When coming across a photo you wonder about the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. By default most cameras will record such useful information in each photo called EXIF (exchangeable image file format). Today, let’s learn how to view EXIF from your computer.

What information is stored in EXIF?

There is a bunch of helpful information in EXIF. For photography beginners, here is a list of things that you may need to pay attention to:

  • Camera model
  • Photo taken time
  • Focal length
  • Shutter speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Shooting mode
  • Metering mode
  • White balance
  • Flashlight
  • Exposure Value (EV)

You can there are many valuable information that we can find out solely from EXIF. If the camera has GPS enabled, it will also store the GPS coordinates so you can even know where the photo is taken.

How to view the EXIF?

Viewing EXIF is easy in Windows or MacOS. Here is the how-to:

Windows 10

Step 1: Right click the photo
Step 2: Click Properties

Step 3: Click Details
Step 4: Scroll down a bit and you will find the EXIF



Step 1: Open Finder and select your photo
Step 2: Right click (Control+Left Click)
Step 3: Select Open With > Preview.app

Step 4: In Preview app, click Tools > Show Inspector

Step 5: Click “i” > EXIF. Then you will see a bunch of useful information

I followed the step but I cannot find the EXIF

Unfortunately, not all photos contain EXIF, especially the photos found on Internet. When you export a RAW file to JPG in photo editing software, you may also choose NOT to embed EXIF. That’s why you may not find EXIF on every photo you got. There is no way to recover the EXIF if the data is not embedded. In this case, you can only determine the aperture, shutter speed or focal length by experience and knowledge. This may sound impossible for photography beginners but it’s absolutely do-able when your experience start building up.


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Author: Alex Tam