Ricoh G600 review

Ben Pitt
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 260g

The G600 is waterproof down to 1m, dust- and sand-proof and can withstand drops from 1.5m.

However, the website says, "it is guaranteed neither breakdown nor not to damage", which is an awkward way of saying there are no guarantees. Here, rugged seems to equate to bulky and rubber-clad rather than compact and impenetrable. At least the big buttons are easier to use in hazardous environments. The accessory shoe would be a lot more useful if it had contact points for triggering a flashgun.

Various other features suggest that this camera is designed for serious business. Like all others here, it comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery, but this can be replaced with a pair of AAA batteries. They'll last for only 60 shots, but it's an excellent feature for emergencies or long trips in the wilderness. An Image Edit Detection feature apparently increases the reliability of data when photos are submitted as evidence. Meanwhile, one of the five scene presets is called Firefighting, and subtitled, "For shooting the scene of a fire".

For those who don't spend their time gathering evidence for arson investigations, there isn't much here to tempt them away from the cheaper, slimmer and more stylish waterproof cameras. The G600 doesn't have optical image stabilisation, so long shutter speeds - which the automatic mode is more than happy to use - tend to result in blur. Performance is a little disappointing, starting well at 2.2 seconds between shots, but slowing to almost five seconds after seven exposures.

Image quality is reasonable outdoors and surprisingly good in low light at high ISO speeds. The G600 turned in the smoothest and sharpest details of all the waterproof cameras at ISO 400 and above. The wide-angle lens with 5x zoom looks uncannily similar to the one in Pentax's W60, however, and suffers the same distortion and corner sharpness problems. Low-light image quality is good, but that doesn't justify the high price or the bulk.

Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-140mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied52MB internal
Battery type3.7V 1,150mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)360 shots
Body materialrubber and plastic
AccessoriesUSB cable

Buying Information


Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)64 to 3200
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlssaturation, sharpness
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, interval