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What happens to the footage if your camera is damaged?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by guggle, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Does anybody know what happens to the footage a camera is recording when it is damaged?

    Files can become corrupted if the device writing the file is interrupted and subsequently unable to complete the writing process. For example, having your computer crash while using an Excel file will probably render the file useless (yes, I know Excel has an auto-recover function, but that not the point).

    So, if your're motoring along with your camera recording and you're in an accident that causes irreparable damage to the camera - assuming you can still use the SD card - will the footage that recorded the accident still be viewable?

    Anyone had any experience with this?
  2. If the SD card is still whole it will store everything up to the point of the crash and possibly afterwards too.
    The file will be "broken" in that it won't have a valid header - you can use software to repair it so it can be played, like "MPEG Corrector" available here
  3. Technical question. Too bad I don't do technical.

    Too bad we don't have any IT types to answer. I reckon what Netrider needs is a few morte IT guys.

    And maybe some more Nodding threads.
  4. Could not agree more. I mean, it's like 10 times a day I'm riding along with my camera running, and something happens that renders it useless. I reckon we should start a photography section myself. What's that? There already is? Well b#gger me.
  5. What NiteKreeper said. :)
  6. Yeh you'll get up until the point where it failed.

    My gopro fell off my bike at speed and it lived through it, just needed a new shell. The quality went a little grainy after that but I still use it.

    Edit: proof - http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4446496/camera_fail/
  7. Thanks for the link - been looking for that one...
  8. We don't need any more dead IT guys. LOL
  9. picky picky
  10. From a purely IT perspective, anything stored on flash memory is actually pretty hard to remove. This is a bit of a security risk really.

    Further, in the vast majority of cases the issue is not whether the data is there, but whether it is worth retrieving.

    I saw a test of the different competing memory standards a few years ago with XD, SD, SmartCard (or what ever Sony were calling it) and possibly some others. They tried all kinds of things and then set about getting the data back.

    Experts retrieved image data from an XD (IIRC) card after they had driven a NAIL THROUGH IT.

    So yeah, if the desire is there the data is often feasably recoverable. whether it is worth doing is a different matter.
  11. Yeah, data successfully recorded to an SD card is fairly "safe" in a collision - the bigger concern would be corruption of the file due to the camera suffering catastrophic failure before it could 'close' the file properly. But again, broken headers can usually be repaired with a downloaded piece of software (probably freeware).

    It's not hard to see why Mythbusters and others use GoPro cameras for their high-risk shots. $20 if the lens is scratched. $40 if the case is destroyed. $280 if the entire camera is rendered inoperable. So long as the SD card survives and the footage is salvagable, that's a bargain in the scheme of things, compared to the 'worth' of getting the shot.

    I daresay they're even more survivable now that the GoPro HD Hero2 supports wireless streaming of the video via an accessory - the video would be whisked away to safety on a remote computer for storage while the GoPro is (somehow) destroyed in its entirety. Nice.
  12. Some years back I was at a conference where one of the speakers was a Forensic IT guy who had been trained at the FBI. He was telling us how their experts were able to get spreadsheet data off fragments of an HDD that had been crushed by a steamroller (deliberately). They recovered enough for a conviction in a multi-million dollar fraud case.

    There are companies around that can recover information off both disk drives and memory cards - but the question is how much do you want to pay and how important is the information.
  13. I am guessing that the original question is a hypothetical should he be involved in an accident while filming, and whether it is possible to retrieve the video evidence demonstrating the accident circumstances and who was at fault.

    My advice would be to buy two similar cameras and do a test by smashing one with a hammer while filming. If the data on the SD card is good then you can have faith that the second camera won't lose the data if it gets smashed up.
  14. While on the topic of hard drives... how do you properly wipe a hard drive clean? Mate it with a rare earth magnet? microwave it? chuck it in the fire? Reformat?
  15. Format it 7 times.
    Some agencies go harder than that.
  16. ADF depending of the classification would have many different procedures. The lowest from memory was multiple formats, higher up was something like formats, professional deconstruction, incineration and the ashes then chemically treated or something to that effect.

    -posting on phone; spelling likely fukd
  17. It depends on if you ever want to use it again. There is data destruction from a software point of view which involves overwriting the data, 7 times is a DoD standard, using a defined write pattern that minimises the possibility of data recovery via software means. After that you purge the file names and locations from the FAT and MFT, and then you overwrite that data as well. This requires a different piece of software as well.

    If you are looking to beat hardware level data recovery, and still reuse the disk, there is software for that, essentially a low level format, followed by a high level of overwriting, and then reformating back to factory standards. The time involved with this approaches 20 minutes/ gigabyte, so is it time effective? This is a fairly rugged process that leaves nothing software will find, and most hardware data recovery process won't get anything useable either.

    If someone with enough money is going to be forensic about it, analyzing the difference in how each of the overwritten sectors is recorded, and knowing what it was overwritten with, data can be recovered from analysis of the difference between sectors that now contain identical data. Grinding the whole disk to powder on a grinding wheel is a good way to stop that level of recovery.

    To be honest, most people would be shattered to see how old some of the data you can recover from their disks is. If you have anything you wish to hide, and some people do, a little research into data destruction and disk wiping will go a long way. The first process listed is a good start, and can be done with mostly free software, and stops most software based recovery options from working.

    Hope any of this is helpful.

    Alternatively, for the right amount of beer, I can wipe and return just about anything you need.
  18. It's interesting too what you guys are saying about multiple formats, it has been known to be done in the past, but the scary thing is that 7, 12, 22, 122 formats, it makes no difference. A test was done recovering data from a disk that was formatted once against a disk reformatted multiple times, and the difference in data recovery was only around 3%. Overwriting the data over and over again is what it takes to really mess up the poles of the magnetic surface of a HDD and leave your data unrecoverable.
  19. Yeah that was actually my mistake due to failing memory and a raging domestic that has sprung from fucking nowhere regarding my impending Melbourne trip.
    Should've said "Format and overwrite"...
  20. Yeah, format doesn't do the trick. What you want is a utility which sector by sector overwrites the entire drive...

    ...multiple times.

    It takes some time. Fill with 0, fill with 1, rinse, repeat, etc.

    As far as data security goes, if someone else physically has your data, then it isn't yours anymore. Your average thief can steal a laptop and sell it again for parts and that's as far as it goes, but that is purely because the investment/return ratio is not worth it. If someone wants it enough, it's really just a matter of time