Why is Elements not maintaining all Exif info? (maker notes are supposed to be removed)

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I currently use PSE 10, but found that this problem is in other versions as well, including more current versions. When editing an image in PSE, the software should add/replace the appropriate tags such as "Software" and "ModifyDate", and maintain ALL remaining tags. Instead, a large number of tags are missing after the edit, as I first noticed on Flickr and then verified by using ExifToolGUI. This was also verified in a topic I placed in the PSE discussion groups. This also does not appear to be camera dependent, as I now am using a different camera (Canon 70D) than when the problem was first discovered.

My best guess (as a software developer myself) as to what is happening is the software is reading in a subset of the tags (as opposed to the whole file), making updates/additions, and then rewriting the tags back out as a new file. But since it read in only a subset of the original Exif, the resulting Exif is missing data.

For a quick test, take a fresh JPG, make a simple edit, and save as a separate image file. Use ExifToolGUI and look at the "Maker" tab. That section, which had a large number of tags originally, has no tags in the updated JPG.
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Dave Trono

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Posted 4 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Not all EXIF tags can be kept - Maker Notes especially are not safe to keep (ie: would cause crashes in some software).
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Dave Trono

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Not trying to be difficult, but that makes no sense at all. If Flickr, for example, can read and display Exif tags (e.g. the Maker tags) on an unedited image, then they can certainly read those same tags after an Exif has been processed by an editor such as PSE. PSE should be adding/modifying tags that apply as a direct result of editing (e.g. the Software and ModifyDate), but they have no business whatsoever touching other tags that do not apply.

I highly doubt if other photo editors are doing what Adobe is doing to the Exifs.
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Chris Cox

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Maker notes in EXIF are not intended to be portable - they are undocumented information from the device maker. Once the file is edited, maker notes MUST be removed. If they are not removed, then the data inside can lead to crashes (because file offsets inside the tag are no longer valid, and frequently the information they contain is no longer valid). The maker notes are only valid in the original file from the camera/scanner, and must be removed when the image is edited or altered in any way.

Other photo editors do exactly the same thing.