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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Photo transfer software - safe or unsafe?
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09/19/2006 01:35:51 PM · #1
Post your findings on software you use to transfer pics from your camera/card to your computer. Is it EXIF-safe or unsafe?

Perhaps some SC could start us out by giving tips to the unwashed masses - how can you tell if a photo's EXIF has been unsafely modified by the transfer software?
09/19/2006 01:39:29 PM · #2
Originally posted by strangeghost:

- how can you tell if a photo's EXIF has been unsafely modified by the transfer software?


Not SC, but from what I know the software name will be in the EXIF if the software modified it.
09/19/2006 01:56:18 PM · #3
Canon Camera Window seems to be safe...

09/19/2006 01:59:52 PM · #4
OK, I will repeat my post in the other thread. I think this issue needs an Official word.

I was wondering about this myself, although I haven't had an entry sent for validation DQed.

I use Nikon View to transfer the NEF (RAW) files from my card to computer. It always adds the information that it is the editor, even though no edits are performed nor can a NEF image be edited anyway! The dates are not changed.

It appears that this is OK since it passes validation. However I perform RAW processing in Nikon Capture and will save the RAW file (with the editing information but, of course, an intact image) under a new name for fear that if I submit that RAW file it would be DQed.

But is that the case? Since the original image is intact, as well as the date stamp, at least the intent of the rule about the original is honored. Shouldn't all RAW files, at least the way Nikon software is handling it, be valid? I assume other cameras and other converters work the same way, never altering the RAW image or the other photo information.

*****

I will add that for the "straight from the camera" challenge, I copied the file using the OS since I didn't want the JPEG to have an editor field in the EXIF other than the camera.

09/19/2006 02:00:08 PM · #5
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Originally posted by ltlmschrisss:

I use a card reader to transfer my files on my Mac. But usually IPhoto comes up and I tranfer using that. Is IPhoto safe?

iPhoto is completely safe - it never modifies an original in any way. If you edit or rotate a file, "revert to original" under the Photo menu (I think) takes you right back to the camera original.


This is not actually always true. We have had occasions where it would place a Quicktime tag in the EXIF, therefor not making it a valid original.
09/19/2006 02:06:41 PM · #6
I personally just use windows to move the files from the card to my laptop.
09/19/2006 02:07:11 PM · #7
Adobe bridge ok?
09/19/2006 02:14:38 PM · #8
Originally posted by cryingdragon:

I personally just use windows to move the files from the card to my laptop.

Yep. Works for me too. ;^)
09/19/2006 02:16:58 PM · #9
I've been using the SanDisk TransferMate software that came with my reader, let's me do the push-the-button-get-the-shots thing. I have looked a couple of times, and have never seen any sign of alteration to the EXIF.

Of course, if someone knows otherwise, let me know, before I get myself in trouble saying this is a safe way to transfer.
09/19/2006 02:17:16 PM · #10
Either through a direct connection from camera to computer or through a card reader, plain old standard operating system file copying to your computer is always 100% safe.
09/19/2006 02:26:27 PM · #11
My connects to the PC like a removeable disk, so I just copy the files over manually.
09/19/2006 02:29:16 PM · #12
I view my RAW files with DPP. Once I've gone through them and decided which ones I want to keep, I copy them right off the card into a folder where I store all my RAW files. When I get ready to edit them I go to that file and get'em.
09/19/2006 02:39:35 PM · #13
Originally posted by liltritter:

Adobe bridge ok?


Make sure it's set to store RAW conversions as .XMP files if you shoot in RAW, otherwise I believe it stores the conversion data in the EXIF.
09/19/2006 02:43:32 PM · #14
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Post your findings on software you use to transfer pics from your camera/card to your computer. Is it EXIF-safe or unsafe?

Perhaps some SC could start us out by giving tips to the unwashed masses - how can you tell if a photo's EXIF has been unsafely modified by the transfer software?


Great idea, but we may also want to include which version and OS we are using.
09/19/2006 02:48:26 PM · #15
Originally posted by Konador:


re: iPhoto

This is not actually always true. We have had occasions where it would place a Quicktime tag in the EXIF, therefor not making it a valid original.

I've never heard anything about this. I'm basing my experience on having submitted multiple photos for validation that have all been moved to disk via iPhoto and have never had an issue.

This probably underscores the difficulty of doing any type of standardized testing with any software. How to ensure people are all testing the same way??
09/19/2006 02:52:54 PM · #16
Perhaps it is when people open the files from the card in iPhoto, then proceed to export them from iPhoto onto their hard drive. Is that slightly different from your method?
09/19/2006 03:11:00 PM · #17
Originally posted by Konador:

Perhaps it is when people open the files from the card in iPhoto, then proceed to export them from iPhoto onto their hard drive. Is that slightly different from your method?

I don't know if iPhoto can open pictures directly from a card. In my experience, iPhoto must first transfer photos to its library before it can display them. This is what it offers to do as soon as you connect a camera or insert a card. Once the photo is in the library, you can edit it, export, etc. You can aways select "revert to original" and that is what I do, then drag it to the deskop (which creates a copy on the desktop - same as exporting) and then upload that as an original for validation. I'd be curious to see what other Mac usering iPhoto folks do when submitting a file for validation, especially the one who had a quicktime tag fouling the exif.
09/19/2006 03:28:51 PM · #18
I've been using Adobe Photoshop Elements (actually the Photoshop Album part of it) to transfert my pictures and to sort them. As far as I know, if you don't rotate or edit inside Photoshop Album or Element, the original stays intact. I do all processing into PSCS and when I close the picture in CS it makes a copy in Elements/Album. The original is still there untouched. I had a picture up for validation and it did pass.
09/19/2006 04:00:04 PM · #19
So, from the other thread, can anyone confirm if Canon EOS utility is ok?
09/19/2006 06:40:40 PM · #20
Breezesys Downloader Pro is okay, so is Digital Image Mover
09/20/2006 12:32:44 AM · #21
From reading some of the other replies it appears that there are no simple answers. Some software works some of the time, and sometimes not, with no apparent reason for the difference. I'm doing the CF card to HD transfer via OS right now. It's assinine to have to do this when the nikon software automates the process and I don't have to create directories by hand. Seems to be a step back in technology.
;)
09/20/2006 12:41:40 AM · #22
Copy and paste from card reader with Windows XP,open with RAW Essentials, and convert into TIFF (EXIF intact feature) into Photoshop 7, save for web then uploaded to challenge.
09/20/2006 09:12:34 AM · #23
What I think would be very helpful, is if we had some idea how to look at the EXIF and note immediately if there is a problem. In my case, I use PSCS and iPhoto to get info from EXIF, but niether of those applications reads out the entire contents of the EXIF (well, technically, I think PSCS will show this if I want it to).

Without having the SC reveal any of their secrets, can they recommend a simple way for the average user to "test" their original to make sure it hasn't mistakenly been modified by transfer software (or some other thing)?

I checked out a few EXIF reader programs last night, but didn't really have time to look them over in any detail. I also recall reading something recently about new technology for digital cameras that can prove originality and validate digital images for use in, for example, courts of law. Could be a boon to DPC??

Message edited by author 2006-09-20 09:16:35.
09/20/2006 12:34:44 PM · #24
CANON EXIF info:

Ok, I called Canon just to find out for sure!! (Sorry guys, don't have any info on the other software.)

Canon DPP, EOS Capture, ZoomBrowser, all Canon software...ALL DO NOT CHANGE THE EXIF FILE when you view, dowload or edit your photos! Straight from the Canon's mouth. AND you can always resort to "original shot settings" at any time. The original file (whether RAW or JPEG) is never overwritten. Markers are added for the modifications, but the original is always there. PER CANON. :)

Canon USA - 1-800-828-4040 Hope this helps a little.

Note: Check the Canon download page as they have added new software versions in September for some cameras.

Message edited by author 2006-09-20 21:02:22.
09/20/2006 12:44:48 PM · #25
Originally posted by bergiekat:

Canon DPP, EOS Capture, ZoomBrowser ALL DO NOT CHANGE THE EXIF FILE when you view your photos!


Viewing is very different than downloading from card/camera to computer. If you use ZB to download, does it add or modify and EXIF attributes?

Just curious...

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