"Camera as a Data Capture Device" - Digital Photography Podcast 119

Cameras are useful for much more than just taking pretty pictures. They are sophisticated data capture devices that you can use to record important information. And because you always have a camera with you, even if it's a camera phone, you can use this functionality to make your life easier.

In this podcast, I discuss how I use compact cameras to never forget where I've parked, plus lots of other useful applications. This is handy stuff that will make your daily life better.


Parking garage sign recorded with an iPhone just after stepping out of the car. I'll never forget where I parked!

Monthly Photo Assignment

Paper is this month's photo assignment. Writing paper, wallpaper, bathroom sheets, doctor's office, paper pushers, paper airplanes... lots of possibilities for this one. You can read more about how to submit on our Submissions page. Deadline for entry is March 31.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Camera as a Data Capture Device." You can download the podcast here (26 minutes). You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

The Digital Story Podcasts are available for direct download from Apple iPhones. I've created a special mobile download page here. Just load the page in Safari, browse the podcast line-up, and click on the one you want to listen to.

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our new Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!

Check out what you can do with an $150 underwater housing and a compact point and shoot by taking a look at my underwater gallery from the Caribbean.

Have you looked at the Park by the Numbers Camera Phone Project? If you have a camera phone, you've got to check this out.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.

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Sponsor Notes...

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In addition to using my camera as you mentioned for signs, and remembering where things are, I use my cell camera, when shopping. As an example, I was looking to buy some cement blocks, and there were several differnt types of blocks and different sizes. I took picture of the prices tag, that had the block LxWxH specs, and costs. When I got home I was able to refer to the images and sizes, to figure out which type of block would work best for the project, and how much it was going to cost.

That's a great tip David. And if you needed to, you could even send the picture to a coworker at the work site, or post them online for reference.

One more thing for Camera as a Data Capture Device you may like is http://www.qipit.com/
It Copy documents, whiteboards and handwritten notes with your camera phone or digital camera to store, fax, email or publish!

Check it out

I use this tip all the time. Glad you shared with everyone. I use it for comparison shopping(prices) and for landscape ideas when looking at model homes. There are many other uses for what I call my "Photographic Memory".


I use the phone camera when in Europe traveling for many things like where I parked the car, the street names in the order we pass them in case we need to walk a long distance, and also a picture of the license plate of the rental car so that when we check in to B&Bs or Hotels we aren't going back to the car to write down the license plate number.

Enjoyed the podcast, as always. There's an extensive list of practical uses for compact cameras and camera phones here: 101
Uses for a camera phone

Parking place and license plates are nice, but when I'm traveling my needs are more basic: I can't even remember the color and make of my rental car! So there's another useful shot.

I think there are very few hobbies that can match the fun and cost effectiveness of folding paper airplanes. I mean all you need is paper and a little patience and you'll have a toy that's can as fun as any toy.

You know I've trying folding all the paper airplanes found at http://www.paperairplaneshq.com and trust me, you'll spend more than one weekend before you fold all 50!

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.