Set or change datetimedigitized and display file create date in Lightroom

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  • Updated 6 years ago
As far as I have been able to determine, there is no way to use LR4 directly to set or modify datetimedigitized. You can do it with plugins that use an external program (requiring you to save metadata, run the plugin or program, and read the new data back into LR). I believe that "Edit Capture Time" in previous versions of LR would write the capture time to datetimedigitized if that field was blank, but even that doesn't work anymore, and it provided no way to edit an existing date.

Why is this important? I work with many scanned photos, and need to set or edit a datetimedigitized that is different than the datetimeoriginal. It should be possible to do this directly in LR.

The need to display the file create date is a related issue. Often, this date is the best estimate available of datetimedigitized, especially since lightroom updates datetimemodified any time it writes metadata to the file, making this very unreliable as a source for datetimedigitized. You can see the file create date in LR only by opening the file in windows explorer, or setting "edit capture time" to "change to file creation date". Both of these are convoluted ways of displaying and file creation date.

These changes would make working with scanned images much easier.

David
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David Todd

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Posted 6 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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All those plugins probably use EXIFtool. You can preprocess using the same tool, eliminating the reimport of metadata.

Of course, for a scan, the date/time digitized is the time it was scanned.

Lightroom has refined the datetime stuff to only write to some of the many datetime fields in EXIF and elsewhere in the image file. This was done deliberately, I recall, because it is technically a wrong thing to do, and causes other problems for other people.
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David Todd

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Thanks for the reply John. I do use EXIFtool for pre-processing now when I do new scans ( in addition to the fact that I know know that Vuescan will allow you to write both datetimeoriginal and datetimedigitized to scans as you create them). However, I have a lot of old scans that I am now trying to organize with Lightroom and was quite surprised to find that there is not even any way to write or edit datetimedigitized within Lightroom. Seems pretty basic. Also it has taken a very long time for me to discover, learn, and adapt tools that will handle these issues, there are cumbersome to use, and it seems like something that should be included in the metadata management tools which are part of LR.

David
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I also work with scans, and I agree that it would be useful to manage Date Time Digitized from within LR.

Some versions of LR 3 did mistakenly overwrite Date Time Digitized as part of LR's transition to the Metadata Working Group standard, but that was fixed in LR 3.5:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

When the needs of people managing scans is mentioned in these forums, a standard response of LR enthusiasts is that LR is intended primarily to manage the output of digital cameras. But that focus has been widening, as LR 3 added video capability and LR 4 expanded it. With the release of the LR 4 beta, the LR team stated their goal of providing "a single, robust workflow solution that can support all of your imaging needs regardless if they’re still images or video captures". Obviously, many users manage the output of both digital and analog cameras.