The Champion

July 2003 , Page 42 

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Reasons to challenge digital evidence and electronic photography

By Michael Cherry

Read more Informal Opinion columns.

If digital evidence can be incorrectly altered or enhanced1 by newly trained personnel, and digital cameras2 and printers3 are not equal to their film counterparts in quality and color, what does that say about the quality of today’s forensic evidence which is transitioning to digital?  

Examples of digital weaknesses include:  

  • Digital cameras do not accurately represent color. This can be important at a crime scene.  
  • Dye-sublimate digital printers can even confuse imaging experts. They cannot produce the highly accurate photographic images that film does, but their images appear to be photographs. They produce color and negative prints on photographic style paper that mimics the look and feel of photographs.  
  • In many instances, the digital printer used is not as accurate as the digital camera used, and therefore crime scene details and fingerprint minutiae is lost.  
  • Even unsophisticated image enhancements can render some crime scene details and fingerprint minutiae unprinta
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