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Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony HX99

The Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2019 and August 2018. Both the WG-6 and the HX99 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Ricoh has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Ricoh WG-6 versus Sony HX99
Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-140mm f/3.5-5.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-6,400 ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
1 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Waterproof body (nom)not weather sealed
340 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
118 x 66 x 33 mm, 246 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony HX99. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The WG-6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, orange), while the HX99 is only available in black.

Size Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony HX99
Compare WG-6 versus HX99 top
Comparison WG-6 or HX99 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX99 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Ricoh WG-6. Moreover, the HX99 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the WG-6. It is worth mentioning in this context that the WG-6 is splash and dust resistant, while the HX99 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the WG-6 is water-proof up to 20m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Ricoh WG-6 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.7 oz 340 Y Feb 2019 399 i
 
Sony HX99 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Olympus TG-6 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.9 oz 340 Y May 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS80 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 11.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i
 
Ricoh WG-60 4.8 in 2.4 in 1.2 in 6.8 oz 300 Y Oct 2018 279 i
 
Sony HX95 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony HX400V 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The WG-6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the HX99, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Ricoh WG-6 and Sony HX99 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the WG-6 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18 MP of the HX99. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the WG-6 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.25μm for the HX99). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the WG-6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the HX99, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Ricoh WG-6 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the WG-6 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony HX99 are 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Ricoh WG-6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.

WG-6 versus HX99 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Ricoh WG-6 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Olympus TG-6 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS80 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Ricoh WG-60 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX99 has an electronic viewfinder (638k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the WG-6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Ricoh WG-6, the Sony HX99, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Ricoh WG-6none n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 1.0 Y n
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Olympus TG-6none n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS802330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic TS71170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh WG-60none n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The HX99 has a touchscreen, while the WG-6 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The HX99 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the WG-6 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Ricoh WG-6 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the WG-6 and the HX99 have zoom lenses built in. The WG-6 has a 28-140mm f/3.5-5.5 optic and the HX99 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Ricoh. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The WG-6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX99 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the WG-6 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Ricoh WG-6 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Ricoh WG-6-monomono--micro3.0---
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus TG-6-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS80-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic TS7-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Ricoh WG-60-monomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the HX99 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the WG-6 does not provide wifi capability.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the WG-6 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the WG-6 and the HX99 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The WG-6 replaced the earlier Ricoh WG-5, while the HX99 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Ricoh and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Ricoh WG-6 better than the Sony HX99 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Ricoh WG-6:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 18MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 20m).
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the HX99).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 118x66mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2018).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX99 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

WG-6 10:14 HX99

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony HX99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the WG-6 or the HX99 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Ricoh WG-6....3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2019 399 i
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Olympus TG-6+ +76/1004/5..4/5 May 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS80+ +..4.5/5.... Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 i
 
Ricoh WG-60.......... Oct 2018 279 i
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Ricoh WG-6:
Check Amazon price
Sony HX99:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony HX99

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-140mm f/3.5-5.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date February 2019 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 1 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in no internal GPS
    Body Specs Ricoh WG-6 Sony HX99
    Environmental SealingWaterproof body (20m)not weather sealed
    Battery Type DB-110 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)340 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 118 x 66 x 33 mm
    (4.6 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 246 g (8.7 oz) 242 g (8.5 oz)

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