If you worry about losing your digital camera – or perhaps worse, the images on its memory card – you might want to check out CameraTrace.

For an annual fee of $10, CameraTrace provides a metalized, adhesive tag for your camera which enables someone who’s found it to return it to you. The tag directs them to a website where they can enter a code from the tag, and communicate with you anonymously.  Anonymous communication protects your identity as well as providing the finder with a means of disclosing information regarding your device without risk.

CameraTrace also monitors popular image sites and is often able to extract the serial number from a photo and trace that to your camera. They also have experience in the process of recovering lost and stolen goods, so you don’t have to take as many risks to get it back.

See it here:  CameraTrace

Notes: works worldwide. See website for a list of supported cameras.

An alternative:  Stolen Camera Finder.  Drag and drop a photo taken with your camera onto its homepage, and Stolen Camera Finder will search for images posted to the internet (Flickr, Picasa, etc.) for other images taken with the same camera.  This is likely similar technology to that utilized by CameraTrace.  For what it’s worth, I did this with images from both my Canon S90 and Nikon D80 and came up with nothing, despite the fact that I’ve posted pictures from both cameras to my Flickr account. Not encouraging.

Your best bet? 

Put a contact info/reward tag on your camera yourself, back up your images frequently – including while you’re vacationing or otherwise on the road – and try not to be careless with your camera!  If the unthinkable happens, at least you can try Stolen Camera Finder.

If you’ve tried CameraTrace or Stolen Camera Finder, or have another solution, please comment.  Finally, for a humorous take on this subject, check out Andrew McDonald’s A Pictorial Guide to Avoiding Camera Loss


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