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New HTC RE Digital Camera Is Slick + Smart

New HTC RE Digital Camera Is Slick + Smart

The standalone digital camera that will sell in the USA for
$199 pairs to either Android or iOS smartphones is described as a camera for everyone
as opposed to the Go Pro which is pitched at the action adventurer.

HTC went out of their way to claim that the device is isn’t
supposed to be an extreme sports action camera and is for people that are just
living normal lives especially women who want an easy to use camera that looks
good and is easy to carry and use.

Packing a minimalist design, the camera has a button on the
front and a button on the back, and a couple of LED indicator lights. There is
no LED display instead users can connect the device with either an Apple or
Android smartphone over a Wi Fi or Bluetooth network.

The Re camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and an ultra-wide
angle (146-degree) fixed-focus lens and can shoot 1080p HD video at 30 frames
per second or slow motion 720p video at 120 frames per second. It will be
available in orange, blue and white and will be launched in Australian retailers
and carriers shortly.

Solidly built and can be submerged under a meter of water
for up to 30 minutes. HTC is also offering a range of accessories for the Re
Camera, including a handlebar mount for bikes and a case for better

There is no power button on the Re: it’s designed to turn on
automatically when you pick it up.

The shutter button
rests under your thumb and takes pictures with a single press or starts
recording video with a long press. The button on the front of the device is
used to put the Re Camera into slow motion mode. There are LED lights to
indicate video recording (blinking red) and slow motion (blinking blue).


You can pair the Re
Camera with HTC’s app on an iPhone or Android phone to transfer images and
video over Wi-Fi or use the phone as a remote viewfinder and set up
time-lapses. The 820mAh battery can shoot up to 1 hour and 40 minutes of
continuous 1080p video, or up to 1,200 still images before needing to be
recharged. It comes with an 8GB microSD card, and it supports cards up to 128GB
in capacity.


HTC says the Re Camera is easier to use than your smartphone
because you don’t have to frame a shot or worry about opening a camera app
before you take pictures. Its ultra-wide lens is supposed to capture everything
in the scene for you, so you don’t miss anything. And since you’re not staring
at your phone to take the pictures, you can still enjoy what’s going on while
you preserve memories for later.


But after using a pre-production version of the Re Camera,
I’m not convinced that it’s a better option than just using your smartphone to
take pictures. On the units I tested, the Re Camera took too long to wake up
from sleep, took too long to capture an image, and didn’t match the image
quality I can get from a good smartphone. The fixed focus lens means that
anything taken in a close range tends to be out of focus, and the ultra-wide-angle
field of view can capture a lot of unwanted detritus that you might not want in
your photo.


Re Camera time-lapse

A time-lapse captured with the Re Camera


HTC says it is constantly improving the software on the Re
Camera, so it could improve the speed of operation and image quality by the
time the device is available for purchase later this month.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
Range of different mounting devices

With the RE you can explore your creative side with simple slow-motion and time-lapse recording options. It’s also waterproof 
out of the box, without needing any additional casing or protection.  

Peter Chou, CEO at HTC said “Once people get a RE in their hands, they won’t want to put it down. This is everybody’s opportunity to get out from behind the lens and start living in the moment again.” 

Also introduced is a new RE application, which syncs photos, videos and time-lapse recordings over Wi Fi networks.

Available on Android and iOS, HTC said that there is no need to edit or sync to your PC, as the RE app backs up images your phone or the cloud, working in harmony with the Zoe app to instantly create shareable video highlight reels that look professionally edited.   

HTC has also added an open API/SDK that allows HTC developers to develop new capabilities for the RE across social networks. 

David Richards attended the New York launch as a guest of HTC.

SIZE: 96.7 x 26.5 mm
WEIGHT: 65.5 grams 
. 8GB microSD included 
. Expansion card slot supports microSDT  memory card for up to 128GB additional storage
. Grip sensor
. G-sensor
. BLE (Bluetooth? 4.0)
. Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
. micro-USB
. Tripod connection 
. 16MP
. 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
. Ultra wide angle: 146 lens (f/2.8)
. 1080p, 30fps FHD video 
. 720p, 4x slow motion video
. Time-lapse video recording
. HD microphone
. Speaker 
. IP57 Dust & Water Resistant
. IPx7 (body), IPx8 (with cap)
. Compatible with Android 4.3 and above (BLE equipped); and iOS 7 or later
. 820 mAh rechargeable battery (1,200 16MP photos; 1 hour 40 min of continuous FHD video recording)
. AC Adapter