Panasonic has released a new Lumix DMC-FP7 camera that comes with several tools for “beauty retouching.” One tool, called “clear skin,” removes blemishes and wrinkles. Another offers “shine removal,” and the third whitens teeth, but is not entirely effective at “full teeth” whitening. Lumix also comes with a make-up mode, which digitally applies make-up on you, such as foundation, eye shadow, or color for your lips and cheeks. The senior product manager at Panasonic, David Briganti, claims these features as well as other tools in the camera are intended to be “fun and encourage photographic creativity.” I, however, would say “creativity” in this case is a euphemism for “retouching.”
In my opinion, a tool for creativity would allow a camera user to play around with the colors and lines in his or her photograph; for instance turning a digital photograph into a vintage 40’s-inspired poster. Maybe it could also turn your photograph into an Andy Warhol silk-screen (such as that MAC application) or a Marvel comic. Nancy Etcoff, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, demonstrates that studies have revealed that most people tend to perceive themselves to be “slightly more attractive” than an average photograph of themselves. This camera, then, might just be following in line with people’s standards of themselves.
All in all, this camera appears to be a portable Adobe Photoshop that is much more user-friendly. The Lumix’s beauty retouching tool is optional, and if camera users want to make themselves look better, go for it. I mean, who hasn’t edited a photo of themselves with or without their friends on Adobe Photoshop or a similar application? However, I think I would be more willing to purchase a camera that puts me in an instant, warped reality possibly à la Marvel superhero comics than one that gives me glossy, glamorously perfect features.
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