Compared to many other areas of technology, software security on cameras has lagged behind. But a new patent from Nikon could radically change the way that lenses and the camera interact, and could help crack down on stolen lenses. Spotted by Nikon Rumors, the patent is for a system that would require user authentication between a camera body and lens, arguably to stop stolen goods from being sold and used.
Ideally, you could imagine a system where you buy a Nikon lens, attach it to your camera, and set a passcode on it if you feel like it. That way if you want to keep it just for yourself you could, but if you loan it or sell it, you could either tell them the code or remove it entirely.
However, it could also be limiting for consumers if it was used to prevent access to resales and imports.
It seems odd that there hasn’t been much of an attempt to put basic software security on cameras before this. With the widespread inclusion of touchscreens on cameras, they would seem ripe for a cellphone style lockscreen with passcode, or even just punching in a code with a directional pad would work. It would seem a rather minimal step to make it a bit harder for a stolen camera to be re-used.
It’s the age-old debate over creativity and freedom vs. safety and security.