Olympus has rolled out a line of "?" (mu) mini digital cameras that go one step beyond fixing the mistakes made by casual photographers. Now it's the subject who gets improved! The top of the line Olympus ?9000 features a "beauty mode", which adds that extra touch of beauty we all seem to lack.
Professional photographers have had access to a raft of airbrush style, touch-up tools for some time now. School photos now offer purchasers a clean-up option that removes blemishes better than any store-bought cream, for example. Olympus now gives amateurs the same tricks of the trade.
There are several different tools in the Beauty Mode, ranging from the usual red-eye removal and light adjustment to the aforementioned "clear skin" airbrushing. There's something else, however that (pardon the pun) caught my eye... Olympus refers to these features as Shiny Eye and Dramatic Eye.
The former adds highlights to the subject's pupils that supposedly make the eyes look more lively. Sort of like the glistening eyes of anime girls. I'm sure there's no coincidence... or is there? Moving on to "Dramatic Eye", the ?9000 camera software appears to enlarge the subject's eyes! Doing a quick measure of the image, the width of both Before and After eyes is the same but the height increases by about ten percent.
This eye-opening feature isn't all that odd if the popularity of extra-large contact lenses is any indication. Combined with the Olympus ?9000's many other image modifying features, weekend photographers (and their subjects) just got better without even trying. Olympus, on the other hand, IS trying - 2008 World Figure Skating champion figure skater Mao Asada and her photogenic sister Mai have signed on as spokes-models for the new ? slim digital cameras. Cool!
UPDATE: The Olympus ?9000 (known as the Olympus Stylus 9000) is now available here in the U.S. at Amazon and other retailers.
(via Rakuten, images via BCN Ranking and DCFever)