Ricoh Dives Headfirst Into Action Cam Market With the WG-M1

Pentax tries to one-up GoPro with its own waterproof, rugged camcorder.

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Ricoh, maker of weather-proof DSLRs, 360-degree pocket cams, and rugged point-and-shoots today announced its first rugged action cam, the WG-M1.

The new WG-M1 follows in the footsteps of the Ricoh WG-4 point-and-shoot, inheriting that camera's tough credentials as well as its overall look and design. The WG-M1 walks the walk, too, capable of shooting 1080/30p video while surviving drops of up to two meters, dives as deep as 10 meters, and temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

The WG-M1 takes styling cues right from Ricoh's WG-4 adventure-proof point-and-shoot.

The WG-M1 is designed primarily around a 1/2.3-inch, 14-megapixel CMOS sensor. It has an f/2.8 lens with a focal length of 3mm (16.8mm 35mm equivalent) good for an angle of view of 135 degrees while shooting video (165 degrees total).

The new WG-M1 also comes with a 1.5-inch color LCD on top for easy use while holding the camera below eye level. It also comes with built-in WiFi (like the current GoPro camcorders) with a dedicated smartphone app so your phone can be used to shoot, edit, play back, and share the WG-M1's video or as a remote viewfinder.

Interestingly, the WG-M1 does not require any sort of housing like similar action cameras from GoPro and Sony.

Interestingly, the WG-M1 does not require any sort of housing like similar action cameras from GoPro and Sony. It will be compatible with a range of mounting accessories, however, including the WG-4's handlebar mount, suction cup mount, WG holder, and floating wrist strap.

The Ricoh WG-M1 is the company's first waterproof, action-ready camcorder.

Ricoh also announced several new mounts alongside the WG-M1. It will come standard with an updated, larger adhesive mount and an optional wrist mount and an angled arm mount extension are also available. Plans for a magnetic mount and a peg mount that can be hammered into the ground were also revealed, though details are not yet confirmed.

The WG-M1 will be available in black and orange in the US and will be slated to hit retail stores in mid-October for a suggested retail price of $299.95. We expect the WG-M1 to be at Photokina next week as well, where we'll have hands-on impressions right from the show floor.

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