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Author Topic: Who stole my camera?  (Read 2767 times)

Offline Don_1

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Who stole my camera?
« on: 01/11/2014 00:08:37 »
A distraught friend told me he had had his camera stolen. He said that it wasn't worth reporting it to the police, because they would never find it.

But there are ways to find your stolen camera.

Having been sold to fund drug addiction or whatever, the unsuspecting new owner may well post pictures on Flickr, Tumblr or some other image publishing site which has an aversion to the letter "E", or some other social media site.

All digital images contain EXIF data. That is the exposure information file. Most photo editors can access this data. It consists of the camera make & model, the lens used (on DSLR & other interchangeable lens cameras), the shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO & white balance settings, camera shooting mode (ie : M; A; S; P; B) and other information.

Crucially, the EXIF data also contains the camera serial number.

Crawler sites such as stolencamerafinder.com* & cameratrace.com* crawl the internet looking for serial numbers in the EXIF data attached to all digital images published, in much the same way as a search engine, such as Google, crawls the internet looking for tags.

So do inform the police if your camera is stolen and use one of these crawler sites to help find your camera. Simply enter your camera's serial number or drag & drop a JPEG image from your computer to their web site. If the crawler site locates images being uploaded to the internet with your stolen camera's serial number in the EXIF data, you will be informed. You can then pass such information on to the police.

*Other sites are available and most crawler sites are free of charge.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2014 00:11:41 by Don_1 »


 

Offline RD

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Re: Who stole my camera?
« Reply #1 on: 01/11/2014 00:29:52 »
All digital images contain EXIF data ... Crucially, the EXIF data also contains the camera serial number.

Crawler sites such as stolencamerafinder.com* & cameratrace.com* crawl the internet looking for serial numbers in the EXIF data attached to all digital images published, in much the same way as a search engine, such as Google, crawls the internet looking for tags.

While that's worth a try, bear in mind EXIF data is not indelible :
If the photo has been edited, (e.g. resized or cropped), that version may have had the metadata removed.

[ on a similar theme ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_%28software%29 ]. 
« Last Edit: 01/11/2014 00:32:48 by RD »
 

Online evan_au

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Re: Who stole my camera?
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/2014 03:39:30 »
Some sites delete the EXIF data to save a bit of storage/download size, or to protect the privacy of people posting photos (some cameras include the GPS coordinates where the photo was taken).
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Who stole my camera?
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/2014 18:06:33 »
Always worth a go - the thief (or the poor fool who bought it from a thief) only needs to make a mistake once.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Who stole my camera?
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/2014 18:06:33 »

 

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