Perhaps you have heard the story that someone got hold of the latest and final Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, painstakingly photographed it page by page and posted the book on the internet. Now this person may be busted because he/she forgot to remove the EXIF data from the photos, which contains the camera’s (Canon Digital Rebel 350D) serial number. This news article quoted a Canon official who said,

“From what we know, the device is one of the original Rebel cameras, probably a 350D, and given that they’ve been out for three years, it’s likely the owner would have had it cleaned or repaired in that time.”

This means, the owner could be identified from Canon’s service record if the camera was serviced by Canon even if the person did not send in the registration card right after purchase.

For honest law biding people like you, you may still be interested in viewing the EXIF information for learning purpose, or want to manipulate the EXIF data of your photos for some reasons (add comments, copyright notice, keywords, add EXIF to scanned photos, remove the manufacturer serial number for privacy concerns, etc). Here are a few free software that you can use:

  • ExifTool by Phil Harvey. Platform-independent (Windows/Mac/UNIX). This is a great software. Did I mention it is also free? It has both GUI and command-line interface. This is probably all you need, unless you feel it is too complicated for you and have money to spend for other commercial softwares.
  • Jhead. A public domain command-line software with source code. Command-line tool helps a lot if you have tons of photos to process. This one does not require perl as the ExifTool.
  • Opanda iExif. A free EXIF viewer that supports the latest Windows OS and can be installed as a plug-in for IE and Firefox. A pro version ($19.99) is also available. To edit the EXIF data, you will need the $49.99 Power EXIF Editor.
  • PhotoME. Very powerful photo metadata editor. Supports native RAW files from various manufacturers. It has browser integration support so you can view EXIF data of any photo displayed in your web browser.

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