Ricoh WG-50 Announced

New waterproof compact camera

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on May 25, 2017

Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Ricoh WG-50, a new 16-megapixel entry-level waterproof compact camera complete with Wi-Fi and the latest imaging features.  This camera succeeds the Ricoh WG-40w (launched in Japan only) and the WG-30w in international markets.  It is designed to be a tough "go anywhere" camera for outdoor activities and underwater adventures.

Highlights of the WG-50 include:

  • Waterproof to 14m, crushproof to 1.6m, coldproof to -10 degrees C
    (up from 12m on the WG-30w)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for remote control and image transfer via Image Sync
  • Underwater shooting mode
  • Digital microscope mode
  • 5x optical zoom (28-140mm F3.5-5.5 equivalent lens)
  • 2 colors: orange or black

New features include:

  • Upgraded underwater shooting mode with flash bracketing and optimized white balance
  • "Report Mode" with low-resolution scaled images for quick use
  • Vibrant and Slide Film image tones added (inspired by DSLR presents)

Because only these minor tweaks set the WG-50w apart from its predecessors, you can get a good sense for it by in-depth review of the Ricoh WG-30w.  

Full specifications of the WG-50 are available in our camera database.

The WG-50 is launching at $279.95 in the US and is expected to start shipping on June 23, 2017.

About the WG Camera Series

The Pentax / Ricoh WG line is designed for active outdoor use, and dates back over a decade to early Pentax WP waterproof models.  More information can be found in our camera database.

Ricoh Imaging has previously offered a higher-end waterproof model: the Ricoh WG-5.  While the WG-50 now has the same waterproofing rating as the WG-5, the WG-50 lacks features such as GPS, mechanical shake reduction, and the wide F2.0 lens found on the WG-5.  The latter is now discontinued, however, and we do not know if the line will be continued or if Ricoh Imaging only plans to maintain a single WG compact.

The other current member of the WG camera line is the Ricoh WG-M2, a 4K-enabled action camera which we reviewed several months ago.

Ricoh Stays Committed to Cameras & Pentax Brand

Ricoh responding to misleading rumors

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Apr 12, 2017

Ricoh has today (April 12) released a press release that confirms the company's commitment to the camera industry through the Pentax and GR camera brands and also to the innovative Theta product. The press release is a response to the rumor mill that would allege that the opposite could be true. Said rumor naturally created a lot of discussion on PentaxForums in this thread.  We're happy to see Ricoh reacting this quickly to put matters right.

The full press release reads as follows:

With regard to the article about RICOH today

Apr. 12, 2017

Ricoh Co.,Ltd.

Today there was an article saying that RICOH considers to shrink the camera business and withdraw from consumer products. This article is not based on RICOH's official announcement.

RICOH is focusing its resource on the high added value products such as PENTAX and GR that are appreciated by the existing users and photo hobbyists. RICOH is also a market leader of input devices in the VR or AR market with its "RICOH THETA" where we can see rapid growth, and will keep on expanding the business even more in this field. In addition, RICOH will develop and expand the imaging business in the solution business field for corporate, by creating new market utilizing its own camera technology.

HD Pentax D FA★ 50mm F1.4 Coming Soon

A high-performance standard prime lens

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 22, 2017

Ricoh Imaging has unveiled a prototype D FA★ 50mm F1.4 lens, previously roadmapped as the "wide-aperture standard" prime.  This lens will be on display at CP+ 2017, which kicks off on Thursday at the usual location near Tokyo.  We will be interviewing Ricoh Imaging representatives at the show.

The new D FA★ 50mm is slated to replace the 25-year-old FA 50mm F1.4.  Unlike its predecessor, it prioritizes image quality over compactness, and thus reminds us of the acclaimed Sigma 50mm F1.4 "Art" which was not produced in the Pentax mount.

D FA★ 50mm F1.4 mock-up (click to enlarge)

Only a few concrete details have been revealed about this lens:

  • Tentative name: D FA★ 50mm F1.4,
  • Image circle: full frame
  • Star series: high resolution, high contrast, smooth bokeh

Based on the mock-up photo, though, we can see that the lens will feature silent autofocus— most likely DC, as SDM has seemingly been retired in new Pentax designs.  As a premium star-series lens, we can also expect it to have weather sealing (All Weather), the HD coating, and full time manual focus override (Quick Shift) just like the existing lenses.

Views of the lens mock-up at CP+ 2017:

Four other full-frame lenses are currently roadmapped.  For reference, we provide last year's road map below:

Pentax KP Officially Announced

A high-performance APS-C body with ISO 819,200

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 25, 2017

Ricoh Imaging has officially announced the Pentax KP, the latest high-performance APS-C DSLR camera with a focus on compactness.  The KP boasts an all-new body design with interchangeable hand grips in three different sizes, new e-dial positions, and an updated user interface. 

Moreover, the KP is designed to deliver the best available image quality within the APS-C format: it packs a new 24.32 megapixel APS-C sensor with ISOs up to 819,200 thanks in part to an "image accelerator unit" coupled with the PRIME IV image processor.  In addition, the KP inherits 5-axis Shake Reduction II from the Pentax K-1 flagship.  While the mechanical shutter is limited to 1/6000s, the shutter speed can be increased to 1/24000s in live view.  Finally, the camera has received some intriguing new functions, such as depth of field (aperture) and motion (shutter speed) bracketing.

To recap, some of the KP's new features include:

  • Depth of field bracketing, something that macro shooters in particular will appreciate
  • Motion bracketing
  • Electronic shutter topping out at 1/24,000s
  • Very high ISO

Pre-Order - Black:

Pre-Order - Silver

A tilting LCD screen (similar to that of the 645Z), on-board flash, and built-in Wi-Fi add to the KP's everyday usability.  The KP has a user friendly interface with five USER mode settings on the exposure dial and three control wheels like on the K-1. It also has a pre-programmed HDR mode. Many users will probably appreciate that a built-in flash is back, albeit at the expense of built-in GPS. The GPS functionality and iconic Pentax astrotracer can easily be obtained through the O-GPS1 accessory, though.

Like the Pentax K-3 II, the KP features Pixel Shift Resolution, ultrasonic Dust Removal II, 27-point SAFOX 11 autofocus, and a 86K-pixel metering sensor.  Similar to all other current Pentax DSLRs, the KP is of course weather-sealed and packs a large optical viewfinder with 100% field coverage.

To reduce weight, the KP uses the D-Li109 battery.  This combined with its body design means that the overall weight is about 100g less than the K-3 II (643g empty / 703g loaded and ready).  Users who need more endurance can pair the KP with the optional D-BG7 battery grip that can use both the D-Li109 and larger D-Li90.

The Pentax KP is expected to start shipping on February 23rd, 2017.  It will retail for $1099 in the US, €1299 in the EU, $1499 CAD in Canada, £1099 in the UK, and ¥137,700 in Japan.  Color options include Black and Silver.

For users who have been waiting for the next Pentax APS-C flagship, small hints suggest that the KP is in fact not a direct replacement for the K-3 II. While the KP is more sophisticated than the K-3 II in core imaging areas, it has a smaller burst buffer, slower mechanical shutter, slower burst rate, single card slot, and smaller battery.  It also doesn't use the latest SAFOX 12 autofocus system that debuted in the K-1 last year, nor does it incorporate any advancements in video. We do not currently know if the KP has a full magnesium alloy body. All this suggests that it's possible that Pentax will release a high-speed, fully-featured APS-C body for users who focus on moving subjects and sports.  Pentax is thus back to a 4-body DSLR lineup, which we believe is important for the company to remain competitive within a shrinking market.

Visit our Pentax DSLR comparison tool to compare the KP to other Pentax models, or discuss the camera in our new Pentax KP forum.

Pentax KP at a Glance

Below are the KP's highlights as we see them:

  • 24 megapixels, ISO 819,200
  • 7 FPS burst
  • Built-in 5 axis Shake Reduction
  • Several bracketing modes: DOF, motion, AA filter, exposure
  • Tilting LCD screen
  • Pixel Shift Resolution with motion correction
  • External mic input
  • Weather-sealed, outdoor-friendly monitor
  • Three control wheels
  • Compact body with grips in three sized to choose from
  • Optional battery grip
  • Wi-Fi
  • Built-in flash
  • 27-point AF system inherited from the K-3 II
  • Pentaprism viewfinder, 100% coverage

Overall, the KP promises to deliver exceptional still image quality thanks to the latest Pentax technologies.  In a statement posted on January 26th, Ricoh describes the KP as a "mid class" camera, so it is being positioned between the Pentax K-70 and the flagship line.

Pentax KP Key Specifications

Sensor Resolution 24.32 MP
Sensor Size APS-C
AA Filter No, AA Filter Simulator available
Super Resolution Yes, Pixel Shift Resolution
ISO Range
Bit Depth 14
Image Capture
Shutter Speeds 30s-1/6000s (up to 1/24,000s with electronic shutter)
(up to 300s in Astrotracer mode)
(up to 20 minutes selectable in Bulb mode)
Stabilization 5 axis sensor-shift Shake Reduction
Light Meter 86K RGB sensor
Max Frame Rate (buffer) 7 fps (28 JPG, 8 RAW)
AF System and Modes * SAFOX 11: 27-point phase detect (25 cross-type)
   w/ AF.S, AF.C

* Live View: contrast AF
* AF assist LED
AF Sensitivity -3 to 18 EV
Focus Peaking Yes
Movie Mode
Video Mode 1080i: 60/50 fps
1080p: 30/25/24 fps
720p: 60/50 fps
Interval movie: 4K

Electronic stabilization

MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)
Clips up to 4GB / 25 minutes
AF During Video AF.S or AF.C
AF.C supported w/DC and PLM lenses
Video Sound External stereo mic input

Stereo mic built-in
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Sync. 1/180 s
Hot Shoe Yes
Viewfinder Pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.95x magnification
Interchangeable focusing screen
LCD 3.0-inch, 921,000 dot
3:2 aspect ratio
Tilting design
Outdoor view setting
Red light illumination function
Processing Engine PRIME IV w/ accelerator unit
Weather Sealed Yes
Battery D-LI109 rechargeable
Battery Grip Optional, D-BG7 w/ D-LI109 and D-LI90 trays
Media Slot(s) 1 SDXC / SDHC / SD (UHS-I)
Connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI out (SlimPort adapter required)
Tethering Support Wireless tethering
w/ Image Sync
Dimensions (WxHxD) 131.5 x 101.0 x 76.0 mm
703g with battery and SD card
643g empty
Colors Black, Black/Silver
US Launch Price (Body)

Full specifications for the KP are available in our camera database.

Ricoh R Debuts 360-Degree Video Streaming

Specialized camera and software for spherical video streaming

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 4, 2017

Ricoh has unveiled the latest development in its Theta line of 360-degree cameras at this year's CES show in Las Vegas.  The new Ricoh R is the industry's first camera capable of long-term continuous streaming of spherical video.  Recording can be carried out for up to 24 hours thanks to an AC adapter, stand, and dedicated PC connection via USB and HDMI.

More importantly, the Ricoh R will come with a software development kit (SDK) giving programmers full access to process and display the camera's video in custom computer applications.  This will make 360 video far more accessible than it has ever been, and it secures Ricoh's spot at the forefont of innovation within 360-degree photography and videography.

Ricoh R connected to power adapter and PC

While the Ricoh R has a form factor very similar to the popular Theta S and Theta SC spherical cameras that we recently reviewed (designed for hand-hend photography and shorter video clips), its mission is entirely different: it focuses primarily on continous video streaming. The underlying lenses are the same, and the output video resolution is 2K at 30FPS.

Interestingly, the Ricoh R does not appear to be marketed by Ricoh Imaging, but rather the parent company, Ricoh Inc.  The model on display at CES was a prototype; market availability is expected in the Spring of 2017.

We will post an update once the full specifications of the camera are released.  Until then, you can learn more about on the R's official web site,

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