Hi all, I'm not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to casually get into it by using my iphone. I see the term "EXIF" used and all I could really get out of it through searches and things is that it gives information about the picture taken. Is it a tool to help compare information between cameras and images?
Also, if someone could explain how to check EXIF data for iphone pictures I'd appreciate it. I thought about entering a contest on iMore or even just general uploads and read that sometimes when using apps for editing pictures, it may erase the EXIF data.
Sorry for my "new guy cluelessness", but if anyone could give a basic explanation better than the expert photography sites I looked at it might help my photographer hobby.
- 08-09-2012, 12:22 PM #2iMore Genius
- 8,597 Posts
- iOS Version
- iOS 7.1 b5
Jeffrey's EXIF Viewer site
EXIF data is "metadata" - data about something... in this case photos. It does not compare photos or cameras, but you can compare the EXIF data between two photos and see where/how the photo was created. It can included basic photo info (exposure, focal length, camera type and date/time of exposure, to name a few). Some cameras (DSLRs, etc) allow the user to set other information like photographer identification info or copyright data.
Last edited by Fausty82; 08-09-2012 at 12:27 PM.Curmudgeon and Former Member/Participant
iPhone 5S / iPad Mini Retina / 15" MacBook Pro Retina
Thanks for the info. Kinda helps to have it spelled out. For some reason I was thinking there was something specific to the iPhone EXIF that made it different from the other information I found online.
Gives me a good starting foundation for some iPhone photography.
- 08-10-2012, 02:25 PM #4iMore Intermediate
- 260 Posts
- iOS Version
- iOS 5.1
Nope, It's pretty standard, so EXIF information is generally displayed similarly from device to device.
EXIF data is generally used in photographs to analyze images, or to record setup settings at the time the photo was taken.
For example, there have been times when I've lost a few shots due to simple errors such as a setting such as ISO or shutter speed. Or there are times when I took a really great shot, and I want to remember the camera settings so that I can reproduce the settings for similar shots later.
iPhone EXIF data is fairly standard, but a bit more generalized due to the limitations of the iPhone's camera. You'll usually get information such as the photo's dimensions in both pixels and inches, resolution in pixels per inch, and color depth. More generic info like the exposure mode (the iPhone has only one - AUTO). How the image was metered. Focal length, which is 4.3mm for an iPhone, but is actually a 35mm equivalent. It can also give information such as the subject area, or in other words, where (in a given pixel range) the camera focused on the subject within the frame.
All of this information can be useful, especially for categorizing photos or figuring out problems. For example, one time I was using my iPhone and I was using tap-to-focus, but then the camera would end up focusing on another part of the image. It took me a while to figure out the problem, and I was later able to confirm at home by looking at the EXIF data.
I primarily check for ISO (film speed eq.), aperture and shutter speed. I really like night photography, and there have been times when I've gotten a great shot and referencing the EXIF data will let me see exactly how the camera was set up so that I can use the same settings and technique. And if you forget and still have the original RAW photos, you can always look back.
Photo editing software of some kind is usually needed to view the full EXIF data. I've never personally been comfortable with using Jeffrey's EXIF view, as I don't know what's being done with my actual photo, but it can be used to find EXIF data for other people's photos posted online if you don't feel like saving them to your computer and/or don't have the proper software to view EXIF data. Programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, and others can all view EXIF data.
Also, since you asked about entering photo contests, most websites that do this require the original EXIF data to be intact. This is good to know as sometimes original EXIF data can be modified or even completely stripped off of the file is not saved properly, and could disqualify for your photo from the contest. Photoshop has an option to include the original EXIF data when saving from RAW files to JPEG, but since the iPhones only save in JPEG, it usually isn't a problem, but it can be depending on the software you use, especially if you crop or enlarge images, change exposure or brightness levels, etc. Just something to keep in mind if you plan on editing your photos prior to entering a contest.
Well, hopefully this expanded opinion helps answer your question. Don't worry about your "cluelessness", LoL. Everyone starts somewhere, and learning and collaboration is definitely rewarding when it comes to photography. And do feel free to ask any questions to have. This forum has a lot of helpful people when it comes to photography.
Thanks Brad... That was extremely helpful. I appreciate the real world usage as well as the terminology and definitions.
I'm enjoying using my iPhone for photos (I think because I'm pretty basic and new to the field) and at this stage I think it fits my needs. Can you perhaps recommend a beginner/amateur camera similar to something I could find at a Best Buy or tech store? (SLR or DSLR I believe they are called...) My idea is to utilize the iPhone to become familiar with lighting, angles, styles, etc, and then upgrade to something more "official".
I'll definitely check out some other photography sites for more information and resources, but was curious if anyone else here had some suggestions or what to look for.
- 08-12-2012, 11:55 PM #6
Make sure you check out our iPhone photography tutorials here on iMore!
iPhone photography | iMore.com
Regarding EXIF and contests here on iMore, don't worry about editing with an app that destroys the EXIF data. Just make sure you keep the original photo so that if we ask to see the EXIF data, you can send us the unedited version to confirm that it was taken with an iPhone. We only look at the part of the EXIF data that says what type of camera was used.
As Brad already stated, EXIF is helpful in many other ways, but not so much with an iPhone because there is very little that you are able to control when taking photos with one.
If you're interested, there *are* iPhone apps that let you view the EXIF data, I just don't know of any off the top of my head. You can also just upload the original to Flickr since Flickr will display all the EXIF data on photos.
- 10-07-2012, 02:59 AM #7
- 10-11-2012, 10:26 AM #8iMore Intermediate
- 260 Posts
- iOS Version
- iOS 5.1
Re: Explaining EXIF?
Depending in how desperate you are to view the EXIF data of iPhone/iPad photos, I recommend searching the App Store for the term "EXIF". There is a .99 cent EXIF and Metadata viewer that looks pretty comprehensive. It was the first search result I found.
Even so, the metadata for iPhone photos is extremely limited, and more often that not, each picture's information is going to be almost identical because things like aperture and ISO never change. The only thing that usually does is the shutter speed, which you have no control over anyway. The most notable usable information is usually the time and location (geotag) data.
I have to say that I do a lot of photography in my spare time, and I've taken a ton of photos with my iPhones over the years, but I've never once had a need to check the EXIF metadata on any of my iPhone photos that I can recall, while I do occasionally check metadata for reference on photos I've shot with my DSLR's. I guess it's just my personal opinion that there usually isn't enough usable data for the iPhones to warrant viewing the EXIF data very often, if at all. But I guess it just depends on what you're doing and what kind of info you're looking for. Maybe someone else (Leanna maybe?) who might use that kind of data more often and could give their point of view?