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SDIO camera needs EXIF "feature" fix

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
a b α HP
November 19, 2004 6:35:54 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc, alt.comp.sys.palmtops.hp (More info?)

I own an HP Photosmart Mobile Camera. This 1.3MP SDIO camera is, I'm
beginning to realize, based on the VEO Photo Traveler 130S.

I connect the camera to my iPAQ 3950's SDIO slot. I take pictures with
it. I synchronize the pictures with my computer. The pictures look
pretty good. But the EXIF data in the pictures is meaningless.

Every photo has the same EXIF data. For example, the DateTimeOriginal
field reads "2003:09:01 00:00:00" for every photo, despite the fact
that my iPAQ's date is set correctly. This weakness rears its ugly
head when photo-organizing software such as Picasa mines the EXIF dates
to conclude that all my photos were taken at midnight on September 1,
2003. Not an accurate or meaningful description of my photo

HP's web site includes the following specification for the camera:

- Image Format JPEG with EXIF 2.1 data

A quick google search reveals that this specification is repeated on
148 other web sites. When EXIF data is identical within every photo,
how can this widely advertised feature mean anything? And what purpose
can lacing jpegs with dummy EXIF data serve? If the dummy dates
weren't there, Picasa would rely instead on the more meaningful file
creation date.

Oddly enough, Veo's web page for the camera makes no mention of EXIF

I've posted a full page of EXIF data (extracted using IrfanView's EXIF
plugin) at:

Notice how the EXIF "Make" field identifies the camera as "Veo Inc.",
which suggests that Veo is responsible for the design of the camera.
This sheds some light on HP's response to the issue. Of course HP
support can't immediately grasp what I'm talking about or offer a
solution -- they didn't make the camera! You can't even register the
camera on HP's website!

As an experiment, I installed Veo's camera software in place of HP's
and took some pictures -- there is no change; the same EXIF data turns

You'd think that a camera connected to a PDA, with its ability to input
and display text data, would be in an ideal position to more handily
exploit the EXIF standard (as well as IPTC data) over regular cameras.

Could HP (or Veo, or anyone) please update the software or drivers to
provide meaningful EXIF information, starting with the date? Is there
any work being done anywhere to give this camera a more EXIF-friendly
interface? Or is the idea of an SDIO camera fated to whither and die
on the vine of neglect?
a b α HP
November 19, 2004 9:18:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,alt.comp.sys.palmtops.hp (More info?)

the exif data input is obviously not implimented in the drivers and
would guess contains a "placeholder" put in by veo in the unlikely event
that they implimented it's use.

The only option is probably going to be to use a pc exif utility such as
exifer ( to "process"
each batch on your pc after they are imported

Beverly Howard [MS MVP-Mobile Devices]
a b α HP
November 20, 2004 12:02:17 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc, alt.comp.sys.palmtops.hp (More info?)

The Exifer "redate" function redates from the EXIF date fields to the
file "date modifed" value, which is the wrong direction for this
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a b α HP
November 20, 2004 9:59:19 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc, alt.comp.sys.palmtops.hp (More info?)

Adobe Photo Album is a program that can set EXIF dates based on file
dates, but if you're not careful transferring photos to your PC, you
could lose the file dates. I know of two methods:

1) ActiveSync File Synchronization -- this will automatically sync the
files on your PPC to a corresponding folder on your PC. The trouble
with this method is that the file dates are changed to the time of file
synchronization, wiping out the time the photos were taken. If EXIF
worked, this wouldn't be so bad. (This happens with audio notes as
well, which I find annoying because I would like to know what time I
took an audio note, not what time it was synchronized, but that's
another thread.)

2) Explore Mobile Device and drag and drop the files from their PPC
folder to a PC folder. This will preserve the file times and dates.

The great thing about digital cameras is that each photo is
time-stamped, providing a precise historical marker of when the photo
was taken. Not only should time stamping work, it should be extended
to include GPS data. To stamp every photo with time *and* place would
be an marvelous innovation. HP/Veo aren't properly fulfilling
PocketPC's potential in the image acquisition arena.
a b α HP
November 20, 2004 10:13:56 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.pocketpc,alt.comp.sys.palmtops.hp (More info?)

>> redate <<

hmmm... my copy of exifer allows me to edit the original date and it
appears that that info can be exported into a template for use on other

Beverly Howard [MS MVP-Mobile Devices]