The compact camera marketplace is basically lifeless, as smart phones have supplanted traditional point-and-shoots for many people's photography requirements. Smartphones also have pioneered completely new kinds of photographs, such as selfies. None of that is news to anybody. What may be news for you, however, is that there are many methods to market compact cameras in 2017, even if you're able to discover the perfect product and the ideal industry. It's possible to sell them for rather a great deal of cash, in reality. And that is what Casio was performing with its TR collection of cameras within the previous couple of decades in Asia.
The TR show is aggressively focused on a single thing: ideal selfies. The current flagship model, the TR-80, resembles a little smartphone with a giant bejeweled lens up top; its own angular metallic framework doubles as a kickstand and triples as a rotating grip for set shots. The double flashes and software supply users extensive control over lighting, skin tone, and cosmetics.
Casio claims its users generally refer to the TR cameras because the "selfie God device," and even though the company will not provide comprehensive sales data, the cameras have become popular sufficient in Asia to command a price of approximately $900 for relatively unremarkable hardware. The TR series is the end result of elegant focus on Casio's part. It is aimed at a particular market: young girls in the Chinese-speaking world, and consequently the facial recognition software is tuned specifically toward them. But Takashi Niida, a manager for digital imaging at Casio's international advertising and marketing division, states that attention took some time to sharpen.
"At that time in China, the social network Weibo was getting popular," Niida says. "Women tried to take beautiful selfies and post them on the internet, almost like a competition. Cameras at the time didn't have Wi-Fi, though, so people couldn't transfer pictures to their smartphones. But people knew that Casio TR photos were much prettier than iPhone photos, so they just took pictures of the TR screen with their smartphones and uploaded them." Casio has focused on this industry ever since, including more advanced portrait and makeup operation with every new version.
Today Casio would like to expand the TR line's appeal. The company only announced the TR Mini (TR-M11)plus a completely new camera using a smaller, circular design along with a ring of eight LED flashes around the lens that give greater control over selfie lighting. It'll be available in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan to get just a little over $500.
The ring flash is the primary new feature of the TR Mini. "Using the eight LED lights, we can provide uniform lighting from any angle, but also we can illuminate just the left or right sides of the faces to create various looks," Niida says. "It's the same thing as when you go to a photo studio and there are lights from various directions." Different mixes of lights on the TR Mini enable different modes -- like Sculpt, Slim, and Shadow -- which alter the way that your face appears, and you can find additional features made to remove bites, circles under eyes, and so on.
The TR Mini's lens is also chosen because of its pliable properties. It's 21mm, which can be a wide-angle perspective that can capture your face and shoulders or a number of people at the same time, but Casio states that TR camera consumers also like the focal length because it's a slimming effect on the facial skin. That distortion is truly regarded as a terrible thing in traditional portrait photography, but it goes to show the way the selfie occurrence is inducing camera manufacturers to rethink traditional product design.