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.
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.
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.
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!