05 September 2004

Patch to add Nikon "MakerNote" Support to jhead

About a year and a half ago, I wrote the author of jhead with a nice patch that fetched the extra EXIF information in the “MakerNote” section supplied by Nikon digital cameras. One would think that obtaining this extra information, above and beyond what is specified in the EXIF standard tags would be useful. Especially given that Nikon has around a 15% share of the digital camera market, and a larger percentage of the digital SLR market. Instead I got a curt reply from the author…

My philosophy has been not to implement maker note. If I start including maker note, the program becumes MUCH bigger, because each camera has its own set of maker notes. Plus, these will contain fields that other cameras don’t even have. And that makes testing and maintaining the program harder.

The solution is not to buy cameras that include lots of proprietary tags.

I can understand not wanting feature creep in the program. As far as compatibility, I had gone to some pains to not create conflicts with working files, frankly the code needs an quick automated test set anyway. And that last part, well, that’s great advice. I shouldn’t buy a camera that doesn’t include any information above and beyond the standard. Knowing what lens was used for a given picture is not at all valuable information I’d want to have when viewing pictures. Thanks for that!

As it turns out, now 16 months later, the most recent version of jhead does have support for “MakerNote” information but only for Canon. The inner conspiracy theorist in me wants to think this is part of yet another Canon vs. Nikon squabble, but never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by apathy.

So, here is a patch I’ve written that adds back the support I once had. It is more involved than the perfunctory Canon support that the author has written, since Nikon has an “EXIF-in-a-EXIF” format for their MakerNote data and I tried to reuse the EXIF parser rather than copy the code. Let me know if this code proves useful to you.

D100 I

  • Lens

  • Focus Mode

  • Auto-focus Position

  • White Balance Name

  • White Balance Bias

  • Flash Setting

  • Flash Metering Mode

  • Noise Reduction

  • JPEG Image Sharpening

Creative Commons License

This patch is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

No comments: