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Casio's 'Kawaii Selfie by Mirror Cam' is exactly what it says it is

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Casio's camera division isn't afraid to admit that it's cashing in on the selfie hype big time, but for those who aren't willing to shell out over $1,200 for the EX-TR50, there's now a much more affordable option. The "Kawaii Selfie by Mirror Cam" aka Exilim MR1 costs about $330 in Hong Kong and is rather self-explanatory: Its 14-megapixel module is hidden right behind a curved mirror for the convenience of taking selfies, with the trade-off being you get a hilariously slow f/5 aperture due to the light reflection (and that little LED flash really won't help much in the dark). As for the "kawaii" part, you can use the software to enhance your skin tone plus smoothness, and you can even see a live preview on the screen (which obviously isn't so useful when taking those selfies).

Gallery: Casio Exilim MR1 selfie camera hands-on | 16 Photos

The MR1 is designed with ladies in mind. First of all, the camera comes in white, pink and green (which is pretty much Tiffany Blue). With the battery and microSD card (up to microSDXC) installed, the device comes in at just 133 grams, yet it has plenty of space for a secure grip with finger tips. There are plenty of buttons next to the 2.7-inch LCD, including those dedicated to WiFi toggling, video recording and playback: it really didn't take long for this author to get the hang of it. The 700mAh battery is one of the obvious downsides to this shooter, as it can only let you take 230 still images or about 35-minutes worth of 1080p video (measured according to CIPA standards).

Gallery: Casio EX-MR1 sample shots | 9 Photos

Even though the MR1 appears to be entry-level selfie camera (if such a category exists), it still comes with 802.11b/g/n WiFi to let you send photos (either at full resolution or three megapixels) and 1080p videos to your smartphone. Other time-wasting features include live or post "art effect" filters (soft focus, sepia, pop, fisheye, crystal ball and more), menu color customization (black, pink or white), blur effect and clipart pasting. But ultimately, it's all about the image quality, and we can't say we're fully satisfied with the sample shots we took with the MR1. With such a slow aperture, you'll need all the light you can get to capture images of acceptable quality, and there's nothing kawaii about that.

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