While HTC invites you to “Step out from behind the viewfinder and focus on the moment, not on your camera,” its new camera would mandate you have to do just that — as it lacks a viewfinder.
The RE is billed as a “remarkable little camera,” and the company says it “applies HTC’s innovative touch and stunning design philosophy to break into a completely new product category and reinvent photography to suit current and future trends… Once people get a RE in their hands, they won’t want to put it down.”
The RE has a 16-megapixel sensor and a 146-degree wide-angle lens. It has WiFi to send photos through a paired mobile phone, and it’s also waterproof without needing an additional case. It will sell for $200.
The “minimalist cylindrical design… fits naturally and comfortably in the palm of your hand,” HTC adds, and the grip sensor “instantly activates the camera as it’s picked up, eliminating the need for a power button.” The large shutter button captures photos with a tap, and videos with a longer press.
The company is betting that “For the moments that really matter, you want to be at the heart of the action, not peering through a lens.” But given that anyone can, y’know, choose not to look through the viewfinder while shooting with the camera or phone they already have (I’ve done it that way often) it begs the question of what this design offers apart from no framing the shot when it is important you get it just right — and no checking immediately after to ensure it exposed and focused correctly.