3 Ways to Track Down Your Stolen Camera

We talked about tracking a stolen laptop the other day and I thought it might be interesting to remind folks how to keep track of -- and recover -- cameras online.

The key step is fairly simple: Keep a photograph of your business card on the memory card inside your camera. In other words, take a picture of a business card or just a slip of paper with your name, address, phone number, and email and import it to your computer. Then, without ejecting your SD card, drag the address image to the card (but not into the DCIM folder). Rename the address image something cute like, "THANKS FOR FINDING MY CAMERA. PLEASE OPEN ME" and voila! Your camera now has a permanent name tag.

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Second (and this should be a no-brainer): Write down your camera's serial number. Check the bottom of the device and jot down everything you see, including the model number. Heck, take a picture of the bottom of your camera. You should actually do this with all your electronics and keep the photos in something like Dropbox or Evernote, somewhere in the cloud where they will never be erased.

Finally, and here's hoping this never happens, you can use a service called GadgetTrak that will find your camera on the Internet. How? It checks the embedded serial number in any photo you take with the camera. Once someone uploads a photo taken with your stolen camera, the system tracks it and notes the time, date, and photo in question.

The service now holds 10 million serial numbers from cameras around the world and they add new cameras every day. Obviously this is your last resort if your camera is taken, but recently a well-known photographer lost his camera in Hollywood and tracked it down using GadgetTrak.

In the end, you're best off keeping your camera on you at all times and not slinging it over chair backs or leaving it in a hotel room or car. But with a little prior planning, you can be covered if things turn out for the worst.

Have you ever found your lost or stolen camera?

 

Images via Nikon, GadgetTrak

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