Lightroom: Allow map module Time Zone Offset in "hh:mm:ss" format so you can correct map position errors from differences between camera and GPS time.

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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In the LR4 maps module (I haven't upgraded yet), there's an option to "Set Time Zone Offset" which allows you to enter a time offset. Typically this is used to correct for time difference between the time zone where the image was shot and the current time zone of the computer where LR is running. The offset is of the form h.p where h is hours and p is decimal parts of an hour (I think).

It would be very handy if LR provided a more flexible way to specify the time zone offset so you can make small offset adjustments -- in particular, in the form hh:mm:ss (hours:minutes:seconds).

Why do I want this such high resolution offsets? The real time clocks on my Canon camera bodies tend to run a bit slow and after a while they fall a few seconds behind GPS time. This means that after geotagging using my GPS tracks, the map location for images are slightly incorrect.

If LR provided a way to set the time zone offset down to the second, or had some other way to correct for the error between camera time and the GPS time, then these position errors could be eliminated.
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Sean Borman

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Posted 5 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I agree LR needs a way to correct for camera-clock errors in units smaller than an hour.

I don't agree this should be called a Time ZONE Adjustment because it is correcting for camera clock errors not only time zone errors.

In addition to map-module time corrections already described, the Edit Capture Time in Library also needs a way to specify corrections more precisely than only to the nearest hour.

For my geocoding, I use GeoSetter and is allows correcting the camera time to gps-time offset down to the second.
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Sean Borman

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Hi Steve. Glad you like the idea (though see below).

I'm fine with this not being a time zone adjustment (I did say above "or had some other way to correct for the error between camera time and the GPS time") but the TZ offset does provide an existing mechanism which could be utilized to achieve what I want. If overloading the Time Zone Offset in this way creates confusion then perhaps adding another setting might be appropriate, but adding Yet Another Setting does complicate things again.

I completely forgot about adjusting the capture time! Thanks for reminding me. That's probably The Right Way to go, since my image capture times really are incorrect. If I corrected the capture times prior to geotagging I'll avoid the position error problem (as well as have the correct capture time). Playing with the UI, it looks like it's possible to correct the capture time for a bunch of images to the second, so maybe we're done here?

I used to use geosetter prior to the introduction of the maps module in LR. Geosetter is a very nice tool, but I found the LR geotagging workflow to be much more efficient (though admittedly much less flexible) than geosetter.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Sean wrote, "Playing with the UI, it looks like it's possible to correct the capture time for a bunch of images to the second..."

Right. Someone here posted a clever trick for synchronizing a camera and GPS unit or multiple cameras with a watch. At the beginning of a shoot, just take a picture of the time displayed on the GPS unit. Then in LR, select all the pics in the shoot, with the pick of the GPS unit most selected. Do Metadata > Edit Capture Time and set the adjusted time to that displayed on the unit in the pic.
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Ferdinand Veldmans

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There is one reason why the current functionality regarding timezones in Lightroom is too limited: not all timezones are exactly on the hour. For example, India is 3.5 or 4.5 hours ahead of CET (depending on the month). I'm now using GeoSetter to get this corrected, but Lightroom should allow half an hour timezone adjustments too, not just complete hours.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Ferdinand wrote, "Lightroom should allow half an hour timezone adjustments too, not just complete hours."

To clarify for anyone reading this thread: LR does make it pretty easy to adjust the capture time of a set of photos by any amount, not just increments of hours:

1. Select the photos to be adjusted.
2. Do Metadata > Edit Capture Time.
3. Select the option "Adjust to a specified date and time".
4. Enter a Correct Time amount that is the original time plus or minus the desired adjustment.

In the example below, I'm subtracting 2.5 hours from a set of photos: