I am a social media fanatic. I love posting photos and updates, but I hate being taken out of the moment and getting a look from my wife and kids. Enter the RE camera by HTC. This is such a fun device it just brings a smile to my face thinking about it. At first glance it looks like a submarine periscope or an asthma inhaler, but it’s really just a simple to use point and shoot camera.
Almost everywhere I go I am stopped and asked about the device. The design is extremely minimal, no viewfinder, no dials, just two buttons and a lens. The larger mirrored button is the shutter button. A quick tap captures a still. A longer press initiates a video. Stills can be captured in various sizes up to 16 MP. Video can be captured in 1080. Below the lens is a smaller button that is the same color as the device. If that is pressed and held and blue light will begin to blink. This indicates that video will be recorded in slow motion when the silver button is long pressed. The silver button has indicator lights within it. When a picture is captured a red or green light will show through it. Just to be safe I tend to shoot doubles of everything, but that’s just me.
That’s it! But how do I view my pictures you ask, with a simple Bluetooth/WiFi connection to any Android or iPhone. The connection is where all the other goodies are hidden. Your phone can function as a real-time viewfinder as well as a remote for snapping pics with the RE out of hand. From the phone you can also set up a time lapse of a sunrise or special event. The camera comes with an 8 GB micro SD card. Photos can be stored on the device or transferred to the phone.
My kids love the RE. In fact they capture some amazing perspective shots with it. We took it to the Los Angeles Zoo for a test run shortly after I got it. I hardly saw the thing. My kids went wild snapping photos and video. I kept my face more free from a screen than I had in a long time. When I finally sat and reviewed their stuff I was extremely impressed with what they captured. The build quality is quite solid and comes with a strap similar to the one on the Wii remotes, so I feel confident that they will take care of it when they use it.
Did I forget to mention that it is waterproof? Well it is for up to 30 minutes at 3 meters or less, not attachments required. I was a little skeptical at first but it held up nicely after some testing. My son really enjoyed capturing his underwater antics. The videos were fun to watch as well. Soon I’ll be going camping and I hope to capture a fish being brought in while it’s underwater.
The video recording is really well done, even in less than smooth conditions. Here’s a sample from a ride I filmed while at Knott’s Berry Farm.
For all these reasons the RE has been a great edition to my tech equipment. Gone are the glares for trying to snap an Instagram shot, OK maybe not gone but in reduced frequency! HTC has made an excellent device that is great for those that don’t want to waste time with tech and lose the moment. It’s great for families, teens, bloggers, practically anyone. Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.