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Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!!

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Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! wildgoose 10/14/09 10:57 PM
I am using Picasa 3.1.71.43. I was pretty shocked to discover Picasa is silently modifying my jpg files by inserting a "Software = Picasa" into the exif tag, and the worst part is, it is removing some exif info in the process! The shutter count is gone!!

I thought one of the golden rule of Picasa is it never **&($% with the original file. I looked through all options and didn't see anywhere this is configurable.

Did I miss something? This is really really bad.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! wildgoose 10/14/09 11:34 PM
Thank you pixelshooter1 for your reply.

It is late right now, so I'll try to verify it tomorrow. Did a quick google search, and this is almost exactly what I am seeing, except I am NOT adding any caption, etc..

http://groups.google.com/group/PicasaSomethingBroken/browse_thread/thread/e17b7a90a42d66c2/f3bf31f4a68f2458

I am running Picasa in an application virtualization environment (ThinApp). So restoring picasa to freshly installed state is simply a matter of deleting the ThinApp picasa data. I can also double check by installing Picasa in a VM and import my file to see if it changes it...

This thread seems to report something similar, picasa adding Software tag...

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Picasa/thread?tid=099d1edfab888d11&hl=en

I did (in my infinite wisdom) allowed Picasa to fully index my 10 years of photo archive. So picasa's db is a few GB in size. I seriously hope it did not stamp it's name in all my jpg files, and dropped some data in the process.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! wildgoose 10/15/09 1:08 PM
I narrowed it down. When you add a caption to a photo, Picasa silently, without your consent, inserts the caption into the EXIF, and dropping the MakerNote exif data in the process!! (Simply importing the files into Picasa does not appear to change the exif info..)

Here's the before and after file, showing about 7k difference in filesize:

10/14/2009  22:46       2,570,850  ______N______  DSC_3144.JPG
10/14/2009  22:46       2,597,646  ______N______  DSC_3144.JPG.backup

Here's the output of the exif into to xml by Opanda:

10/15/2009  12:49          15,112  ___A________I  original.xml
10/15/2009  12:49           7,453  ___A________I  fuckedup_by_picasa.xml

Again notice the similar 7K difference in filesize. Comparing the files, the entire MakerNote section is dropped (there were few other minor changes)

  <IFD ID="A002" NAME="MakerNote (Nikon)">
    <Entry>
      <Tag>0001</Tag>
      <Title>Makernote Version</Title>
      <Value>0210</Value>
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
        ...

It's basically deleting half of the exif info!

Reverting the file back to the original content, the caption is STILL there in Picasa. So obviously it stored it in the database, the proper place for it. But why the *&^*^& does it need to write it to the exif info. Do it properly and I won't have objected, but deleting half of my exif info in the process?

Marking the file as read-only does prevent Picasa from changing it. So that's what I am going to be doing from now on.

Is there a way to turn off the exif updating behavior in Picasa?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Don Lind 10/15/09 1:39 PM
Do some reading on that maker notes stuff.
From what I've read, it seems that the EXIF spec is fatally flawed in the area of Maker Notes.
Among the issues are that are that there is no "length" info associated with the Maker Data EXIF field - that is, the EXIF data itself has no length info. 
And, apparently, the Maker Notes data can be pretty much anything... and sometimes, apparently, it contains references to direct offsets in the file itself and that kind of stuff is almost impossible to fix up.
And "data structures 101" teaches us that if you don't have data and a data structure that can be interpreted properly,  well... it'll get corrupted. 
And many other programs (ACDSee, and a bunch of others... see the search below) have no way to work with that EXIF data.

These programs aren't out to explicitly trash the Make Notes...
I don't THINK Picasa is actually even trying to change the EXIF data in this case.  The caption text goes into the completely separate IPTC data block.
But as Picasa rewrites the JPEG to have the new IPTC data block, it has to "retain" the EXIF data... And the image data...  But, as I understand things, because of the Maker Notes stuff, parts of the EXIF data get corrupted and/or lost

See this:  http://search.cpan.org/~bettelli/Image-MetaData-JPEG-0.141/lib/Image/MetaData/JPEG/MakerNotes.pod
And a general search: http://www.google.com/search?q=+Maker+Notes+corrupted+nikon&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Sadly, it seems like the people who designed EXIF and Maker Notes screwed up badly.
Something that should be completely self-describing has become more like the "raw format" junk where we need special code for each camera body...
Very sad...
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! wildgoose 10/15/09 3:05 PM
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I think it would be really important to have an option in Picasa to not modify the original jpg file, but keep all these caption, gps coordinates, etc meta data in the Picasa database. One of Picasa's strong selling point back in the days was it never touches your original file. Apparently this is no longer the case.

I can see the benefit of keeping these information in the file, if the file gets renamed or moved, the information is still there. But this should be left as a choice for the user. If the user likes the convenience of this, and don't mind Picasa updating the file itself when changing meta data information, then so be it. But they should give a choice for users that do not want the original image file changed under any circumstances.

This kind of error is exactly why I am so paranoid about not having programs changing the image file. One mistake or error and your data could be corrupted or gone. If you don't know how to change the data, don't change the data, or at least have an option not to change it. Is that really too much to ask? This bug seems to be out for a long time, why hasn't there been anything done about it?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! gjgoldstein1 12/2/09 6:01 PM
Is there an option to prohibit Picasa from modifying the EXIF header, even it if means not being able to caption or tag photos?  I just don't like the idea of loosing the metadata that my camera (Canon Powershot) stores in the EXIF.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Stone68 1/14/10 12:14 PM
No, keywords, captions, gps coordinates etc belong in the exif header.

Programs like exiftool and xnview are capable of modifying the exif header without corrupting the makernotes so why shouldn't Picasa be able to do the same.
I like Picasa a lot but i must admit that in this area there are still some flaws and i hope they give priority to this problem.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! InterJX 3/25/10 11:35 PM
Picasa also deletes the vendor EXIF info even when simply transferring images from a card to disk. In this case there's no need (and no excuse) for Picasa to make *any* changes to the image file, yet it does...
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! tomwest 3/26/10 4:57 AM
I agree they shouldn't mess with the exif
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/3/10 9:57 PM
This is still a problem with Version 3.6.0 ( Build 105.61,0)  for Windows.   Used the Places Button to geotag about 1000 photos only to find out later that the EXIF Maker Notes were totally gone on my all these files.    I needed the EXIF Maker Notes to do additional processing on the files using DXO Optics Pro which corrects the distortion within the images based on the Maker Notes in the file.

Any progress on this problem?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/3/10 10:18 PM
What EXIF information gets deleted and what doesn't seems to depend upon particular camera models.  I believe this is due in part basic problems with the EXIF definitions that Don Lind has outlined above.
 
I agree strongly though with Sone 68.  ExifTools is able to handle the problems without corrupting the tag information, so why can't Picasa?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/4/10 11:48 PM
I certainly understand the difficulty involved when dealing with an ambiguous spec for the Makernote field, however most other image mgmt tools/editors like ACDSee seem to know how to leave this field alone.  It would be fantastic if someone over at Google on the Picasa team could check out the fine community at http://www.exiv2.org/ . They seem to have much of the Makernote data figured out for some camera brands and state the ability to write to the Makernote while avoiding corrupting the Makernote using their EXIV2 C++ library.  I love Picasa and so do my customers, but it drives me crazy when it blows away embedded image data when performing a seemingly unrelated task like geotaging a image.


THANKS!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! brianrose 5/24/10 1:15 PM
Thanks everyone for sharing this. I'm looking into it and will get back to everyone soon.

Brian
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! brianrose 5/24/10 2:43 PM
Can you help me out by sending me links to a few sample photos where adding a comment or geotag moves MakerNote data in Picasa but not other software, like XnView? Thanks.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 2:54 PM
Thanks Brian.
 
Not only does Picasa drop EXIF data, it silently corrupts data under some circumstances.  This is a particular rant of mine, having had the GPS coordinates of several thousand picture corrupted. 
Please see the reference below for more detail on this. 
 
On 10/5/2009 I received an email from  a Google employee asking me to provide a sample picture where this occured in a response to my note
 
The email said
"Would you mind sending us a sample file? One that hasn't yet been touched
by Picasa? We'll test this and get back to you. Just attach the file to
your reply.
Sincerely,
The Google Team"
 
I sent in a sample showing the error.  Last I ever heard from Google about this till now.
 
Thanks for looking into it.
 
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 3:00 PM
Brian,
 
I would be most happy to provide samples where this occurs... the reference thread that I cite above contains complete information for duplicating the error on my pictures where this happens.  However I can't post them on Picasaweb, since many operations with Picasa corrupt them.
If you would respond to my Google email, I would be happy to attach samples, since that doesn't affect the picture at all.  That's the way I was originally asked  for samples. 
 
I'm open to other suggestions as to where to post them, if you would prefer.
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/24/10 3:22 PM
Please find 3 files to download from my test server
 
Original file from Camera (Nikon D90)
 
File after only Geocoding with Picasa 3.6.0 (Build 105.65,0) for Windows
 
File after only adding EXIF Copyright and artist information using ACDSee Pro 3 (Build 475) for Windows
 
What is key for me is that after the file is Geocoded with Picasa, the MakerNote cannot be found by DXO Optics Pro 6.2 in order to remove the lens distortion.
 
The file that has been altered with ACDSee Pro can still be interpreted by DXO Optics Pro with no problems
 
Thanks for your help.  Feel free to contact me directly if you need any additional information.
 
Lee
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/24/10 3:29 PM
Hi Brian,
 
Here is a link to a zip file containing the 3 images referenced in my previous post.
 
 
Thanks for taking this on.
 
Lee
 
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 4:48 PM
Brian,
 
pictures using the Active-X uploader without putting them in Picasa.
 
The pictures were tagged using GeoSetter from GPX logs of a data logger. 
 
These are original photos which have never been placed in Picasa.
 
In early October 2009, I tagged these using the then current version of Picasa, and all had the GPS EXIF data corrupted ( It was easy to spot, because none of these pictures were taken standing several hundred feet offshore in Tokyo Bay (which is how I spotted the problem originally).  All of the pictures (several thousand) taken with this particular camera a Casio EX-S10 had the data corrupted.
 
Today I retagged these originals using Version 3.6.0 Build 105.41,0
 
CONGRATULATIONS - somewhere between October and Build 105.41, 0  you corrected the problem which corrupted my pictures.  There is now no modification of the EXIF data.
 
THANKS!!
 
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 4:56 PM
slight correction:  the uploaded photos are versions which have NEVER BEEN TAGGED in Picasa ( not "without putting them in Picasa").
 
The Exif data was fine until I tagged the photos.  I do not have originals which were never touched by Picasa.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 5:48 PM
In case this might help:
 
Here is an album with the same photos which had been tagged with the Oct. 2009 version of Picasa -  Note:  These have corrupted GPS data which has me 100's of feet into Tokyo Bay -- Which, I can assure was not the location from which any of these pictures were taken. 
 
Check the XMP GPS tags, which do contain the correct GPS location, which was identical to the EXIF GPS tags before adding other tags in the Oct. 2009 Picasa.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/24/10 5:48 PM
http://picasaweb.google.com/rlsmith46/CasioExS10PhotosTaggedWithOct2009Picasa?authkey=Gv1sRgCLiN552fzKa93QE#
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/24/10 8:13 PM
Hi Brian,
 
Just to clarify, it seems that rlsmith46 and I are encountering 2 independent issues.  Sounds like he may have been encountering GPS accuracy issues that may be resolved with a newer Picasa version (Hooray!).   My issue is the loss of the image's MakerNotes EXIF entry when geocoding using Picasa 3.6.0 (Build 105.65,0) for Windows.
 
Here is another copy of the same file after only Geocoding with RoboGeo v5.6.17  http://www.robogeo.com
 
This image has also been added to the zip file at
 
RoboGeo appears to leave the MakerNotes Entry intact as DXO Optics Pro can still interpret that data and process the file correctly after it has been geoTagged by RoboGeo. 
 
Thanks for your help.
 
Lee
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 6:11 AM
ClearTours,
It is confusing, but I think I can clarify my situation.  It is not one of GPS accuracy.  Tagging the photo in Picasa (unrelated to GPS) changed the values stored in the EXIF GPS tags.  I know this by examining directly the tag values using a variety of tag inspection tools ... primarily EXIFTools.
I tagged the photos with GeoSetter, so the headers contain both EXIF and XMP GPS tags.
 
For my particular camera it appears that the low order bits of the EXIF GPS tags are being overwritten by other tagging operations. 
 
Most curiously, if I take a photo which has corrupted GPS data (tagged with Oct 2009 Picasa) upload it to Picasaweb  I see the located on Picasweb to the EXIF GPS values that the picture has on my home computer (as you would expect) and it is located correctly to the wrong coordinates (which are different from the EXIF coordinates stored in the picture.  Up to this point, this is the behaviou one would expect.
 
Now comes the strange twist.  If I download the same picture from Picasaweb to my home computer, the picture which is downloaded has the EXIF and XMP set equal again, but to a totally different coordinate value (but still close by).  The coordinates are now NOT either of the original XMP GPS coordinates or the corrupted value of the EXIF coordinate, but a totally new value (and wrong again).   So there is still something strange going on... but this time it is with Picasaweb and not Picasa.
 
As I've said a number of times, this error is specific to the particular camera a Casio EX-S10.  I do exactly the same actions with pictures from my other cameras and no data corruption is involved.
 
Using EXIFTools to make the same modifications as done with Picasa on my pictures did not drop or corrupt any of the data.
 
The above is direct observation of the data in my pictures and doesn't involve speculation.
 
Now comes speculation:  ********  CAUTION:  HERE FOLLOWS SPECULATION  **********
 
 
I speculate that seemingly different behaviors of Picasa deleting metadata or corrupting its values may have a common origin, though the symptoms seem to vary.  The reported problems seem to be specific to certain camera models.  I extend the speculation to speculate further that it is related to an incorrect handling of Makernotes for the particular cameras.
 
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 6:13 AM
Typo in the message above:
 
"(which are different from the EXIF coordinates stored in the picture.  ..."   
 
should read
 
"(which are different from the XMP coordinates stored in the picture. ...."
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 8:14 AM
Brian,
 
Part of my 9:11 AM EDT post concerns a new problem I've just found with Picasaweb.  Under some circumstances, uploading a picture to Picasaweb and then downloading the same picture results in the downloaded picture having modified (corrupted) metadata.
 
Since this is a Picasaweb problem, should this behavior be posted in the Picasweb forum?
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 9:06 AM
I uploaded the photos tagged with the October 2009 version of Picasa to here:
 
 
This way they can be downloaded to see the error in the GPS tags (because of the error in my previous post, you can't download them from Picasaweb to see the error).  Compate the EXIF GPS tags to the XMP GPS tags.
 
Before I put other tags on in Picasa, the EXIT and XMP tags were identical.  After tagging them (pictures in the link) you can see that they are not identical - the EXIF GPS tag has been changed.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 10:30 AM
I have to correct myself once again on the new Picasaweb observation..I have some scripting to find where the XMP and EXIF tags have different values, and that showed no mismatch.  However what happens when you download from Picasaweb, all the XMP tags are taken out... so the are just not there.
 
That being acknowledged, it is still a true statement that downloading from Picasaweb the referenced set of pictures did change the EXIF GPS tags to yet another set of values.
 
 
Most strange.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/25/10 2:15 PM
Brian,
 
Here is another thread that I participated in where people we reporting lost or modified EXIF information from specific cameras.
 
(hey, it looks like this topic has been a theme of almost all of my posts).
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Stone68 5/25/10 2:26 PM
Hi Brian,

Thanks for looking into this problem.

When I tag a photo with the latest version of Picasa and I check the file afterwards with ExifTool I only get one warning concerning the offset of the Canon makernote trailer.  The makernotes are still present in the file but the fact that the offset of the trailer of the makernote is not correct makes that for example Zoombrowser (the program that Canon delivers with the camera)  displays no makernotes at all.

This problem can easily be fixed with ExifTool but it's time consuming to first tag photos with Picasa and afterwards repair all the tagged photos with ExifTool.
Maybe you should contact Phil Harvey (the author of ExifTool), i'm sure that he will be very interested in explaining the problem more technically.
You can reach him via his website (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/).

Best regards
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! brianrose 5/27/10 6:04 PM
Thanks everyone for posting sample photos, I think I've got everything I need. I see the issue with Makernotes and we're looking into solutions now, and I confirmed like you mentioned that ExifTool or XnView work like champs. Great tools, by the way! Let me do some more digging on this specific issue with Makernotes disappearing first, then I'll come back and look at the new issues that have surfaced since my last post soon.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 5/27/10 7:56 PM
Thank you!
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 5/27/10 9:21 PM
Brian,
 
Thanks very much!
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Su 5/28/10 1:27 PM
Just uploaded some new photos and the EXIF info is there.  In my case, it appears that when I use a photoshop plugin, such as one of the Topaz Labs ones, that the EXIF info is stripped from the photo.  In this new batch where the info showed up, I had done a simple tweak directly in photoshop with no plug in used, and it's fine.  Using a Leica.  Don't know if this is what's happening for other people.  Had never thought of this as a possibility.

I use Picasa for the Mac for casual photos as in family and friends and photoshop for the others.  I love the ease of use of picasa for editing the casual ones, having just scanned in something like 400 slides of old family photos most of which my father had taken.

What is MakerNote?  Is that a Windows thing?  I'm on  a Mac.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! furneach 7/15/10 7:12 AM
Hi Brian Rose,
Has there been any further progress on this issue? I'm just started using Picasa to manage a large collection of photos and I'm very concerned about the possibility of it deleting exif tag information.

Also, do you know when/if you will include functionality to add the people tag information to the image file rather than keeping it stored in the Picasa DB?

Thanks.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Vitali Sokhin 7/20/10 1:04 PM
Hello,

I just found that Picasa removes MakerNotes from EXIF data. In my case Picasa removed MakerNotes from the photos that I marked with tag. Picasa added an IPTC section to the EXIF data where it stored my tag and  seems that on the way it removed MakerNotes (running Picasa 3.6.0, Build 105.67).

Is there any way to restore this data?

  Thank you
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Stone68 7/20/10 2:52 PM
Hi Vitali,

Have a look at ExifTool.
With a bit of luck Picasa didn't overwrite any MakerNotes but only moved them and in those cases ExifTool could be able to resolve your problem.

Best regards,
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! brianrose 7/22/10 3:44 PM
We're still testing Picasa 3.8 internally, but it should fix the issue with overwritten MakerNotes. I'll let the forum know when it's available to download, thanks.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 7/22/10 3:51 PM
Hooorayy!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'd be happy to help test ;)   It would be great to know if it magically fixes my other outstanding picasa issue at 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Vitali Sokhin 7/23/10 3:34 AM
Thank you Stone68,

I played with ExifTool. When I add a tag to a picture Picasa completely removes "MakerNotes" section with all the information stored by a camera. Instead Picasa adds a new section called "IPTC" with a single key called "keywords" which has as a value my tag. Picasa also adds "Software" tag into the EXIF section having the "Picasa 3.0" value.

I also noticed that neither upload to PWA nor marking a picture with a star do not modify any Exif data.

I think this story stresses once again the importance of making a back up copy before making *any* change to a picture. Even so simple as adding a tag.

Let us see if  Picasa 3.8 fixes the issue
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Brian Rose 8/17/10 2:58 PM
We just released Picasa 3.8 in English only a few moments ago. Could you download it from http://picasa.google.com/ to confirm whether it fixes the issue you were seeing with overwritten Makernotes? You can install it over your current version.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 8/17/10 3:49 PM
HURRAH!!!!!   It finally supports XMP data.
 
Thanks so much Google... and thanks to Brian Rose as messenger!  (if we want to kill the messenger on bad news, we should praise him on the receipt of good news).
 
I have to run now, but can't wait till I get time to download and try this.
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ClearTours 8/17/10 4:05 PM
Geocoding with Picasa 3.8 (Build 115,45,0) Works and keeps my Nikon MakerNotes intact!   Thank you Brian for getting this fixed!

Have a great day!

Lee

Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Mathew22223 8/17/10 5:19 PM
Brian, are you aware that the new Picasa is still leaving the Windows "file modified date" alone when it alters the metadata in the file? This behaviour is annoying and can be confusing. 

The metadata is part of the file. Therefore when the metadata in the file is changed, the file modified date in Windows should reflect this.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! wildgoose 8/17/10 6:00 PM
I would prefer the timestamp on the file not to change, unless I edit the picture itself. Don't touch the timestamp on exif change (such as lossless jpg rotations, tag updates, etc..)

If this is debatable, please make it an option. I will be upset if a simple act of importing the pictures into picasa will updates the file timestamp (for example, it recognizes a person in face recognition hence triggering an implicit tag update)
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Brian Rose 8/18/10 9:52 AM
Mathew22223, can you share what you're trying to do or your use case that makes this behavior annoying and confusing?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 8/18/10 12:33 PM
I am puzzled by the handling of XMP data and the "info" pane.
Is there any way to distinguish which data came from XMP tags and which from EXIF tags?  I can't see a differentiation.
My particular concernt is GPS tagging.  My jpg's have both EXIF and XMP tags,  Although they started out the same, actions with prior versions of Picasa modified the EXIF GPS tags incorrectly, so now I have a difference in what should be identical tags.
 
When I display this new "info" tag, I see one GPS Lat, Long value pair.  Is this EXIF info or XMP info?  Is there any way to force the Places tab to use one over the other?  Is there any way to see both sets of values?  If I use the map marker in places to creat or modify a GPS tag, does it create EXIF Tags, GPS Tags or both?
 
And finally, is there any way to have Picasa write the XMP GPS info into the incorrect EXIF GPS info?
 
Thanks!
 
BTW I like the display of the data through the 'info' pane.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Mathew22223 8/18/10 1:06 PM
Brian, here's one example. Suppose I have a photograph of myself, and in Picasa I add a humorous caption that I would only want close friends to see. Then later I want to use that same photograph for business purposes, so in Windows I look at the file-modified date to make sure that this is the version of the photo that came out of my camera, and then I post it on my business website (or email it to professional contacts, or whatever). I won't be aware that by examining the metadata, anyone can see the embarrassing caption! If Picasa had altered the file-modify date when it modified the file then I would have known that this was not the original version of the photo.

Another example, suppose that I decide to publish the hash of a photo as a "digital time-stamp" (for legal purposes perhaps). Then subsequently I use the photo in Picasa, believing that Picasa will not alter the original file. Then later, the hash of the file will not match the original hash, even though the file-modified date is the same.

More generally, the issue is that most Picasa users who look at the Windows folder are going to think, "well, the date never changes so I guess Picasa never alters the original file". This can cause all sorts of problems when the metadata is important to users.

Certainly you can have a setting in the Options panel called "preserve original file date" but the default should be that Picasa changes the file-modified date when it modifies the file. That's how software is expected to behave.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 8/22/10 10:08 AM
Having experimented some with the XMP tags, I am now not so much confused as extremely disappointed.
 
At least as far as GPS data goes, Picasa 3.8 has gone from  corrupting some XMP GPS data only for specific camera types to destroying all XMP GPS data for all pictures and cameras.
 
See the reference below:
 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Rhys Rogers 9/26/10 3:36 PM
Brian,

I am having a similar problem with photos taken on a Samsung i8910 camera/gps/phone.  I downloaded and installed picasa 3.8 last week, so should have the latest version.  I have a large number of photos taken over the last year which have had their GPS data corrupted by picasa and I am very unhappy about it, especially since I paid to upgrade my web storage so that I could back up all of my photos!  

To make it worse, picasa won't upload the pictures with the corrupted geotag info (it gives the error: "Error: Bad Input for feed: must be at least -90.0") So not only does it corrupt the gps data, but I am forced to delete the geotag info manually photo by photo in order to upload!


I have just taken a photo which has has correct gps data when viewed on the phone, but when imported using picasa the latitude field has been changed to read (deg;min;sec) -2147483648;0;1.8276 (original value: -36;54;1.83) this change comes up when the gps data is viewed in picasa or the properties tab when viewed in explorer.  So picasa seems to be changing the degrees and minutes fields of the latitude information, while not affecting the seconds part, or the longitude data.

I would appreciate some help to try and resolve this issue, as I would like to continue using picasa.  However if there is no solution I will be forced to find other software and seek refund for the web storage fee.

Regards,

Rhys Rogers
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! rlsmith46 9/26/10 4:26 PM
Rhys,
 
There is a discussion on a differet Samsung camera and problems with the GPS metadata here:
 
which might be of some interest to you. 
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! JMac 9/26/10 8:09 PM
Hopefully Brian Rose is still monitoring this...

Re the file mod time update: personally, I feel strongly that the file mod time should be updated anytime the file is changed.  You asked for a reason why:

I my environment, I need to do two things:
- sync my jpgs with my wife's computer
- perform backups

The commonly available software to do both of these tasks relies on the file mod time.  If the file is modified without the date being updated, it can be silently missed.

Personally, I cannot think of a reason why you wouldn't want to update the file mod date.  Anyone (or any application software) using the file mod date in a manner that assumes that it is equivalent to the EXIF CreateDate field should be shot...
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! ethegolfman 10/25/10 10:39 PM
Just stumbled across this thread after encountering a similar problem. I have been using Picasa for a couple years now with several cameras - a couple Canon Powershots, a Panasonic DMC-ZS3 & 2 Nikon DSLRs, a D40 and a D5000. One of the features I have been using a lot is adding keywords/IPTC tags. It's one of the reasons I chose Picasa was so that the IPTC info would transport to different software. Just discovered that tagging the photos destroys a significant chunk of the Nikon-specific EXIF info on my D40 & D5000 pics. Info like specific lens info, white balance info, flash settings, focus point and so on while it did leave behind the basic stuff like camera, focal length, aperture & shutter speed. I'm sure I'll probably never need much of this info but WHY ON EARTH DID GOOGLE FEEL THE NEED TO ERASE THIS INFO!

I can't tell you how ticked off I am. Thanks Google for ruining 2 years of pics for me.
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Brian Rose 10/26/10 10:32 AM
Hi ethegolfman, what version of Picasa 3.8 (including build number) are you running? Could you send me a sample photo from your D40 and your D5000 so I can investigate further?
Re: Is Picasa 3 silently modifying exif info and dropping exif data???!!! Scuber 11/12/10 9:26 PM
What's the latest on Picasa scrubbing the EXIF data when you modify the the Caption field?   Has this been resolved?  I don't use GPS data in my photos yet, but I would like to start adding Captions.  I just don't want to start down this path and find out all of my files have been screwed up.  I Picasa safe to use?
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