Relonch is unlike any other service we’ve heard of. Camera companies sell you cameras, and companies like Adobe sell you tools that can make the photos you take with those cameras better; Relonch skips all that by bundling a camera and automated image editing into a single $99/month service.
The Palo Alto-based company is making waves across the Web today, but for all the articles out there about them, we’re still having a hard time describing what they do in just a few words. So here’s the long(ish) version.
For $99/month, Relonch will lend you a fancy-looking leather-clad Samsung NX camera with a 30mm f/2.0 lens permanently attached and only two buttons exposed: power and shutter. You can’t even see the LCD screen. You carry this camera around with you day-in and day-out, snapping photos that are instantly sent via 4G network to the Relonch servers, where the best of them are edited automatically and sent back to your smartphone the next morning. That’s the first time you actually get to see the photos you took.
This video explains the service and ethos behind it pretty well:
Essentially, Relonch wants to turn photography into a one-button affair that can “unleash” anybody’s creative talent. It lets you capture the scene you “pictured” not the scene you … well … actually captured. No need to understand intricacies of light, ISO, shutter speed, or aperture. This is full Auto on steroids.
Understandably, the service has received a bit of push back and scoffing from the online community.
Common complaints include the fact that the service could throw away moments you would like to keep; the editing, so far, seems very vignette, saturation, and clarity heavy; nobody in 2016 wants to wait until 9am the next day to see (some of) the photos they took; and, finally, paying $1,200 per year for access to a camera they’ll have to give back seems a bit steep.
These are all complaints and questions Relonch will have to answer, or die trying. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the Relonch camera:
And here are a few edited sample photos from their website so you can see what their editing AI can do:
The focus is on the average consumer and helping them take better photos. Relonch is being painted as the service/camera that enables you to capture those special everyday moments without having to know a thing about photography or photo editing. It is quite literally just “point and click.”
Without knowing a thing about taking photos, you’re supposed to be able to shoot the photo on the left, and let Relonch transform it into the photo on the right:
Well… for a fee.
As we mentioned above, Relonch costs $99 per month. For that subscription fee, you get: the camera, your best photos selected, edited, and delivered to the Relonch app for you to keep and admire, a monthly printed photo book of your favorites, and the chance to participate in Relonch events.
To quote their tagline, they’re selling “the camera as a service.” Only time will tell if they can make this odd business model work.
To find out more about the Relonch service or if you’d like to “test drive” your own Relonch camera, head over to their website by clicking here.