I was wondering if I should get a film camera body. Yes, I have some very nice digital camera bodies, and they work well. They are better than film cameras in so many ways. But it seems that film cameras have some benefits now...
  • A film has a specific number of shots, so you will find you have space on a film that needs using up. This helps provide an excuse for taking random shots with your camera. Obviously you don't need an excuse to take pictures, but having one is probably a good start when stopped by police. "I was using up the film with random shots".
  • If you are stopped by the police they like to ask to see the pictures you have taken. Whether they have a right to ask such things is questionable, but if you have a film camera it is a non issue - you have no way to show them a preview of pictures you have taken, shame!
  • If you are stopped by the police, it seems they like to ask you to delete pictures in some cases. Very unlikely this is ever legal but very hard to argue with a police officer that might decide your refusal is suspicious and so arrest you. With film you can't delete the picture, shame!
  • The information commissioners office is trying to suggest that shots that include the public are somehow personal information and require consent. This is crazy and not in line with the law, but regardless - a film does not come under their remit as it is not a computer file or a filing system, so DPA considerations vanish if using a film camera.
Of course the other trick is a camera with wifi to a 3G router to upload images within seconds, ideally to a server outside the UK. This is becoming increasingly viable. It does not address DPA concerns, but may change in which countries DPA laws apply. But it makes a joke of the idea of deleting images you have taken. It is fun just considering that the cameras I have can write to two memory cards at once - so the police can have the memory card if they want, ha!

What fun if I am ever stopped with a film camera, or with a camera that has already uploaded images... he he

What is this country coming to? Photography is not a crime.


  1. What sir needs is the appropriate Canon WFT-Ex for your camera and a MiFi. Then the pictures can be on an FTP site within a minute of snapping them and long before PC Plod tries to demand (illegally) that you delete them from the camera.

    [Which sounds like a good reason for RevMobile to do a MiFi.]

  2. Indeed, I have the wifi adapter - works nicely. I don't have the mifi box.

    But you can imagine...
    me: "Sorry officer, the camera won't let me delete it, yet"
    plod: "Why?"
    me: "Because it has not finished uploading to the server.. Ah, there you go, done. Now I can delete it. There. Done. Happy?"
    plod: "Server?"


  3. Have you seen this?


  4. The Three MiFi (Huawei device but only available in the UK from Three) is actually rather good except for a few eejit features like not being to operate while charging.

    I wonder if the plod realise that deleting an image is easily reversible if no further images are taken?

    I trust you're all familiar with http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

  5. From the MET Police website:

    Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether the images constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist. This includes any mobile telephone or camera containing such evidence.

    Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction.

  6. So the question is:

    Does taking a photo in a public place constitute an act that could cause a Police Officer to suspect you of terrorism?

    THEN they have the powers to question and search you...

  7. Wifi adapter and Mifi seems a bit of a clunky solution - surely you just want a CF card with a built-in 3G modem?!


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