The GoPro line of action cameras is undoubtable the most successful of its type in the world. In order to achieve success, the company has managed to sell not just a product, but an entire ‘extreme’ lifestyle to potential users of its cameras. While this is successful in motivating the most active of people to buy their cameras, the downside is, it alienates the majority of people who are not interested or otherwise unable to take part in such activities.
Yesterday, HTC held its most recent press event. Titled ‘Double Exposure’ the presentation debuted some of the company’s latest products with a strong focus on photography. Among the most interesting of these is a new action cam produced by HTC which aims to bring this technology to the everyman.
The HTC Re Camera is a small, periscope-shaped action cam which can easily fit in one’s pocket. The device has a large 16MP sensor, able to shoot still and video footage in 1080p Full HD at 30fps, and 720p at 120fps, for slow motion footage. The sensor itself is has a wide angle 146 degree lens enabling a broader field of view while shooting.
The form factor of the camera, while strange, is also rather unique. Coming in a wide variety of colors, the device has a more ‘playful’ look that the ultra-utilitarian GoPro. Furthermore, its curved design lends to it being easily carried in the hand of a user. Its ultra minimalist design features no GUI, no on-off buttons and very limited controls. Rather it is built to detect when it is in the hands of a user through a capacitive layer on the outside of the device, and then turn on automatically.
Clearly this is a device designed for more casual users than the GoPro. Rather than for extreme sports, this is a device which is built to film social gatherings, like parties or a day at the beach. The easy-to-use, pick up and shoot functionality of the camera makes it ideal for the sort of spontaneous shooting that these kinds of events necessitate. Indeed by positioning the camera in this way, HTC is trying to avoid competition with traditional action cams, and instead create a new market for lightweight, portable cameras.
This biggest downside to this device however is the price. At $199, it is more expensive than many action cams on the market, despite having less functionality. For this device to succeed, HTC will need to convince people that its form factor is worth the additional cost.
Compare: HTC Re Camera vs GoPro Hero
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