Afraid of losing your camera?

If there is one thing we photographers are paranoid about, it is that our gear gets stolen or lost.
It can happen so easily. Especially if we travel a lot.
Coming in contact with new, exciting and unknown people is a rush. And we have to assume the best about the people we meet and are around.
But all of a sudden

“the impossible happens”

you are missing some or all of your gear!

“What do you do now?”

In most cases after you lose your camera in a far off country, in a parade or at a football game you can never hope to see it again. And after days of mourning the loss of a good travel companion, filing insurance claims and sulking. You put the past behind you, start calculating the cost of a new camera and realize there is no use crying over spilt milk.

“Or is there?”

All most cameras store something called EXIF data in their images (JPEG, TIFF). This data contains a camera specific serial number that identifies your camera.
Here is a picture I took in August 2010:
summer night skies
And here you can see the EXIF data flickr extracts from the picture I uploaded.

“What am I getting at?”

Some web services such as Camera Trace and Stolencamerafinder employ the use of EXIF data to track down images taken with your camera that get posted on the internet.
Using the serial number stored in your image, or the serial number that you provide from your camera the web service matches it with image EXIF data it finds on the web. With the potential of finding images taken with your lost or stolen camera.

One day this might also work for mobile phones. If only this worked for my car keys…

Ever wondered if someone used photos you published online without asking you?
This is how you find out.

It is easier than ever before to find your lost tech. Here are a couple of success stories that make you think

“What are the chances!”

Google+ reunites lost waterlogged camera, owner
Sea turtle plays star role in lost-camera saga
Have a nice day

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