Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why can't I insert metadata at the capture stage?

Mike Ashenfelder from the Library of Congress interviewed me recently for an article on their website Titled "Mission Possible: An Easy Way to Add Descriptions to Digital Photos." He was asking why adding information (metadata) to images is so difficult. I told him that this was an issue I had raised at the First International Photo Metadata Conference in 2007. I noted that photographers need ways to insert metadata as early as possible in the process; and asked why it wasn't possible to have some device that could be used to input information and tag it to the images I was shooting at the time of capture. There were engineers from Canon and Nikon in attendance, and it seemed that they understood the question, but I'm not aware of any progress in this area.

However, since manufacturers and developers do seem respond to input from those who purchase their products, perhaps what is needed is a grass roots appeal? With that in mind, I've included details on how to contact several of the larger digital camera manufacturers. If a number of you contact them, asking if they are working on improvements on how metadata (information) can be added to the Exif or IPTC at the time of capture, perhaps something will change?

Ask them "Why isn't there a 'Add Description' button for my camera?"
In the section labeled "Inquires" select your country and region for a listing of who to contact. In the US you can call Nikon Technical Support from 8AM - 2AM (Eastern) 7 days a week at 1-800-645-6687.

To contact Canon by email
In the US you can you can call Customer Service 1-800-385-2155


In the USA call Toll Free: 1-800-224-6767

In the USA call Digital Camera support Monday-Friday, between 9am-9pm Eastern at 1-888-553-4448

There are options to email, phone, or live chat from the link above. 

Let us know if you find anything out by adding a note in the comments below.