HTC is getting into the action camera game with the RE Camera, a super easy-to-use shooter that aims at taking the guesswork out of capturing moments of your life that may not be as action-packed as the ones you'd record on a GoPro.
Don't be mistaken -- the RE Camera isn't an "action camera." It's a "handheld companion camera," which means that its purpose isn't necessarily to accompany its users as they navigate their kayaks through Class V rapids, but instead, perhaps, as they get coffee and clam chowder afterwards. It's an action camera without the action.
The minimalist design -- no viewfinder, only two buttons -- aims at allowing users to record themselves and their friends a whole lot easier without having to worry about framing or settings. As HTC says, "RE provides distraction-free video and photo capture," and the 146˚ super wide-angle lens makes sure of that. It won't even bother you by making you turn it on -- it turns on automatically when you pick it up. And once you do pick it up, it's designed to fit comfortably in your hand like a little periscope to record your HD video. The RE Camera can be paired to both Android or iOS smartphones with HTC's app for instant streaming, and automatically backs up everything you capture to the cloud.
- Grip sensor instantly turns on the device when it is picked up.
- One-hand operation design
- One tap for photos; One press for videos
- Time-lapse recording, settings control via your smartphone
- Android (4.3 and above) and iOS compatible. Seamless integration with your existing photo gallery
- 1080p, 30fps FHD video
- 720p, 4x slow motion video
- 16MP, 1/2.3" Sony CMOS sensor
- 146 degree super wide angle lens with f2.8 aperture for low light usability
- Rechargeable battery (up to 1hr 50mins of continuous FHD video recording)
- Weighs 0.14 lbs (66.5 grams)
- BLE (Bluetooth v4.0)
- Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Wi-Fi Direct
- 5-pin micro-USB
- MicroSD Card Slot
- Tripod Hole
- Expandable microSD storage
Here are a few stills, courtesy of The Verge:
So, essentially the RE is a simple, easy-to-use personal camera that aims at letting users "focus on the moment" instead of on settings and framing. This is all well and good, but at $200 a pop, it might cause some serious pause amongst those who already use their smartphone cameras to capture and stream everything. Even for people looking for simplicity and ease-of-use, the similarly priced GoPro is no Rubik's Cube.