EOS cameras offer some ability to add metadata to digital images as they are taken. The metadata is added in the file, and can be read by many software tools.

Metadata is used in photography as a term to describe additional information that is added to the digital file. Sometimes the metadata is added in-camera, and for many photographers adding metadata is something that they do when filing, cataloguing and post processing their pictures.

At the most basic level, the camera adds data to the file that describes the camera settings that were employed to create the picture; shutter speed, aperture and ISO are examples. However with the complexity of modern cameras and the ever increasing thirst for data the latest advanced camera allows much more than mere camera settings.

There are three possible sections for adding your own metadata to camera images

  1. Copyright notice
  2. FTP captions for cameras with a WFT accessory, or FTP mode built-in
  3. IPTC captions


1. Copyright notice

The majority of EOS cameras have the option of adding a copyright notice in to each photos metadata as the photos is made. Often you can enter the copyright notice from the camera menu, you can also use EOS Utility too.

There are just two fields, the author’s name and the copyright details. Once entered these are added in a standardised part of the image files metadata. Meaning they can be read by a lot of different software applications.

If you’re eagle-eyed you’ll start writing to tell me there are three fields, it is true, but the Owner’s name is not shown in other software applications, apart from Canon DPP so it’s not regular metadata that’s widely readable.

2. Adding a caption to images transferred from the camera with FTP

For many years the addition of a Canon wireless file transmitter has added the ability to choose one of 15 preset captions to be appended to an image prior to it being sent to an ftp server. With some forethought the 15 captions can be configured for many different purposes.


If you do use these captions you need to make a small change to Adobe Bridge so that the captions are displayed with the other metadata.

3. IPTC information

EOS-1D X Mark II & EOS 5D Mark IV only

The EOS-1D X Mark II had a firmware update right after it’s launch to allow 39 standard metadata fields to be assigned in the camera. From the camera menu, the photographer can choose whether to add these fields or not using the custom functions. EOS 5D Mark IV included the same ability from its launch. The fields currently are configured when the camera is connected to EOS Utility.

If you configure the user and copyright notice fields in the IPTC template then they will take precedence over the ones configured in the camera menu.

I do wish it was possible to have several sets of IPTC data saved to a memory card and that I could load direct in to the camera from the card.



About the IPTC - International Press Telecommunications Council

The IPTC was established by a group of news organisations including the Alliance Européenne des Agences de Presse, ANPA (now NAA), FIEJ (now WAN) and the North American News Agencies (a joint committee of Associated Press, Canadian Press and United Press International) to safeguard the telecommunications interests of the World’s Press. Since the late 1970’s IPTC’s activities have primarily focussed on developing and publishing Industry Standards for the exchange of news data of all common media types.