Friday, 15 November 2019

Documenting artefacts - using a camera instead of a phone

The methodology I wrote up a couple of years ago has proven pretty robust - even coping with with me spilling coffee on my laptop - but the time has come to introduce a change.

Previously I've been using my Samsung Galaxy 5 to take images of artefacts. That phone is now about four and a half years old, and definitely due for replacement. What I havn't decided what I'm going to replace it with, some experiments with my iPad and general frustration at easily getting images out of Apple's walled garden has led me to suspect that if my next phone was an iPhone it wouldn't fit quite so well into the methodology.

However I have a Nikon CoolPix AW100 that was bought second hand on eBay for another project entirely that is as good as the Samsung's camera. Reasonable lens, reasonable zoom, and the added advantage of being designed for use in challenging environments it can be used comfortably while wearing nitrile gloves.

Getting images out of it is as easy as taking the SD card out and plugging the card into an external SD Card reader - external because my work laptop doesn't have an SD card slot, but does have a spare USB port - actually I use a little portable Belkin hub - and copying the files across and reviewing them.

The procedure works fine - the only downside is that the Nikon, like most cameras, uses a sequential naming system for images of the format DSCNnnnn rather than the Samsung's yyyymmddhhmmss format which has the advantage of making the date and order the image was taken immediately obvious.

The Nikon does record the date and time in the EXIF data (as well as the GPS information), but not using the date in the filename does mean recording the image name really has to be done at the time, or more accurately, during the review process, before the individual artefacts are entered into the documentation spreadsheet.

Otherwise, procedurally, the process is exactly the same and works well ...

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