Mobile

Use your smartphone as a viewfinder, shutter release for the Re Camera

HTC's Re Camera doesn't have a screen, so how can you be sure you're capturing the entire shot? Hint: Your smartphone.

Re Camera with an Android device as a viewfinder. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Last fall HTC released the Re Camera, a small periscope-looking device. Adorning the outside of the portable camera is a wide-angle lens and two buttons. It's always ready for a spontaneous shot, without the fuss of framing and lining up the shot with a screen or viewfinder. It's fun to use, no doubt.

But what is one to do when it comes time to frame a shot? Thanks to its smartphone companion app, you can take advantage of a screen you almost always have on you to see what the camera sees.

If you've already set up your camera, you've already installed the iOS or Android app. If not, well, what are you waiting for? Download the app for your device and follow the setup prompts.

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Re Camera app on an iPhone. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Pick up the Re, which in turn powers it on, and launch the app on your smartphone. (You may have to reconnect your device to the camera in your phone's Wi-Fi settings if it doesn't discover it automatically.)
  • Tap on the Camera icon in the top-right corner of the app. A live stream of what your camera sees will show up on your phone.

In addition to seeing what the camera does, you can also use your phone as a remote shutter release. Meaning it's possible to set up your Re across the room and capture group photos with everyone included.