Well that's 20 minutes of my life I won't get back. After spending that long scrutinising the specifications of Ricoh's new WG-80 waterproof camera, eager to discover how it improves upon the the previous WG-70 (launched in Feb 2020) I can spot only one new 'feature' for the WG-80.
New sensor? More zoom? Increased toughness? Woah there, dial back the expectations, dear reader. No: the WG-80 renders its predecessor totally obsolete thanks to.... its six macro ring light LEDs being twice as bright as before. Oh, and the exterior styling is a little more subtle this time around. And that's it - the WG-80 shares all the same tech specs and features with the WG-70.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
If you're unfamiliar with that camera, you could just read our original news report (opens in new tab) on the WG-70 and you'd also be right up to speed on the new WG-80. But since my editor is paying me to write content not simply paste a web URL, we'd better super-size the déjà vu and rehash those specs and features all over again:
Back in 2020 we lamented (opens in new tab) the WG-70's lack of 4K video recording, so naturally the WG-80 sticks to good ol' 1080p (at just 30fps) - after all, if it aint broke, why improve it? Also carried over from the WG-70 is the 16MP backlit CMOS sensor, 28-140mm-equivalent internally zoomed lens with its f/3.5-5.5 variable max aperture.
The old 230k-dot 2.7-inch read LCD display also remains, which would have been small and low-resolution back when Obama was still in the Oval Office, but it's inexcusably outdated now.
Thankfully there's one area where the WG-80 can still cut it against more modern competition: toughness. Being waterproof down to 14m/46 feet, shockproof to drops of 1.6m/5.25 feet, crushproof to 100kg/220 lbs, and freezeproof to -10°C/14°F, it'll survive much more than just the written abuse I'm inflicting on it.(opens in new tab)
But of course every good story needs a decent plot twist: the WG-80 isn't the first time Ricoh has 'phoned it in' with a new waterproof camera. That's because, shock, horror, the old WG-70 was itself fundamentally the same as its predecessor, the WG-60!
Still, there's always hope - maybe the WG-90 will turn out to be a game-changing innovative revelation? Please, Ricoh, don't make me stoop to this level of sarcasm and thinly-veiled contempt again in two years time :\
The Ricoh WG-80 will be available mid June, with a recommended retail price of $329.95. Until then, the WG-70 is still available - check out the best deals below.
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