Ricoh WG-5 Brief Review



  • 16 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • Maximum aperture f2.0-4.9
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/4000
  • ISO range 125-6400
  • 4x optical zoom
  • Sensor shift shake reduction
  • 9 point autofocus
  • Burst mode up to 1.5 fps at full resolution (14 fps at 5 megapixels)
  • 1 c.m. Macro mode with LED ring-style lights
  • 1080p HD video at 30 fps
  • 3” LCD
  • GPS
  • Waterproof to 45 feet (14m)
  • Shockproof to 7 feet (2.2m)
  • Freezeproof to -10 C
  • Li-ion battery rated at 240 shots
  • Weighs 236g
  • Release Date: 2015-02-05
  • Final Grade: 92 4.6 Star Rating: Recommended

Ricoh continues popular rugged line with WG-5
Waterproof and equipped with a bright lens, the Ricoh WG-5 can certainly make a splash.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 9/27/2016

Ricoh's WG-5 offers several features that puts it towards the top of our list for waterproof cameras, including a bright lens and excellent macro mode, though speed prevents it from taking the top slot.

The camera captures shots with a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor and a f2.0-4.9 lens--that sensor is average for the category, while the lens is much brighter than average. Bright lenses are a big plus for this category, since shooting underwater means working with limited light. That solid combo is paired with sensor shift image stabilization to help prevent camera shake.

A solid macro mode is also a big plus, capable of focusing on objects as close as 1 cm. from the front of the lens. A ring of six LED lights is also specially designed for close-ups.

The WG-5 is a bit more durable than the previous model, though otherwise appears quite similar so far. It can head down to 45 feet underwater and withstand drops of seven feet, as well as continuing to work in the cold and dust.

The bright lens, solid macro mode and rugged body are all excellent features. The only downside we see so far is in speed. The burst mode is just 1.5 fps at full resolution. The Olympus TG-3, which by comparison sports a brighter lens at all zooms and still offers an excellent macro mode and rugged body, can reach 5 fps at full resolution, giving it a slight edge over the WG-5.

Overall, the WG-5 looks like a marginal improvement, but a well-endowed camera nonetheless. It doesn't quite take our top spot, but still has plenty of reasons to be a consideration for some consumers.

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Pentax/Ricoh Reviews

Pentax, who just recently merged with Ricoh, has long been a sort of underdog—but not necessarily in performance or quality. Pentax/Ricoh offers some quirky cameras, but for the most part, we've found that to be a good thing.

The Pentax/Ricoh DSLR’s are mostly weather-sealed, giving them a unique advantage over competing manufacturers that don't offer anything similar. When we tried out models like the K-50, we were quite impressed with the image quality. The autofocus was a bit noisier than a Nikon, but the weather-sealing and often better price is hard to resist when the image quality is so good. Pentax continued to add in innovations by adding an anti-aliasing filter that can be turned on and off to the 2013 K-3.

Pentax hasn't jumped into the mirrorless battle too much, but they do offer the tiny and colorful Q7. With a smaller sensor and a smaller price point, the Q7 and similar models are more of a consumer mirrorless than one for the enthusiasts, but it's an extremely small camera with a whole lot of color options.

Pentax has a few solid compact models out too. The Pentax MX-1 earned our Best Budget Advanced Compact for 2013 for its advanced features yet small price tag. They offer a waterproof line that includes macro ring lights built in, something unique to the WG cameras.

Pentax/Ricoh may be a bit quirky, but many of their cameras are well worth a look and offer excellent image quality for the price.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.