The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 November 2007

Maybe even ten thousand words

The Professor gave it one line: "You may not know it, but your digital camera produces hidden data."

I knew some of this. When I'm running an Explorer window on my directory of digital-camera shots, the status bar dutifully reports something like this:

Dimensions: 2048 x 1360 Date Picture Taken: 7/17/07 12:04 PM Camera Model: DMC-LZ3 Type: JPEG Size: 637 KB

Until I followed this link, though, I had no idea just how much data could be read from this file. Some items of interest:

  • Lens: 6.1mm (35mm film equivalent: 38mm) (Max aperture f/2.8)
  • Exposure: Auto exposure, Program AE, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 80
  • Flash: Auto, Did not fire
  • Focus: Auto, with image stabilizer (Mode 1)

And that's just the beginning. It occurs to me that I should let you see this for yourself, so here's the photo in question. (Warning: it's huge.)

Posted at 7:42 AM to PEBKAC

Why is he making standard EXIF data sound so ominous?

Posted by: michele at 10:01 AM on 8 November 2007

Well, it is standard, and has been for some time, but obviously not everyone knows about it. And while most of us don't give a particular damn — I mean, hell, we're on the Internet, and by now they can tell if we're dogs or not — no doubt there's someone out there who will go into paroxysms upon these revelations, and who am I to deny him his sorrow and pain?

Posted by: CGHill at 10:07 AM on 8 November 2007

It may be standard, but it's definitely hidden, like all metadata. I sure wasn't aware of it until I started using Flickr.

Posted by: CT at 11:04 AM on 8 November 2007
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