Last week, HTC announced its first standalone camera called Re, in Indian market. Re was announced in the United States slightly more than a week ago. Good to see HTC recognizing India as one of its key markets and trying to bring its latest products here as fast as it can.
When the Re camera was announced in the US, it got priced at $200. Surprisingly enough, HTC priced it quite lower in India. However, the pricing is for limited time only. At just $165 (Rs.9,990), HTC Re is a really good compact camera you can have. But you’d need to wait until November 5 until you can grab one. An it’ll be available through Indian e-store Snapdeal only. One might argue that they can get point and shoots at this price but Re caters to different audience with different needs.
When I walked into HTC’s Double Exposure event, I didn’t have high expectations from Re camera. Actually, when I first heard about it, I didn’t even think of a product worth taking note of. That’s until I saw it in action. I must say HTC has done a remarkable job with Re camera. Re camera has a 16MP CMOS sensor of the size 1/2.3 inch. It’s got an ultra wide angle lens (146) with f/2.8. Although its f-stop is quite high, bigger sensor allows for more light and hence offsets the effect of lower f-stop value. Given its purpose and form, it’s fixed focus yet it manages to take decent photos. And Re weighs just 66 gms. Now, allow me to quickly explain how the Re camera works.
HTC Re camera uses WiFi direct protocol to transfer photos to your device. You can see those in real time. As far as the compatibility is concerned, it will be compatible with all devices running Android 4.3 and up and iOS7 and up. Re camera itself comes with 8GB of storage inbuilt and it is also waterproof. You can mount it to your bagpack or bike handle, just the way you want. Re camera has different modes; stills, videos, slow motion video and timelapse video. HTC has used capacitive grip sensor on Re camera, which turns it on when you hold it and turn it off when you keep it in your pocket. Pretty cool! There are couple of buttons on Re. The one on the outer edge serves dual purposes; you click it to take still images and long press to take videos while the one on the inner edge activates slow motion video capture.
Talking about its performance, we were given ample amount of time to play with it and HTC’s executives demoed its capabilities to us. Even inside the boardroom with just mild lighting, Re camera could take really good pictures. As it was on the pre-production software, we couldn’t carry along the pictures taken by it. But it’s low light and wide angle performance was quite impressive.
One thing I noticed on the Re is that there was no mention of HTC branding anywhere over it. HTC says it’ll be a fully owned brand of its own but will be developed by entirely different teams. This looks just like the start of HTC’s new endeavor in imaging tech and there is definitely more to come. As far as Re is concerned, I walked out with good impressions of it. Now, I’m waiting for it to come to me for a review when I’ll be able to tell its nooks.