What is EXIF data, and is it useful for your photography?

EXIF data
When you take a photo with a digital camera, all sorts of technical information is saved at the same time, including the shutter speed and aperture used, the ISO setting, white balance setting and more. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Before digital photography came to dominate and images were captured on film, there were only two ways to know what camera settings had been used for each  photo. This was relying on your memory or meticulously writing the specifics down in a notebook when each shot was taken. 

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Andrew James

Andrew makes his living as a photographer, videographer and journalist. For 26 years he was a specialist magazine editor, the last 13 of which were on Practical Photography magazine. A long-time expert in photographic techniques across many disciplines, he's a self-confessed photo generalist, and a font of creative knowledge to capturing just about any subject, although he has a strong leaning to wildlife and travel photography. Andrew's wide-ranging photography experience means he authors the long-running Photo Answers section for Digital Camera Magazine. His work as a journalist, guide and educator dovetails neatly into his commitment to Foto-Buzz - an online subscription community he founded, where Andrew writes articles, films tutorials and records blogs on all manner of photo-related subjects and techniques for enthusiast photographers.