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EXIF

Stands for "Exchangeable Image File Format." EXIF is a standard means of tagging image files with metadata, or additional information about the image. It is supported by both the TIFF and JPEG formats, but is most commonly seen in JPEG images captured with digital cameras.

When you take a picture with a digital camera, it automatically saves EXIF data with the photo. This typically includes the exposure time (shutter speed), f-number (aperture), ISO setting, flash (on/off), and the date and time. Some cameras may save additional EXIF data, such as the brightness value, white balance setting, metering mode, and sensing method. Many smartphones and some newer digital cameras also include GPS information, which is used for "geotagging" photos.

When you view a digital photo on your computer, the EXIF data is typically hidden by default. Therefore, you may need to select an option such as "Get Info," "View Properties," or "Show Inspector" from within your photo viewing application in order to view the EXIF data. In Photoshop, for example, you can select File → File Info…, then click the "Advanced" tab to view the EXIF properties.

NOTE: The PNG and GIF image formats do not support EXIF data.

Updated: May 28, 2012

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