Casio TR mini: Selfie camera that fits in a palm

Casio hopes to appeal to women with the TR mini. PHOTO: CASIO
Casio hopes to appeal to women with the TR mini. PHOTO: CASIO

The TR mini (or TR-M11) is the latest model from Casio's popular range of selfie cameras. Its most striking feature is its palm-sized oval shape.

Unlike the previous iterations of the TR models that look more like a smartphone with a rotating handle that doubles as a selfie stick of sorts, the TR mini has been designed to resemble the one make-up product all fashionable women own - the cushion compact foundation.

This make-up item allows for on-the-go fuss-free no-spill touch-ups of liquid foundation so skin looks flawless, and it is a best-selling category at all major beauty labels such as Sulwhasoo, Laneige, and Yves Saint Laurent Beaute.

I daresay all fashionable Asian women own a cushion compact. And clearly, Casio is hoping to appeal to this same crowd with the TR mini.

As with the other TR models, the mini offers well-designed filters that give selfies a virtual layer of make-up so skin looks picture-perfect. When used with the make-up mode on, the mini even goes so far as to adding a flattering coral-pink lip colour, a face-slimming angle and dewy skin finish to your portrait. Still, the pictures look more realistic than the ones taken with the camera filter apps that can make the face look as flat and white as a wall.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $699

    IMAGE SENSOR: 10.5-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS

    LENS: 21mm f/2.8

    DISPLAY: 2.5-inch touchscreen display with 691,200 dots

    WEIGHT: 139g (with memory card)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

My favourite part of this camera is the 8 LED-ring light around the lens, much like the clip-on ones selfie addicts like to use on their mobile phones, just more powerful. The last release, the EX-TR80, only has two LED lights around the lens.

Why are bright bulbs around the lens so important? Good lighting from the front erases all shadows on the face, just like concealer make-up, so you look fresh-faced.

Taking a selfie with this gadget is a no-brainer. Just flip it open, adjust the position of your face within the square digital screen (perfect for the square proportions of Instagram posts) and tap the screen or press the ergonomic button at the 1 o'clock position of the camera. The best selfies are impromptu and snapped quickly, and this non-fiddly device is perfect for such moments. Portraits can also be cropped in circles directly on the camera, for quick social media profile picture uploads.

That said, I wish the lens on the TR mini could be rotated 180 degrees like the other TR models, so I can snap other images besides self-portraits. Furthermore, photos taken on the TR mini do not look as sharp as the TR80. But the TR80 costs nearly twice as much as the TR mini.

Verdict: If you want an upgrade on the selfies that you take with your smartphone without the hassle of editing, the handy TR mini is the perfect camera. It is also small enough to be slipped into the smallest of clutches.

Chung Weifang is a beauty junkie, and a freelance writer.