Apple iPhone Photo Metadata


If you are looking for picture and photo propertes generally, please click this link.

Got a new iPhone, and are wondering what additional details its photographs can hold?

In order to analyse this, we took photographs from the iPhone 4, 4s and the recently released iPhone 6 Plus, and used Filecats Professional to have a look at the photographic document properties.

Photograph details

iPhone photo properties

The first thing to note is that, because the photographs were emailed instead of being copied directly from the phone the standard Created, Modified and Accessed dates properties that are easily visible in Windows Explorer were:

  • when the photograph was downloaded from Microsoft Outlook, not
  • the date that the picture was taken on. However, the photo still included the “Date taken” property, which is the more accurate date.

Comparison of standard dates with Date Taken date. iPhone photo properties in Windows Explorer

Straight away, this shows the importance of these hidden properties. If it wasn’t for them, the date information we might rely could be years out.

While the quality of photographs improve as each new generation of iPhone is released, the type of metadata does not significantly change. There is an additional item “Exposure bias” for the 6 Plus which didn’t appear in the iPhone 4 or 4S.

Photographic metadata in Filecats Professional

It is obvious which camera is being used, because the “camera model” specifies the particular make. It does not give a specific camera number, which means if you had several people using (say) the iPhone 5, you can’t instantly tell from the metadata which phone is which.

At lot of this information is available when viewing the Windows Explorer properties – however, the following are not visible:

  • Aperture,
  • Orientation,
  • Program mode, and
  • Shutter speed.

Also, the Exposure Bias and Exposure Time have been rounded to the nearest integer in Windows Explorer – for example 0 instead of 0.003906, and 4mm instead of 4.15mm. If accuracy was needed, then a better reader of metadata is required.

GPS attributes

GPS metadata in Filecats Professional

When looking at the GPS data (assuming you have that enabled in Settings), we can see a difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

Included in the later model are:

  • the GPS “Date” (not the date when the photograph was taken),
  • the destination bearing and
  • the speed.

iPhone photo properties - second page

However, most of the GPS information is not included in Windows Explorer.

  • The latitude and longitude numbers and the altitude are, but not
  • whether it is North, South, East or West, or
  • nothing else.

The article “Viewing GPS metadata in Windows Explorer” details these problems.

It is also not easy to plot a photograph in Google Maps but, as can be seen above, Filecats Professional includes a hyperlink for that. See the article “Plotting GPS data” for more information on how to do that singly or for multiple photos.


Graphical properties

iPhone photo properties - second page

Finally, there is the standard graphical information. Despite the better camera quality, the actual resolution of the iPhone 6 Plus out of the box is the same as the iPhone 4S.

Do you have pictures for a different camera that you would like to see an article on? If so, please let us know. More articles on document properties and cataloguing are located here.

As shown above, Filecats Professional is able to extract that data swiftly into Microsoft Excel. Filecats Metadata can also extract that data into its own table, and doesn’t require Excel.

Download a complimentary 7-day trial today, and find out what data you’ve got on your phone.

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