Is your DSLR just gathering dust on a shelf? You haven’t figured out the settings yet? You feel way too self-conscious when you compare your photos to those taken by others? If you have any of these problems, Relonch offers you a solution. It’s a camera and an editing service in one device. It has one lens, one setting and even only one button – the shutter release.
Relonch has created a concept they call “camera as a service”, which is supposed to bring better photography to the masses and make it available to anyone. It is a camera with no screen, all covered in colored leather, with a fixed 45mm prime lens and APS-C sensor. The settings are locked to aperture priority at f2.0. Basically, all you need to do is press the shutter release. As a matter of fact, it’s all you can do. It reminds me of compact analog cameras I used as a kid, but even they had a flash and an option of turning it on and off.
Relonch camera doesn’t even have an SD card. Instead, the photos you take are automatically uploaded to their server via 4G connection. The algorithm then chooses your best photos, does all the editing, and you get the edited versions back the following day. You can get the finished photos either through a cloud or an app.
When the editing is done and you get the photos, it is impossible to get raw or original files, but you’ll only get the edited versions. They can turn out pretty neat, even if you took them in tricky lighting situations. If you are a fan of strong contrast, vignettes and HDR, you will love the style of these photos. If not, well, then you might consider learning how to use Photoshop and Lightroom yourself.
The “camera as service” is still in the testing stage. However, it’s already possible to sign up for a test drive. You can do so by visiting the Relonch showroom in Palo Alto, and in 2017 they will make it available in other cities as well. You can also reserve your Relonch camera here, for “only” $99 a month. If you do some elementary school math, you will realize that it will cost you $1200 a year. For that kind of money, I’d rather buy a decent camera and learn how to actually use it, but maybe it’s just me.
The team behind Relonch plans to launch the camera in 2018 and make it available for purchase. If you don’t want to wait that long, perhaps you should pick up that complicated DSLR from the shelf and start reading books and blogs and watching tutorials. You’ll have plenty of time to learn something about photography and have a whole lot of practice, too.
What do you think? Do you think Relonch will enable everyone to call themselves photographers? Does this make photography better or worse? Would you like to try it out, just for curiosity? Let us know in the comments.