About Digital Camera Picture Files & EXIF

What is EXIF?

EXIF if a standard meta-data format for digital camera pictures. The standard is supported by virtually all of the big players in the digital camera market, including Canon, Fujifilm, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Ricoh, Sanyo and Sony.

The pictures taken by EXIF compliant cameras in addition to the picture information also contain information about the picture (i.e. "meta-data"). This information typically includes:

  • the date and time the picture was taken
  • the make of the camera
  • the model of the camera
  • information about the exposure time, aperture opening, whether or not a flash was used...
  • various camera-specific data

Recent versions of A Better Finder Attributes can read EXIF data from JPEG and most RAW digital camera standards.

The reading feature depends on Mac OS X's own compatibility with those formats. A full list of formats supported by Lion is available on Apple's website.

A Better Finder Attributes also supports the writing of the EXIF timestamp in:

  • JPEG digital photo files (as long as they already contain EXIF information)
  • Canon CR2, CRW and CIFF RAW formats
  • Nikon NEF
  • Sony ARF

Why should I care?

A Better Finder Attributes currently only exploits the creation date and time of EXIF pictures.

The photo files imported from your digital camera (depending on the software you use and the camera manufacturer) often have their creation time set to a different time than the picture was actually shot.

This can be very annoying when handling files in the Finder or in other applications.

You can use the "Copy RAW or JPEG EXIF timestamp to creation date" action to set your files' creation dates so that they sort properly in the Finder.

A Better Finder Attributes also allows you to set the EXIF timestamp in the supported formats to anything you lie by using the "Set EXIF timestamp" action.

More commonly, you will use the "Adjust EXIF timestamp" action to add or subtract time from a series of photos. This is especially useful when for correcting the timestamps of a series of photos that were taken with a camera whose clock was set incorrectly.