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New camera doesn't lie, but it will apply make-up

posted 28 Feb 2011, 08:13 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 28 Feb 2011, 08:16 ]

Forget zoom or manual modes, now a Japanese camera offers instant make-up on snapshots for those caught without their eyeliner or lipstick.

20-year-old Yuka Obara, more commonly known by her online profile Yunkoro, is a well know blogger in Japan who insists any photo of her online must be picture perfect. She says this is especially true as it's so hard these days to delete unwanted or poor quality digital photos of yourself once they've hit the web.

In Japan, where there is already a cult of the "kawaii" (cute), this has given rise to the art of creative profile picture-taking. Yunkoro, who has had four years to hone her art, is full of advice on how to photograph yourself looking honey-eyed and candy sweet, using everyday items such as hand held mirrors and curtains.

"The most hits I had in the past is 1.1 million a day. My blogs are there for people to see, so to have something to show to my visitors, I am quite particular about photos. I have many points I obsess over when it comes to taking pictures of myself or an object," said Yunkoro, who is currently planning on applying for the Guiness Book of Records for the number of hits on a blog per day.

Yunkoro is proud of her skill with the camera but now her obsession with pictorial perfection can be satisfied with technology.

Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic released on Friday (February 25) a camera that can brush up, clean up and even put on make up on the subject's face.

LUMIX FX77, the latest digital camera from Panasonic, has what is called a "beauty re-touch" function that it will whiten your teeth, increase the transluscency of your skin, apply powder, remove dark eye circles, make your face look smaller and even magnify the size of your eyes. For the final touch, it will apply rouge, lipstick and eye shadow.

Panasonic's Project Manager Akiko Enoki, in charge of developing LUMIX FX77, says there has been huge customer demand for such a product.

"We've focused on the fact that according to some data we've acquired, around 50% of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph. So we came up with the idea for the product so that our clients can fix parts that they didn't like about their faces after they have taken their picture, " Enoki said.

With the digital camera market saturated, Enoki says they hope their latest camera will ride the current craze in social networks and blogs that has swept Japan and the world.

The camera has already proven to be a hit with electronic retailer Bic Camera who were allowed to sell it a week ahead of the official launch date.

"The camera is very popular among people that use pictures in their blogs, or people that are taking just one commemorative photo that they need to be flawless," Bic Camera sales representative, Hiromi Honma said.

Profile picture experts such as Yunkoro say they are looking forward to this new camera, but add that there are certain tricks of the trade that technology can not replace.

"If your cheeks look too wide in a photograph, you can place your hands on your cheeks like this so it hides them, and it will have the effect of making your face look much smaller." Yunkoro said.