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What is EXIF Data?

EXIF Data or Exchangeable Image File Format Data refers to the information which is stored on a digital photo after a photograph is taken from a digital camera. For each shot, EXIF data examples, or the information recorded on a digital picture include the speed of the camera shutter, setting of the aperture, information about flash usage, ISO setting, the focal length of the lens, model of the camera, time and date and so on. After a photo shoot is complete and the photos are copied on to a computer, this data is also copied on as an intrinsic part of the image file. It is not unusual to find that older cameras display lesser EXIF information when it is viewed as compared to the newer digital cameras. This is because of the fact that older cameras stored lesser amount of information per image, but enough so as to cover the basic information about an image.

EXIF Metadata

The technical metadata of a digital photograph, also knows as EXIF Metadata is primarily embedded into two type of formats, viz. JPEG and TIFF. EXIF Metadata, apart from including the technical information of a digital pic, can also include thumbnails. The main source of EXIF Metadata is digital cameras, but it is also possible to find such information in the image files generated from scanner drivers. EXIF Metadata can act as an excellent teaching tool for the photographers. By analyzing the EXIF information of an image, photographers can improve their shooting techniques, and such data can also provide clarity on why certain images look better than other images. EXIF data also helps a photographer to understand the technical aspects incorporated in the art of photography, and gives on details such as the relation between field depth and aperture or the affect on image grain due to the camera ISO settings. The information such as date and time of the photographers helps one to make a collection and can easily act as diary representation of the way someone shoots. Various RAW file formats are available for storage of EXIF Metadata depending on the type of camera that has been used for shooting an image. Some EXIF data examples are as follows:

(i) Sony – ARW

(ii) Canon - CR2

(iii) Adobe - DNG

(iv) Nikon - NEF

(v) Olympus - ORF

What is EXIF Data?

EXIF Data or Exchangeable Image File Format Data refers to the information which is stored on a digital photo after a photograph is taken from a digital camera. For each shot, EXIF data examples, or the information recorded on a digital picture include the speed of the camera shutter, setting of the aperture, information about flash usage, ISO setting, the focal length of the lens, model of the camera, time and date and so on. After a photo shoot is complete and the photos are copied on to a computer, this data is also copied on as an intrinsic part of the image file. It is not unusual to find that older cameras display lesser EXIF information when it is viewed as compared to the newer digital cameras. This is because of the fact that older cameras stored lesser amount of information per image, but enough so as to cover the basic information about an image.

(vi) Pentax - PEF

(vii) Fuji - RAF

(viii) Panasonic - RW2

(ix) Sigma - X3F The EXIF information in the RAW file format is used for a more accurate rendering of images by the RAW file processing software tools. An example of such a latest technology is Exif 2.2 (also called “Exif Print”) and this is used to render fine quality photographs by incorporating the intentions of a photographer in final prints.

View EXIF Data using Exif viewer online

As highlighted earlier, information which is embedded in EXIF format is primarily stored in only a couple of image formats, and out of these two it is only the JPEG format which is web friendly. This would mean that EXIF data is not view-able from other formats such as Adobe Flash, GIF or PNG viewers etc. EXIF data adds on to the overall size of an image file, and for this reason some photographers choose their images of the EXIF data. EXIF information is also removed in many cases to enhance the security of the image files, and to protect a photographer from revealing their style of shooting. Just because an image file contains EXIF data in JPEG format, this does not mean that it can be easily viewed in a web browser for the simple reason that such information is embedded in the image and does not form a part of the actual image file. On a digital camera say Canon DSLR, if a photo is stored on the memory card of the camera, then the EXIF data can be viewed by navigating to the preview mode and clicking on the 'Info' button, which subsequently provides details about an image such as shutter speed, time and date of the image, aperture etc. There are many methods to view EXIF Data, and some of them are discussed below:

a) EXIF Viewers online:

1. Flickr – Flickr is an online web photo application which displays EXIF data of an image if it is available. A photographer can also choose to hide the EXIF information from public clicking on the 'Hide EXIF' option below an image. Also, the visbility of EXIF data can be hidden by updating the privacy settings on the Flickr platform.

2. Find Exif (Url: http://www.findexif.com/) - It is a free photo EXIF viewer online metadata reader. The online interface of this tool displays the location of the image on a Google Maps widget. This reader can only accept images that are hosted on the internet and have a Url, and does not accept images from storage drives.

3. VerExif (Url: http://www.verexif.com/en/) - It is a free online EXIF data viewer as well as remover. The website allows for uploading of images as well as posting Url for images which are available online, for viewing the data.

4. Metapicz (Url: http://metapicz.com/#landing) - It is a free online EXIF data viewer and allows for uploading of images as well as posting Url for images for viewing the data.

5. Exify - Firefox Addon – After a successful installation of Firefox browser, a freeware addon called Exify can be added to display essential information such as camera focal length, camera model, time of exposure and aperture size of the camera, when the photo is being moused over.

6. EXIF Viewer - Chrome Addon – It is a freeware Chrome extension for viewing EXIF data, wherein a user needs to just mouse over the image to view the EXIF data. This addon displays more imformation compared to the Exify Firefox addon, and can display EXIF data for both online images as well images sourced from storage drives.

b) EXIF Viewer Tools:

1. EXIF data On Windows platform can be viewed with the help of Windows Picture Viewer tool. For the image whose EXIF data needs to be seen, a user would have to right click on the image and select properties. On the top menu bar, the summary bar needs to be clicked which will usually display the EXIF data. If the EXIF data is not viewable, advanced button needs to be clicked. This would normally display all the information related to an image when it was taken.

2. Photoshop CS2 is a graphics editor tool which also helps to locate the EXIF data of an image. The File Browser feature of the Photoshop tool can enable a user to read the EXIF data once the File menu is clicked on the top toolbar and File Info option is selected.

3. Paint programs also enables user to view the EXIF data for an image.

4. There are many specialized tools for viewing EXIF data for images. The following is a brief overview of such tools:

(i) EXIF Reader – Image Data File Analysis (Url: http://www.takenet.or.jp/~ryuuji/minisoft/exifread/english/download.html) – It is a freeware EXIF data reader and EXIF editor tool for Windows platform. It can reveal EXIF metadata from images shot with cameras from the following vendors, Panasonic, Olumpus, Toshiba, Canon, Epson, Nikon, Kodak, Ricoh, Konica, Sanyo, Sony, Casio, Minolta, Fujifilm and Pentax.

(ii) PhotoToolCM – It is a freeware EXIF data reader and EXIF editor tool for Mac platform.

(iii) EXIFPro (Url: http://www.exifpro.com/) – It is a freeware EXIF data reader (registration is paid) for Windows platform, whose key feature involves renaming large number of pictures quickly.

(iv) Simple EXIF Viewer (Url: http://www.tucows.com/preview/1103787/Simple-EXIF-Viewer-For-Mac-OS-X) – It is a free EXIF data viewer for Mac platform, and is a small application with only reading capabilities. EXIF data editing cannot be accomplished with the tool and it is supported by Mac OS X 10.6+.

(v) FastStone Image Viewer (Url: http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDetail.htm) – It is a freeware EXIF data reader for Windows platform and cannot edit or remove EXIF data. A user can double click on a photo in the viewer to view at full screen, and subsequently move the cursor towards the right hand side of the screen in order to view the EXIF data, in case it is present.

Edit EXIF Data

(i) EXIF Data Viewer (Url: http://www.exifdataviewer.com/) - It is a freeware EXIF data reader as well as editor for Windows platform, and supports the 2.3 EXIF specification.

(ii) EXIF Pilot (Url: http://exif-pilot.soft112.com/) - It is a freeware EXIF data editor, creator, and reader for Windows platform, and also allows import & export of data from & to XML, CSV and Excel format.

(iii) WildBit Viewer (Url: http://www.wildbit-soft.fi/index.html) - It is a free EXIF metadata viewer, browser and editor for Windows platform, and can also add texts to images, play slideshows, resize images, rotate and crop images etc.

(iv) Exif Editor (Url: https://exifeditor.com/) - It is a freeware EXIF data editor, reader and remover for Mac platform, and also has the capability to display the image position on a map which can also be edited by moving the red pin location of the image. The exact GPS co-ordinates of an image can also be viewed from this tool, and it supports various RAW image formats apart from JPEG format.