Davey Jones strikes again! Yet another waterproof camera has found its way into his locker, as Ricoh has apparently discontinued production of its latest underwater model after just a year on sale.
The Ricoh WG-80 hardly made a splash when it was launched in May 2022, mainly because it was almost identical to the Ricoh WG-70 that preceded it. Either way, the pool was so shallow that it remained one of the best waterproof camera options – and now the pool is even shallower.
Previously Ricoh produced a trio of different waterproof models: the Ricoh WG-6, Ricoh WG-80 and Ricoh 900 – the latter of which is largely identical to the WG-6, but adds an additional layer of chemical resistance so it can be targeted towards industrial use.
The WG-6 was technically superseded by the Ricoh WG-7 in June 2021, though again it was pretty much an identical camera. It only saw release in the Japanese region and was discontinued in September 2023.
Now it seems that the WG-80 has been consumed by the Kraken, making pickings even slimmer for anyone jonesing (badum-tush) for a new waterproof.
"The Ricoh brand waterproof camera 'WG-80' has begun to be discontinued at camera specialty stores as production has ended," writes Japanese outlet Asobinet, "Unfortunately, orders are no longer being accepted at major retailers such as Map Camera.
"The G900's selling price is more like that for professional use, so waterproof cameras for consumer use are virtually extinct. It is currently unknown whether successor models such as WG-8 and WG-90 will be released."
OM Digital Solutions, formerly Olympus, recently launched the OM System Tough TG-7 – and while it has been criticized for being (there's a theme here) very similar to the Olympus Tough TG-6 that came before it, it may well be the only new waterproof camera we see for the next few years.
Let's toast the TG-80 with the immortal words of Alestorm: "At sunrise we'll all dance the hempen jig / so raise up your pint of rum and take another swig. The curse of Captain Morgan has led us to this fate / So have no fear and don't look back, the afterlife awaits."