First look: RE

First look: RE
HTC RE camera in action underwater.

This camera from HTC, which looks like a cross between a periscope and an inhaler, works on its own or paired with a smartphone. It will go on sale by the end of the year.

Hardware

The camera has a 16-megapixel DSC sensor and is capable of recording high-definition 1,080p footage through the 148-degree wide-angled lens.

The RE connects to an Android or iOS smartphone via Wi-Fi Direct using an app.

Build

It has no On/Off button. Instead, the unit turns on automatically when a hand is gripping its handle.

A large silver button is sited on the camera's back, directly behind the lens, where your thumb would ordinarily be. A small light glows green on the silver surface to show that the unit has been activated.

Just below the lens is a smaller button that you press once to activate Slow Motion video. A blue light should come on.

Under this light is a small hole for the speaker, which sounds when a button is pressed or when a feature has been activated. The microphone sits atop the camera, above the lens.

At the base of the camera is a micro-USB slot for charging the 820mAh built-in battery and a covered microSD card slot.

Features

Of the camera's four modes, three - Camera, Video and Slow Motion - can be used out of the box.

For the Time Lapse feature, you will need a companion iOS or Android smartphone.

Once the camera is paired with a smartphone, a live view of what the camera "sees" is displayed on the phone. As long as the Wi-Fi Direct connection is maintained, the camera can be used as an observation tool.

Users can also use a smartphone to control the photo-taking and video-recording functions.

Accessories

The camera has a waterproof rating of IP 57, which means it can be immersed in water for 30mins, up to a depth of 1m.

A small screw-on cap seals off the micro-USB charging slot. This bumps the waterproof rating to IP 68, which means it can be submerged in water at greater depths.

Also at the base is a screw mount that is compatible with existing camera accessories.


This article was first published on Oct 15, 2014.
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