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Ricoh WG-M2 Review

We review the Ricoh WG-M2 - a compact, tough, 4K video camera that is also waterproof.

|  Ricoh WG-M2 in Action Cameras
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Ricoh WG M2 Orange (2)

The Ricoh WG-M2 is a tough action camera that records 4K video and features an ultra-wide angle lens, with a bright f/2.0 aperture. The WG-M2 is waterproof down to 20 metres, and is available in orange or silver.

Ricoh WG-M2 Features

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (11)

The Ricoh WG-M2 features an 8 megapixel sensor which is plenty for 4K video recording, and the camera can also be used for stills photography. 

The lens is a bright f/2.0 ultra-wide-angle lens, with a 204 degree view. The camera records 4K (Ultra HD) video at 30fps with stereo sound, and there are options to record FullHD video, or high speed video. You can shoot stills at 8fps and the camera will record 8 megapixel photos.

The camera is waterproof down to 20 metres, when used with the provided waterproof lens cover, and the camera is also shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof.

The most noticeabl feature of the camera when you first see it, is how small it is, compared to other cameras, and on the top is a 1.5inch screen so you can see what you are recording, as well menu settings. 

Built in Wi-Fi means you can remotely control the camera, as well as transfer images. 

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (10)

Key Features

  • 8 megapixel 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor
  • Ultra-wide angle 204° lens
  • 1.5-inch LCD monitor (115K dots)
  • 4K Ultra HD video at 30fps
  • ISO 200 to ISO 6400 (in still-image shooting modes)
  • ±2EV exposure compensation
  • Waterproof up to 20 meters (no housing required)
  • Shock-resistant up to 2 meters, Cold-proof down to 14° Fahrenheit
  • 7 selectable video effect modes
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Ultra-wide-angle still-image recording at a maximum angle of view of 202 degrees
  • 8 frames per second continuous stills shooting
  • Multi-segment or spot metering 
  • Wind suppression mode
  • micro SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card slot
  • Available in silver or orange

Ricoh WG-M2 Handling

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (16)

The Ricoh WG-M2 features a small (1.5inch) screen on top, with three buttons on the left, where you’ll find the on/off, menu and record buttons. You need to hold in the on/off button for roughly one second to switch the camera on and off, and then use the controls on the other side of the camera to scroll through the menu options. There’s an OK button in the middle, and the two direction buttons can also be used to enter the playback mode or access the Wi-Fi details.

The camera can be connected to a compatible smartphone running Ricoh’s Image App, which lets you remotely control the camera (and change settings), view images and videos recorded on the camera, and transfer them to your phone.

The modes available include: Movie, Underwater movie, Time-lapse movie, Extended movie recording, High speed movie, Still image, Underwater still image, and burst shooting.

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (7)

There are a number of different options:  you can switch between wide and narrow angle of view when recording FullHD video. For 4K video the angle of view is fixed as wide. In playback you can save frames from movies as still images, plus divide movies.

The camera feels well built and the battery and memory compartment features a double lock so that you don't accidentally open this under water.

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (8)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 450 shots according to Pentax test results, which is excellent, and the camera will record up to 80 minutes of 4K video on the fine setting, although the maximum video length is 25 minutes. With a fixed focus lens, there is no delay when shooting, as you don't need to wait for the camera to focus.

Ricoh WG M2 Orange (18)

Ricoh WG-M2 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-M2 Sample Photos

Camera Performance - Colours are generally okay, although image quality isn't as good as a more normal (non-action) digital camera. With an ultra-wide-angle lens there is quite noticeable distortion, and a fish-eye effect, and there is often noticeable purple fringing in the corners. With such a wide-angle lens, you're likely to take photos with a much wider range between dark and light, and at times it's important to be careful not to overexpose or underexpose your images - it would be nice if there were dynamic range or HDR options. You also need to ensure the lens is clean from fingerprints and smudges as the protruding nature of the lens makes it easy to get marks on it.

There are a limited number of white balance settings including Auto, Outdoor, and Manual. When you select one of the underwater modes, the camera sets the white balance for you, and you can't change it from auto white balance. Colour options include bright, natural, black and white (these three are available for both photo and video), and the following are also available in video mode, shade (vignette), bleach bypass, bold mono, high contrast. 

Ricoh WG-M2 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - There is quite low noise at most ISO settings, and it's the sort of camera where you don't really need to worry about what ISO setting the camera uses. There's a good ISO range that goes up to ISO6400, which helps with low-light recording. 

Video - The camera records 4K UltraHD video at 30fps, full HD video at 60 and 30fps, and high-speed video at 120fps at a reduced resolution of 1280x720. The camera has stereo mics built-in. When recording high-speed video, sound is recorded as well. A high-speed video can be found here. Electronic image stabilization (Movie SR) means you need to keep the camera steady if you are handholding the camera, although it should help. 

More Ricoh WG-M2 videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine Youtube channel

A 4K video is shown above. This was recorded in quite low light, around dusk, although it looks like normal daylight in the video.

A FullHD video is shown above, recorded under water. When recording 4K video underwater you need to use the waterproof lens cover and the edges are cropped by the underwater attachment. A video showing this can be found here

Value For Money

The Ricoh WG-M2 is available for £269, which makes it good value for money for a waterproof action camera that can record 4K video. Alternatives include:

ISAW Edge, 4K video at 10fps, 40m waterproof, Wi-Fi, £169
Kodak PIXPRO SP360-4K, 4K video at 30fps, Wi-Fi, £349, optional 30m waterproof case
Sony HDR-AS50, FullHD video , 60m waterproof, Wi-Fi, £180
Polaroid Cube+, 1440p video, Wi-Fi, £125 - optional waterproof case
Olympus TG-Tracker, 4K video at 30fps, 30m waterproof Wi-Fi, due July £279 (RRP)

If you are more interested in stills photography, then there are a number of different waterproof cameras available, with FullHD video, you can find them in our Top 10 Best Waterproof Tough Cameras. You'll also need to buy a MicroSD 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-M2 Verdict

Ricoh WG M2 (2)

The Ricoh WG-M2 is a stylish and funky looking 4K action camera that is available in silver or orange. It records good quality video and has a bright f/2.0 lens that means it's quite good in low-light. With a screen, it's easy to see what you are recording, and the camera is easy to use, with just a few buttons on the sides. Some may wish for a few more options, and it could be useful to have additional white balance options, as well as more control over the frame rates available when recording video. If you're looking for a waterproof and stylish action camera that can record 4K video at 30fps, then the WG-M2 is a good option, although you may want to look at what accessories are available, as there are none in the box. 

Ricoh WG-M2 Pros

Ultra-wide-angle lens
f/2.0 lens lets you record in low light
Compact and stylish 
4K (UHD) video recording
Stereo mics built in
High speed video recording
Waterproof to 20m

Ricoh WG-M2 Cons

Purple fringing towards corners of frame
Underwater lens cover shows in wide videos/photos
Doesn't include any accessories, not even a strap


Ricoh WG-M2 Specifications

Max Aperturef/2
35mm equivalentNo Data
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels8Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data
Pixels (H)No Data
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor1.5in
Screen resolution115K
Touch ScreenNo
Min FocusNo Data
Focusing modes
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data
    Bulb modeNo Data
    Exp modes
      • Multi Pattern
      • Spot
      ISO sensitivity200 - 6400
      White balance
      • Auto
      • Manual
      • Outdoors/Daylight
      • Underwater
      Exposure Comp+/-2
      Shooting Options
      Continuous shooting8fps
      Movie modeYes
      Video Resolution
      • 1920x1080 FullHD
      • 4K
      • 1280x720 HD 720p
      Video FPSNo Data
      Stereo SoundYes
      Optical Zoom with VideoNo
      Other Features
      Image StabilisationNo Data
      USBUSB 2
      Card Type
      • Micro SD
      • Micro SDHC
      File Type
      • JPG
      Power Source
      Battery TypeLithium-Ion
      Battery Life (CIPA rating)450shots
      Box Contents
      Box ContentsRechargeable lithium-ion battery, power adapter, USB cable, lens protector, underwater lens

      View Full Product Details

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      16 Nov 2016 8:53PM
      How did they think? Dont buy this camera if your in it for the 4K option. It records a 4Gb file and stops, you have to press the rec button again. So if your action is less than 5 minutes while shooting 4K it will work, otherwise look for something else! Sad The WG-M1 also had some stupid limitation, but since it recorded in full hd it stopped after 25 minutes.

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