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Nikon Coolpix W300, Ricoh WG-50 are built to tackle outdoor adventures

Create: 06/06/2017 - 15:13
Nikon Coolpix W300 and Ricoh WG-50

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nikon, Ricoh cameras have 16-MP BSI CMOS sensors
  • Both cameras are waterproof and shockproof
  • Both cameras have 5X zoom lenses

The rugged camera segment is one of the few bright spots for digital point and shoots, and Nikon and Ricoh have announced new models.

The Nikon Coolpix W300 replaces the AW130, while the Ricoh WG-50 succeeds the WG-40.

Both cameras are taking the approach of other manufacturers by not upping the pixel count and instead improving the image through other means.

Cameras in this category are intended for use in inclimate conditions are waterproof and shockproof, and both cameras meet that requirement.

The Nikon W300 is waterproof to 100 feet, more than twice that of the Ricoh WG-50’s 46 feet. The Nikon can withstand a drop of nearly 8 feet, while the Ricoh is rated for a maximum of just over 5 feet.

Neither cameras has an optical viewfinder, but that’s not unusual among the current breed of digital cameras.

Beneath their respective covers, the cameras have similar specifications:

  • 16-MP backside illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.
  • ISO range of 125-6,400.
  • Mechanical and electronic shutters with a top speed of 1/4,000.
  • Can record Ultra 4K and Full HD video.
  • Fixed 3.0-inch LCD monitors.
  • Built-in electronic flash.
  • Both cameras have 5X optical zoom lenses with the Nikon W300 offering a full-frame equivalent range of 24-120mm. The Ricoh WG-50 provides a bit less on the wide side and more on the telephoto end with a 28-140mm zoom range.

PRODUCT DESIGN

Visually, the cameras couldn’t be more different.

While the Nikon W300 looks like a traditional point and shoot, the Ricoh WG-50 has a more aggressive appearance with sharp angles and LED macro lights that surround the lens.

The WG-50 can shoot up to 8 frames per second, while the Nikon tops out at 5 frames per second.

Ricoh’s website says the WG-50 uses Micro-SD and full-size SD cards and has 68MB of internal memory. The W300 accepts full-size SD cards and has 473MB of internal memory. With both cameras, this proibably is good for capturing a small handful of photos.

The cameras have WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and sensors to record GPS coordinates, altitude and depth. The Nikon has an additional “Points of Interest” and mapping features.

Despite their different appearances, the cameras are similar in size.

The Nikon W300 is 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches (111.5 x 66 x 29mm), while the Ricoh WG-50 is 4.8 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches.

The Nikon outweighs the WG-50, 8.2 ounces (231 grams) vs. 6.8 ounces (193 grams).

The Nikon W300 will be available summer 2017 for US$389.95 in black, orange or yellow.

The Ricoh WG-50 will ship in late June 2017 for US$279.95 and can be had in black or orange.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.