You may have heard the term EXIF data before or you may have not.  The reality is that this information is really important and you may not realize that you are even capturing it.  The entire process of capturing and including EXIF data is automated by the camera, but the information is there for the viewing.  The data inlcudes valuable information about each shot that was taken including date time and other pertinent information.  Read on for more information about it.

EXIF stands for "Exchangable Image Format".  It is a standard for how extra data is attached to a given JPEG or RAW file.  All typical image editing programs can read and display this data.  Windows Explorer can access the information as well.  Here is a screen shot from Windows Explorer.  To access the data in explorer, right click on the image, choose "properties", then click on the "summary" tab and choose "Advanced >>":

As you can see from the screenshot, there is a ton of useful data captured.  Here are some of the more important pieces of information:

  • Date and Time — This is obvious and typically the most useful.  Now you can track when you took the picture.  Remember, the data is gathered from the camera so you must make sure that the camera’s date and time are set properly.
  • Type of Camera — If you have more than one, you can easily track which camera took which picture
  • Shooting settings — There are many of these included such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, camera mode and some others.  This data is valuable because you can now review all pictures in the context of these settings and so if a picture did not turn out the way you wanted it, this information may provide a clue to help you better understand why the problem came about.

In short, EXIF data is valuable and is often overlooked.   You should always remember this valuable information since it can you help you better understand the details of your pictures.

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