Online Exif (Image Data) Viewer

Since I'm getting more interested in photography and understanding cameras and techniques, I find myself wanting to know the details under which a photo was taken. Modern digital cameras encode a lot of such data — shutter speed, lens focal length, etc. — into the image file, generally called “Exif Data” (“Exif” stands for “Exchangeable Image File Format” and as an acronym would normally be written as “EXIF”, but the standard creators explicitly say that it should be written “Exif”, which is nice.).

As of Dec 2016 this tool has moved to http://exif.regex.info.

So, I wrote a little online Exif viewer to view whatever data might be encoded. Here's a screenshot using the viewer on a picture from a recent post:

screen capture of Jeffrey's Exif viewer in action

That's just the summary — you can see the full data using the tool itself.

The amount of data encoded in the image is quite variable. Many times there's just about nothing, as the data is stripped somewhere along the way. Here's a version of the previous picture with most data missing. It's missing because it's a smaller version that's meant for web display, and for such use the data just makes the file bigger and slower to download.

Geoencoded photos get links in the summary area to Google Maps and the like, and below that is an embedded Google Maps pane. With either, you can switch between Satellite and Map, and zoom, etc..

You can also check images on your local hard drive — images directly from a camera generally have the most information. Give it a try!

If you're using Firefox or Safari, you have the added benefit that you can install an Exif-viewer button on your button-bar toolbar. Once you've done that, later, when you're viewing a page with an image you want to check out, just click the button and you'll be whisked to a new tab showing the image's data. I find this really useful. It doesn't work in IE, though, sorry.

I use the viewer a lot on images I see in the Digital Photography Review Samples and Galleries forum. Lots of nice pictures in there. Many have their Exif data stripped, but many do not.

Finally, I should note that my viewer makes use of Phil Harvey's most excellent Image::ExifTool library. Thanks Phil!


The 30 most-recent comments (out of 200; see all), most recent last...

Is there a way to open a picture locations directly in Google Earth? Like adding a “Open in Google Earth” button? Thanks!

Not that I know of, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by mslang on April 24th, 2016 at 5:11am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Thanks a lot for your free wonderful metadata reader.
You mention in your presentation on top of page that it is possible to add a button in the button-bar tool bar. Do you mean a favorite tab in the browse ? If not, how do you proceed ? I use Safari.
Thanks.
Robert

I couldn’t get it to work on Safari, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert on April 25th, 2016 at 5:45pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m writing from Auckland, NZ.

What does “Profile Date Time” tell? Does it tell us the date and time the picture was taken or the date and time the camera was first set up?

And what about “Date Acquired” under XMP? Is that the date when picture was captured / taken?

Please advise.

Regards,
Teresa

“Profile Date Time” tells when the embedded color profile was created, which is entirely unrelated to the photo time. For most practical purposes, it’s meaningless information. “Date Acquired” is likely the photo-taken date, though this can be easily wrong for accidental or malicious reasons. —Jeffrey

— comment by Teresa on May 3rd, 2016 at 7:55am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi,
This is an amazing and very helpful tool. Thank you so so much!

— comment by Quan Nguyen on May 24th, 2016 at 2:59am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, I’m from the UK, and have been frantically trying to find the copyright situation of a photograph. I’ve uploaded it onto your EXIF tool and it says ‘copyright profile FB’. Is this Facebook?? It is a really old image. Any help GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks.
Angela

I’m guessing it says “Color profile” is Facebook’s. Facebook strips all metadata from uploaded images, and they add their own tiny color profile. If the photo is from Facebook, metadata is a dead end. Perhaps try uploading it to Google Image Search. —Jeffrey

— comment by Angela on May 31st, 2016 at 9:50pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

hey thank you for making life a lot easier. but i dont speak english well, so i want your help. i have a photo and i want to know who send it first on internet. and who are they. its really a personal thing and i need to mail you but i couldnt find your mail. can you give me?

My mail address is on my blog’s “Contact Me” page, but I’m sure I won’t be able to tell you anything about who first put up a photo on the web, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by carmen sky on June 15th, 2016 at 10:33am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I have successfully used your fine tool to review the metadata for MOV files. I am primarily interested in dates (created, modified, etc.). It would be great if you could point me to a legion that provides some additional meaning to the labels associated with each date. Today I tried to look at the metadata for a 50MB MP4 file and I got a message that the file was too large. What are the file size limitations? Is there a difference if I put the file on the internet and provide a URL vs. browsing for the file on my local hard drive in terms of size limitation?

Thanks.

I have some size limits to stop some kinds of abuse… I don’t recall exactly what they are, but 50MB sounds about right. If you’ve got big files to check, it makes sense to use ExifTool locally. (My web interface is just a pretty front end on ExifTool.) Video/Image metadata is a horribly confusing mishmash of standards and mistakes… The ExifTool Tag Names page is perhaps a good place to start trying to understand things. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ron on August 25th, 2016 at 4:51am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Hello. I am trying to get the metadata from a video file that I have. It is an MOV file that is 48,797KB, which is too large to upload in your tool. Is there a way to compress it so that I can upload it, without losing the integrity of the original video? Thank you so much for your help.

I’d recommend using an app locally, such as the ExifTool app that my site uses behind the scenes. —Jeffrey

— comment by Melissa on September 9th, 2016 at 4:02am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

I use Firefox 48 and I have not been able to drag the button into place on my toolbar. Have you go any advice on how to do that? Thanks!

Can’t think of any advice, sorry; it’s working fine for me with FF48. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sam on September 13th, 2016 at 12:09am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

I’m trying to find the shutter count for my Canon Mark III

Not all cameras put this info. If you don’t see something with “Actuations” or “Shutter” in the name that seems to be it, it’s likely just not there. —Jeffrey

— comment by Val on September 22nd, 2016 at 3:41am JST (11 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Really like your exif tool. Which makes it more exasperating when the browser tab keeps crashing. Any suggestions? Mark from Pennsylvania

I’ve not had reports of browsers crashing. Perhaps report it to whomever makes the browser… —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark on October 2nd, 2016 at 2:38am JST (11 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

Hi,

Unfortunately the tool doesn’t give the shutter count on my Nikon D700.

The D700 encodes the shutter count in the MakerNotes section. This tool will display it if it that section hasn’t been stripped out. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jürgen on December 8th, 2016 at 10:23pm JST (9 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink

Well, the tool did not work 🙁 I wanted to remove censor of some pictures I found at twitter and Instagram, what could have gone wrong?

This is a tool for showing image metadata. It doesn’t do image manipulation, and certainly can’t create lost pixles out of thin air. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jason on December 13th, 2016 at 8:07am JST (9 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Hey, I saw that you had to take down the site for a while. Is there any chance you could make your site into a downloadable program? There is not a single program/site that works nearly as good as yours.

My site is mostly a front end for I’ll put back the button once I decide whether I’ll keep the tool, but it’ll looking like it’ll cost a lot in bandwidth, so it’s doubtful. We’ll see. —Jeffrey

Hi Jeffrey,

I have found a flaw in your online EXIF viewer since you implemented the captcha.

I am trying to upload a file but my internet connection is slow, so it’ll take around 3 minutes to complete.

So, I select, my file, complete the Not a Robot captcha. However, the verification expires and so I complete it again while the image is still uploading.

So after I do that and the upload completes, I get a “No robots, please” message.

You might want to install the command-line version of ExifTool on your system so that you can inspect things locally. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on January 10th, 2017 at 1:49pm JST (8 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

Hello from Miami!

I noticed you moved the online exif viewer site but unfortunately have had no luck trying to install an exif viewer button on my toolbar. I use both chrome and safari, neither work. Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Any help with this will be much appreciated!

I’ll revisit the toolbar button once I decide whether to keep this tool or abandon it. The bandwidth is expensive. I’m all for giving back to society for all the good I receive, but only up to a point. 😉 We’ll see. —Jeffrey

— comment by Erick on January 12th, 2017 at 12:22pm JST (8 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

US. Hello Jeffrey. Read the entire comment section and didn’t find an answer to this inquiry.
I keep getting ‘no robots thanks’ numerous times. could you please explain what I may be doing wrong.
I’ve been trying to look at online websites product shots to see when they may have been shot, or at least added to the advertisement. I’ve used ‘copy image location’ and ‘copy link location’ in side menus.

Thanks for a great tool.

Maybe email a screenshot of the screen just before you submit the request (after the Captcha thing has been completed), including the URL of the image you’re trying to view… —Jeffrey

— comment by kap on January 13th, 2017 at 8:21am JST (8 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

I’m a happy user of your service from Norway. I have some questions I hope you can answer:

– Do you save photos uploaded to your service for metadata-check?
– Do you save any records of the metadata in search users do?

Thanks

No to both. For the 2nd question, I have no way to know what metadata people are looking for on the page… that’s entirely within their browser. —Jeffrey

— comment by aSurfer on January 24th, 2017 at 6:20pm JST (7 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Sue in The Midlands. England

Hi Jeffrey. Love this tool and have been using it for years during esafety sessions to educationalists to demonstrate the use of location settings. Good and bad. Recently I can no longer get google maps to work and that was my party piece. Can you advise why this is and what I need to do to get it working again. It is a fabulous tool for education.

Thanks for sharing. Ps I’m not particularly techi

I’m not sure what the problem is, but I know it’s not your fault. Either I have something misconfigured with my Google API account, or they have a bug. I’m looking into it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sue on January 30th, 2017 at 7:54am JST (7 months, 21 days ago) comment permalink

Thank you for Your quick answer. I’ve just donated $10 for Your great service in Exif Viewer. Keep up!

— comment by aSurfer on January 30th, 2017 at 6:20pm JST (7 months, 21 days ago) comment permalink

Hello from Colorado, USA

Mirror lock-up in metadata: Is there a way of identifying pictures taken with this function?

I am shooting Nikon equipment.

Thanks.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this is recorded in the MakerNotes, but I’ve not heard that anyone’s decoded it yet. Perhaps take two identical-as-possible-shots (identical metadata-wise), one with lockup and one without, and mail them both to the ExifTool author to see whether he can figure it out. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ronald McElvain on February 13th, 2017 at 5:26am JST (7 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, first of all i want to say that i love your work with this free platform. I will donate you something.

Second, i wan’t to know if an image is copyrighted or not. My question is: What information (of your platform) i must look to know that?

Thank you so much for your work, and take a look of my webpage!

You must assume that you do not have permission to use a photo unless you explicitly know that you do. If you know that the photo has been explicitly released into the public domain, you can use it freely. If it has a Creative Commons license, you can use it based on the terms of the license. If you have explicit permission from the copyright holder (usually the photographer) you can use it. Otherwise, it’s almost certain that you can’t legally use it. Searching on this web page for “Creative” and “Domain” will bring you to relevant info if it’s there, but most images you find on the web have absolutely no info, and in these cases you must assume that you have no legal permission to use them. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ruben on February 17th, 2017 at 1:46am JST (7 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

I would like to save or print a copy of the meta data report. Can you help me with this? When I save it the picture images do not save. When I try to print nothing happens.

Thanks,

Tee from NJ

Just chooses the “File > Print” option in your browser, as with any web page. If it’s not working for you, whatever problem might be causing it is not specific to my site… —Jeffrey

— comment by T from NJ on April 20th, 2017 at 4:13am JST (5 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for this tool

I’m having trouble with finding the location from photos that are sent from others phones to me by imessage. Is this possible

Lynda
Canada

If the location had been there originally, it’s probably getting stripped out by iMessage. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lynda on April 21st, 2017 at 11:16am JST (4 months, 29 days ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey. Thanks for the nice programm to discover the exifs. But I have a question.

In the exifs we can see a lot of different dates.

Date in the basic image informations.

In XMP :
Date/Time Original
Date/Time Digitized
Create Date
Metadata date
Date Created.

Which of them is the date that the picture was taken ?

I did put an example on http://henlo.be/images/test.jpg

Thanks in advance.
Kind regards
Henri

The answer is “maybe one of them, maybe something else completely”. Software can write any dates they want
into these fields, and can write the wrong date by accident or on purpose. In most cases I’d think that all but Metadata Date would be the same (the time on the camera when the image was taken), but things can get out of sync with some software, after which it’s anyone’s guess. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lombaerts on April 26th, 2017 at 11:52pm JST (4 months, 23 days ago) comment permalink

I’m trying to find out the location of some photos I have. But I can’t seem to see the full data such as the GPS location. Any idea why, pls? The person sent to me the photos via the Line application (similar to whatsapp). They are also on facebook. Many thanks for your help.

Not all photos have location information. Most don’t. Even those that do can have it stripped by various software that might not preserve all metadata. Facebook, for example, strips all metadata in the copies it holds. Sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by WEN on July 7th, 2017 at 10:00pm JST (2 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

I live north of Chicago in Illinois. Have just started using your tool in my workflow to derive sublocations. Tool is great, really appreciate using it and I know I am only scratching the surface. Many thanks.

— comment by Tony da Camara on August 28th, 2017 at 12:24am JST (3 weeks, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I really like your tool. I was wondering, what are the file formats that does’nt support EXIF ? In Wikepedia, it says that PNG, GIF and JPEG 2000 doesn’t use it, but I found EXIF metadata in a PNG, so I have doubts. Thank you in advance

Marie-Eve

The term “Exif” has grown to have two meanings. In a sloppy/incorrect/generic sense, people use it to mean “any metadata in an image file”, in a similar way people use “Google” as a verb to mean “perform an internet search”. In reality, JPEGs can contain many different blocks of data, of which only one block conforms to Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) standard. PNGs don’t officially support that standard. —Jeffrey

— comment by Marie-Eve on September 9th, 2017 at 6:01am JST (1 week, 4 days ago) comment permalink

Hello from Ireland. I am trying to get an exact date a photo was taken as opposed to the date it was uploaded to a popular social networking site if you can assist please?

This site shows the data in the image… if a photo-capture time is shown, it’s there, and if not, it’s not. Not much I can do beyond that. —Jeffrey

— comment by Oonagh on September 15th, 2017 at 12:56am JST (5 days, 10 hours ago) comment permalink
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