Seems like when you ask questions about photos, people really really want to see the RAWs with their own eyes instead of taking anything you say for granted.

There are a few obstacles though:

  1. Where am I supposed to upload RAWs when posting such questions on this site? Am I just supposed to use a third-party file sharing service? Is there one that people here think should be used in particular for any reason?

  2. RAWs contain identifying information, including but (I assume) not limited to lens and body serial numbers, and... well, what if I don't want those floating around on the internet? How do I remove them? I'm intending the answer to this question to contain a guide or a small command that the future users can easily copy-paste or follow.

  3. Extension of #2, but how do I make sure to remove proprietary data that tools might not recognize? It's not enough if I just remove the serial numbers from the standardized EXIF fields, because there is a lot of proprietary information in each photo and I would be shocked if none of it was identifying information. Is there a reasonably easy way for a competent user to do this? Again, I'm intending the answer to contain some kind of guide here.

Otherwise, if these don't work and if I care about privacy, is there something I can do that will satisfy everyone's curiosity besides post the RAW?


1 Answer 1

  1. Yes. Filebin.net is a light and a sufficient one.
  2. I did not hear about single way of doing it. In generally you run exiftool -args IMG8987.pef and check all lines containing serial. This is very specific to OEMs.
  3. You may use exiftool this way:

    exiftool -MakerNotes:all= IMG987234.dng

    to remove all OEM information alltogether (and this will leave only tiny amount of metadata) or even

    exiftool -all:all= IMG987234.dng

but this will strip huge piece of useful information too including F, shutter and probably even a camera model and will make the file unusable in many programs. I did not suggest to use it in my comment because I'd do better with this information included. If you are completely sure in that you have set everything to manual and aperture to opened you may do it. Proprietrary data is denoted with (binary). If you want to see how much data camera records to RAW files download the file from another camera and compare exiftool dumps. 4. When dealing with complex technical issues there is nothing common about RAW files which is enough.

Interestingly, the RAW file is proprietrary itself. I mean, if an OEM wants to make unique identification of all cameras using RAW files independently from metadata they may well do it by adding encrypted noise to image data (masked pixels, for example), and nobody will ever know that because of noise.

So, if you really want to not compromise your identity you should never share unedited images or images with metadata at all. I wonder how to you deal with your internet browser fingerprint tho.

  • \$\begingroup\$ from your comment on the main question: exiftool -InternalSerialNumber=0 -LensSerialNumber=0 -SerialNumber=0 -LensInfo:LensSerialNumber=0 IMG_0762.CR2. If you can't, you may try ExifToolGUI, there is a button Exiftool direct in it, the command is -InternalSerialNumber=0 -LensSerialNumber=0 -SerialNumber=0 -LensInfo:LensSerialNumber=0 \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mikew: I know that it is not obvious judging by the look of many photography resources but Canon is not the only OEM. Those commands are specific to CR2 files of T5i and I do not know whether they are applicable even to all Canon models. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just moving the comment here because I was cleaning out the 40 comments that were there. Should I delete this then? Looks like you've suggested something more generic \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mikew: yes I did but you did well preserving it. Command from the answer is more generic but removes more information. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .