Rob Dunlop, creative director and brains behind PrettyInWhite.com, just posted an interesting and also somewhat humorous account of his purchase of a Canon 5d Mark III through DigitalRev.com. Rob, spurred on by a series of bizarre coincidences, ended up doing some research on his new camera, only to find that it had not only been used, but used somewhat extensively by DigitalRev to create a review.
Rob, excited to get his hands on a new release, ordered the Canon 5d Mark III through DigitalRev (yep, that DigitalRev, beloved by everyone for their humorous, candid reviews) a few months ago, and immediately noticed a few things wrong with his purchase. The body came in a box that was designated for a camera and a lens, and the body had somehow been used to take roughly 60 images. While not an exorbitant number of pictures, Rob notes that it was a bit fishy, but chalked it up to Canon perhaps testing the body before sending it over to be sold, which would be a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Not really thinking too much of it, Rob continued on his merry way for a few months. It was just recently, however, that he discovered the website www.stolencamerafinder.com, which allows you to input your camera's serial number in order to prevent and track occurrences of theft. StolenCameraFinder works by comparing the serial number in your cameras metadata with other images on the internet, and if a positive match is found, it will notify you of where that image is located.
Just looking to kill some time, Rob punched his cameras' serial numbers into the website. On his first camera, there was no fuss. But his second camera's serial number came back with, strangely, one positive match. Which was, lo and behold, a shot taken by Kai of DigitalRev while putting together their 5d Mark III video review. Check out these action shots of Rob's 5d Mark III being used around the streets of Hong Kong with the protective LCD cover still on the camera:
Rob started to piece together the puzzle, and before long, he knew more than he ever wanted about his camera's previous owner, including its 'history' of being used in the rain, being far too close to private parts, and the specific scenes that it was used to shoot and film.
To check out the entire exposé, which is rather humorously put together, head over to Rob's blog, which can be found here. We are eagerly awaiting a response from DigitalRev regarding this whole situation, and will update the post as soon as we learn more.