How to Format a Memory Card in the Ricoh WG-50

The Ricoh WG-50 waterproof camera has a somewhat unusual way of formatting the memory card and deleting photos. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.

Ricoh WG-50 Menu Screen
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Normally, the process of wiping the memory card in a camera is dead simple. Simply go to the camera’s settings and choose format.

But the Ricoh WG-50 waterproof camera does things a little differently, and their way of doing it is a little quirky. So I thought it worth posting a more detailed explanation of how to do it.

Delete All vs Format in the Ricoh WG-50

When you go into the WG-50’s menu to the Settings tab, you’ll see both a Delete All and a Format option.

Screenshot showing Delete All in How to Format a Memory Card in the Ricoh WG-50
The Delete All option is at the top of this menu. The Format option is at the bottom. They’re not quite the same thing.

They’re similar but not the same. The Delete All will only affect files created by the WG-50. It won’t affect data that was created by other cameras. So if you have existing photos on the same memory card that have been taken on other cameras, those existing photos will be retained. So in this context, “Delete All” really means “delete all (and only) data created by the WG-50”.

Screenshot Showing How to Format a Memory Card in the Ricoh WG-50

The Format command is a more thorough option. It wipes the card completely and replaces any data on the card with a clean set of folders that the WG-50 wants. So the Format function is actually what you want if you want the command that most other cameras call Delete All.

Screenshot Showing How to Format a Memory Card in the Ricoh WG-50 Format Command

It’s one of those things that makes sense, and I can see how keeping existing data could be useful in a some (but relatively few) cases, but the WG-50’s dividing up of these functions and terminology can be a bit confusing unless you know about it.

How to Recover Images You’ve Accidentally Deleted

If you’ve accidentally deleted the photos from your WG-50’s memory card, all isn’t necessarily lost. Because of the fairly simple way that the tiny computers inside digital cameras delete files and format memory cards, it might still be possible to recover any photos you’ve accidentally deleted.

It’s not something that’s specific to the WG-50, and you can try the options for recovering photos here.

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David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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