The newly announced Sony KW1 is about as quirky as cameras get. Not only is the selfie-centric shooter designed to look like a perfume bottle, but it also comes loaded with features to make its users look more attractive in their photographs. There's also a 180 degree rotating lens and built-in Wi-Fi for the instant sharing of those digitally enhanced selfies.
The CyberShot DSC-KW1 is probably best seen as Sony's response to the Casio EX-TR35, a decidedly mediocre camera which has found a surprising level of demand among the well-heeled selfie-loving crowd in Asia. Despite a US$1,200 price-tag, that camera proved a massive hit because of its stylish design and make-up modes. Now the KW1, which is being released in China, seems to be targeting the same market.
In terms of specifications, the KW1 features a 19.2-megapixel sensor and a 21-mm equivalent F2 lens, which can rotate 180 degrees depending on whether you're using it as a traditional camera or to shoot a selfie. Wi-Fi and NFC are on hand for instant sharing and remote control with compatible smartphones, while on the rear (or front depending on how you are using it) there's a 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen.
However, the main appeal of the KW1 is probably (we're not exactly the target demographic) the design of the camera, which comes in white, pink, purple, or green. It's been modeled on classic perfume bottles, and the rotating lens head section is mostly transparent to complete the perfume bottle look. There's a built-in LED flash, and Swarovski crystal detailing around the lens.
Selfie-centric features include a self-timer with a countdown function and a crystal texture camera bracket to allow easy hands-free shooting. There's also a range of slightly disconcerting cosmetic effect features, which give users the chance to enlarge their eyes, change skin-tone, smooth their skin, remove shine or receive a digital face lift.
Proving that beauty really does come at a price, the Sony CyberShot DSC-KW1 is available for pre-order now for ¥5,199 (US$845). It's expected to ship in China by the end of September. No details on wider availability have been released.
Product page: Sony CyberShot DSC-KW1