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Security - How to encrypt photos within the camera

Hey everybody,

the discussions about security measures has started with the Arab revolts. There are many advices that are good but they all don’t talk about what happens if you’re cought with your camera equipment. You might have photos on your memory cards you don’t want the authorities to see.

Is there any camera system that supports direct encryption of photos right after they are shot? Is there any modified firmware which enables exisitng cameras to use encryption?
Or are there any memory cards with an encryption chip?
I don’t care if I can’t view my photos on the camera display after they’re shot. I just don’t want to expose any sources when working on a difficult topic.


by Paul K. at 2012-06-10 18:46:14 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Nikon used to do such a system for there D2x it used a specific Lexar card and card reader as well as software. it would encrypt on capture but you could put in a code to view the pictures.
This is different to the encrypted Nikon white balance that went around at the same time, sadly I can’t see anything on the Nikon website but did find this http://www.lexar.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/lexar-announces-professional-series-memory-cards-encryption-technology
hope all this helps, otherwise change cards often and find a place to smuggle them in your kit or clothing, SD cards are easier to hide than CF and micro SD cards can be used too and are really small
Best and take care

by Gary Austin | 10 Jun 2012 19:06 | Derby, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Oh yes, I forgot the important bit, Don’t get caught in the first place!

by Gary Austin | 10 Jun 2012 19:06 | Derby, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
yes for sure, you can use adapters from compact flash to sd micro cards and try to hide them, but still this doesn’t make me feel good ;-)

by Paul K. | 10 Jun 2012 20:06 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→
i’m not sure if this useful but i’m putting it on the table.
i know Nikon and Canon offers an image verification/authentication system for their DSLRs but both have been cracked and proven ineffective. i don’t know if they offered in camera encryption (even with an add-on). it would be great if other people would post information to contradict my old information.

from a technical perspective in camera encryption is a bust. not enough memory, not enough processing power to encrypt a 10Mb+++ raw file efficiently. doable but definitely slow. also import restrictions of some countries control (higher tariffs or totally banned) devices that have encryption. imho putting money on encryption is not a very bright marketing move for any digital camera manufacturer.


by Rommel Custodio | 10 Jun 2012 23:06 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
This might not be the solution you’re looking for, but I shot with a 1Ds Mark III and when the situation gets hairy I duplicate the pics shot on the CF card to an empty SD card in-camera, the process might take up to 2 min. By the time this is done, I usually stop arguing and show the goons how I delete the CF card and show them the “No images”… They are usually so over joyed that they’ve come on top that we sometimes end up being friends..:-)

by Ethan Knight | 11 Jun 2012 02:06 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Deleting the files is always an option as you might recover them. This works fine for most of the situations. But still I am worried: If it is easy for me to recover photos, then it is also for the other guys.

Is there anyone outside with a little understanding of firmware programming and modifying? For someone with good programming knowledge, would it be a big hustle to implement a small encryption feature? I don’t care if the processor can’t take 30 shots in a row with a modified firmware, 2 or 3 are mostly enough.

by Paul K. | 11 Jun 2012 09:06 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→
I use a nikon, but i know some developers are having fun upgrading a canon firmware
maybe you could ask them to think about this topic.

another idea would be to upload an image on your cards with a fake message like “all images deleted”. never tried, but it could work… even if in france police men are now trained to format and deleting professional camera.

by Francois Fleury | 11 Jun 2012 11:06 | kampala, Uganda | | Report spam→
even in some european countries you better not play with the police. just experienced it and i was lucky to be able to delete everything before anyone could have a look but it made me think about the danger involved. i was working with illegal immigrants and exposing their identity usually results into deportation or arrest.

by Paul K. | 11 Jun 2012 12:06 | Munich, Germany | | Report spam→

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Paul K., Paul K.
Munich , Germany
Gary Austin, Photojournalist Gary Austin
(British Photojournalist)
Derby , United Kingdom ( EMA )
Rommel Custodio, Rommel Custodio
Tokyo , Japan ( TYO )
Ethan Knight, Documentary Photographer Ethan Knight
Documentary Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
Francois Fleury, Photographer Francois Fleury
Bogota , Colombia


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