HTC’s Double Exposure event in New York marked a new chapter for the Taiwanese manufacturer, after 17 years of being in the mobile market, they were announcing HTC’s venture into a new class of devices, cameras. HTC’s focus on mobile cameras was first seen in the release of their HTC One M7 back in 2012 with its rather unique approach to optics – the Duo camera. This year, HTC is taking it further, with the HTC RE Camera. The HTC RE camera is HTC’s unique approach to imaging with one objective: bringing the photographer into the moment and out from behind the viewfinder.
The HTC RE Camera’s unique cylindrical design has one quirk which other cameras don’t have: the lack of a viewfinder. Instead the camera fits into the user’s hand where the user will be able to capture everything in “full view”. The HTC RE Camera also doesn’t have a power button, rather, the camera will turn on on contact with the user’s hand.
The RE Camera comes with a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with an Ultra Wide Angle f/2.8 lens which shoots up to 146°. The camera is also capable of 1080p Full HD video recording and 720p HD 4x slow motion capture. It can also record time lapse videos. The RE camera also comes fully equipped with HD microphones and speakers. The camera does not have onboard memory, instead it relies on microSD card slots which supports up to 128GB. HTC will be including an 8GB card out of the box.
HTC’s RE Camera will be Bluetooth capable in addition to being able to be connect to WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and has a microSD connection capabilities. It will be powered by an 820 mAh battery which HTC claims will last 1,200 photos at 16-Megapixel resolution or 1 hour 40 minutes of continuous 1080p Full HD video recording.
The RE Camer is also one that will be able to withstand the elements with IP57 dust and water resistance as well as an IPx7 waterproof rating which allows it to be submerged in water for 30 minutes to a depth of 1 meter. The IPx7 rating increases to IPx8 with the use of an optional cap which is sold separately – this triples the distance and duration of submersion. The best part of the RE Camera has to be its non exclusivity to HTC devices. The RE Camera will work with Android devices running Android 4.3 and above, equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy as well as iOS devices running iOS 7 or later.
The RE camera works in conjunction with the RE app which will be available on both the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store. The App will allow users to pair their RE Camera to their device of choice. This will allow users to use their devices as a live viewfinder and also view, edit and share their photos. In addition, the app will be the main place where users will be able to tweak the settings of their camera to their liking including toggling the ultra wide angle settings and setting up time lapse recordings. Additional features will such as live streaming to YouTube will definitely be coming as well as many others from other developers as HTC RE Camera has an open application programming interface (API) and software development kit (SDK).
There hasn’t been word yet on availability in Malaysia but the RE camera is supposed to be retailing at USD$ 199 (MYR 645) beginning late October.