Date Time Digitized and Date Time differ from Date Modified and Date Created

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Date Time Digitized and Date Time do not match the Date Modified and Date Created for a CR2 file when those fields have been modified in the original file. The MAC OS Finder reports the values in those fields correctly, LR reports the original value. The Date Time Original is correct.
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Jonathan Kannair

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Posted 2 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Those fields all have different meanings and, in general, shouldn't match:

EXIF:DateTimeOriginal: When the shutter was clicked. This field is stored inside the file's metadata, and Mac Finder won't display it.  Windows File Explorer will display it as Date Taken.

EXIF:DateTimeDigitized: When the image was converted to digital form. For digital cameras, DateTimeDigitized will be the same as DateTimeOriginal; for scans of analog pics, DateTimeDigitized is the date of the scan, while DateTimeOriginal was when the shutter was clicked on the film camera. Mac Finder won't display it, 

EXIF:DateTime: When photo software last modified the image or its metadata. LR reads that field but doesn't update it, as required by the EXIF standard. Neither Finder nor File Explorer display it.

Operating system Date Modified, as reported by Finder or File Explorer: The time that any application or the camera or operating system itself modified the file. For example, every time LR saves metadata back to the file, the Date Modified will get updated.

Operating system Date Created, as reported by Finder or File Explorer: The time that the original file was created by the camera or operating system. On OS X, many applications and the Finder will preserve Date Created as the file is copied or modified by creating a copy and deleting the original. But increasingly, more and more apps and utilities (including Lightroom and some Apple apps and utilities) will not preserve Date Created when a file is copied or modified.  On Windows, Date Created is always set to "now" whenever a file is copied or modified by making a copy and deleting the original (some backup utilities will preserve it).
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Jonathan Kannair

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Thank you, that is very helpful to get confirmation that Date Time Digitized and Date Time are NOT related to OS the Date Modified and Date Created. Which is what I was beginning to suspect.

In this case,  I had CR2 files which, due to an incorrect time zone had the wrong Date Time Original, and I wanted those files to sort by capture time with other camera files which had the correct time.

I used A Better Finder Attribute (ABFA) to modify the raw files correcting the Date Modified and Date Created and then copying that value to the Date Time Original again using ABFA. That way all the files sort by capture time  in LR as LR does correctly read the corrected Date Time Original. The files also then have the same Date Created and Date Modified time in the Finder. I did not understand clearly, until your explanation, that the other two fields Date Time Digitized and Date Time are actually different than Date Modified and Date Created.

One point of clarification, for most digital camera files, those three values will be the same, or very close to the same within seconds (Date Time Original, Date Time Digitized and Date Time) and if you don't let LR write changes in the the raw files those values will not change. 

I am aware that I could have used Edit Capture Time in LR to shift the time stamp of the original files so long as I let the LR write the changes into the RAW files.