Stolen/Lost Camera? CameraTrace Promises to Track It Down

Posted in Equipment, News by Nathan Lee Bush on December 29, 2011

My parents were recently visiting for the holidays. Amid the hubbub of trying to find a restaurant and plan the evening, I absentmindedly left my iPhone at the laundromat. Although I didn’t know that at the time. Only later, when I discovered I hadn’t simply left it at home, did I begin to freak out. Then I remembered Find My iPhone, Apple’s drop-dead-simple and aptly titled system for tracking down your lost Apple products. Within a few short keystrokes on my laptop, I had a glowing dot on a map, assuring me of it’s precise location. I was able to remotely lock it, leave a message for whoever found it and even had the option of wiping it. I slept easy, knowing I could swing by to pick it up in the morning.

By contrast, I’ve actually had nightmares about losing my camera gear, never having had such safeguards (besides renter’s insurance).

Enter GadgetTrak, which is stepping up with a clever workaround called CameraTrace to track down your lost or stolen camera. For a one time fee of $10 a camera, you can register your serial number with the company (apparently this information is embedded in the metadata). If your camera goes MIA, CameraTrace scours the metadata of photos on social networks like 500px and Flickr for photos taken with your camera (they have the largest database of the any camera tracking service). They’ve already indexed over 11 million cameras, and even offer to speak to the police department on your behalf.

CameraTrace also tracks websites that are using your photos without your permission, acting as a valuable copyright safeguard. And they send you a lost and found sticker to place on your camera, for the cases, like mine, where absentmindedness, not malice, is the culprit.

While the system is not perfect, it’s certainly better than nothing, and the one time fee is not going to break the bank.


via TechCrunch


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  1. […] control might be useful to pros; I wrote about a cool and affordable service that helps you track down your lost or stolen camera using its serial number; and I highlighted the now-renting Hasselblad H4X, the new body which can […]

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