Capturing Memories with a New Generation of Digital Cameras

As a photography buff and Photoshop user, I have been touching up digital photographs for years. Rarely will you see acne, wrinkles, warts, or scars on the individuals in any of my pictures. In my personal photos, I have been paring off the extra flab that appears on my lower arms and thighs for so long now that it is easy for me to forget what I really look like. Furthermore, my close friends and family members always look at my photos with a knowing eye. If there is a huge mushroom or fish in one of my photographs, or if there is a shark’s fin just breaking the surface of the water behind swimmers, or if someone’s eyes look way too bright, my loved ones know that I have been up to my old tricks.

And apparently I am not the only one who likes to manipulate my memories (er, uh… I mean, my photos…) In fact, because so many people are interested in editing their pictures, several  manufacturers are now developing cameras that actually enhance an image as a picture is taken.  For example, a number of different HP cameras now have a setting that you can use to make people look thinner. These cameras use a vertical compression algorithm to make people look 5 to 15 pounds lighter.

Other digital cameras include settings that will allow you to change your subject’s skintone. It is easy to give someone a deep, dark tropical tan or to add a pink, healthy glow. Still other cameras make it possible for you to whiten a  subject’s teeth, smooth out their wrinkles, or to minimize the shine on one’s forehead or brow.  The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP7 even has a Makeup option that makes it possible for you to add foundation, lipstick, blush, or eye shadow to a  subject’s features. Sure, it is possible to do all of these things with Photoshop, but now you  don’t even have to download your pictures to a computer in order to touch them up. Now you can do it right from your camera.

Since I teach a number of different video and photo editing workshops at IU, I frequently get questions about how well these new cameras work. Consequently, I decided that I should test the newest, most full-featured digital camera that I could find so that I could share my results with the readers of this blog.  While a number of vendors were anxious for me to test their products, I was only interested in experimenting with the newest and most remarkable models. So, after borrowing a model that I think I might have recognized  from an old version of the Jetson’s, I invited one of my friends over for a  photo shoot.

It didn’t take me long to find out that these cameras really are astounding. In fact, they are almost too good to be true, but you don’t have to take my word for  it. Instead, take a look at the before and after photos in the example below.


        Picture of my friend taken with an older camera. 


              After Picture  
Picture of same friend taken with one of the new digital cameras.
All enhancement option
s were set to “turbocharged.”  


So if you find that your friends fall asleep when you try to share your photo albums with them, or if your new boyfriend or girlfriend just isn’t impressed by the snapshots of your less-than-perfect family, perhaps you should consider purchasing one of these impressive new memory enhancers. After all, wouldn’t this world be a better place if everyone looked  like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt?


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