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Since the arrival of digital cameras, have the rules regarding photographic evidence been changed? Prior to digital, if a photographer took photos of a crime scene, accident, injuries, etc., his statement would be along the lines of attending the scene, taking photographs, developing the negatives himself, and then producing the prints from the negatives; and such prints were then produced in court, and that he was still in possession of the negatives. With the digital age, and the ability to alter photos, and their contents, what are the rules and safeguards? Anyone know ?
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The card that was used in the camera gets copied like for like, usually using a write blocker, the media it is copied to becomes the master, the card then can be reused and generally is given a ref number that is printed on the side so it's movement can be tracked.
An audit trail is produced either by an IT system used by many CSI Depts around the UK and/or a paper audit trail as well documenting the movement of the original card or the resultant master and working copy Cd's. many forces directly upload to a server now as well. The wording of the statement is slightly different to cover this. CSI`s (SOCO's) these days do not have time to produce their own photographs.
Original photo's uploaded to a main server along with card code - the imaging dept deal with copy prints if needed and the files history is closely monitored. Nikon have always been favoured by the UK police in 35mm format and the inbuilt image data security has meant that has continued with digital.
Both RAW files and jpgs are used depending on the relevance of the photography.
Thanks for that enlightening info. Used to be in the job, and relied on Studio Dept., as it was then, for accident scenes. They used large format cameras (5x4) and the first set of photos I got back my eyes popped at the clarity and detail in them. Been retired for a number of years now, and the thought crossed my mind only the other day, as to whether there were any safeguards so that digital images could not be altered when they were produced in evidence. Never watch programmes such as CSI or whatever. Maybe I should have done so and would probably learned what I was asking here.
Retirement oooh that sound nice, I've only got 20 years to go yet before I escape "the job"
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