Hands-On: Ricoh WG-M1 Waterproof Action Camera

Our first chance to check out Ricoh's new tough camera

Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera
Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera Hands-On
Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera Hands-OnStan Horaczek

There are a lot of action cameras here on the floor of Photokina 2014 and the vast majority of them seem to be shameless GoPro knockoffs. Ricoh's WG-M1 action camera, however, seems to be a bit different.

The thing I was most curious about before holding the camera was its size and weight. Overall, it's roughly the same size as a GoPro 3 in its waterproof housing, but a little bigger. The lens also sticks out past the body. From the original pictures, the fact that it has a built-in screen can make it seem bigger than it actually is. It was also actually a little lighter than I expected it to be in my hand. Weight is a crucial thing to consider when you're going to be mounting your camera to your body or your bike (or kayak, or motorcycle, or race car, or whatever), so I was glad it didn't feel like a brick.

Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera control pattern
The control pattern is extremely simple. There's a power button and a record button on one side and the other side has the buttons that allow you to navigate the menus.Stan Horaczek
Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera screen
The screen feels small, but that's likely due to how spoiled I've gotten by big 3.2-inch DSLR screens. Really, the fact that the WG-M1 has a screen at all is a small victory because it means you don't need a wireless connection or an add-on accessory to set-up your shot or review your footage.Stan Horaczek
Ricoh WG-M1 Rugged Waterproof Camera
I'm looking forward to giving the camera a full review down the road, but right now, this looks like a promising action cam option. It's not likely to knock the GoPro from its massive marketshare throne, but it could prove another viable option for people with specific needs, much like the Sony Action Camera currently does.Stan Horaczek