Following the unveiling of the new Samsung NX Mini, which lets you snap a photo by winking at it, here are some of the strangest functions we've seen offered on digital cameras
1. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS helps you secretly take photos of people while they sleep
As face recognition technology gets more sophisticated, it’s naturally tempting to try and do more things with it. This is fine. So Canon came up with ‘Sleeping Face Recognition Mode’. This is not fine.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS has the ability to turn off the flash, assist beam and sound if it detects that you’re trying to photograph someone while they sleep. To reiterate: it helps you photograph people, without their knowledge, while they sleep.
2. The HP R927 attempts to make people thinner
We’re all used to seeing ‘artistic’ filters and effects on new cameras, but one of the most unusual came on HP’s R927, released back in 2006. Nestled among such standards as ‘Vintage’, ‘Cartoon’ and ‘Solarize’ was the somewhat questionable ‘Slimming’.
It was, regrettably, exactly what it sounds like. If you or your loved ones came out of a photo looking a little rotund, you could apply this function to trim off some of the excess flab.
3. The Canon PowerShot N100 embeds your face in the corner of your images
Among Canon’s offerings at CES this year was the PowerShot N100. Not one camera but two, this PowerShot compact features an additional rear-facing camera that takes a picture of your face at the moment of image capture, which it can then embed into the corner of your images.
You know how sometimes when you’re taking a photo with your phone you accidentally hit the rear camera button, resulting in a startling reminder of how pale, tired and dishevelled you look today? Well this is that, but all the time.
4. The Samsung DualView TL225 can and will show your children a picture of a clown
Do you, like most of us, have trouble getting your children to stare at your camera with slack-jawed, horrified obedience? Samsung has you covered.
The Samsung DualView TL225, one of several entries in the two-screen DualView range, comes equipped with a Child Mode, which basically allows you to use the front-facing screen as a kind of mobile hypnotist, flashing up the above clown and other delightful images in order to hold the kids’ attention. For some reason, this never caught on.
5. The Olympus VR-340 applies makeup to your ugly friends
It’s a problem we all have – sometimes the people we take photographs of just aren’t wearing enough make up. Well, with the Olympus VR-340, you can now take care of that yourself thanks to ‘Makeup Mode’. Once again, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Eyeliner, eyeshadow, rouge – the lot. If so inclined, you can even lift cheekbones. The effect looks like this:
Clearly a huge improvement.
6. The Fujifilm FinePix Z200fd is judging your relationship
Fuji’s Z200fd debuted with something new and exciting called a ‘Love Timer’. What is a Love Timer, you may well ask, with a due sense of foreboding. Well, in short it’s another by-product of face-recognition technology.
The Love Timer function detects not only when there’s a couple in the frame but also judges how close together they are, and uses this to award them ‘Hearts’ in the bottom left hand corner of the Live View – one heart bad, three hearts good. Observe:
Which awful gimmicks have we missed? Let us know on Twitter: @AP_Magazine