Samsung camera promises to make you look good


Samsung-beauty-shot Built-in software lets photographers remove unsightly blemishes before the image is even recorded to memory.

A couple of years ago, HP debuted a digital camera that made people look slimmer. At the time I remember a wee bit of controversy around the feature with people debating the merits of this kind of technology. Some people thought it was great, other not so much.

But clearly the concept generated enough interest at retail that manufacturers have been looking to build on the idea. Case in point: Samsung's new PL60. According to their press release, the camera "improves the way you look in pictures by automatically identifying imperfections and retouching them".

PL60_Pink_R45"Blemishes and dark spots" are the primary villains the PL60 is looking to eradicate with their "Beauty Shot" system, thus giving your subjects faces a "brighter and smoother" appearance.

A camera that can't take a bad photo sure sounds like a good idea, but I'm a little concerned about the impact this will have on our culture's record-keeping for posterity.

It's a little disingenuous to complain about this kind of image manipulation in a world where every magazine cover has been retouched to a sometimes ridiculous degree, and professional good quality results are within reach of anyone with a PC, Adobe Photoshop and a little patience.

The difference I think lies in the fact that most people will retain the original photos they take, prior to any alterations. The 'truth' (yes, I realize this can be very subjective term) remains for archiving, even if the person who took the photo never publishes it publicly.

With cameras like the PL60 – which I suspect will grow in popularity over time – the truth simply isn't recorded in the first place.

Where do you stand? Should we be trying to keep an accurate record of our friends and family, or help everyone feel better about themselves through real-time retouching in our cameras?

If you're interested in picking up a PL60, they retail for $199 at most major electronics stores across Canada. If you buy one, come back and tell us what you think of the Beauty Shot and other features.

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19 comments

  1. Simon (not Cohen)

    Usually people take pictures that are quite simply bad. The lighting sucks, the composition isn't considered, people aren't usually looking their best, etc. Maybe this will go some way to making up for it.

    I would be concerned if they were pushing cameras that make you look slimmer, because that could encourage you to neglect your actual health, but I don't think there's anything wrong with removing blemishes. People do that with makeup anyway. And maybe it will make ladies happier with their pictures, which is generally good.

    There's no need to record the "truth" of a pimple you had that day. (and for those who DO want "warts and all," I'm sure you can turn off the feature)

    I just hope it's smart enough not to remove freckles. :P

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  2. daberimasu

    I have the olympus which also boasts the "beauty shot" & i have to say I was very disapointed with the fact that it erases my freckles!

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  3. Tammy

    Maybe more people will be willing to have their picture taken with this new camera. I myself am famous for not liking my picture taken, and as a result have discluded myself from alot of photographic memories. With this camera, I don't think I would shy away so much. I do agree that we maybe focus too much on being perfect. We are anything but. But, in order for that to change, we as a society need to change. The retouching in Mags, the super skinny actresses on Movies and TV–this is the kind of stuff that needs to change. Everything in so cookie-cutter now, it's kind of boring really.

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  4. Dea

    Truth? really? When you look back on the photo 10 years from now, does the "truth" that you had a pimple really matter? If we're going to start with the "truth" we should start taking pictures after we've banned all make-up and stopped cleansing with anti-pimple soap.

    This article takes it too far, I think. Big deal, a camera that conceals what people already try to conceal and don't want everyone to see.

    Besides, if you're so against it, don't buy the camera. If you like the idea, then clearly you don't like pimples or would rather not waste time retouching it. It's technology. If you don't like it, go back to film cameras.

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  5. niki v

    this article is very weak.
    as a model, i dont get completely retouched most of the time.
    you know if they touch your nose and chin, eyes or whatever, that not who you are. thats completely fake.
    but if they retouch a pimple, a pimple isnt PART OF YOU, blemishes are jsut BASIC retouching, pimples come and go. who would want a picture that has a nasty zit in the middle of your forhead, that one day in that one point in time, who would want to remember that…its not even supposed to be there, like i said blemishes are basic retouching..think of it like if someone wrote on your face with permanant marker, it comes off after 2 days but it isnt apart of you. nobody would want it in a picture.instead of bashing it…you should try and show more examples of this new product…as for the fat slimming cam, wel i dont know if it worked, all i know is, fat doesnt just come oone day and leave the next. thats a lot more fake.

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  6. Amy

    As a photographer it is my job to ensure that all blemishes are retouched using photoshop before delivering the photo to the customer. I know that if I didn't fix them, the customer would complain regardless of the fact that they have acne and everyone knows it. People want to look as best as they can.

    Speaking strictly from a photographers point of view, a digital SLR with this capability would greatly cut down on editing time, allowing more pictures to be taken and faster delivery time.

    As a body conscious individual, I think this sort of false beauty solidifies societies stand on plastic perfection. I personally don't agree with it, but I'm not going to refrain from using the technology in the future because as I stated, clients want that false perfection, and won't settle for anything less. If it will shave a couple of hours off of my editing time, then all of the power to it.

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  7. Amanda

    To the model and all the other image-impaired people, looking beautiful is about projecting an energy from the inside, not touching up photos to make u look superficially "pretty".

    If you are constantly looking in a mirror or comparing yourself with others, take some photos without the "fixy-majigger" camera and try to find beauty in it.

    People need to wake up. By the way, the article is accurate to say most photos are touched. You have no idea what they do to your photo once you are off set. That is a jaded ignorant comment. Don't take the article personally. Just think about it.

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  8. pgc

    Historical record is a somewhat nebulous concept. Photographs have only been in use for for a hundred years or so – Prior to that records were done with painting and you can be sure that painters didn't include blemishes so this camera is just going back to the way it always was.

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  9. Kelly

    I must take issue with the following statement in the article: "…professional quality results are within reach of anyone with a PC, Adobe Photoshop and a little patience."
    Professional retouching is a skill that takes many hours of training and dedication. It is most definitely not something that "anyone" can just "pick up".

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  10. bob

    Olympus already has a few cameras with this option. Actually, I think they've been around for a while.

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  11. Rich

    As a touch-up artist, often it is the flaws in our photo clients that is our nemesis. We have changed peoples lives with the improvements that we have made to them. On the other hand however, the past can reveal a transition with even more astounding results. If I'm making a comparison from then to now, I want to see the original face as it was, or at least have the choice. Flaws are flaws and that is who we are..or were. Nothing wrong with originality if there is a certain pre-occupation with the past. Where would the term nostalgia go? My wife and I make our living as a photographer/touchup artist/makeup artist professionally. Do I want the camera to do that for me? Only if I have the choice and should I choose that choice, it better do a better job that I can do!

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  12. Walking Man

    With cameras that don't show a true picture, now all we need is a mirror that can talk…. "Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest" what next.

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  13. Rick Vaughan

    I think the Oictures should be taken raw and edited in Picassa, unless the picture taker is technically challenged, or doesn't own a computer. Here is an issue you might want to look at if you "are" going to purchase a camera and "do" want to edit the pictures yourself.
    http://samsungsl620flawed.blogspot.com/
    Bought this samsung at Beach Camera and the ad said it was mac compatable. It is not. So I "do not" have the option of editing after the fact.

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