Stolen Camera Finder

April 27, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Websites | 15 Comments |
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Programmer Matt Burns has written a search engine that lets people find their stolen camera gear by searching EXIF data for their serial number. Users can enter their camera’s serial number or simply drop any photo taken with their stolen camera on stolencamerafinder.com to get a list of web pages that contain images taken with the same camera. The service is free and available now at the website below.

Website: Stolen Camera Finder



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#1 NotYourAvgJoe

This site does not seem to work, I tried about 10 different files from different cameras and never got one to show a serial number or other valuable info.

1:53 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#2 johnwhat

Same, i tried files from 5 different cameras, nothing comes up. And I dont think it would work no matter what, since the type of people who would steal a camera are usually retards and would only post the images to myspace or facebook where exif data is stripped right?

4:00 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#3 cincymatt

It recovered the EXIF data from my photo (Canon 20D, Mac OSX, Firefox 4.0), but did not find any photos that matched. I generally only post to Facebook and Picasa, however.

5:21 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#4 virginiajim

Too bad, ref lack of success previous commenters.

The big thing, I think, is will this work with photos taken by cellphones because they are a huge market!

6:56 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#5 imma

no exif on mine :-/

7:16 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#6 Rob T Firefly

This has serious potential for less valiant uses than tracking thieves.

Assuming they weren't savvy enough to strip the EXIF data one could conceivably drop any photo - say, amateur pr0n - onto this to track down and stalk the responsible party.

7:35 pm - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#7 Matt Burns

Not every camera writes useful serial information. It is mainly concentrated on the more expensive models. Sony, for example, is a one of the worst offenders for not writing this information. http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/listmodels#sony

I've just looked at my logs and over the last 6 hours, over 1000 users dropped an image on the site and successfully extracted the serial number. Around 500 users performed manual searches with serial numbers in the same period.

The database is populated by community run scrapers: http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/howtohelp.jsp

As this site becomes more popular, we should be able to put pressure on manufacturers to write this information. If we vote with our wallets on which models to buy, manufacturers will write the serial number in their models.

7:19 am - Thursday, April 28, 2011

#8 doesntwork

doesntwork

7:30 pm - Friday, April 29, 2011

#9 Dr. Bill

Doesnt work for me. Does this stupid thing actually track flickr, pbase, picasa etc??? I dont think so...

11:34 am - Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#10 Matt Burns

I can assure you it works, the database is just a little small at the moment but growing rapidly.

Here's a very recent example of someone it worked for... http://aaronfulkerson.com/2011/06/06/stolen-and-lost-cameras/

10:36 am - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#11 Lina

i lost a sony cybershot. is there any way i can find its serial number?

11:33 pm - Monday, October 31, 2011

#12 Laxmikanta Choudhury

I have a sony cyber shot model-dsc350 this software cannot find the seriel number plz reply

5:28 am - Saturday, November 5, 2011

#13 Karen Cooper

Sony don't currently store the serial number of the camera in the EXIF data.

However if you know the serial number you can still complete a report on the lost & found page http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/lostandfound.jsp.
This is useful in case anyone finds your camera.

Here's an example of someone we helped in this way:
http://www.stolencamerafinder.com/niksstory.jsp.

1:13 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2011

#14 Bloice Davison

The site does not work for any serial number that I enter. I tried the serial number of my stolen Nikon D90, but it did not produce any results. One problem may be that Nikon uses the same serial numbers across models.

When I entered the same serial number in Gadgettrak, the result was for a D40. The pictures are on Flickr. I have pictures from my D90 on Flickr, Shutterpoint, and Facebook.

I also did a search for my Nikon D7000, and neither site produced a result. Pictures taken with this camera are also on FB, Flickr, and Shutterpoint.

I'll try the lost and found page to see if that helps. Thanks.

10:42 pm - Saturday, December 17, 2011

#15 V.Harshtih

I've lost my sony cybershot camera in araku and is there any way to find it as it was my faher's birthday present from his late brother.

7:35 am - Monday, November 26, 2012