Valuable exercise- have a go (free meta data viewer and editor tool)

Ever wanted to know more about what your CAMERA did to your photo? You know what YOU did but there was more?

There is the basic metadata (EXIF-Exchangeable image file format, IPTC-International Press Telecommunications Council) exposed through tools like Lightroom but there is more that can be accessed.

There is a free tool written by Phil Harvey that extracts a lot more detail than you would otherwise see. I have played with this tool over the past few years and it has kept up with new camera versions and been well supported. I wrote a tool once which imported my whole collection into a database to see what lens I should buy next based on how I shoot with what I have - fun

geekish approach!

If you download his Windows Executable from his website you can simply drag and drop an image onto the file once unzipped file: "exiftool(-k).exe" and it will open a MS-DOS shell listing all the values.

There is also a free GUI (interface) that uses Phil's backend so you do not need to know the commandlines. Check out website

It is an incredibly powerful tool that can do so much if you are command line capable. Have a look at this website it really is worthwhile.

I have included a list of variables it reported on a JPEG file from a Canon MarkII.

There are so many interesting parameters to view and help you understand what the camera is doing. It has helped me to understand what features of my camera I need to learn about.

I'd love to run the Dreamstime catalogue through a tool like this to understand the lenses people are using for what subject. There would be such a gold mine of information.

I would be interested in any other free tools that others use to organise or process any files.

Tags listed from Canon MKII image:

ExifTool Version Number

File Name


File Size

File Modification Date/Time

File Permissions

File Type


Exif Byte Order


Camera Model Name


X Resolution

Y Resolution

Resolution Unit


Modify Date


Y Cb Cr Positioning


Exposure Time

F Number


Exif Version

Date/Time Original

Create Date

Components Configuration

Shutter Speed Value

Aperture Value


Focal Length


Macro Mode

Self Timer


Canon Flash Mode

Continuous Drive

Focus Mode

Canon Image Size

Easy Mode

Digital Zoom



Camera ISO

Metering Mode

Focus Range

Canon Exposure Mode

Lens Type

Long Focal

Short Focal

Focal Units

Max Aperture

Min Aperture

Flash Bits

Zoom Source Width

Zoom Target Width

Manual Flash Output

Color Tone

SRAW Quality

Auto ISO

Base ISO

Measured EV

Target Aperture

Target Exposure Time

Exposure Compensation

White Balance

Slow Shutter

Shot Number In Continuous Burst

Optical Zoom Code

Flash Guide Number

Flash Exposure Compensation

Auto Exposure Bracketing

AEB Bracket Value

Control Mode

Bulb Duration

Camera Type

ND Filter

Canon Image Type

Canon Firmware Version

File Number

Owner Name

Camera Body No.

Canon Model ID

Serial Number Format

AF Area Mode

Num AF Points

Valid AF Points

Canon Image Width

Canon Image Height

AF Image Width

AF Image Height

AF Area Widths

AF Area Heights

AF Area X Positions

AF Area Y Positions

AF Points In Focus

AF Points Selected

Bracket Mode

Bracket Value

Bracket Shot Number

Raw Jpg Size

Long Exposure Noise Reduction 2

WB Bracket Mode

WB Bracket Value AB

WB Bracket Value GM

Live View Shooting

Flash Exposure Lock

Lens Model

Internal Serial Number

Exposure Level Increments

ISO Speed Increments

ISO Expansion

AEB Auto Cancel

AEB Sequence

Safety Shift

Flash Sync Speed Av

Long Exposure Noise Reduction

High ISO Noise Reduction

Highlight Tone Priority

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Lens Drive No AF

Lens AF Stop Button

AF Point Selection Method

Superimposed Display

AF Assist Beam

Mirror Lockup

AF Point Area Expansion

AF Microadjustment

Shutter Button AF On Button

AF On AE Lock Button Switch

Set Button When Shooting

Dial Direction Tv Av

Focusing Screen

Add Original Decision Data

Assign Func Button

Tone Curve


Sharpness Frequency

Sensor Red Level

Sensor Blue Level

White Balance Red

White Balance Blue

Color Temperature

Picture Style

Digital Gain

WB Shift AB

WB Shift GM

Measured RGGB

Sensor Width

Sensor Height

Sensor Left Border

Sensor Top Border

Sensor Right Border

Sensor Bottom Border

Black Mask Left Border

Black Mask Top Border

Black Mask Right Border

Black Mask Bottom Border

Color Data Version

WB RGGB Levels As Shot

Color Temp As Shot

WB RGGB Levels Auto

Color Temp Auto

WB RGGB Levels Measured

Color Temp Measured

WB RGGB Levels Daylight

Color Temp Daylight

WB RGGB Levels Shade

Color Temp Shade

WB RGGB Levels Cloudy

Color Temp Cloudy

WB RGGB Levels Tungsten

Color Temp Tungsten

WB RGGB Levels Fluorescent

Color Temp Fluorescent

WB RGGB Levels Kelvin

Color Temp Kelvin

WB RGGB Levels Flash

Color Temp Flash

Raw Measured RGGB

AF Micro Adj Active

AF Micro Adj Value

Peripheral Lighting

Peripheral Lighting Value

Original Image Width

Original Image Height

User Comment

Flashpix Version

Color Space

Exif Image Width

Exif Image Height

Interoperability Index

Interoperability Version

Related Image Width

Related Image Height

Focal Plane X Resolution

Focal Plane Y Resolution

Focal Plane Resolution Unit

Custom Rendered

Exposure Mode

Scene Capture Type

Offset Schema

GPS Version ID



Thumbnail Offset

Thumbnail Length

Profile CMM Type

Profile Version

Profile Class

Color Space Data

Profile Connection Space

Profile Date Time

Profile File Signature

Primary Platform

CMM Flags

Device Manufacturer

Device Model

Device Attributes

Rendering Intent

Connection Space Illuminant

Profile Creator

Profile ID

Red Tone Reproduction Curve

Green Tone Reproduction Curve

Blue Tone Reproduction Curve

Red Matrix Column

Green Matrix Column

Blue Matrix Column

Chromatic Adaptation

Profile Copyright

Device Mfg Desc

Device Model Desc

Media White Point


Profile Description





Current IPTC Digest


Country-Primary Location Name


Originating Program

Image Width

Image Height

Encoding Process

Bits Per Sample

Color Components

Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling


Drive Mode

GPS Latitude

GPS Latitude Ref

GPS Longitude

GPS Longitude Ref

GPS Position

Image Size


Lens ID

Scale Factor To 35 mm Equivalent

Shooting Mode

Shutter Speed

Thumbnail Image

WB RGGB Levels

Blue Balance

Circle Of Confusion

Field Of View

Focal Length

Hyperfocal Distance


Light Value

Red Balance

Photo credits: Bevanward.

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August 11, 2019


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January 20, 2012


DF/Tools has an inexpensive utility for viewing/editing/deleting all metadata in a photograph. It's expecially great for keywords.

August 28, 2010


Hi Gavril
Circle of Confusion is a really useful for working out what F to use. Have a look at the website CoC. Once you know what this is for your camera you can create a depth of field calculator - have a look at this website DOF calculator

August 28, 2010


That's a lot of information, really impressive, I wonder what the "Circle Of Confusion" means.

You can view some of these in Photoshop itself, and even add keywords and other user data.

August 27, 2010


Thank you very much for pointing to this tool. I never heard of it! For the past 5 years, I have been using Irfanview and found Exifer (that isn't developed any more) a bit buggy. Of course there is the "Microsoft Pro Photo Tools" too. The guy really did a great job! Also the GUI developer.

As for EXIF, I never felt the urge touching it, but IPTC is another cup of tea.
A big "useful" for this post. I almost missed it since the title of the post is a bit misleading. ;-)

August 27, 2010


exiftool exists for Linux, too.

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