How to preserve exif metadata in images in Linux

1.0 Exif metadata not preserved by image editing program

Problem: After an image is developed and edited by image editing software and saved in a format like JPEG, it does not have the Exif metadata.

2.0 Solution

Surprising quite a few image editing programs do not preserve the Exif metadata of images and attempts to read Exif get outputs like this.

$ exiv2 DSC_6683.jpg File name : DSC_6683.jpg File size : 23652200 Bytes MIME type : image/jpeg Image size : 6024 x 4024 DSC_6683.jpg: No Exif data found in the file

But, no worries, you can simply copy the Exif data from the camera raw file to the developed JPEG using the exiftool command. For example,

$ exiftool -tagsFromFile DSC_6683.NEF DSC_6683.jpg 1 image files updated $ exiv2 DSC_6683.jpg File name : DSC_6683.jpg File size : 23688740 Bytes MIME type : image/jpeg Image size : 6024 x 4024 Camera make : XXXXX CORPORATION Camera model : XXXXX X999 Image timestamp : 2017:10:07 17:40:55 Image number : Exposure time : 1/30 s Aperture : F7.1 Exposure bias : 0 EV Flash : Flash bias : Focal length : 24.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24.0 mm) Subject distance: ISO speed : 125 Exposure mode : Manual Metering mode : Multi-segment Macro mode : Image quality : RAW Exif Resolution : White balance : PRESET1 Thumbnail : None Copyright : John Doe Exif comment : $

You can delete some tags. For example, to delete the shutter speed and aperture, the command is,

$ exiftool -ExposureTime= -FNumber= DSC_6683.jpg

And, to get the tag names for using as parameters in the exiftool command, run

$ exiftool -s DSC_6683.jpg ExifToolVersion : 10.10 FileName : DSC_6683.jpg Directory : . FileSize : 19 MB FileModifyDate : 2017:11:28 17:21:48+05:30 FileAccessDate : 2017:11:28 17:21:54+05:30 FileInodeChangeDate : 2017:11:28 17:21:48+05:30 FilePermissions : rw-rw-r-- FileType : JPEG FileTypeExtension : jpg MIMEType : image/jpeg JFIFVersion : 1.01 ...

The left column gives the tag names which you can use as parameters in the exiftool command.

Software: