The theft and manipulation of images it is a problem that has existed for decades, and is as old as the history of photography itself. However, the advent of digital imaging completely changed the landscape. Stealing an image or manipulating it in software like Photoshop has become a fairly widespread practice. Throughout all this time, many tools have been invented to put an end to this problem. Sony, for its part, seems to have found a very interesting solution that can make things easier for professional users who use their cameras.
Sony brings crypto to professional users
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But that changed radically at the moment when an image can be manipulated almost without leaving a trace. Since the digital photography reached the general public, everything possible has been done to prevent theft and manipulation of images. A solution that many of us have used at some point is the famous watermark, which ended in disgrace when Photoshop was equipped with artificial intelligence and learned to reconstruct images based on context.
Could these two problems be solved with a single measure? Sony believes so, and for this it has presented a crypto solution. The idea of the Japanese is to protect the original files that we create directly in the camera. Just as we press the shutter, the file will get a digital signature attached to the camera. At the moment in which said image is manipulated, the signature will be lost. In the event of a complaint, it will be really easy to prove which image is the original, since the author of the image will have the certified version.
This feature for the moment will be unique to the Sony camera A7 IV, although the firm has already announced that it will reach other models. The operation will be done directly in the processor, thus preventing the process from being intervened to be adulterated.
Which users is this feature for?
Obviously, this technology is not designed to prevent an Instagram photo from being stolen. It is rather intended for all those customers who use Sony cameras and handle sensitive information. In other words, professionals who cannot allow their images to be stolen or altered without their permission. We are talking about medical, military, police or even forensic uses, in which an image can be key in a judicial process. Thanks to this new technology, checking if a photo has been modified will be extremely easy.
Wasn’t the RAW useful for this?
To a certain extent, yes. RAW images generated by digital cameras are read-only files, and cannot be manipulated. A well-configured camera prints data such as the author or the date of creation in the RAW, and that image cannot be edited.
The only problem with RAW files is that they are raw images. When it comes to presenting them at a professional level, we will have to go through an image editing program. Therefore, unless we have the RAW to hand for comparison, it is difficult to detect manipulation in the final file. For this reason, in the most prestigious photography competitions, participating photographers are required to submit RAW files of their works. With this new technology, it will be possible to demonstrate the authenticity of an image whether or not it is in that format.