air-tight, water-resistant construction allows underwater shooting at a depth of 10 meters for 1 hour
» Shock-resistant, ruggedized design protects from drops up to 2 meters
» Cold-resistant to sub-freezing temperatures of 14° F (minus 10° C)
» High-resolution 1.5 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 11,000 dots
» Full HD video in widescreen 1080p resolution (1920×1080) with h.264 compression at 30 frames per second
» 4 different angle-of-view settings
» Large control buttons for easy access to camera functions
» Dedicated APP for capture control by smartphones and tablets
» Several mounting accessories available
The WG-M1 provides Full HD movie recording in the H.264 recording format, capturing high-quality, extended movie clips (1920 x 1080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at a frame rate of 30 frames per second, and a choice of four angle-of-view settings: Wide (approximately 137 degrees), Medium, Narrow and Underwater. It 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 (not available at 1080 definition); and Time Lapse Movie, which produces time-compressed movies using a time-lapse recording technique. There’s also digital shake reduction mode to assist with stabilization issues.
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. However, there are some limitations with the WG-M1. The maximum length of a single movie clip is 25 minutes. The maximum angle of view in underwater movie recording is approximately 90 degrees. The medium and narrow settings are selectable only when the image size of 1920 x 1080 pixels (at 30fps) is selected. The image size is fixed at 848 x 480 pixels, when recording in Slow-Motion (120fps), and the recording duration is fixed at 60 seconds.
» Sensor Type: CMOS w primary color filter
» Size: 1/2.3 inch CMOS
» Effective pixels: 14MP
» Still Recorded resolutions:
— (4:3) 14M (4320×3240), 5M (2592×1944)
— (16:9) 10M (4320×2432)
» Movie Recorded resolutions:
— 1920×1080 (30fps)
— 1280×960 (50fps)
— 1280×960 (30fps)
— 1280×720 (60fps)
— 1280×720 (30fps)
— 848×480 (60fps)
— 848×480 (120fps)
» Lens Type/construction: RICOH lens, 6 elements in 6 groups (2 aspherical elements)
— Focal length: FIXED 3mm 16.8mm (35mm equiv).
— Maximum FOV: Still: 160° (4:3) Movie 137° (1280 x 960) Aperture: F2.8
» LCD / VIEWFINDER LCD screen: 1.5 inch LCD with 115,000 dots resolution
» Focus System Type: FIXED
— Focus range With O-LP1531, O-LP1532 – (in air): 23.6″ to infinity
— With O-LP1532 (underwater): 31.5″ to infinity
— FOV (selectable): Wide, Medium, Narrow, Underwater
» Storage: Internal memory – 100MB, Removable memory: micro SD, micro SDHC
» Ports: USB2.0 (Hi-Speed), HDMI port (Type D)
» Video out: HDMI
» Power source: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery DB-65
» Charging time: approx. 200 min.
» Recordable images: approx. 350 (CIPA)
» Playback time: approx. 400 min
» Movie recording time: approx. 150 min
» Dimensions (W x H x D): 2.6″ x 1.7″ x 3.5″ (excl. protrusions)
» Weight: With battery, removable memory and lens protector: 6.7 oz
» Included Accessories
— Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
— Power adapter
— USB cable
— Carabiner strap
— Quick start guide
— Operating Manual (CD-ROM)
— WG Flat Adhesive Mount
— Lens Protector
— Underwater Lens Protector
» Computer System Requirements: Window: Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 – Mac: Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9
» WiFi: 802.11b/g/n – Frequency: 2.4GHz band – Security: WPA2
Ricoh claims the WG-M1 is rated to a depth of 32 feet / 10 meters, and for up to one hour of continuous operation (equivalent to IPX8 or JIS Class 8). It is also designed to be shock-resistant against a fall from a height of 6 feet /2 meters. It has a rating of IS6 making it practically dustproof, and cold-resistant against temperatures as low as -10°C / 14°F. Since it doesn’t require a housing to protect the body, Ricoh claims the M1 records audio more clearly without muffling (When recording slow-motion at 120fps, sound cannot be recorded). Other features include Face Detection to automatically optimize focus and set exposure on the subject’s face, a WG adhesive mount, to attach the camera body to different surfaces using a powerful adhesive tape, and a Carabineer-equipped strap, to suspend the camera on a backpack or other object for easy carrying Compatible with micro SD and micro SDHC memory cards
Ricoh’s WG-M1 action cam costs $299, comes in either orange or black, and is available for pre-order.
The Future: Ricoh is positioning the WG-M1 as “a truly dependable, heavy-duty action camera in harsh, demanding outdoor conditions” and from the specs it looks robust. However, at $300 it certainly falls short in terms of imaging options from market-leader GoPro, which leads us to question how much traction the WG-M1 will ultimately develop.