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.
If you're unfamiliar with that camera, you could just read our original news report 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 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which would have been small and low-resolution back when Obama was still in the Oval Office, but it's inexcusably outdated now.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.
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.