Ricoh Caplio 500SE

An underwater camera that tries to do it all

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

An interesting all-in-one offering, but the price is bordering on the ridiculous


  • Good wide-angle lens

    Handy rubberised body


  • Too much picture noise

    Very expensive

    Limited waterproofing

This is one of those 'everything but the kitchen sink' cameras, featuring a wide-angle 3x optical zoom lens, rugged waterproof body and Bluetooth or Wi-Fi image transfer. Sounds good in theory, the kicker being that it's only waterproof to a depth of about one metre.

The Wi-Fi feature costs an extra £50 too. Certainly, the case is very sturdy but the limited depth protection means it's only going to be useful for days out at the pool, or messing around on holiday.

That said, the wide angle lens is genuinely useful for panoramic shots (28-84mm equivalent on a 35mm camera) and the large rubberised body means you'd happily let younger family members use it too.

Image performance is reasonable without being spectacular, and noise is an issue across the ISO range. Nice try Ricoh, but if we were looking to spend £550, we'd go for an entry level SLR and then get a waterproof housing for it.