Basic Crime Scene Photography Equipment
|The "old" crime scene camera, a 4 X 5 Speed Graphics and the
a Nikon D7000. Both are fully "adjustable" cameras. "Adjustable" means you can adjust the focus, shutter speed and f-stop. A requirement for all crime scene cameras!
We do not endorse name brands and Nikon is used below only as a representative of the type of equipment. Other name brands may be substituted if the equipment is of the same quality and type. It is recommended that you do not mix brands of camera equipment. If your camera is a Nikon then buy Nikon lens and flash. If the camera is a Canon then buy only Canon accessories. Sometimes the 3rd Party Accessories do not function as well as the originals. follwed by a
Full frame (FX) cameras are the best followed by a smaller DX camera format. Professionals use the full frame format. But you can almost buy three DX camera bodies for one FX body.
DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Adjustable Camera such as a Nikon D7000
Small zoom lens, such as as the Nikon 18-70mm
Macro Lens, such as the Nikon 60mm Macro
Dedicated Electronic Flash, such as the Nikon SB-900
Dedicated PC cord, such as the Nikon SC-28
Wireless Remote, such as the Nikon ML-L3
Heavy Duty Tripod with removable center shaft, such as the Bogen 055XPROB with a Grip Head
A Polarizing filter for normal lens and macro lens
Red, Orange and Yellow filters for the macro lens
Camera lens cleaning kit (brush, cloth and blower)
Sturdy Hard Shell Camera Case
ICSIA Guidelines for Selecting a Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera
A DSLR camera is still the first choice and best camera for photographing the crime scenes and physical evidence. However not all police agencies can afford to buy a DSLR camera kit. If that is the case then we offer the following as secondary to the DSLR.
We are going to look at the factors that should be considered in
selecting a "simple" digital camera for police use. You may ask why
not simply buy a digital SLR style camera? There may be several
reasons. First and foremost, SLRs are still among the more
expensive cameras on the market and not all agencies can afford the
investment. Second, they are more camera than needed for many
common police uses- things like minor accidents, assaults and field
ID pictures. Thirdly they can be confusing to operate for those
with limited training.
Lens/Zoom range. This is often listed several ways as a "zoom
factor" (i.e. 3x or 12x zoom range), as a "digital zoom" factor and
in 35mm camera equivalent (35-400mm equivalent). The important
factors are to disregard the digital zoom factor as this simply
degrades your image. In fact, on those cameras that have this
feature we recommend switching it off. The zoom factor is less
important than the lens equivalent. A large zoom range is not
necessary for police use. The factor to look at is the wide angle
lens equivalent, which is the smaller of the numbers listed. A
35-400mm lens has 35mm as it's widest available setting. A 28-105mm
lens has 28mm as it's widest setting. You are more likely to have
use for a wide setting than for a telephoto setting. 35mm lens
equivalents are relatively common, wider lenses are not, but can be
useful- particularly for overall shots of building interiors.
The camera should be "adjustable". The camera should have the capability to be used both in automatic or program mode and be able to make adjustments to correct the exposure or increase the depth of field.
If the camera has a "Bulb" setting for timed exposures than it is better.
Both shake reduction and weather proofing are desirable features, but are not necessarily required.
A slave flash will greatly improve your night or low light
photography. To see more about slave flash photography click