Using the ExifTool Program
Updated: Aug 10
The exiftool program lets you extract all of the data out of your photographs into a text file by a simple drag-and-drop operation. This is a really easy way to get at exposure, lens, and camera data, plus much more. You can find out how many total shutter-actuations your camera has done, the “Light Value” (or EV) of the scene, the depth of field, whether you used phase-detect or contrast-detect, etc.
What you can’t get is the Nikon lens serial number, although you do get the camera serial number.
It’ kind of cool that my Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens data even gets correctly decoded while on my Nikon.
I can give it my RAW files directly, plus a bunch of other formats.
You can get this free program here:
The author is Phil Harvey. Please thank him! Thank you, Phil.
Phil’s software can do many things beyond what I mention here, but here’s how I use it in Windows (Mac OS-X is supported).
Select the exiftool.exe file in Windows Explorer
Right-mouse click and select Copy and paste into the same directory.
Right-mouse click exiftool –Copy.exe and rename it:
exiftool(-a -u -g1 -w txt).exe
Now, all you have to do is go to a directory with photos and drag/drop a file onto the
exiftool(-a -u -g1 -w txt).exe program.
You will get a text file (same name as the dropped file, but with a .txt extension) placed right next to the original photograph file. Simple and elegant.
Sample Data From Typical Output Text File
This program is really, really useful. It's also a real eye opener to know just how extensive the amount of data kept in every photograph really is. Thank you Phil Harvey!