Law enforcement photography has come a long way from using Polaroid cameras to take pictures at crime scenes. Although the original instant camera technology is still used in law enforcement, many departments are starting to invest in digital cameras.
Digital photography is destined to serve as a multi-faceted and cost-effective investigative tool for police officers, but some U.S. courts have raised concerns about the technology, suggesting that digital images serving as evidence could be easily manipulated by investigators or prosecutors.
However, with the continued development of software and hardware solutions, courts are likely to accept digital photography soon.
The selection of products available to law enforcement ranges from more consumer-oriented $300 2-megapixel cameras to professional quality $25,000 24-megapixel versions.
Digital camera systems available today include products from Canon, Polaroid, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony, such as the $650 Canon PowerShot G5, a 5-megapixel camera with DIGIC processor, and Olympus’ top-of-the-line $1,900 E-20N professional quality SLR.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Police (12/03) Vol. 27, No. 12, P. 36; Douglas, Dave.