What's it all about?

This blog is about photography and photoediting. Its purpose is to provide hints and tips and links to interesting and useful resources for digital photographers, regardless of their level of expertise or experience. It is aimed at people who use digital SLR cameras and who process their images using the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

The author of this blog is Glenn Springer and you can read more about him at his web portal at faczen.com. Information on workshops, and links to everything is at photography.to. Glenn's original blog, which is an ongoing journal of his photographic meanderings goes back to 2006 and contains many additional hints and tips, as well as representative images that he has made. Gallery quality prints are available through his Smugmug gallery site. It is an interesting place to visit to see a variety of quality images, as well as an ongoing general journal of photos going back several years.

Photography workshops are scheduled every few weeks starting in the Spring. For an overview of what's happening, please visit the photography.to website.

The most recent blog post is below. Scroll down to the bottom to see the list of previous postings or search for any particular topic.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Temporary Photoshop Fix for unsupported cameras

Adobe hasn't yet updated Lightroom or Photoshop to support my new D610. So I can't import any of my RAW files to either program. I researched a temporary fix.

Note: This may not work in principle for other cameras. It works for the D610 because the RAW files are almost identical with the D600. Down the road, a similar fix might work with other cameras but you have to figure out what to try.

What you need to do is to rename the camera model in the EXIF data in the RAW file (in my case, they are ".NEF" files). To do that, you have to run a program to edit the metadata.

Note: this is for Windows 7. I'm sure Windows 8 is similar, but I'm also sure the Mac is different. There is a Mac version but I'm not going to try to tell you how to use it.

Here's what you have to do:

  1. Get exiftool.exe
  2. Upload the pictures from your camera to your computer
  3. Run exiftool on the whole batch of pictures. Has to be run from a command prompt.
You'll end up with files that you can now import into Lightroom or open in ACR.

OK, here's how. This may look long, but just do it step-by-step.

  • You have to unzip it and put it somewhere you can find it. For me, the easiest place was on the Desktop.
  • The filename is "exiftool(-k).exe". The "(-k)" will keep the window open when you run it from the command prompt, which you need to do if you're going to use the program just to view the exif data for an image (what the program is really for!). So right-click it and make a second copy on the desktop, then rename the copy to "exiftool.exe" so you can use it more easily to rename the camera model in a batch of files.

  • To run the program, you have to do it from the command prompt window. Click the Windows Start Menu icon (the beachball in the lower left corner) and type the word "command" in the search box. The first item that should come up is "Command Prompt". Click it. A black window will open up.

  • To run exiftool from the command prompt, you have to type the entire path, both to where the program is and to where the files are. To avoid having to do that every time, I decided to save the entire command in a text file so I could just cut and paste it into the command window. 
  • As it stands, the default command window doesn't allow you to simply cut and paste into it. Make it happen by right-clicking in the bar at the top of the black window, select "properties" and turn on QuickEdit Mode in the options window. That should be sticky.

  • A word about importing the files to the computer. Since my auto-import to Lightroom doesn't work on these files, I connected the SD card, viewed the files, and dragged the entire subfolder called 100ND610 (inside the DCIM folder on the SD card) to the desktop. After I import to Lightroom (including copying the files to where they're supposed to be), I can simply delete this folder. It's always the same name, so I don't have to retype the command line each time.

  • I opened Notepad and I typed in the following (of course replace the CAPS areas with your own info):
    C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\Desktop\exiftool.exe -model="NIKON D600" C:\Users\YOUR-USER-NAME\Desktop\FOLDER-WHERE-THE-PICTURES-ARE\*.nef
    Note that this command is continuous, all on one line. Blogger has split it to fit the window.

    In my case, the exact command was C:\Users\Glenn\Desktop\exiftool.exe -model="NIKON D600" C:\Users\Glenn\Desktop\100ND610\*.nef
  • Copy that from your notepad file (I saved the notepad file as "using exiftool.txt" on my desktop) and paste it into the command window. To paste into this window, you DON'T use ctrl-V, you simply right-click anywhere in the black window. Once it's there, click to run it.

  • If you have multiple files, it will take a minute of clicking and whirring before it's done. Then it will tell you, "x files have been changed".
Update: Open the window with the files in it before running the program. You can watch its progress! I just did about 100 files and it took about 5 minutes. I thought it was stuck until I opened it and saw it going through the files.
  • Now you can open Lightroom and use your usual import workflow, but your source files are the ones in the folder on the desktop, not on the SD card.
Phew! They don't make it easy, do they?

BONUS: you can view the metadata for any pictures by simply dragging and dropping the image file on top of the exiftool icon! Use the one with the (-k) in it so it will stay open for you to read it. You will be blown away by the amount of information your camera collects. Your shutter count will be about halfway down the list, by the way. This should work for ANY picture file, ANY camera.

Update: It seems most cameras do NOT show the shutter count in the EXIF. I tried several others and heard from readers who couldn't find it.

So that's how I did it. Good Luck!

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