Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesVisual ArtsPhotography · 1 month ago

What is more accurate, the mirror or the camera?

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who's confident and beautiful - but still asymmetrical. When I take a selfie, I see the opposite. I did some research and it led to the camera being accurate - but when I asked my mother she said the mirror, that I looked almost exactly like her and that whenever someone met me they'd say I was beautiful. This made me a bit conflicted. I do look like my mother in the mirror, but in the camera I don't. Is my mother right or is the camera still accurate?

11 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Camera. It captures you in the move, even when you are posing.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    In the mirror you see your face reversed left to right, as you can prove by holding up a newspaper in front of a mirror. Nobody sees you like that, not even your mother, unless you are both looking in the mirror side-by-side.

    A camera sees you as others see you, with this reservation - many photos of people these days are taken with the camera much too close to the face. Thus you get the typical "selfie distortion" where the face looks too round, and the nose too big. The camera must be at least 6 feet from the face to get a good rendering.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The mirror is easy to use. Just stand in front of it. What you see is reversed, horizontally, but that's just it. No brainer.

    A camera however is a complicated instrument that not everyone can master. Even if you had the right amount of skills to make great shots, you still won't get a picture that looks exactly as the original person. Cameras never did that during film or now with digital.

    That's the beauty in it. You can make someone more beautiful in a photo but that entirely depends on the skill of the photographer.

    So which one is more accurate? None. You see what you want to see but on bad days, you notiice what you don't want to see. It's all in the mind and going mental on this issue will just show how vain you are so stop it already. Be confident on who you are and not how a mirror or camera "judges" you.

  • Alan
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    People have a mental image of what they look like. This image is what you see in your makeup or dressing mirror. Most likely, you view yourself, lighted from above. You stand or sit before the mirror, the image of you is a reflection and you appear to be behind the mirror. In other words, your mirror is say 2 ½ feet away, your image is that of a person 5 feet away.  This view is your self-image, your perspective of you. 

    A camera captures an image and likely that image is foreign to you. Todays, miniature cameras, especially phone cameras are equipped with a moderate wide-angle lens. The image it makes has induced distortions. The nose reproduces slightly too large and the ears slightly too small. This is because objects close to the camera image large and objects further from the camera image small. This being true, you bodice will reproduce slightly too large because this part of you is closer to the camera.  

    You are comfortable  to seeing yourself lit from above. The average simple camera, if the flash fires, lights you from the camera’s position. The shadows casts by the flash are wrong compared to your mirror. 


    There is much more but, not to bore you, your mirror view is the correct view. A professional photographer who specializes in portraiture can make a picture of you that you will like. Sorry to report, there are fewer and fewer chances that a simple camera will make a picture of you that you will like. Also a good portrait photographer will charge a substantial fee for doing this work.      

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  • 1 month ago


    The number of times this question has been asked in this forum.

    People just will never get it.

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A selfie taken at arms length will make you look horrible due to perspective distortion (camera too close to the subject). Ever see those funny pictures of a dog nose taken close up? That's what you are doing to yourself when you take a selfie. Try have someone take a picture of you from 5 feet away in proper lighting and it will look much better.

    A mirror lets your brain correct for lighting imperfections because your brain is able to compensate. However, the image in a mirror is flipped from right to left. I would say the mirror is more accurate than a selfie.

    A properly taken photograph can make you look glamorous.

  • 1 month ago


  • 1 month ago

    If you want to see yourself as you are, hold a mirror against the mirror.

    The face you see in the mirrored mirror will be exact.

  • 1 month ago

    Selfies are not good ways to take pictures that show off the beauty of the person being photographed, because you cannot both hold the phone/camera well and be in the picture at the same time.

    If you want pictures of yourself to show off your attractiveness, then you need someone else to take the picture for you.

  • 1 month ago

    A mirror is 3D and a photo is flat.

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