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Panasonic Launches Beautifying Camera

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the lens-of-the-beholder dept.

Graphics 163

The new Panasonic LUMIX FX77 camera can take the red out of your eyes and add it to your lips and cheeks. Released last Friday, the camera has a "beauty re-touch" feature that can whiten your teeth, change the size of your eyes, and can apply rouge, lipstick, or eye shadow. From the article: "There has been huge customer demand for such a product, said Akiko Enoki, a Panasonic project manager in charge of developing the camera. 'According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph,' she said. 'So we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.'"

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163 comments

This is why I don't like pictures (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357662)

I like to remember the world the way I think it was, not the way it really was. I guess this fixes that, but I still don't like pictures :).

Re: the world the way I think it was (5, Insightful)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357874)

In pictures, the beginning of our century may be looked back on as the time when everyone was happy (smile detection) and people had perfect looks (retouch).

We look at old photos of frozen lakes and giant crowds and consider them accurate. Tho, it turns out people took photos of the lake being frozen or the crowded streets because it was exceptional rather than that being the norm.

Re: the world the way I think it was (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358024)

+1 insightful. Never thought of that. The world we see in pictures doesn't really represent the world as it was circa 1900.

As for retouching:
- This goes back to what I said in the previous topic: Corporations should not have the right to free speech, without limits. They should only have the *privilege* of advertising, given certain restrictions, such as not being able to LIE to the customer with words or retouched photos (such as erasing the models' knobby knees).

Re: the world the way I think it was (2)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358514)

Hey you insensitive clod, some people make a living retouching those sharp knees.

The days of a photograph automatically being an accurate record never existed. Just look up the work of Henry Peach Robinson or Oscar Gustave Rejlander. Even the very first photograph of a human being (Louis Daguerre, 1838 not to be confused with the first photo taken by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826) was not an accurate as the exposure was so long that only one person standing still (getting his shoe shined) showed up. Going by that picture you would think the streets of Paris were empty.

Photo manipulation isn't so much a lie as it is simply artistic license. It can be used to lie, but only if it's presented as such. Retouching a fashion model isn't lying because no one is claiming that it's a record of reality. Every last aspect of every single fashion shoot is contrived: from the hair, make-up and clothing (which is usually clothes-pinned on to make it look better), to the thousands of dollars of strobes designed to highlight certain features, to the hours of digital post where you give her a digital tummy tuck, boob job, and delete the sweat from her nose. Usually she's then masked and standing in blank white space, on the cover of a magazine, which attests to the fact that it's not real.

It's actually somewhat difficult to get a picture that is an accurate depiction of reality. Just by flattening something onto a screen or piece of paper you lose so much visual information that you are already seeing an abstraction.

Re: the world the way I think it was (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358428)

I forget who said it or how it was originally stated, but when we correct for flaws in people, evolution stops and devolution begins to occur.

Re: the world the way I think it was (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358832)

In other news...

People on eHarmony, Match.com and even FB start looking concertedly more attractive.

However, still no hope for denizens of Slashdot.....

Re: the world the way I think it was (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358950)

when we correct for flaws in people, evolution stops and devolution begins to occur.

Anyone who thinks that "devolution" is a valid concept doesn't actually understand evolution.

Re: the world the way I think it was (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358770)

In pictures, the beginning of our century may be looked back on as the time when everyone was happy (smile detection) and people had perfect looks (retouch). We look at old photos of frozen lakes and giant crowds and consider them accurate. Tho, it turns out people took photos of the lake being frozen or the crowded streets because it was exceptional rather than that being the norm.

In the beginning of the previous century (and even during the one before that!), the early cameras needed long exposure times to capture images. This lead to photographers choosing subjects carefully, with a preference for immobile ones. One common trick was to photograph ships in a harbor at low tide, when their hulls rested on the sandy bottom keeping them still. Even when taking portraits, photographers used frames to keep their subjects heads still for the several minutes of exposure time needed. These choices of subject are more a portrayal of the cameras capabilities at the time than the reality of their world.

Re:This is why I don't like pictures (5, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357990)

OK... this is totally going to sound racist: but does it work on black people?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4DT3tQqgRM [youtube.com]

I'm dead serious, there are cameras and software that have problems with this.

Re:This is why I don't like pictures (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358346)

There was a similarly embarrassing issue concerning some camera's inbuilt eye detection and the 2 billion or so people for whom "dude, just write an algorithm that finds the two round objects in the face so we can clock out and go drink" doesn't quite work... Given the representation of Asians of various flavors in software, hardware design, and OEM manufacturing, one can only wonder how that one stuck out...

Maybe she's born with it, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357674)

Maybe it's Photoshop

The myspace crowd seem to be the target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357680)

Its the auto-myspace-angle camera?

Re:The myspace crowd seem to be the target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358042)

What's myspace? Is that some sort of Facebook game?

Re:The myspace crowd seem to be the target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358884)

Just break it down:

mys - pace

mys is short for mysterious = strange or funny
pace is one part of walking

Hence it's a reference to the Ministry of Funny Walks!

HTH HAND

Women with gigantic anime-esque eyes (1)

doubleplusungodly (1929514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357694)

Coming soon to a camera near you.

Re:Women with gigantic anime-esque eyes (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358396)

Coming soon to a camera near you.

FWIW, there's an exhibition in Mayfair, London at the moment of manga-like photography/art. It runs until the 5th March, so you'd need to be quick to see it... (website [hamiltonsgallery.com] ).

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] have some pictures, so do Wired [wired.co.uk] .

I went last week. It wasn't really worth it -- the best pictures were the ones on various news sites, and I didn't feel I gained anything by seeing them in a gallery. I enjoyed wandering round Mayfair looking at the pretty buildings more. After 10 minutes I went and found a museum -- there are lots of good free (and pay-for) museums and galleries within walking distance.

"rogue"? (0)

Endophage (1685212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357714)

I think you mean rouge. As in French for red.

Re:"rogue"? (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357822)

Or really is "rogue." Adds a pirate-like eye patch and hat... That would be more fun, anyway...

Re:"rogue"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357826)

Or he meant really good beer [rogue.com] .

Re:"rogue"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358126)

mod parent delicious!

!Rogue, Rouge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357754)

Why would you want rogue applied?

Not the camera's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357760)

Just because you are ugly is no reason to blame the camera for how you look in the picture.

What is the threshold (1, Redundant)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357792)

... for the camera to give the error message "Cannot take picture, subject exceeds maximum allowed ugliness parameter"?

Re:What is the threshold (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357890)

The camera can fix ugliness up to 2 anti-milliHelens (in other words, the amount of ugliness required to send 2 ships' crews running in terror).

Lipstick on a Pig? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357828)

Wrong solution.

Most people don't like the way that look in pictures because the picture is poorly taken. Taking photographs is more than just pointing a lens at an object. The brain compensates for a number of things that a camera does not-- the 3D nature of the human face, strange lighting (yellow indoors, strange shadows on the face in the dark, sharp light, etc). When you see the image from the camera it is not "the real image" it is a straight impression of a dumb lens that can only capture a small spectrum of the lighting conditions, and makes no compensations. There is a reason that a good photographer costs money. There is also a reason their camera's cost 10x the amount of a point and shoot and have far less built in helpers.

This is a "lipstick on a pig" solution. If they really wanted people to be happier with their pictures, they would build in some basic rules to the camera to warn people when the contrast is low, when the face is being lit poorly. This would likely result in pretty sterile images, but at least your friends wouldn't look like greased up edward james almos look alikes. (Of course, they could suggest the picture takers realize that the camera is not at fault... but I imagine this may be bad for business)

Re:Lipstick on a Pig? (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358118)

If they really wanted people to be happier with their pictures, they would build in some basic rules to the camera to warn people when the contrast is low, when the face is being lit poorly.

Yeah, people would really love that...

"No, you can't take any pictures of your drunken self and buddies in this poorly-lit smoke-filled nightclub, you moron."
"You are not in a well-lit studio. You will probably look like shit. Do you still want to take a picture (Y/N)?"

The camera's supposed to take the picture regardless of circumstances, and then make the best of it. It's not a studio portrait. The lighting won't be bright enough, or the right clour temperature... you won't have bright lights and an indirect flash (actually that's a nice trick, if you have an index card or slip of paper handy), etc... the camera's just supposed to do as best possible under the conditions.

Other features (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357832)

Makes criminals darker
Makes political figures evil looking,
Give women huge racks.
Adds tentacles to any pictures of a Japanese person,
When taking a picture of Soviet Russia, it shows you.
Any picture taken of Natalie Portman shoes her petrified and covered in hot grits.
When taking a picture of a Sony products, it roots itself.
When taking a pictures of Anyone at valve, it shows them wearing a hat.
When taking a picture of Micheal Bay, it shows explosion in the background.

Oliver Cromwell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35357834)

I want a camera that brings out the warts and all in us. If I were marketting it I would call it the "Cromwell Camera"

- Christopher

Why not complete the illusion? (2)

mikaelwbergene (1944966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357854)

Why not just make a mirror which is essentially a screen with a camera and have it do it real time so you can truly pretend you're someone you're not.

Ridiculous concept? Well according to data we've acquired, around XX percent of our mirror clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a mirror"

People need to take a long hard look at their self-images (no pun intended) if they even consider buying this camera.

This can all be avoided (5, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357880)

According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph, so we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.

Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.
8% is mistakes and blemishes that can be corrected in Photoshop/Corel with a bit of cloning (probably going to be bloody hard to do it on a camera, even with a properly sized LCD. The mouse is simply necessary here.), Brightness-Contrast-Intensity modding, gamma, and a few other simple steps.
The last 2% are those who are incredibly ugly, and can't be helped...

Anyway, it's pointless for me: I won't buy a new camera, since my Canon 300D is still in perfect order, this feature will probably be incorporated into amateur units, and I can get Photoshop for free. ;)

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358074)

Rational answers substituting cheap, age-old good common sense for the latest expensive digital technology have no place on Slashdot.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358308)

Deffinitely, the 0.1 or 0.2% of people who are professional photographers like you do not have a need for this camera. Nevertheless, the potential clients are the millions of people who just want to take portrait pictures with a point and shoot; such people are the ones who will gladly buy this product.

This reminds me of that software created by an team from India which "beautified" faces of several persons based on some standard definition of "beautiful"... funny that there are no commercial versions of such a program.

Re:This can all be avoided (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358572)

Deffinitely, the 0.1 or 0.2% of people who are professional photographers like you do not have a need for this camera. Nevertheless, the potential clients are the millions of people who just want to take portrait pictures with a point and shoot; such people are the ones who will gladly buy this product.

You misunderstood me. Even with a point-and-shoot, all you'd need is to take the extra 30s (at most) to think a bit, and move yourself or the model a few meters over to get the lights, etc done. Or read the manual, and use the self-timer to avoid the need for the MySpace-angle or flash-in-the-bathroom-mirror (ugh).

Really, most of photography college is optics and art theory (composition, color harmony, Golden Division, that sort of stuff). Even if you're not formally trained, you can shoot good pictures with an amateur camera or even a cellphone camera if you take the time to think it through, set it up, and maybe bend the AI to your will in regards to light measurements.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358382)

Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.

Glad someone posted this. As a Novice who takes many many bad pictures and a few good ones, lighting and composition (often the angle) are the essentials. There are many things you can fix in photoshop or lightroom, but bad lighting and the angle that highlights that all your worst features are not among them.

Instead of a new camera, buy a book that teaches you how to use light, and another book that teaches you about composition, then spend the remainder on a copy of Lightroom. If you know how to use google or yahoo or bing, you can even skip the books, and try the strobist blog and some of the tutorials for composition available on istockphoto.com. Once you understand these things, then if you must buy a new camera, you'll have a better idea what to look for in a camera, and a "beautifying button" won't be among them.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358464)

and now the 8% is done automatically.

" The mouse is simply necessary here."

hahaha.
" The buggy is simply necessary here."
" The stone axe is simply necessary here."
and so on.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358628)

" The mouse is simply necessary here."

hahaha.

Try retouching a picture with only the keyboard mouse enabled, and tell me how it went. Actually, don't bother: even a laptop touchpad makes everything but the crudest corrections impossible, let alone fine cloning. Mouse or tablet, nothing less.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359164)

Right, its not like every ARM SoC used in common smart phones and digital cameras doesn't come with automatic support for touch screens. Might have to zoom in closer than you are used to get the precision you want, but its very doable.

Re:This can all be avoided (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359328)

No. You need to see what you're retouching, and last time I checked, my finger wasn't see-through. I stand by my point, you need the cursor to be separate from whatever is moving it, otherwise you won't see what you're doing.

As for precision, no. When you have a work area at most as big as a post-it note, you have exactly NO precision to speak of. Sure, you can zoom in as far as you need to move the brush fine enough, but then you won't see what you're doing to the rest of the image.

So no, you cannot do retouch work on a camera touchscreen. A 15" tablet, now that's another thing, but show me a consumer camera with a 15" touchscreen!

Re:This can all be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358928)

Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.

...

The last 2% are those who are incredibly ugly, and can't be helped...

No, that's a lighting issue too... The problem is that the lights were on.

Re:This can all be avoided (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358962)

According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph, so we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.

Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.
8% is mistakes and blemishes that can be corrected in Photoshop/Corel with a bit of cloning (probably going to be bloody hard to do it on a camera, even with a properly sized LCD. The mouse is simply necessary here.), Brightness-Contrast-Intensity modding, gamma, and a few other simple steps.
The last 2% are those who are incredibly ugly, and can't be helped...

Alas, most people aren't photographers - they just want to snap a photo of themselves with their significant other doing stuff. And since digital photography is effectively "free", snapping 10 photos of the same scene doesn't matter to them.

So yeah, people could go and find the proper lighting and all that, but half the fun of digital photography (to most people) is just being able to take a snapshot of something right then and there, all that photography crap be damned.

So the basic point and shoots, as well as cellphone cameras, have to adapt to that use case - the user will just take a picture off the cuff and expect the subjects to look good in the photo. Press the shutter, and a perfect photo comes out.

Better than Plastic Surgery (1)

joebok (457904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357898)

Well, I like to retouch photos to make them look as good as I can - I'm not sure if this crosses some kind of line or not... but it is probably a better alternative than excessive plastic surgery if people want to shore up their self image.

I wonder how long until we have an iPhoto and Picasa plugin to adjust older photos? Heck - such a thing is probably already out there! I guess the only thing left would be real-time adjustment of HD video that can be played back on screens in bathrooms so we can do away with those pesky, lying mirrors!

Re:Better than Plastic Surgery (1)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359044)

Personally, the only retouching I do on photos is to
- remove dust
- select 'automatically fix' to adjust brightness, contrast and colouring, which usually makes the picture look more real.

I don't remove blemishes - they are a part of the person. So is tooth colour. Or anything else. I want to remember the person for who they were, not for some idiolised version of who they were. (I have my dreams for that...em...)

Re:Better than Plastic Surgery (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359340)

>real-time adjustment of HD video that

Turns any HD Movie into a porn Flix.
Turns any Live Web Cam actress into a perfect 10
Feeds a pair of 3d glasses to make Texas cities [menshealth.com] look like stroll into California. ,,,

Pictures or it didn't happen (5, Informative)

ath1901 (1570281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357926)

An article about a "beauty re-touch" function without pictures? How useless is that!

I found two examples on the internets and the most obvious difference is a blurring/smoothing filter applied to the regions with skin tones. I'm not convinced this makes anyone more beautiful (the womans white teeth look a bit creepy).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/workshop/5432481125/ [flickr.com]
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/fx78_fx77/img/touch/retouch_image.jpg [panasonic.net]

I think I still prefer the brown-paper-bag-over-the-head approach for making people beautiful. That, or beer.

Re:Pictures or it didn't happen (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358848)

I think I still prefer the brown-paper-bag-over-the-head approach for making people beautiful

Ah, the old "Unknown Comic" filter.

Re:Pictures or it didn't happen (1)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358922)

Agreed - to my eyes, on the panasonic site, the picture on the left is much nicer than the one on the right. She's a very pretty girl anyway, and the post-processing removes a lot of that, and removes depth from the picture

  (looks almost like her face has been squashed against a sheet of glass, which makes one wonder what she looks like when she pulls away from the glass again)

Re:Pictures or it didn't happen (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359094)

Too much smoothing, and you don't smooth irises, teeth unless they are blemished (and then you smooth inside the outlines of the tooth with a feathered selection or layer, you don't smooth the whole mouth.)

Re:Pictures or it didn't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35359762)

Go go gadget: Plastic Face!

And everyone prefers beer.

"Open Cameras" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35357984)

Stanford teaches a course on camera enhancement software. Someday there may be high quality cameras with open Android platforms. People already offer clever apps for the more mediocre smart phone cameras.

huge customer demand? (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358032)

huge customer demand? Really? I have never, ever seen even one single person ever make even the most offhanded comment "Gee, I'd like a camera that can apply makeup to the subject and automatically remove hideous blemishes." Not once. Even the most stupid camera users have figured out that's what the software that comes with the camera is for, even if they never heard the term "post processing."

Re:huge customer demand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358112)

And there's your answer:

All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness. ~Mark Kennedy

Re:huge customer demand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35359066)

huge customer demand? Really?

I think they were just taking a shot at Americans: (huge customer)(demand)...

Finally hit the consumer market (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358158)

The studios have been using this tech for years to try to get those dried up old prunes who read the news to look like they're human.

Imagine what you could do with the technology! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358188)

Just take the basic software that is doing it, extend it by a wireless power delivery and print it on a contact lens! Suddenly the whole world is beautiful, your gf looks like Aishwarya Roy to you, and you look like the Superstar "The Robot" Rajnikant to her ....

Pictures or it didn't happen. (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358242)

Seriously, why write this story and why post the link, without a freaking photo demo?

There's no bright line between retouching photos to match a certain beauty standard and simply removing artifacts introduced by the camera or lighting (correcting color balance by auto-leveling, for instance). Which is this one? Who the hell knows.

Coming Soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35358252)

Coming Soon: A camera that makes everyone except you in the picture, uglier.

Size-0 all over again (1)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35358878)

With all the controversy about size-0 and size-00 models and how they affect people's perceptions of themselves, isn't this just feeding the problem?

Don't like how you look in a photo? Don't bother learning to love yourself for who you are, just use our new cameras and our new digital mirrors, which all change your physical appearance to one that you prefer to look at, and you'll never need to know... (and 50% rebate on our rose-coloured glasses to boot)

*sigh*

Internal edits... (1)

MrMacman2u (831102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35359082)

Seriously? At what point should we even bother taking the photograph? Why don't they just cut to the chase and have it draw in whatever the heck we want? I have nothing against retouching photo's, but you still have to work with an original... When the original is hacked to shreds in order to reflect who/whatever the software chooses at the source is there even a point to taking the photo?

Sorry, just my stick in the mud moment of the year. I'm all better now.

Beholding the camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35359540)

I guess beauty is in the lens of the camera.

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