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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Sony shooters - does this happen to you?
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08/05/2015 07:29:22 AM · #1
Well, if nothing else, this exercise has provided me with a boatload of new resources. On a Lightroom forum I was introduced to Jeffrey Friedl's Metadata Viewer Plugin for Lightroom. Man is this thing detailed!! It's not pretty, but it decodes far more information than what Lightroom or Photoshop show in the File Info dialogue. It color codes data into EXIF, Maker Notes and Derived fields, so I'm going to assume that if it's not officially EXIF then LR won't use it.

I'm still not seeing anything for Sony with partial seconds, but I am seeing a sequence number in the Maker Notes data that will tell you the image's place in a Continuous sequence. That really buys you nothing more than the original filename would, but I can't imagine that LR engineers couldn't figure out a way to use it in their sorts. I suspect their position is that if they cannot accurately glean precise sub-second information then they won't fudge a number in there (i.e. just use the sequence number as thousandths of a second). And there's a boatload of undecoded data fields in there as well, so the information could be in there - but I'm starting to doubt it.

Frustrating, but hey, I'm learning stuff. LOL
08/04/2015 10:34:25 PM · #2
And even the shutter actuation is a calculated value on the Sony, and isn't right as far as I can see. I've never reset the filename counter on my camera and the current filename is DSC7593. But when I upload that file to the Sony shutter count site I get this...

Detected Model: ILCE-6000
Shutter actuations made up to file DSC07593.ARW: 6278
| | | | Sony_Tag9050_0x0032 = 134
| | | | Sony_Tag9050_0x0033 = 24
| | | | Sony_Tag9050_0x0034 = 0
(65536 * 0) + (256 * 24) + 134 = 6278

That's WAY too low.

If you're curious, the site to get your count is //tools.science.si/index.php

Message edited by author 2015-08-04 22:36:10.
08/04/2015 10:22:05 PM · #3
I dug into the Nikon EXIF and sure enough they do it the same way. I was confused because there was no recorded subseconds in the actual date field, but there's a SubSecTime field. There is no such field that I can find on the Sony. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist somewhere in the Sony metadata, just that Photoshop doesn't know where it is. It's the same thing with shutter actuations - with Nikon it's there to be had, but you need to know where to decode it on the Sony file (it took me forever to find a site that would do that for their files). I downloaded something called RevealEXIF for the Mac that will display Sony EXIF and there's a lot of stuff in there that is not decoded. It wouldn't surprise me if subseconds are buried in there somewhere. I exported the metadata as an XML file and there's an awful lot of "Unknown Tags" listed in there.

Message edited by author 2015-08-04 22:24:41.
08/04/2015 08:01:21 PM · #4
So, when I got home today I loaded a card in the 6D, stepped out the back door and held down the shutter button until the buffer was full, a total of 15 shots. Imported them to Lr 5 on my laptop, sorting by capture time. Lo and behold, they sorted in the correct order. With 15 opportunities to screw up, and either four or five files in each second to deal with, that's no coincidence, so I concluded that there was in fact some subsecond data available.
Next, I exported small JPEG files from Lr, and opened the series in Ps. Looking at the date/time digitized, many have the same stamp (either four or five per second). Looking in the LensInfo section, I found that the first of the files had a SubSecTimeDigitized and SubSecTimeOriginal of "00" which is the same as for shots that were not part of a rapid series.
Subsequent files in the series, however, had subsecond values which were non-zero, except the tenth image in the series which by coincidence landed back on zero. The elapsed time between the subsecond values corresponded with the frame rate of the camera.
My conclusion from this is that the Canon camera does not record a subsecond value if the shot is not part of a series. If it is, then a subsecond value is recorded, and it is properly seen and used by Lr, at least back to 5.x.
After a little 'net searching, it seems that this behavior is common to some other brands as well. I'm wondering if Sony has a different spot where the subsecond data is kept. I find it hard to believe that they would neglect it. In any case, if they are recording it, it would seem that Lr is not finding it.

Message edited by author 2015-08-04 20:02:49.
08/04/2015 02:49:54 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

What I'm having trouble finding out anywhere is if Sony actually records partial seconds on their images.

I'm not seeing any sub-second breakdown on my a7r EXIF... Interesting...


Particularly for a mirrorless that is capable of shooting at such high frame rates.
08/04/2015 02:31:03 PM · #6
Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

What I'm having trouble finding out anywhere is if Sony actually records partial seconds on their images.

I'm not seeing any sub-second breakdown on my a7r EXIF... Interesting...
08/04/2015 02:26:25 PM · #7
Originally posted by kirbic:

Do this... open a file in Ps, and open the File Info window. In the Advanced tab, click the arrow on EXIF Properties. Under DateTimeOriginal you will see the date and time, to the second, but there will normally not be sub-secondinformation there. Look further down, under exif: LensInfo; you will see two parameters, exif:SubSecTimeDigitized and exif:SubSecTimeOriginal. Does the subsecond information appear there? It does not appear there on files recorded by the Canon 6D, and I can't find it elsewhere. Now I'm really interested to see if files from the 6D display in the correct order.


We must be using different versions of Photoshop (I see no advanced tab) but, Ding-Ding-Ding, we have a winner. Date Created is visible without parsing through the Raw EXIF data and it clearly shows thousandths of a second for Nikon but no partial seconds with Sony.

Here's the odd thing, when I look through the actual Raw Data section on the Nikon file it does not show milliseconds for DateTimeOriginal, but when I dig down and find photoshop:DateCreated there they are.

And Paul by "under" he means "below" in the file. It's like XML, a bunch of named pairs telling you what you're looking at and then the value. :)

08/04/2015 02:04:27 PM · #8
WTF would fractional timing be recorded under "Lens Info"?

Sure would be nice if camera manufacturers provided a table of how and what their cameras record in the various EXIF fields, since it's obviously not standardized ... :-(
08/04/2015 01:58:43 PM · #9
Do this... open a file in Ps, and open the File Info window. In the Advanced tab, click the arrow on EXIF Properties. Under DateTimeOriginal you will see the date and time, to the second, but there will normally not be sub-secondinformation there. Look further down, under exif: LensInfo; you will see two parameters, exif:SubSecTimeDigitized and exif:SubSecTimeOriginal. Does the subsecond information appear there? It does not appear there on files recorded by the Canon 6D, and I can't find it elsewhere. Now I'm really interested to see if files from the 6D display in the correct order.
08/04/2015 01:26:25 PM · #10
What I'm having trouble finding out anywhere is if Sony actually records partial seconds on their images. It's hard for me to believe that a camera that shoots 11fps wouldn't, but I'm hearing from Sony folks that they can't seem to find partials anywhere. I'm also hearing that Lightroom strips them on import anyway, so there's got to be a secondary criteria that Adobe uses to sort. I'm getting no response from the folks on the Adobe forum.
08/04/2015 09:21:32 AM · #11
Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

... BUT, the difference is, when I change the Sort Order to Capture Time from Added Order the Nikon images will sort correctly - the Sony's will not.


And *that's* why I want to test with Canon. I can run the test with both the 6D and the old 5D "classic" bodies.
08/04/2015 08:54:58 AM · #12
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

I'm hearing that it's a Lightroom issue in that it ignores the partial seconds on the capture time in metadata. I can accept that, but you'd think they'd have a secondary sort that would use something like filename as a tie breaker.


Given that pretty much every SLR in existence shoots more than one frame per second, you'd think they'd fix that. All they need to do is treat a date/time as such and use the precision that's present. The computing power required is tiny. BTW, what version of Lr are you running? I'm wondering if this is fixed in Lr 6?


Right?! I'm on LR CC and just updated to the latest version this weekend. I'm amazed that they don't go to milliseconds on time-based sorts - and that it hasn't been an issue for other photographers to this point that someone would make some noise about it.


I'm a-gonna have to test this... not like I have a high-rate camera, but still, I should be able to fire off a long series and see if I get the same behavior.


I tested it on the Sony in all three continuous modes - High, Medium & Low - and in every case there is a random order to the images shot within the same second. I then tried it in manual mode where the best I could do was 2 fps and while it took me a few tries I was able to reproduce the issue with 2 images fired within the same second.

I then tested it with three Nikons, a D7100, D610 and D750, and the import process seems to do the same thing - takes images taken within the same second and imports them in a random order. BUT, the difference is, when I change the Sort Order to Capture Time from Added Order the Nikon images will sort correctly - the Sony's will not.

I've got a thread going on the Adobe forum so I'm going to post my findings there and lodge a complaint.
08/04/2015 08:10:24 AM · #13
Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

I'm hearing that it's a Lightroom issue in that it ignores the partial seconds on the capture time in metadata. I can accept that, but you'd think they'd have a secondary sort that would use something like filename as a tie breaker.


Given that pretty much every SLR in existence shoots more than one frame per second, you'd think they'd fix that. All they need to do is treat a date/time as such and use the precision that's present. The computing power required is tiny. BTW, what version of Lr are you running? I'm wondering if this is fixed in Lr 6?


Right?! I'm on LR CC and just updated to the latest version this weekend. I'm amazed that they don't go to milliseconds on time-based sorts - and that it hasn't been an issue for other photographers to this point that someone would make some noise about it.


I'm a-gonna have to test this... not like I have a high-rate camera, but still, I should be able to fire off a long series and see if I get the same behavior.
08/04/2015 07:28:55 AM · #14
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

I'm hearing that it's a Lightroom issue in that it ignores the partial seconds on the capture time in metadata. I can accept that, but you'd think they'd have a secondary sort that would use something like filename as a tie breaker.


Given that pretty much every SLR in existence shoots more than one frame per second, you'd think they'd fix that. All they need to do is treat a date/time as such and use the precision that's present. The computing power required is tiny. BTW, what version of Lr are you running? I'm wondering if this is fixed in Lr 6?


Right?! I'm on LR CC and just updated to the latest version this weekend. I'm amazed that they don't go to milliseconds on time-based sorts - and that it hasn't been an issue for other photographers to this point that someone would make some noise about it.
08/04/2015 07:24:31 AM · #15
Originally posted by backdoorhippie:

I'm hearing that it's a Lightroom issue in that it ignores the partial seconds on the capture time in metadata. I can accept that, but you'd think they'd have a secondary sort that would use something like filename as a tie breaker.


Given that pretty much every SLR in existence shoots more than one frame per second, you'd think they'd fix that. All they need to do is treat a date/time as such and use the precision that's present. The computing power required is tiny. BTW, what version of Lr are you running? I'm wondering if this is fixed in Lr 6?
08/04/2015 06:08:21 AM · #16
I tested this and it's the same with every card I have. When I start the import into Lightroom the files displace in filename order. After import they appear in "Added Order", which is different than the Filename order, but happens to be the exact same sort order as "Capture Time". Here's where it gets interesting, if I import the exact same files again they have a different order each time. The one consistent thing is that Added Order and Capture Time are exactly the same.

I'm hearing that it's a Lightroom issue in that it ignores the partial seconds on the capture time in metadata. I can accept that, but you'd think they'd have a secondary sort that would use something like filename as a tie breaker.
08/03/2015 06:37:28 PM · #17
We discovered that Lightroom can't get capture order right if the date/time isn't set on the camera. I have no idea how the camera got into that state or how it was even possible to shoot that way, but there you go. To me, that indicates that Lightroom is using metadata, and not file time.

We switched to using filename order for the files that were missing dates.
08/03/2015 04:52:36 PM · #18
Jake, this happens to me too, when I used high speed setting on my Canon 1DX. I noticed it last April while shooting birds the whole month. I also sort for capture time, and I'd see images out of order in the sequence. So, I am thinking the images are getting written out of order at the time of capture. I use a high end card, so I don't think its the card.
08/03/2015 02:12:30 PM · #19
Originally posted by kirbic:

That's an interesting little issue you have there... I'd really be surprised if they were actually written to the card *interface* out of order, since there should clearly be a FIFO buffer in line. That said, the data is not written directly to the memory on the card; the controller on the card determines where and when it is written. SO it may be that the card itself is not adhering strictly to FIFO.
It would be interesting to see whether the actual file creation times are out of order, and if so, whether Lr's order follows that time sequence. I wouldn't think that Lr would even look at the file creation time/date, but would instead rely on the metadata within the file.


Well, that's an interesting idea!! I've got cards from 3 or 4 different manufacturers, so at least this is a theory I can test. :)

And now that I'm thinking about it, I'm fairly certain the Sony is the only camera I have that has a PNY card in it. My Nikons have SanDisks. Hmmmmm.

Message edited by author 2015-08-03 14:15:29.
08/03/2015 01:41:23 PM · #20
That's an interesting little issue you have there... I'd really be surprised if they were actually written to the card *interface* out of order, since there should clearly be a FIFO buffer in line. That said, the data is not written directly to the memory on the card; the controller on the card determines where and when it is written. SO it may be that the card itself is not adhering strictly to FIFO.
It would be interesting to see whether the actual file creation times are out of order, and if so, whether Lr's order follows that time sequence. I wouldn't think that Lr would even look at the file creation time/date, but would instead rely on the metadata within the file.
08/03/2015 01:31:44 PM · #21
Thanks, I'll give 'em a shot. I posted something to the Adobe forum as well as it seems as if the handshake between the software and the camera may not be the best at times. I'm unable to see milliseconds in the EXIF on the Sony files, so I have no idea if the sort is proper or not - or if it's just an issue with the way Sony writes the data.
08/03/2015 01:10:24 PM · #22
I don't use Lightroom that much so I can't answer directly - however, had you tried the forums over at Dyxum.com - it's a Minolta / Sony site that's been around a long time and is very active yet today. Some knowledgeable folks over there on Sony gear.
08/03/2015 01:07:08 PM · #23
This is the closest thing I can find to the symptoms. //www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3845670
08/03/2015 01:05:34 PM · #24
I've got an a6000 and since day one I've noticed that when I shoot in Constant High mode the images, when I import them into Lightroom, will not sort properly if I sort by Capture Time. For example, I squeeze off a 2 second series at 11 fps and import them into LR. If I sort by Filename they sort in the order taken, but if I sort by Capture Time they are out of order. I'm thinking that, perhaps, when the images are buffered they may not be written in the order in which they were taken, meaning that later shots get written first with an earlier capture time.

This is really only a problem because I shoot with 4 different cameras and almost always have more than one with me at a time, so I keep their clocks sync'd so that they display in the order taken in my catalog. All except in this case.

Anyone else experiencing this? I can't seem to find anything on it anywhere else.
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