Ricoh has launched a new water, dust and shock resistant digital camera in Japan.

The new Ricoh 500G Wide promises a 28mm wide-angle 3x zoom lens and 8 megapixels.

The new model will replace the company's 3 megapixel Caplio 400G wide that was originally launched in January 2004.

The company says that it has improved and add a number of new features, such as more rugged impact resistance, a flash range of 10m, and an antiblur function.

A shock resistant structure and stronger camera cone create a robust body able to withstand falls from 1m onto 26 surfaces and besides taking pictures in the rain, it can also take pictures underwater in depths of up to 1m.

The new digital camera will also feature a 2.5 inch LCD monitor alongside the optical viewfinder.

Ricoh has so far not announced plans to launch the digital camera in the UK yet, however a spokewomen for the company told Pocket-lint that they expect it to be in the UK before the year's end.

We will keep you posted.