Using the Hell Out of Your Digital Camera

I got this Nikon Coolpix P6000 assigned to me.
I’ll do a writeup on it in a future article. has a great article featuring “10 camera tips not really related to photography” which covers some interesting uses for a digital camera that may not have occurred to you.

The photo above shows tip : take a photo of your contact info so that your camera can be returned to you if it’s lost. Many cameras have a feature that lets you lock a photo so it’s can’t be deleted; make your “This camera belongs to” photo the first shot on your card and lock it.

(Yeah, that’s my real mobile phone number and work email address. In the world of anti-spam, email rules and caller ID, I’m not too worried about handing out that info.)

You should check out the article for the full details, but for those of you who want a quick summary of the other interesting uses for a digital camera, they are:

  • A portable map device if you don’t have a GPS, iPhone or similar gadget
  • Remembering where you parked (especially if you’re not going to return to your car for some time, such as with airport long-term parking)
  • Remembering how something was assembled before you dismantle it for repair
  • Taking note of the licence plate of the guy who parked uncomfortably close to your car
  • A quick photocopier to take a copy of a couple of pages from a book or magazine with info that you might need while out
  • To cover your ass
  • To remember what’s on the menu at Chinese take-out
  • A quick way of jotting down the ingredients in a recipe so you know what to buy at the grocery
  • A better way of doing the “dent check” when you first take possession of a rental car
  • A mirror

If you can think up any other interesting uses for a digital camera – perhaps some that make use of the video recording feature – post them in the comments!

[This article also appears in my tech blog, Global Nerdy.]

4 replies on “Using the Hell Out of Your Digital Camera”

I take pictures of the signs next to art I like in museums. I used to write it down, but then I realized I didn’t have to: I could just take 2 pictures: one of the art, one of the sign next to it. I’ve seen other people do it, too.

I photograph my freelance invoices, work expense receipt claim sheets, and the taped-down receipts. When I get the money, I delete the photos. I used to make photocopies of this stuff, but I felt guilty about wasting the paper.

I also photograph my clothing, so that when I’m going shopping I can easily remember what three dresses I’m trying to match shoes to or whatever.

And if I’m comparing prices in a store- like buying stuff for work- I sometimes photo the items I’m considering purchasing and then do a close-up of the price tags.

Whenever I take my 5-year-old daughter out, I take a picture of her in case she gets lost. It might sound like overkill, but I take a full-length photo, a close-up of her face, and an extreme close-up of her eyes, as they are quite distinctive (a stripe in one of her irises). I also do this when I am responsible for her friends.

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