HTC Re camera vs. Go Pro Hero4 – pro or no-pro?

Yesterday, HTC announced the HTC Desire Eye and the Re camera at the Double Exposure event, emphasizing the point-and-shoot Re camera as being a turning point for the company. Even though the Re camera is not an action camera, it encompasses a more basic version of it designed for average consumers who would like to get rid of the smartphone screen in front of them so they can “enjoy the moment”.

The HTC Re camera is a pipe-like device which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and allows for the user to take photos and videos independently of their phones. The Re camera is a stylish, small gadget that has only two buttons and no viewfinder. The first button is for taking a picture, and you can long-press the button to shoot 1080p video. Pressing the button again stops the Re camera from recording. The other button is for slowmotion capturing, which should come in handy for many of you. You might wonder how the Re camera is turned on and it’s very simple: you just grip it. It has a sensor built into the grip around the Re camera which automatically turns the device on when you pick it up for use.

The Re camera has a 16 MP sensor and HTC also offers an app which you can install on an Android or iOS device. The Re camera app should allow you to use a viewfinder if you are in need of one, but the device is especially designed to work without one, featuring image stabilization. The Re camera is also waterproof, so you can actually use it to film underwater. The pipe-like device will set you back $200, which is quite a hefty price for an accessory. Nonetheless, HTC said that it would try to bring down the price to sub $100, but it will take some time.

You can easily use the Re camera one-handed since it only weighs 65 grams and is actually a petite device, measuring 96.7 x 26.5 mm. The Re camera shoots 1080p/30fps video, 4x slow-motion 720p video and time-lapse recording, and features a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and 146-degree wide-angle lens. It also features a microphone, LED indicator and a speaker below the slow motion button. If you’re wondering where your pictures will be saved, rest assured because HTC has put a microSD card slot underneath a watertight flap at the bottom of the Re Camera. You actually get an 8 GB card pre-installed, but it supports up to 128 GB. You also get a microUSB charging port and a tripod in the box. 

Once the Re camera is launched, by the time the holidays hit, it will have an API access granted to developers and you might see Instragram and Tencent integration available. You will also be able to broadcast your videos live, which is an excellent feature to include. The Re camera also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, using the latter to communicate with your phone. The juice is provided by an 840 mAH battery, which should handle at least an hour of continuous 1080p filming, according to HTC. So far, the videos and pictures taken with the Re camera aren’t too much to brag about, but the device isn’t in its finished state yet and HTC said that both image quality and stabilization, as well as the time it takes for the Re camera to respond to your requests, will be vastly improved by the time the device hits the market.

The GoPro Hero 4 action camera on the other hand, is a tool made for professionals and it definitely trumps the Re camera. Even though HTC does not intend to compete with GoPro via the Re Camera, the small HTC device does seem pretty attractive for average users who would like to be rid of their smartphones. The absence of a viewfinder will be a hard thing to get used to, but both HTC and I are sure that it will be a manageable change. The GoPro Hero 4 is a leader in action cameras, announced on September 29, 2017. It’s the most recent addition to the GoPro portfolio and comes with a 12 MP sensor that can shoot 4k and 4k SuperView videos at 24, 25, 30, and 35 fps.  The GoPro Hero 4 is also waterproof and is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unlike the Re camera, the GoPro Hero 4 has an LCD viewfinder so you won’t have to change anything about your photography and filming habits.

The GoPro Hero 4 is aimed at sports enthusiasts as well as daredevils, and it’s double the price of the HTC Re camera, retailing for $400 for the Gray version and $500 for the Black version. The GoPro Hero 4 measures 47 x 59 x 21/30 mm in size and uses a microSD card to store your footage.The GoPro Hero 4 is significantly faster than the Re camera from HTC and shoots higher quality videos. It also has a whopping 1180 mAH battery which should be good for a much longer shooting time than the Re camera. Livestream has also announced an app that would allow the GoPro Hero 4 and its brothers to broadcast live directly from the camera.

Now, the thing is that the GoPro Hero 4 is evidently a professional, high quality action camera that is considered the best by most. That doesn’t mean that it should be your first option if you are out looking for a point-and-shoot camera. The Re camera would suit you just fine if you don’t need a professional device that you can take with you on extreme adventures, rollerblading, skating, skiing or activities of the sort. Both the Re camera and the GoPro Hero 4 are mountable to most anything, so if you’d just use the camera on a whim to capture social events, vlogs, family moments and still from your travels, the Re camera should fulfill your needs, although there are cheaper options out there. Nonetheless, I like the device and I actually find it cute and practical, although expensive. Any thoughts?