Parsippany, NJ—Ricoh Imaging Americas introduced the Pentax WG-90 digital point-and-shoot camera. The WG series of all-weather adventure cameras features rugged chassis, plus waterproof and shock-resistant features. Ricoh will now offer these outdoor adventure cameras under the Pentax brand.
Further, the Pentax WG-90—available in early 2024—effectively replaces the current Ricoh WG-80 camera. However, Ricoh will make the WG-80 available through the holidays and into the new year before discontinuing it.
“The Pentax WG-90 assures outstanding reliability and operability, even under harsh conditions where ordinary compact cameras and smartphones may be unusable,” Ricoh notes.
The Pentax WG-90 is a photographic tool for a range of scenes and subjects. They span from casual snapshots to outdoor and underwater photography, as well as even specialized worksite applications.
Pentax WG-90 Key Features
The compact, waterproof camera sports a lightweight body that houses a 5x optical zoom, 28–140mm-equivalent lens. The lens also has user-friendly shooting functions. For instance, its intelligent zoom function extends the zoom range by 36x—a 1008mm equivalent. Thus, the camera captures wide angles as well as sweeping vistas.
Plus, the camera’s back-illuminated, 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and imaging engine deliver a top sensitivity of ISO 6400. The sensor/processor combo also produces low-noise images and high-speed readout of image data signals. With heavy-duty construction, the P&S boasts a solid, airtight body. It is waterproof down to 46 feet (two hours), shockproof against a 5-foot fall, as well as freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14°F. Its body is also dustproof and crushproof against weights up to 100 kgf.
Also featured is a built-in ring light with adjustable illumination. Moreover, it powers the Pentax-original digital microscope mode. This mode allows you to capture clear images of a microscopic world normally undetectable to the eye. Positioned around the circumference of the lens barrel, six LED macro lights provide bright, uniform illumination on a subject when the digital microscope mode is selected to magnify a subject on the LCD monitor. Consequently, you can closely observe the microscopic world and capture the subject in a high-res macro image. Additionally, in macro lighting mode, you can adjust the illumination intensity in five levels.
What’s more, to minimize the effects of camera shake and subject movement, an instant illumination enhance function supports a higher shutter speed. It does so by automatically raising the discharge level of the macro lights at the moment of shutter release. And self-portrait assist mode uses the blink of an LED lamp to check if the subject’s face was captured within the frame. In LED Lighting mode, you can even use the macro lights function as a flashlight.
More Features: Above and Below the Water
The WG-90 also has a 230K-dot, 2.7-inch LCD monitor with horizontally expanded 16:9 proportions. Thanks to the AR (antireflection) coating applied to its surface, the monitor minimizes glare and reflections, even in the harsh sunshine. It also provides an outdoor view setting mode. Subsequently, it automatically optimizes the monitor’s brightness level for a given lighting condition.
What waterproof camera is complete without dedicated underwater modes? Based on the data of images captured underwater, the WG-90’s underwater and underwater movie shooting modes compensate for the loss of contrast caused by the diffusion of light in the water. They also enhance the reddish hues that fade away in the water.
Shake Compensation Three Ways
The P&S additional provides triple anti-shake protection to prevent blurred images and movie clips. It employs a pixel track SR mechanism that compensates for camera shake by digitally processing affected still images. Further, digital SR mode detects low-light conditions in still-image shooting. It then automatically raises the sensitivity to ISO 6400. As a result, you can use a higher shutter speed and minimize the adverse effect of camera and subject shake in poor lighting. Finally, movie SR mode effectively compensates for the misalignment of images caused by shake during movie capture. It utilizes Pentax’s exclusive software to help produce blur-free clips.
What’s more, the WG-90 records Full HD movies in the H.264 recording format. It will record extended movie clips (1,920×1,080 pixels, 16:9 proportions) at 30 frames per second. To add creative touches to movies, the camera has a high-speed function for slow-motion playback as well as an interval movie function. A micro-HDMI terminal (Type D) is additionally embedded in the camera body for simultaneous output of Full HD movie clips and sound to external audio-visual devices.
Other features include handheld night snap mode, which automatically produces a single, blur-free composite image using several images of the same nighttime scene. Auto picture mode selects the most appropriate shooting mode from 16 scene modes; high-speed face detection captures up to 32 faces in focus in 0.03 second; and smile capture releases the shutter when the subject’s smile is detected.
Additionally, there is an outdoor-friendly style watch function that displays the time on the LCD monitor. The camera also comes with a macro stand to maintain a minimum focusing distance of 0.4 inch to the subject during extended observation and shooting of macro images.
The Pentax WG-90 will reach retail early next year. It will come in blue and classic black body versions. Pricing was not announced.