Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Ricoh WG-30 Review

Reviewed, the tough Ricoh WG-30, waterproof compact camera with fullHD video recording.

| Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W in Compact Cameras


Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (6)

The new Ricoh WG-30 updates the WG-20, with a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor which allows fullHD video recording as well as improved shooting speed, the WG-30 is the entry level waterproof camera from Ricoh, with the WG-4 offering further protection, a brighter f/2.0 lens, as well as other features, including GPS on the WG-4 GPS. The Ricoh WG-30 is available in black or red. 

Ricoh WG-30 Features

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (2)

The Ricoh WG-30 features a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 28mm to 140mm in 35mm terms. The camera uses digital shake reduction rather than optical, and has a built-in flash for low-light situations, as well as 6 LED macro lights around the lens for close-up photos. The camera comes with a macro ring to let you place the camera directly onto flat surfaces.

When shooting there is auto picture mode which automatically selects the best camera settings for the detected scene. There are a number of other scene modes such as HDR, digital microscope, time lapse and more. When you've finished shooting you can edit your pictures in playback using a range of filters. The WG-30 is waterproof to 12m, shock resistant to 1.5m, freeze-proof to –10°C, crush-proof, and dust-proof. 

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD at 30 fps, and you can also record high-speed videos at 120fps. The WG-30 can be connected to a HDTV for playback via HDMI.

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (7)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens, 
  • 2.7inch screen, 230k dots
  • Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Crushproof
  • FullHD video recording
  • ISO125 to ISO6400
  • 1cm macro 
  • HDR mode, Digital Microscope
  • Interval shot, Interval movie
  • Available in black or red

Ricoh WG-30 Handling

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (3)

The Ricoh WG-30 has adopted the more chunky styling of its bigger brother, the WG-4, and as a result there is plenty to grip on to. The buttons on the back of the camera are fairly close to each other, and if you have big clumsy hands then you may have some difficulty with them, but for the most part there were no problems using the camera. On the back are a number of raised dots to give good grip for your thumb, and a large metal strap loop makes it easy to attach the wrist strap. The camera feels tough, as you would expect for a drop and crushproof camera. 

The screen is a 2.7inch screen with a wide aspect ratio (16:9), so when shooting 4:3 aspect photos, there are large black borders on the left and right of the screen, meaning the image appears quite small. If you choose to shoot everything in 16:9 aspect ratio to make the most of the screen, then images are shot at 12 megapixels. 

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (5)

Menus – The menus are quite easy to use, and when switching modes the camera gives a brief explanation of each mode. Built in help for the menu options would make the camera even easier to use. Wi-Fi features can be found on the WG-30W version of this camera, giving you the option for remote shooting, as well as downloading and viewing images.

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh WG30 Black (4)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to Ricoh / CIPA test results, which is good for a compact camera, although we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more. 

Ricoh WG-30 Review: Ricoh Wg 30 Underwater

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.1secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.5secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.9secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.4secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A

Shutter response, and focus speeds are quick, and shot to shot time is reasonably good. Continuous shooting at full resolution is a little slow at just under 2fps.

Ricoh WG-30 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera has reliable exposure, and will produce images with bright saturated colours in most situations. Portrait photos with flash often increase the ISO setting, and in this example using ISO1600 has created an image with very low detail and a blurry image with poor colour. 

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W Lens test images

Lens Performance - Image quality is somewhat disappointing, with images appearing soft, showing chromatic aberrations, and suffering from vignetting. Macro performance is a strength of the camera, although noise is visible at all ISO settings. The lack of image stabilisation and a fairly slow lens will limit the camera's low light performance. Images should be suitable for sharing on social media websites, where the reduced resolution, and bright colours will help. 

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is lowest at ISO125, although is still visible when viewing images at 100%. Detail is quite good at ISO125 and ISO200. Detail drops off at ISO400, as noise increases. For lower light situations ISO800 to ISO1600 may provide usable results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO3200 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO6400 is best avoided as noise is high, and detail is very low.

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a yellow / warm colour cast under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving an accurate result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a slightly warm result.

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W Outdoor images

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W Digital filters

Digital Filters - Scene modes / Digital Filters / Effects / plus HDR / Dynamic range mode examples. Very few effects are available when shooting, and instead there are a large number of effects available in playback mode. Options include: Small face filter, Collage, HDR, Original frame, as well as further examples above.

Video - The camera records full HD video at 30fps, or 1280x720 video at 60fps. Unfortunately, optical zoom is not available while recording video. Slow motion video is also available, an example can be found here.

Value For Money

The Ricoh WG-30 is available for £225, or alternatively is available as the WG-30W with built-in Wi-Fi for £255, which makes it average value for money, particularly up against the following cameras:

Fujifilm FinePix XP70, Wi-Fi, 10m waterproof, OIS, £140
Olympus Tough TG-850, with selfe-screen, 10m waterproof, OIS, £209
Nikon Coolpix AW120, Wi-Fi, GPS, 18m waterproof, VR, £230
Canon Powershot D30, GPS, 25m waterproof, OIS, £239
Ricoh WG-4 GPS, GPS, 14m waterproof, SR, £239
Panasonic Lumix FT5, Wi-Fi, GPS, 13m waterproof, OIS, £239

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Ricoh WG-30 Verdict

The Ricoh WG-30 is a tough waterproof camera, with a number of useful features, most noticeably, the unique macro LED lights that surround the lens. However, the camera gives images with high levels of noise, and fairly low levels of detail, and whilst this is fairly typical for this class of camera, the lack of image stabilisation (OIS) as well as the inability to use optical zoom while recording video puts it at a disadvantage compared to the competition. If the price of the WG-30 were to drop over time, then this camera may be worth looking at, particularly if you just wanted to share images to social media websites. 

Ricoh WG-30 Pros

Waterproof to 12m
Shock and drop-proof
Impressive macro mode
6 LEDs for macro shooting
HDR mode built in

Ricoh WG-30 Cons

Doesn't feature a panoramic mode
Optical zoom not available during video recording
Red LED light flashes every time you take a photo
Tripod socket position
Noise in images



Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.5
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest1/4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo Data
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Wi-FiNo Data
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable D-LI92 lithium-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital camera, Power adapter, Lithium Ion battery, USB Cable, Strap, Macro Stand

View Full Product Details

Buy Now


Sell or trade used photo and video kit with MPB

With MPB you can get a free instant quote for the kit you want to sell, including a trade-in all-in-one transaction - no need for callbacks or waiting for an email quote. Then, if you decide to sell, MPB will pick up your kit with a free insured DPD collection and you’ll get paid cash into your account within days. MPB will also keep you informed about the status of your gear at every step of the way and the whole process is carbon neutral.

Sell your unwanted gear with MPB

Amazon UK Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W SEARCH
Amazon US Logo

We don't have the latest price however the link below will take you to the most relevant items.

Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W SEARCH
MPB Logo

We transform the way that people buy, sell and trade in photo and video kit.


Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Photographs taken using the Ricoh WG-30 / WG-30W

Storm clouds moving in

Other articles you might find interesting...

Canon PowerShot V10 Review
Nikon Z30 Camera Review
SMC Pentax MX-1 6-24mm f/1.8-2.5 Vintage Lens Review
Leica Q2 Monochrom Review
OM System TG-7 Waterproof Camera
Sony ZV-1 II Review
Sony ZV-1 Mark II Updates The Z-V1 With New Functions & Refi...
Sony ZV-E1 Full-Frame Vlog Camera


Mat79 Avatar
Mat79 7
23 Dec 2015 1:08PM
Worst possible experience for me. Bought in Italy to take pictures underwater during my honeymoon , followed the instructions carefully and after few minutes less than a meter underwater the camera started to have strange problems like buttons not responding and steamy screen. After having dried the camera (as per instructions) i tested the battery inside and the memory card , and they were working fine. The camera turned to be unusable for the whole duration of the honeymoon. But the fun part comes now, i actually have the camera still on warranty and the shop i purchased it from (MediaWorld) sent it to the Ricoh Italian Assistance for repair, guess what... they returned the camera still broken writing that the watertight was working so they guessed it was my fault, this means no warranty.... so basically if the camera is faulty like mine they will rather tell a customer it's his fault and it is the customer word against their, so basically i got scammed . There are a lot of good and honest camera companies but RICOH doesn't seem one of those. If you want a camera to take pictures under sea water i strongly suggest you not to buy this camera for the warranty scam.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.