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Windows XP time zone correction

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Under Windows XP, most file displays show the file date-time identifier in terms of the current system time zone setting.

Thus, a file that was created at 2009.05.01 10:22 am (local time, as set in the O/S at the time of creation - in my case, CST) will now show up in file lists as having been created 2009.05.01 11:22 (local time, in the current system time zone, CDT). But later this year, when we are back on CST, that same file will show up again as having been created at 10:22 am.

This is of course silly and a real pain. If I am looking for a file with an image I know was taken just after church started one Sunday, about 10:00 am, but that was when CST was in effect, and now the system is running in CDT, I have to look for a file with a time of about 11:00 am.

Can this behavior be suppressed? I would like to have file times reported as of the time zone in effect when they were created - that is the context in which I likely know what they should have been.

Thanks for any help.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Jack_Flesher

New member
Set your PC to GMT and leave it there, and also turn off the automatic DLS adjustment. Of course this means your PC's displayed time will not be local, but your search problem will be solved.

Alternatively you could also try Googling "PC time stamp" and I suspect you would find a few programs to deal with the issue ;-)
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Jack,

Set your PC to GMT and leave it there, and also turn off the automatic DLS adjustment. Of course this means your PC's displayed time will not be local, but your search problem will be solved.
Yes, of course, but not really convenient.

Alternatively you could also try Googling "PC time stamp" and I suspect you would find a few programs to deal with the issue.
Yes, I've searched a bit, but no answer yet.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Mike Bailey

pro member
Doug,

If your machine and installation of XP are more than a couple of years old, maybe you're running into a general problem with all the new time zone changes in the U.S. with expanded daylight time? Maybe if you do a search for TZEDIT and get it from the Microsoft web site only - just to be sure of the source - that might help sort out your problem.

Just a guess.

Mike
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Mike,
Doug,

If your machine and installation of XP are more than a couple of years old, maybe you're running into a general problem with all the new time zone changes in the U.S. with expanded daylight time?
No, this does not have to do with changes in the machine time zone automatically changing on the wrong date. That was all sorted out.

The problem is Windows' practice of reporting the created/modified dates of files (in file lists) in terms of what that time would have been under the present time zone setting.

Thus if a file is created at 10:22 am on a day when the system time zone is set to CST, then later, on a day when the system time zone is set (quite rightly) to CDT, a file list will show the time of that file to be 11:22 am.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi, Mike,

No, this does not have to do with changes in the machine time zone automatically changing on the wrong date. That was all sorted out.

The problem is Windows' practice of reporting the created/modified dates of files (in file lists) in terms of what that time would have been under the present time zone setting.

Thus if a file is created at 10:22 am on a day when the system time zone is set to CST, then later, on a day when the system time zone is set (quite rightly) to CDT, a file list will show the time of that file to be 11:22 am.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Best regards,

Doug
Hi Doug, All,

First of all, let me demonstrate what Doug means. See the screen capture below. The areas marked in yellow show the real time the image was taken. The areas marked orange are shifted one hour due to summer time on my PC right now (I use XP with SP3).



So Doug, you can see that I do two things to deal with the issue:
1) I put the date and the time a picture taken into its file name when I import my pictures to my PC (I use ImageIngester Pro but almost all other ingesters do this).
2) I add to my Explorer the column called "Date Picture Taken". See the green marked area. It will always show the actual time and date, regardless of the time zone changes. You can search and sort on that field if you want to. But unfortunately, it only works for jpg/tif files, not for raw.

Having said this all, any DAM program worth its salt shows you the correct dates and you should be using one anyway ;-). See below:

Lightroom:


Photo Mechanic:


IrfanView (free):





HTH,

Cheers,
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Cem,

Hi Doug, All,

First of all, let me demonstrate what Doug means.
Thanks for that nice presentation.

Having said this all, any DAM program worth its salt shows you the correct dates and you should be using one anyway
Well, every "program" I use does that, in fact most times using the Windows Explorer presentation of the shot date/time from the exif metadata. Here's an example with IrfanView:



My complaint is only with the Windows presentation of file dates.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
...My complaint is only with the Windows presentation of file dates.
OK, that is something we won't be able to change on the short term :).
That is one of the reasons why I embed the image date and time in the name itself which never changes.

Cheers,
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Cem,

OK, that is something we won't be able to change on the short term :).
That is one of the reasons why I embed the image date and time in the name itself which never changes.
I have never been motivated to do that since almost any place I can see the filename I can see the actual date of the shot (admittedly not for Canon raw files, but I almost always have any raw file accompanied by its related JPG file).

Best regards,

Doug
 
I have never been motivated to do that since almost any place I can see the filename I can see the actual date of the shot (admittedly not for Canon raw files, but I almost always have any raw file accompanied by its related JPG file).
I am with Cem on this one. Just name the files cleanly. I use Image Ingester Pro to offload cards, rename the files (SPE*XXXX_YYYYMMDD.cr2) in YYYY/MM/DD/ folder structure, create a redundant archival copy of the file, and validate that the RAW file is not corrupt (can be converted by Camera Raw).

Preaching aside, I might try the UTC w/o daylight savings adjustments, or better yet you need an archive management tool (not Bridge which is just a browser) that will let you search through your EXIF data.
Or you could just search in a two hour time range and search through twice as many images visually.

some thoughts,

Sean
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Sean,
I am with Cem on this one. Just name the files cleanly. I use Image Ingester Pro to offload cards, rename the files (SPE*XXXX_YYYYMMDD.cr2) in YYYY/MM/DD/ folder structure, create a redundant archival copy of the file, and validate that the RAW file is not corrupt (can be converted by Camera Raw).

Preaching aside, I might try the UTC w/o daylight savings adjustments, or better yet you need an archive management tool (not Bridge which is just a browser) that will let you search through your EXIF data.
Or you could just search in a two hour time range and search through twice as many images visually.
I just look through them on the basis of time shot, which is presented on the file list by essentially every tool I use to visually (or otherwise) examine image files (again, on the JPG file only, of course). It's very direct.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Martin Paris

New member
I totally agree with you

Hi,

I have the same problem as you :-(.
I have created two small bat files (I am on Windows) to remedy the problem.
I use this to set the file datetime to the exif datetime:
exiv2 mv -T *.*

When you now look with the programs that show the time in relation to your local time, the correct local time from when the picture taken is shown. For me that is what I need. When you would look when the timezone is set again to the place where you took the picture, it is off again, not an issue for me.

I got exiv2 here: http://www.exiv2.org/download.html

I also sometimes forget to set my camera to correct timezone when travelling.
I created this to correct that:
exiv2 ad -a %1 *.*
exiv2 mv -T *.*

I call the bat file from the command line with an argument, for instance +02:00:00 when I have to correct 2 hours. The first line corrects that in exif data, the second line makes sure the file datetime is set to the exif datetime.

Martin
 
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