Lightroom: Synchronize time stamp of images from different cameras

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I would like to kindly repeat my idea of helping us with adjusting order of images in the same catalog, but coming from different cameras. This situation happen when more than one person photographs an event, and when the cameras invariably have timestamps offset by some value.

For example: here my wife uses her Leica V-Lux 3 and photographs me photographing our grand-kids:



Arguably at almost the same time I shot probably this image with the EOS-6D (unprocessed, details here not important):



But due to displacement in timestamps in our cameras, that image is in a weird sequence in the album:



I would like Lightroom to allow me to select two images and to tell: "set timestamp on Image A and B equal. Adjust all images from the same camera, from which image B comes, by the same offset. " Currently its a bit of a hassle to achieve:

1) get exact timestamp 1 e.g. in library module
2) get exact timestamp 2
3) calculate the time difference down to milli seconds or seconds.
4) quit Lightroom.
5) go to the directory with images.
6) write exiftool macro to adjust the time by h:min:sec:ms
7) run the macro
8) restart Lightroom.

Finally, now it makes sense, images appear in a logical sequence at last!!

I think that's algorithmically easy stuff to do, and a great help to the users.

Thomas
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ThomasH

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Posted 4 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Good idea. In the meantime, this is fairly easy to do now, thusly:

* Determine the difference in time between cameras.
* Adjust all pictures from one camera by the time difference.

See Metadata menu -> Edit Capture Time. "Shift by set number.." is what you want.

Rob
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ThomasH

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Rob:
Well, sadly, it is not: LR does not allow to specify exact time offset in this setting, only by a whole amount of hours. This batch setting Library : "Metadata"/"Edit Capture Time" is of course known to me, I used it on several occasions when we changed time zone and forgot to adjust the one or another camera. But this does not provide the versatility needed for the task. It is very restrictive and frankly, very simplistic in its implementation. Addresses a few special cases only.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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1. Use the Library Filter to segregate the pictures taken with the wrong-time camera. Select that group of pictures.
2. Go to Metadata > Edit Capture Time and select Adjust To a Specific Time
3. Change the Corrected Time to the precise second you need
4. Press Change

All images will be adjusted by the offset you specified to the second. Eliminates 4 of your 8 steps and gets you to within a second on all images. No need to leave Lightroom.
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Rob Cole

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A tad confusing UI-wise if you ask me, but does just what the OP wanted:

Offset equals specified date-time minus most-selected date-time, to the second.

Good catch Rikk.
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ThomasH

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I will better copy the directory for a test.... Adjust to _which_ offset? The interface is confusing indeed, this option looks rather like a change of time to a very specific time point. Rikk claims that LR will calculate the offset of one of the images, and apply the very same offset to the rest. LR has this duo-level selection in its interface. Maybe this is how it works: the offset will be calculated from the (how to call it?) primary selected image in the selected image group? Its worth the test, this would indeed simplify the life.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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There's an example of it here, if it helps you to visualise it: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/time-ca...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Another tip from these forums:

At the beginning of the shoot, have each camera take a pic of a watch or phone screen displaying the time (including seconds). Then in LR, use Rikk's approach:

- Filter all the pics from one camera.
- Select them all, with the pic of watch/phone "most selected".
- Do Edit Capture Time and set the time to be that shown in the pic of the watch/phone.
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Rob Cole

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Or, instead of taking a picture of a watch with both cameras, have one camera take a picture of the time on the other camera - then you only have to change the one ;-}.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Right!
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Rob Cole

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ThomasH

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Good point! The description at the radio button "Adjust to a specified date and time" is indeed not telling the entire and correct story.

Even still, as much as I appreciate the pointer: Have the posters _really tested it_, that it works, and have they realized just how much effort it is?

I just made experiments on the very same folder, which I exported as a separate catalog to be on a safe side. Lets enumerate the steps:

1) pick the photo 1, camera 1, photo 2, camera 2. Note the desired time point for (say) camera 2.
2) select sort order "sorted by added order" or maybe by file name. to get all files from camera 2 together.
3) keep scrolling the catalog grid, till the images of camera 2 are being found.
4) oops, now starts to be complicated: Select the 1st image, find the last image, press shift and select.
5) but: the desired "primary selection" is not the 1st image, how to select an image in the middle of the bunch?
6) giving up: we have to operate on two bunches: Select the image in the middle, which is the reference image. Press shift and select the last image.
7) Now we have changed the time stamp of the latter part of the bunch.
8) repeat for the other half of the bunch. Apply a new time on the image in front of the previous primary selection.

Nah, thanx, but thanx. I am faster and better with my exiftool batch file.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I do a lot of this sort of thing all the time. It sounds like you're not that experienced working with LR yet. There are a number of things you can do to make this quick and efficient.

1. Define a Library Filter Bar preset called "Camera" that has just the camera column in the Metadata filter.

2. Many people's workflow involves importing into subfolders labeled by date. So in the source pane, select the desired folder(s) containing your shoot.

3. Then invoke the Filter Bar preset "Camera" and click on the desired camera. Now just the pics from that camera on the desired date are showing.

4. Do Ctrl-A (or Cmd-A on Mac) to select all the pics.

5. Click on the pic you want "most selected", e.g. the one with the picture of the watch/phone/other camera time. All the pics will remain selected, with the desired pic most selected.

6. Do Edit Capture Time.