Use Your Camera's Zoom To Find Lost Objects

The high resolution of modern cameras doesn't just mean you can take great shots easily. It can also be useful if you're trying to find a small object you've dropped on the ground.

Reader Joe wrote in with this handy hint:

Recently I dropped a very small part into the gravel while working on my sailboat. Couldn't see the silver part in the grey gravel with the naked eye. Went indoors to get my camera and took a photo of the area where it fell. Then I was able to zoom in on the image and soon found the lost shackle pin.

It's a clever idea, and an easy one to implement given the ubiquity of camera-equipped smartphones. Thanks Joe!


    Could see the value if you can't hang around long to look for it and were unsuccessful when searching the traditional way.
    Could then continue searching via image later.

    One of the diamonds in my wife's engagement ring fell out (twice!) on our floor at home. I waited until evening and then used a torch to highlight spots where I thought it was most likely to be and bingo - found it.

    It helped that it was shiny, but focusing your search on a particular spot also helps.

    It's not a bad idea, especially if you're losing light, but if it's the middle of the day, I think it'd be faster just to get the rake and go over the area, vs getting camera, taking photo, importing to PC, then sitting in front of pc zooming in on photo.

      Not necessarily.. most cameras have a zoom function so you can take your photo, and then zoom in on the spot..

        And how big is your camera's screen? And are you going to do this at day time? You'll need a dark place to be able to see the screen, that or stick your jacket over your head and the camera.

        I have a good camera so I know. Sure you can zoom in on the screen and scroll around, but it's 50/50 whether it'll be faster than just looking.

        Me personally, I'd be grabbing the rake or just being methodical with my looking. I think it'd be quicker and easier.

          A rake may have buried it. It was a tiny object. The camera allowed me to find an important part quickly without grovelling in the dirt. The camera in my mobile phone would also have worked.

          If you have excellent eyesight and good knees, you could possibly have solved the problem without technical support. I shared this strategy to help people like me.

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