Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera before and after photos

Heather, before and after using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera. Photos: Tobey Grumet for StyleList

Sleek, slim, shiny. On the surface, these are just a few things you'll appreciate after plunking down $230 for the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera. Dig a little deeper into this stylish new tech toy, and you'll find advanced features that not only make your pictures look better, they make you look better.

Seriously.

Using built-in Beauty Retouch modes, this camera boasts the ability to tone down wrinkles, whiten your teeth and amp up rosy cheeks with just the touch of a button. But does it really work? We got one to play with for a hands-on review.

The DMC-FP7 is a solid choice for an ultra-slim, touch-screen camera. It fits easily into most bags and looks pretty, to boot. Though it enjoys a 16-megapixel resolution, don't let the high number fool you. Unless you plan to do major cropping or making poster-size enlargements, you shouldn't need more than 10 megapixels for a midrange, point and shoot camera. It also comes packed with a four-times zoom for those up-close-and-personal beauty shots, and a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen to zip through your photo library, switch settings and turn on the included autofocus with a swipe of a finger. It's also where the magic begins when you're cheating, I mean, retouching your photos.

We've all seen perfect, Photoshopped actresses and wondered how we'd fare with some digital work. Panasonic tapped into that wonder of perfection -- as well as the social-media revolution -- by creating a camera that lets you change your appearance directly after taking a photo.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 Digital Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera. Courtesy of Panasonic

"(We) wanted to add creative features to the digital photography experience, allowing users to have some fun with their photos." says David Briganti, senior product manager for imaging at Panasonic. "Many photography settings need to be set prior to the photo being taken in order to see the changes, but with Beauty Retouch, these changes can be made after the photo was taken."

And of course, that image is also ready to go straight to Facebook or your fave dating site.

We concentrated on two modes: Esthetic, for clearing skin texture and whitening teeth, and Make-up, to add color options for foundation, eyes, and lips and cheeks. After you take a photo by simply pressing the large shutter button on top of the camera, touch the playback button on the LCD and the smiley-face icon in the lower right hand. An arrow will point to the face you want to "fix," and you simply swipe it to begin. You'll be taken to a close-up of that visage and given a choice of two mode icons in the top left corner. Once you choose one, you'll have three options, and each one will let you suggest the percentage of work you want to apply (20, 40, 60 or 80) by pressing the up and down arrows on the top right side of the screen. The first is Esthetic, and it's far and away the best feature. Start with clear skin, head to shine removal, and finish off with teeth-whitening. We suggest going either 60 or 80 percent for best results.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera before and after photos

Aeri, before and after using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera. Photos: Tobey Grumet for StyleList

Next is the Make-Up Retouch where you'll have four choices: Foundation, Lip Color, Cheek Color and Eye Shadow. Instead of the percentages, this time you'll be asked to choose colors. We unilaterally skipped the foundation because it made everyone look chalky, no matter what shade we tried. The lips were fun to play with, offering pink, coral, red and buff tints. Rather than an opaque layer of lipstick, it was more like adding a subtle pigment, brightening up lips that already had lipstick or perking up a naked mouth. The cheeks allowed both shapes and shades, letting you choose where you apply the blush in the five peach-to-pink hues. The eyes trailed foundation as our least favorite feature. Shadow colors come in neon green, dark brown, light brown, midnight blue and a very odd, shocking purple. The browns were hard to notice, and the other colors looked like a child had a go at her mother's makeup drawer.

Once you're done, simply hit the OK button and you're taken to before-and-after screen shots so you can check out your work. Press OK again and voilà, a brand-new image will be saved along with the original.

The results can be jarring. Our subjects showed a huge change in skin tone, wrinkle removal and general smoothing of the skin, as well as a whiter set of choppers. The makeup was subtle if you used the right settings. Again, stay away from foundation and eye shadow. But both the cheeks and lips could add nice, restrained pigment.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera before and after photos

Shternie, before and after using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 digital camera. Photos: Tobey Grumet for StyleList


The takeaway? Though other camera makers, like Sony, Olympus, Kodak and HP, promise to make you look tanner, thinner and smoother before you take a photo, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 offers a fun and easy way to instantly upgrade your appearance after you take a shot.

You'll look younger, fresher and smoother, but keep it simple with the makeup. And shhh, nobody else has to know.

Click here for an easy, pretty look that even makeup novices can apply in five minutes flat!