Have you ever lost your digital camera and wondered how to find it? Or perhaps it was stolen and you’re unsure how to retrieve it? In the past, the best we could do was ask a network provider to track and block the IMEI number of our phone. Nowadays, we have more advanced methods to recover the data inside the phone, even if we never see the lost device again.
Losing a digital camera is a different matter. If you’ve simply misplaced it somewhere familiar, you might still be able to recover it. But what if your digital camera was stolen? Is there any hope of getting it back? The answer is yes.
Every photo taken with a digital camera contains EXIF data, which is like a unique serial number for your camera. If the thief uses the camera in the usual way, such as posting pictures online, you can track the camera and potentially retrieve it. To do this, you’ll need the help of a web service called Stolen Camera Finder.
5 Best Apps to Recover Lost or Stolen iPhones
A list of best apps to track and recover your iPhone in case it gets lost or stolen. Read more
Find your Lost or Stolen Camera
Visit the Stolen Camera Finder homepage.
In the middle of the page, you’ll see a drop area. Drag and drop a photo that was previously taken with your lost camera into this area.
Once you’ve dropped a photo, Stolen Camera Finder will automatically search the web for other photos based on the EXIF data. If they find any matches, you’ll see results. Even if no photos are found, you’ll still see the details of your digital camera that they’re using to track down other photos taken with the same device.
Remember, the photo you submit to Stolen Camera Finder must be an original, unedited photo to ensure the EXIF data is intact. Some photo editors may remove these details.
What is EXIF Data?
EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) is a file format that stores metadata in an image or audio file. Every photo taken with your digital camera contains information about the image and the camera, such as the date and time it was taken, the camera model and manufacturer, temperature, and more.
Stolen Camera Finder crawls through as much data as possible from images all over the internet that contain EXIF data. When you report a stolen camera, it checks your EXIF data (i.e., the camera serial number) based on the image you submitted and tries to match it with their collections. The more data they have, the better your chances of finding your camera.
Supporting Stolen Camera Finder
You can support Stolen Camera Finder by donating or installing its Chrome extension on your Chrome browser. This extension scans the EXIF data stored in all images loaded on your browser and sends the data to the Stolen Camera Finder database. Alternatively, you can use Flickr Scrapper, which does the same thing but only for Flickr images.
You can check if Stolen Camera Finder supports your digital camera from their supported camera list. If you don’t have a saved photo, you can enter your camera serial number from the manual submission form. For a visual representation of its effectiveness, you can view the lost and found map on the website.
Stolen Camera Finder offers a way to track and locate your lost digital camera. However, if the user never uploads a photo taken with the camera to the internet, or if the camera doesn’t support EXIF records, this web service won’t be able to help. For a list of supported cameras, you can check here.
Have you or your friends tried Stolen Camera Finder? Do you have any success stories to share? Keep your cameras safe!