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Re: Digital camera, legal or not for documentaion

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Chris' comment about the lack of an, "original image," in digital photgraphy
(below) assumes that the storage media is a read-write memory card.  There
are alternatives that get around the problems he mentions.  I use a Sony
Mavica MVC-CD1000 with a 6-60 mm lens (10x optical zoom and capable of
accepting filters, telephotos, macros and etc. -- cost without accessories
about $800.00) that writes to an on-board  three-inch optical disk.

Digital data recorded by the camera is stored as a series of, "pits," burnt
into a coated surface (fundamentally similar to the way analog data is
stored on the coated surface of, "conventional," photographic film).  Blank
disks from generic manufacturer's cost as little as a dollar each in
quantity and each will hold more than 200 high resolution photos.  Upon
return from a job site visit, I can take the CD out of the camera, put it in
the CD-ROM drive on my PC, scan photos, choose those I might use in a
report, save them to a hard drive (with or without editing) and add the job
number or other reference to the label on the CD's jewel box so I'll be able
to find the right disk again if I ever need that, "audit trail," to the
original image.  When a CD is full, it goes into a file cabinet.

To emphasize, the media are not re-writable and the archived CD (which costs
less and takes much less room than the ten rolls of 20 exposure 35 mm film
it replaces) stores original images that are at least as durable and
difficult to alter as a photographic negative.

Drew A. Norman, S.E.
Drew A. Norman and Associates
Consulting Structural Engineering
Pasadena, California

----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Wright" <chrisw(--nospam--at)>
To: "SEAOC Newsletter" <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 7:12 AM
Subject: Re: Digital camera, legal or not for documentaion

<SNIP> I don't use a digital camera, bnut alteration is only a marginal
> consideration. The major issue I could see raised would be that there's
> no actual original image, as there would be with film, hence no audit
> trail. In theory the camera memory card is an original, but it's very
> easily and normally altered and over written or re-used. <SNIP>

> Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
> chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
> ___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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