Lexar announced their LockTight technology back in February. LockTight is essentially an encryption and access control system which ensures that 'locked' CompactFlash cards can not be used in unauthorized cameras or read by unauthorized users on any computer but your own (and with the correct username and password). We've had an opportunity to test a Beta version of the LockTight software, card and card reader with our review Nikon D2X. UPDATE: We have received a clarification about how exactly the encryption is carried out. (2nd update)
There are four main components to to Lexar's LockTight technology. The first is the card itself, which appears to be a fairly typical Lexar Professional series high speed (80x) Type I CF card except for the LockTight logo (initially available in 512 MB and 2 GB capacities). Next is the card reader, Lexar's new Professional high-speed Firewire reader which supports both LockTight and Active Memory (AMS). The third component is the camera, for now only Nikon D2X and D2Hs digital SLR's support LockTight but clearly Lexar's hope is for wider support in the future.The fourth and last component is the software, this is made up of the Admin application (for protecting and assign permissions) and the Access utility (for enabling access to the card on the desktop). Note: this article is based on a Beta verision of the Mac (OS X) software.
Lexar has provided us with the following explanation as to how data is protected on the LockTight cards: (we understand that the encryption is carried out on the communications layer between the card and camera/computer rather than the data itself).
“Lexar employs a unique strategy to protect data on LockTight cards. LockTight cards are always “locked”. In other words no computer or camera can read or write data from/to a LockTight card until a critical authorization process takes place between the LockTight card and the host computer or host camera. This authorization process is where the 160-bit HMAC SHA-1 hash algorithm is employed.”
The Admin application allows you to manage your database of cards, users and cameras as well as actually setting or removing protection for a card. The application itself is protect from unauthorized use by an administrator login and password which is assigned upon first use, you can have multiple administrators. Each LockTight card is entered into your database by simply inserting it with LockTight Admin running, upon first insertion the card is identified and you are prompted to attach a description to it.
The next step is to create users, each user has a name, userid and password.
The next step is to add your camera, with LockTight Admin running you need to connect the camera in Mass Storage USB mode. The camera is immediately identified by Admin and you are asked to attach a description.
Finally we can assign permissions to this card, this is a simple case of drag and drop. Just select the users you wish to have permission to the card and drop them into the Users section of the card list, again the same is done for the camera. Hence the card shown below can be read by Phil or Simon (in the Lexar card reader) and can only be used in the 'dpreview.com D2X'.
Finally if you wish to remove LockTight protection from a card simply drag the card to the Trash Can icon in the bottom right corner, the Admin utility warns you that the card will now be securely formatted and all data permanently lost. After this has executed the card acts like a normal CF and can be accessed again in all cameras and readers.
The Access utility is the 'key' which opens protected cards. Run LockTight Access then insert a protected card and you are prompted for a username and password to enable access to the card. Once this had been entered correctly the card operates just like any other removable device.
How well protected? / Conclusions
As you may expect attempting to use a protected card in another camera displays either a 'Not Formatted' or 'Card Error' warning. Attempting to format the card in a different camera (a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II) fails with a 'Cannot Format' error, returning the card back to its assigned D2X showed that no images had been lost or damaged. Attempting to read the card in another card reader or on another computer using the Lexar card reader also failed to work, Windows didn't even register that a card had been inserted.
So it's clear that the Lexar LockTight technology really does work. For the extra peace of mind and security it can provide LockTight does exactly as intended. It's a shame that for now it's limited only to Nikon's D2X and D2Hs digital SLR's, its wider use depends largely on the devices which support it.
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more