The market for compact cameras is almost dead, as smartphones have replaced traditional cameras. Smartphones have also become pioneers in completely new directions of photography, such as selfies.
However, in 2017, there are still ways to sell compact cameras, if you find the right product and the right market. This is how Casio acts by selling TR series cameras in Asia.
The TR series is aimed only at the owner of the device. The current flagship model, Casio TR-80, looks like a small smartphone with a giant lens at the top. Its metal frame can serve as a stand and a handle for group shots. Dual flash and software provide users with a wide range of control over lighting, skin tone and make-up. Specialized selfie cameras are designed primarily for women, and therefore the face recognition software is configured specifically for them.
Casio’s selfie cameras are sold well in China. This is evidenced by the fact that some models priced about $1000 sell like hotcakes. Such popularity of cheap selfie cameras is due to Chinese women wanting to look irresistibly on social networks. They know that they look prettier on a picture taken with a Casio TR camera than with a smartphone’s camera. At first, due to the lack of possibility to transfer photos to the smartphone, the women simply photographed the camera screen and then uploaded them to the social network. After that, Casio began to improve the functions of their cameras, focusing on controlling the display of the face.
Now Casio wants to expand the attractiveness of the TR line. The company has just announced TR Mini (TR-M11), a completely new camera in the form of a small powder box. Around the lens of the camera is a ring of eight LED flashes, providing greater control over lighting.
The ring flash is the main 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,” said Takashi Niida, manager for digital imaging at Casio’s global marketing division. “It’s the same thing as when you go to a photo studio and there are lights from various directions.”
Various combinations of light bulbs on the TR Mini allows you to use different modes that change the look of the user's face. There are also additional functions designed to remove moles, circles under the eyes, etc.
The camera has a resolution of 12 megapixels, but square photos are cut to 8 megapixels. The touchscreen of the camera is square, with a user interface based on gestures. TR Mini can automatically upload images to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The lower price and affordable design are designed to enhance the attractiveness of the TR series beyond the previous flagship models.
However, Casio does not target the TR Mini on its own domestic market in Japan. “Especially in China, we did questionnaires and found that people want to show themselves to many others more than in Japan,” Niida says. “In other Asian countries as well, they’re not embarrassed to share their pictures and they don’t really hesitate to upload. But in Japan, for example, on Facebook people upload photos of scenery or meals they’ve cooked but not really beautiful selfies.”
Casio TR Mini will be available in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan for $ 500.