The Ricoh WG-30W offers rugged features along with options like wi-fi. This compact camera can head underwater to depths of 40 feet. Drops and dust aren't a problem either, with a 4.9' shockproof rating. With a rugged body around the outside, can the performance and features on the inside measure up?
The WG-30W uses an average sized sensor, a 1/2.3", with 16 megapixels. It is backlit, which should help some when shooting in low light conditions. A 5x optical zoom is included as well, plus the lens can handle close-ups up to 1 cm. Ring lights around the lens also assist with close-up shots.
Speed-wise, the WG-30W reaches shutter speeds of up to 1/4000, however the 1.08 continous shooting mode is rather unimpressive. There's a 10 fps burst mode--but these images are snapped at only five megapixels.
The biggest issue with the WG-30W, however, is likely the lens. The minimum aperture is f3.5-5.5--if you don't speak camera, that means the lens isn't the brightest in the market. While that f3.5 is similar to regular budget point-and-shoots, when you head underwater, you need a bright lens in order to capture decent shots with all the water between you and the sun. With options like the Olympus TG-3 and Pentax WG-4, both with brighter f2.0 lenses, at a similar price currently, it's hard to reccomend the WG-30W. The slow burst speed and with the lens make it seem like a budget option, but at $300, it's too closely priced with better cameras.
The WG-30W does have a rugged build and wi-fi going for it, and will likely snap good shots above water. The backlit sensor will help some when lighting is limited, but we would have liked to see a brighter lens and faster burst mode.