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10-06-2017, 02:46 AM   #1
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Pentax optio w90 vs ricoh wg-50?

I have the Pentax Optio W90 but was recently tempted to upgrade that camera to the Ricoh wg-50. I decided not too because it appeared that I was not getting much more bang for buck. There's a few things that have improved but I'm not sure the picture quality is one of them given the reviews.

I like the tough cameras but am wondering if any of these pentax / ricoh tough camera's are worth upgrading to?

Any thoughts. Did I make the right decision?

10-06-2017, 06:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominover Quote
I have the Pentax Optio W90 but was recently tempted to upgrade that camera to the Ricoh wg-50. I decided not too because it appeared that I was not getting much more bang for buck. There's a few things that have improved but I'm not sure the picture quality is one of them given the reviews.

I like the tough cameras but am wondering if any of these pentax / ricoh tough camera's are worth upgrading to?

Any thoughts. Did I make the right decision?
The W90 is pretty old, and one area in particular that's really been improved on is ruggedness. Another great feature is the digital microscope mode in the newer models.

The WG-50 is based on the WG-2, which dates all the way back to 2012. The WG-3, which succeeded the WG-2, got a sharper, faster lens, and that's where you can see a bump in image quality. The later WG-4 and WG-5 models are essentially the same.

All that said, there are more exciting features in compacts from other brands, as the Pentax/Ricoh line has been stagnant for quite some time now. Still good cameras, but far from cutting-edge.

A couple others worth considering:

Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-870 Digital Camera and V104200BU000-KIT
Nikon COOLPIX W300 Digital Camera (Yellow) 26525 B&H Photo Video

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10-06-2017, 07:13 AM   #3
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Let me tell you about my W90.

IN the winter it fell out of my pocket on a skidoo trail. It was run over at least 20 times. Then spring came/ The snow melted and it was under at least 4 inches of water. Judging from the tire trans it was run over by at least 1 ATV, probably more. Except for the fact that it no longer remembers the time and date when you change batteries it works as always. We bought a Nikon coolpix AW 130 to replace it, and, I actually still prefer the W90 for it's IQ and colour rendering. I only use the Coolpix when I may need multiple batteries, as i only have one for the W90.

So my point would be, it's quite possible that you'll upgrade and still prefer the W90, I do.
10-06-2017, 11:14 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
[snip]

All that said, there are more exciting features in compacts from other brands, as the Pentax/Ricoh line has been stagnant for quite some time now. Still good cameras, but far from cutting-edge.

[snip]

Really wish Pentax/Ricoh would bring out a new GRIII type of camera, and would like to see a nice little zoom on it too. I know it's not a waterproof camera like the WG line, but trying to figure out a really nice point and shoot type of camera for those days when a DSLR isn't practical - something pocketable you can always grab and be happy with the IQ at the end of the day. The Panasonic DMC-LX10 caught my eye, but after reading about controls and modes on dpreview, not so sure.

I know this is a slightly different fish than the W90/WG cameras, but the idea of a durable, versatile, high quality, grab and go anywhere camera is very appealing.

10-06-2017, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for that information, that is really useful!

I found the W90 to be very tough and durable. It's just a pity the photo quality wasn't great and the batteries drain fast.

Is the WG-3 noticeably better in terms of picture quality? Is the picture quality on the WG-3 therefore good?
I want to buy a new rugged camera with better picture quality but some are just too expensive. The Olympus TG-4 and 5 are too much.
10-07-2017, 04:18 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Let me tell you about my W90.

IN the winter it fell out of my pocket on a skidoo trail. It was run over at least 20 times. Then spring came/ The snow melted and it was under at least 4 inches of water. Judging from the tire trans it was run over by at least 1 ATV, probably more. Except for the fact that it no longer remembers the time and date when you change batteries it works as always. We bought a Nikon coolpix AW 130 to replace it, and, I actually still prefer the W90 for it's IQ and colour rendering. I only use the Coolpix when I may need multiple batteries, as i only have one for the W90.

So my point would be, it's quite possible that you'll upgrade and still prefer the W90, I do.
I like the w90 too. The fact that it fits in your pocket, you don't need a case or cover, and it's tough, make it something I can use anywhere.

I only wished, and many other people say the same thing, that their successors, Ricoh, would make a camera like this with better picture and video quality and better battery life. The larger Li-92b battery in later models get's a bit more so they have done the right thing there. But the picture quality doesn't seem to have improved much. Even the WG-5 is not great on picture quality from the reviews I have read.

So was it worth upgrading to something very similar? Probably not! The W90 has a CCD sensor, where as all the others are now CMOS. CCD uses more battery to run but the quality has always been better than CMOS up until now. CMOS has caught up.

The AW130 isn't great on battery life either and the photo quality, again, isn't that great.

I would assume that's why the Olympus TG-4 and TG-5 fetch such a high price. They have focused on the picture quality for a good reason. There's no way I'll ever buy one of these, they're just too expensive. If they dropped their price by $100 they would probably make more sales and completely dominate the market.

Rugged gear is great, but we're sill in the early stages.
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