This programmer by the name of Matt Burns has written a search engine that lets people find their stolen camera!!
Can that be done?
I learn that your digital photo's EXIF data actually have your camera's serial number embedded in it!
According to Wikipedia:
Exif was created by the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA). Version 2.1 of the specification is dated June 12, 1998, and the latest, version 2.3 dated April 2010, was jointly formulated by JEITA and CIPA.
Though the specification is not currently maintained by any industry or standards organization, its use by camera manufacturers is nearly universal.
The metadata tags defined in the Exif standard cover a broad spectrum:
- Date and time information. Digital cameras will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata.
- Camera settings. This includes static information such as the camera model and make, and information that varies with each image such as orientation (rotation), aperture, shutter speed, focal length, metering mode, and ISO speed information.
- A thumbnail for previewing the picture on the camera's LCD screen, in file managers, or in photo manipulation software.
- Descriptions and copyright information.
It is free and sound easy!
I decided to give it a try!
Mind you, I do not have any of my camera stolen; but if I drag one of my digital photo in the box, it will tell me where that picture is published; right?
First attempt, FAILED! You need an UNEDITED original image!
Let's try again...
This time I was told Canon G7 does NOT write serial number in their EXIF ! I suppose ALL the G series don't either!
Let's try an image taken with my Olympus E-P2 :)
Bingo! That is a picture of me at my work station, taken by Nigel with my E-P2! The serial number is shown, but for security; not shown here... duh! The camera IS NOT STOLEN!
You will have to fill out this form and wait for result!
Personally, I feel a bit uneasy on this really; so it is your choice.
Famous Last Words...
When looking for your camera using this web site, please be aware:
1. Only SOME digital cameras write their serial number in their EXIF data.
2. The site is NOT secure, giving out your infos are a risks.
3. If the thief do not post pictures taken with your camera, this amazing site will return a "not found".