Author Topic: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files  (Read 8030 times)

Offline lsquare

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« on: February 15, 2010, 08:27:57 PM »
This post will pertain to Photo Mechanic 4.6.3 and Windows Vista and Windows 7 Ultimate Editions.

So I read a lot of good stuff about Photo Mechanics and how a lot of photojournalists are using this program. This is the reason why I want to try out the product especially after I read the DAM Book by Peter Krogh.

Can PM edit the EXIF in CR2 and NEF files in a standard compliant way? The reason why I ask is because in a book I read not too long ago that some of the changes made by PM are not recognized by Adobe products like Bridge and LR 2. Is this true? Are there any risks from using PM to make changes to the EXIF that will corrupt the photos?

Can PM add captions, GPS data from GPX logs, change capture time, add username to the owner's make field, and still have other products like Adobe Bridge and LR 2 recognize it? Are all of the changes saved to the metadata of the CR2 and NEF files or it'll create a XMP sidecar file? For convenience and practicality reasons, I'm looking for a solution that will embed the changes to the containers and not have separate sidecar files.

What should I avoid doing that's not consider standard compliant?

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 21909
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 09:11:44 PM »
This post will pertain to Photo Mechanic 4.6.3 and Windows Vista and Windows 7 Ultimate Editions.

So I read a lot of good stuff about Photo Mechanics and how a lot of photojournalists are using this program. This is the reason why I want to try out the product especially after I read the DAM Book by Peter Krogh.

Can PM edit the EXIF in CR2 and NEF files in a standard compliant way?

Not all EXIF information is editable (and shouldn't be edited).

Quote from: lsquare
The reason why I ask is because in a book I read not too long ago that some of the changes made by PM are not recognized by Adobe products like Bridge and LR 2. Is this true? Are there any risks from using PM to make changes to the EXIF that will corrupt the photos?

Adobe products prefer to read a shadowed copy of the EXIF data from XMP if present.  PM does not update all XMP-EXIF data.  Dates and times are reflected in the XMP-EXIF, but you can rest assured that the real EXIF data is updated.

Quote from: lsquare
Can PM add captions, GPS data from GPX logs, change capture time, add username to the owner's make field, and still have other products like Adobe Bridge and LR 2 recognize it?

Captions are never stored in EXIF, but instead are stored in IPTC or XMP.  And PM does this very well.
GPS data is stored in EXIF and XMP and PM does this very well.  GPX log files are supported in PM.
Capture time is stored in EXIF and XMP-EXIF and PM does this very well.
Photo Mechanic does not edit the EXIF owner name nor does it edit the EXIF description tag.

Quote from: lsquare
Are all of the changes saved to the metadata of the CR2 and NEF files or it'll create a XMP sidecar file?

Photo Mechanic can be configured to work in a variety of ways.  It is by far the most flexible application out there in this regard.

Quote from: lsquare
For convenience and practicality reasons, I'm looking for a solution that will embed the changes to the containers and not have separate sidecar files.

If you embed XMP into RAW files you will definitely have problems using Adobe applications since all versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom have problems with embedded XMP metadata and RAW files.

Quote from: lsquare
What should I avoid doing that's not consider standard compliant?

Mainly if you're going to use Adobe products then instruct PM not to modify RAW files and adopt an XMP-sidecar file workflow.

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline lsquare

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 12:38:08 AM »
This post will pertain to Photo Mechanic 4.6.3 and Windows Vista and Windows 7 Ultimate Editions.

So I read a lot of good stuff about Photo Mechanics and how a lot of photojournalists are using this program. This is the reason why I want to try out the product especially after I read the DAM Book by Peter Krogh.

Can PM edit the EXIF in CR2 and NEF files in a standard compliant way?

Not all EXIF information is editable (and shouldn't be edited).

Quote from: lsquare
The reason why I ask is because in a book I read not too long ago that some of the changes made by PM are not recognized by Adobe products like Bridge and LR 2. Is this true? Are there any risks from using PM to make changes to the EXIF that will corrupt the photos?

Adobe products prefer to read a shadowed copy of the EXIF data from XMP if present.  PM does not update all XMP-EXIF data.  Dates and times are reflected in the XMP-EXIF, but you can rest assured that the real EXIF data is updated.

Quote from: lsquare
Can PM add captions, GPS data from GPX logs, change capture time, add username to the owner's make field, and still have other products like Adobe Bridge and LR 2 recognize it?

Captions are never stored in EXIF, but instead are stored in IPTC or XMP.  And PM does this very well.
GPS data is stored in EXIF and XMP and PM does this very well.  GPX log files are supported in PM.
Capture time is stored in EXIF and XMP-EXIF and PM does this very well.
Photo Mechanic does not edit the EXIF owner name nor does it edit the EXIF description tag.

Quote from: lsquare
Are all of the changes saved to the metadata of the CR2 and NEF files or it'll create a XMP sidecar file?

Photo Mechanic can be configured to work in a variety of ways.  It is by far the most flexible application out there in this regard.

Quote from: lsquare
For convenience and practicality reasons, I'm looking for a solution that will embed the changes to the containers and not have separate sidecar files.

If you embed XMP into RAW files you will definitely have problems using Adobe applications since all versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom have problems with embedded XMP metadata and RAW files.

Quote from: lsquare
What should I avoid doing that's not consider standard compliant?

Mainly if you're going to use Adobe products then instruct PM not to modify RAW files and adopt an XMP-sidecar file workflow.

HTH,

-Kirk


Thanks a lot for the response Kirk. I understand that not all EXIF information is editable. However, can PM adjust the capture time on my NEFs without resorting to creating XMP sidecar files? The reason why the capture time wasn't set correctly was because I set it to match UTC time to make it easier for geotagging once I got home. Now, I want to change the capture time so that I don't forget that the actual capture time is different.

Basically when it comes to the captions, GPS, keywords, and other data that's stored in either the Exif or IPTC, can I get the data to be embedded into the header of the NEF or CR2 files instead of creating XMP sidecar files? I'm really against creating XMP sidecar files. If PM can embed the data, will Adobe products recognize the updated information or not? Would you recommend that I go down that route?

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 21909
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 01:24:44 AM »
Thanks a lot for the response Kirk. I understand that not all EXIF information is editable. However, can PM adjust the capture time on my NEFs without resorting to creating XMP sidecar files?

Yes, it can.

Quote from: lsquare
The reason why the capture time wasn't set correctly was because I set it to match UTC time to make it easier for geotagging once I got home. Now, I want to change the capture time so that I don't forget that the actual capture time is different.

Basically when it comes to the captions, GPS, keywords, and other data that's stored in either the Exif or IPTC, can I get the data to be embedded into the header of the NEF or CR2 files instead of creating XMP sidecar files? I'm really against creating XMP sidecar files. If PM can embed the data, will Adobe products recognize the updated information or not? Would you recommend that I go down that route?

Yes, Adobe's products will see the changes, but you'll have trouble later when you use their products to make adjustments to your RAW files.  Using XMP sidecar files is pretty much the only way to work with Adobe products.

The reason for this issue is that while Adobe's products can read embedded XMP, they don't update it and the XMP sidecar and the embedded XMP get out of sync.  Then when you view the RAW file later, their products prefer the stale embedded data over that of the updated XMP sidecar files and it will appear that your adjustments have been lost.  With clever updating in PM you can get PM to resynchronize the embedded data with the updated XMP sidecar file, but I think it is a hassle that you would soon tire of.

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline lsquare

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 03:01:18 AM »
Thanks a lot for the response Kirk. I understand that not all EXIF information is editable. However, can PM adjust the capture time on my NEFs without resorting to creating XMP sidecar files?

Yes, it can.

Quote from: lsquare
The reason why the capture time wasn't set correctly was because I set it to match UTC time to make it easier for geotagging once I got home. Now, I want to change the capture time so that I don't forget that the actual capture time is different.

Basically when it comes to the captions, GPS, keywords, and other data that's stored in either the Exif or IPTC, can I get the data to be embedded into the header of the NEF or CR2 files instead of creating XMP sidecar files? I'm really against creating XMP sidecar files. If PM can embed the data, will Adobe products recognize the updated information or not? Would you recommend that I go down that route?

Yes, Adobe's products will see the changes, but you'll have trouble later when you use their products to make adjustments to your RAW files.  Using XMP sidecar files is pretty much the only way to work with Adobe products.

The reason for this issue is that while Adobe's products can read embedded XMP, they don't update it and the XMP sidecar and the embedded XMP get out of sync.  Then when you view the RAW file later, their products prefer the stale embedded data over that of the updated XMP sidecar files and it will appear that your adjustments have been lost.  With clever updating in PM you can get PM to resynchronize the embedded data with the updated XMP sidecar file, but I think it is a hassle that you would soon tire of.

HTH,

-Kirk


Thanks Kirk,

That's not what I was expecting you to say, but I rather not make my life harder further down the road.

Would you recommend that I change the capture time by updating the metadata of the CR2 and NEF files? Or I'm better off creating XMP sidecar files even for changing the capture time?

What about adding my name to the owner's field? IIRC, it's the XMP creator field? Are there any other things that I can change without resorting to creating XMP sidecar files. I'm not sure if you get my view here, but I find the addition of XMP creation files to be a bit of a nuissance.

Do most PM users create XMP sidecar files to work with Adobe products?

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 21909
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Editing Metadata / Changing IPTC of CR2 and NEF files
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 06:50:07 AM »
That's not what I was expecting you to say, but I rather not make my life harder further down the road.

Would you recommend that I change the capture time by updating the metadata of the CR2 and NEF files? Or I'm better off creating XMP sidecar files even for changing the capture time?

The Adjust Capture Dates and Times tool will update both the EXIF capture time and any XMP-EXIF data that is currently present.

Quote from: lsquare
What about adding my name to the owner's field? IIRC, it's the XMP creator field? Are there any other things that I can change without resorting to creating XMP sidecar files. I'm not sure if you get my view here, but I find the addition of XMP creation files to be a bit of a nuissance.

You can set the 'Photographer' field in PM which corresponds to the 'Creator' field in Photoshop.  That data will either be stored in IPTC or XMP depending on your Photo Mechanic settings.  The EXIF owner tag will not be modified by PM.

Quote from: lsquare
Do most PM users create XMP sidecar files to work with Adobe products?

In general, yes.  There are some people who embed XMP and update XMP sidecar files as well, but if you use Adobe products and make adjustment to RAW files then you're going to get XMP sidecar files because Adobe's software will create them (Photoshop, Bridge, Photoshop Lightroom all create XMP sidecar files for RAW files).  The only other alternative of avoiding XMP sidecar files is to convert your RAW files into DNG files.  DNG files while being a RAW file format, only store metadata in the DNG file itself.  There are no XMP sidecar files when working with DNG files.  Both PM and Adobe's products read/write/update XMP data in DNG files.

HTH,

-Kirk