Ever since I bought the Casio Exilim EX-TR60 last July, I've been using it almost every day for my Instagram accounts. With the camera, my selfies always look good while staying true to the make-up colours I wear.
Naturally, I could not wait to try out the TR70 which hit stores last month.
The first new feature that caught my attention was the Instant Movie function for quick video clips that last up to 10 seconds. It would be perfect for fuss- free uploads onto Instagram, which allows for video posts that last between three and 15 seconds.
But my excitement soon turned into disappointment. I found that the Instant Movie videos looked blurry. I can film sharper footage with my iPhone 6.
I was more satisfied with the TR70's other new video function, the Make-up On Movie, which made my skin look smoother and brighter on video. So much so that I did not mind the extra step of having to edit the clip on my iPhone to fit Instagram's 15-second limit for moving picture posts.
Still, I found the clarity of the Make-up On Movie images lacking, especially when compared with the exceptional quality of the camera's Make-up Mode pictures. I was very impressed with how that picture function captured the sheen and subtle tonalities of my skin and make-up, while subtly erasing the imperfections. My face looked like how it is in real life, but better. The Make-up Mode in the older TR60 - which already makes the face look naturally good - cannot compare.
There are many other things that I like about this new camera.
For one thing, its lens is a huge improvement from the TR60's. There is a lot less facial distortion (the TR60 makes my face look too long or wide when I take a selfie from some angles). What is more, the TR70's lens makes my face look slimmer and more V-shaped.
The processing time of the TR70's Make-up Mode pictures is also a lot shorter, so I can take multiple shots in successive bursts.
For pictures of scenery and small objects, I did not see much of a difference in the quality of the pictures taken with both models.
When it comes to the design and ergonomics of the cameras, however, the TR60 trumps the other. Its plastic frame - that can be turned into a convenient handle - has a well-placed shutter button for quick clicks to capture precious moments. The rotating frame of the TR70 is made of a sturdier metal, but the shutter button is placed at an odd space at the bottom middle of the screen. I cannot seem to press it quickly and smoothly enough to capture the best shots.
I'm still considering whether I should take the plunge and buy this pricey $1,399 selfie camera (which costs $100 more than the previous version), especially since I already own the TR60.
If I were to do so, it would be for only one reason: the fantastic quality of the Make-up Mode pictures.
Gladys Chung is a media relations professional who used to be a journalist covering the business and science of the personal care industry.
Verdict: If you do not own any of the Exilim models and love taking self-portraits, the TR70 is a worthwhile investment.
IMAGE SENSOR: 11.1-megapixel 1/1.7-inch
LENS: 21mm f/2.8
DISPLAY: 3-inch rotatable touchscreen LCD with 921,600 dots
WEIGHT: 149g (with battery and memory card)
BATTERY LIFE: 3/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
This article was first published on March 2, 2016.
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