TheQ Camera: Great Social Camera, or Too Little Too Late?

Sections: Digital Cameras, Features, Imaging

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theq camera

A few days ago, the world was introduced to theQ Camera. TheQ is described by its company as being the world’s first social camera since it allows photos to be automatically uploaded to a handful of social networks instantly. At first blush, you may find yourself thinking what makes this camera different than the one that’s likely built into your phone. That’s a question that deserves looking in to. We’re going to try to figure out if theQ Camera should have a place in your pocket or if it’s an unnecessary $200 gadget.

First, let’s look at some specs. TheQ Camera has a 2.7-inch 320×240 display, a 5-megapixel sensor, 2GB of internal memory, a f/2.4 24mm manual focus lens, LED ring flash, rechargeable battery and is water and dust proof. Based on those specs alone, it doesn’t sound better than a typical compact camera you can find in any retail outlet. What makes this camera stand out is its dependence on connectivity. TheQ Camera requires a SIM card for 3G connectivity. Every photo you take can be uploaded to theQ Lab which is an online storage locker with unlimited space. If you want to share the picture on Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter, you have to press the camera’s Save&Share button a second time. You can also apply nine filters to your photos for added effect.

Here’s the problem – everyone’s smartphone does this already. The fact that you have to supply your own SIM card and pay for the 3G service also makes this camera a continuous investment. That’s something you may not want to do considering the camera costs $200 to begin with. Also, depending on the smartphone you have, your image quality is probably superior to what theQ Camera can manage. Here’s a sample photo taken with theQ Camera that was uploaded to the company’s Tumblr.

theq camera sample image

This photo, along with the other images that were uploaded, have a distinctive look to them. Everything looks a bit brown and retro as if the pictures were taken with an old film camera. One could say having images with imperfect focus adds to the charm of theQ Camera. I can respect the retro-chic aesthetic since that’s a style some people enjoy. Who am I to tell them otherwise? Still, from a cost perspective, I think this camera is a hard sell. It’s too much to ask someone to find and pay for a 3G SIM card just so they can share photos on social networks. Wi-Fi connectivity would have been ideal, but it’s not present in this camera.

I am curious about how the ring light on the camera affects shooting in low light situations. I also appreciate the amount of creative control that can be achieved with manual focus. Kudos for trying something different, but the road to success for this camera is certainly going to be filled with opposition.

Site [TheQ Camera]

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