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Image information: IPTC data; camera and exposure data

An image file is just data. Mostly it is image data, but it can also include information (often called metadata). You can attach information about the image within the image film so that it is available to anyone wanting to use the image.

The most obvious application of this is for news photography. The photographer can add a caption (the who, what, where, when and how of the image) that is readily accessible to picture editors for as long as the image file exists.

Before the arrival of the EOS 7D in 2009 this information could not be added to the image in camera. You needed to download the image to a computer, open the file in an application such as Adobe Photoshop, go to File Info, and click on the IPTC options. The EOS 7D was the first Canon camera to allow the addition of copyright data directly in-camera, without the use of a computer. Here you can input your name and copyright data into the EXIF data of every image you take as soon as you press the shutter button.


The EOS 7D allows photographers to input copyright information straight into the camera.

Over the years, the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has devised a series of headings that can be used to identify and describe an image. The headings included in Photoshop include:

  • Creator
  • Creator’s job title
  • Address
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Postal code
  • County
  • Phone(s)
  • E-mail(s)
  • Website(s)
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Keywords
  • IPTC subject code
  • Description writer
  • Date created
  • Intellectual genre
  • IPTC scene
  • Location
  • City
  • State/Provine
  • Country
  • ISO country code
  • Title
  • Job identifier
  • Instructions
  • Provider
  • Source
  • Copyright notice
  • Rights usage terms

As much or as little information required can be added to the image file in Photoshop (or other IPTC compatible software). Anyone receiving and opening the mage file in IPTC compatible software will be able to access all the details that have been entered.

Information about the IPTC, developments to IPTC headers, and IPTC codes can be found at: www.iptc.org

Camera and exposure data

IPTC data has to be typed into an image file. Camera and exposure data, on the other hand, is automatically recorded and attached to the image file as the exposure is made. It can usually be found under a File Info menu item in compatible software. Most imaging software will display the camera and exposure data, even if it does not show IPTC data.

The following list shows the data that can be captured, though not all cameras will record all of this, and not all software will show all the categories.

  • File name
  • Camera model name
  • Firmware
  • Exposure date and time
  • Owner’s name
  • Shooting mode
  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • Metering mode
  • Exposure compensation
  • ISO speed
  • Lens
  • Focal length
  • Image size
  • Image quality
  • Flash usage
  • White balance
  • AF mode
  • AF area select mode
  • AF Microadjustment
  • Picture Style
  • Contrast
  • Sharpness
  • Saturation
  • Colour tone
  • Colour matrix
  • Colour space
  • File size
  • Drive mode
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer
  • Peripheral Illumination Correction
  • Dust Delete Data
  • Live View Shooting
  • Satellite Signal Status
  • Latitude
  • Longitude
  • Altitude
  • Geographic coordinate
  • Camera body number