01 January 2024

What is Camera / Lens EXIF Data?

Canon Camera / Lens EXIF Data

What is Camera / Lens EXIF Data?
From Canon's EOS Utility Software : Canon EXIF Data

EXIF = Exchangeable Image File Format Information (EXIF Data)

EXIF Data is the identification and listing of information metadata (exposure and other relevant settings) and its values -available for DSLR / Compact / Mirrorless Smartphone cameras before and / or after taking a photo. 

Generally found on your LCD screen viewing image detail or when downloaded in Canon's Digital Photo Professional / Adobe Lightroom (and other camera / editing software).

Basic camera and lens detail such as Camera Make / Model, Lens Type, Exposure, White Balance, File format and various other settings are included in the EXIF Data.

Before / after the shot
The image on the right is a Windows 7 screenshot from a Canon EOS 700D DSLR attached to the EOS Utility (via USB) - before a shot. The Canon camera was set to Av mode with a pre-set f/stop value of F4.5, ISO 200, AF (Auto-Focus), RAW, and Single Shot. The absence of the shutter speed is indicative that when in Av mode, the camera will select the shutter speed during the actual exposure - and will only be available as EXIF Data after the shot.

The bottom image is the EXIF data displayed after the shot settings (extracted from the Canon Digital Photo Professional post-processing software). Notice that the Shutter Speed is now included = (1/45) - The lens information - Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM is now also displayed (together with other useful information).

Adobe Lightroom Free Plugin to view Body / Lens EXIF Data
Adobe Lightroom Free Plugin to view Body / Lens EXIF Data

Exposure / EXIF Data
Exposure EXIF information is the result of the Exposure / Lens settings set by the photographer ie. in Manual / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority / Program Mode the photographer controls exposure settings such as Aperture / ISO / Shutter Speed.

What about EXIF Data in Auto Mode? Although the camera carries out all exposure decisions (except for lens focal length / zoom), all EXIF data will still be recorded and be available after the shot.

Basic camera and exposure info:- Camera / lens type ie. Photo taken with the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS at a focal length of 200mm.
  • Aperture - measuring the size of incoming light areas (f/stop) ie. f/5.6
  • ISO - light or image sensor sensitivity standard) ie ISO 100
  • Shutter speed - (measured in seconds) ie. 3 seconds or 1/1000's

What Is the Purpose of EXIF Data?
EXIF Data assists the photographer with specific exposure (ISO / Aperture / Shutter Speed) and other relevant information at the time of capturing an image. Viewing / comparing EXIF Data is valuable criteria / settings for 'image settings awareness' for learning and or improving similar captures.

Example of EXIF Data: Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
  • Focal Length (FL) 200mm
  • f/5.6 (Aperture)
  • ISO 200 (ISO)
  • 1/250s (Shutter speed)

What is Camera / Lens EXIF Data?

"EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data is a standard for storing metadata in image files captured by digital cameras, scanners, or other imaging devices. It contains a variety of information about the circumstances in which the image was taken, the camera settings, and other technical details related to the image.

Camera and lens EXIF data can include a wide range of information, such as:

1. Camera Make and Model: This identifies the manufacturer and the specific model of the camera used to capture the image.

2. Lens Information: Details about the lens attached to the camera, including the lens make and model, focal length, aperture, and in some cases, even the lens serial number.

3. Exposure Settings: Information about the camera settings at the time the image was taken, such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, and metering mode.

4. Date and Time: The date and time the image was captured.

5. Geolocation: If the device has GPS capabilities, the EXIF data may contain geographical coordinates, providing the exact location where the image was taken.

6. Camera Settings: Various settings used at the time of image capture, including shooting mode, white balance, focus distance, and more.

7. Image Parameters: Data about the image format, resolution, color space, and other technical aspects of the image file.

This metadata can be viewed using various software or tools that can read and display EXIF information. It's particularly useful for photographers to understand the settings used to capture an image, aiding in analyzing and improving their photography techniques. However, it's also important to note that this data can contain sensitive information, such as geolocation, which might raise privacy concerns when sharing images online. Therefore, it's often recommended to scrub or remove this data when sharing images on the internet." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

EXIF Data as displayed in the Canon's Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II RAW EXIF DATA (After the Exposure / Capture)

EXIF Data as displayed in the Canon's Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software (Canon EOS 7D Mark II):
EXF DATA : Canon Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software 

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