My new $300 Camera has no timestamp function.

In case you were thinking about buying the Sony DSC-H7, it has no fucking timestamp function. Since the El cheapo Sony digicam I bought 4 years ago had this feature, I didn’t even think to look when I bought it. I don’t know what half the settings on this thing do, but timestamp isn’t one of them.


As far as I know, if you upload the files anywhere, you should be able to find the date taken, like on Flickr it shows it, and on iPhoto it shows it (only 2 examples I have personally). But if you really needed the ‘proof’ on the photo, then bummer.

Time/date should be saved in the file’s EXIF data. I’m not aware off the top of my head of any digital camera that actually allows you to automatically paste it into images taken, though I suppose there may be some. There’s no way to do it on my Nikon D40.

This is actually a good thing. There’s no good reason for time stamp on a digital camera and it just spoils the picture. The date is stored in the EXIF file, so you can always figure out when the picture was taken.

Sure, I can even change the EXIF time stamp on all my pictures at once. Let’s hope my insurance company will just take my word for it if I ever need to prove when a picture was taken then - it may as well be my word since you can change it so easily.

When I pay a premium, I want MOAR features, not less. Was it too much trouble to include the feature and just have it turned off by default or something?

Are you talking about putting the time/date as part of the image? What’s the point? I don’t think I’ve owned any digital camera that has such a feature.

How is a timestamp in an image any more credible? It’s trivial to change the clock setting on the camera to put any arbitrary timestamp on it. Or edit the image and add a fake timestamp.

And you can’t change a timestamp on a digital picture because…oh, actually, you can. In fact, it’s trivial with Photoshop. I’ll bet I could put a timestamp saying “8000 B.C.” on any picture I want just as well as a camera could.

Have you actually asked your insurance company what their requirements are for proof of condition/ownership are, or are you assuming? My company has the requirement of a receipt or copy of a receipt, ANY photo (no date stamp required), or a notarized affidavit from myself attesting ownership.

Our $1600 Canons don’t do it either. I reckon that’s because there’s no real reason to do it, and not enough demand.

Heh. As an insurance adjuster, we take photo documentation of damages all day long and the default standard for us is to have the datestamp directly on the face of the picture… until the latest camera from Sony. Internal auditors were criticising us right and left for not having the date on our pics. <sigh>

As for documenting your stuff before a claim, I can only speak for my personal 30 years of experience in this business. I would be delighted if a customer even had a picture, let alone one that was documentable with a date. Check with your own insurance company to be sure, but I’m guessing that they won’t be too fussy if you ever have to present the pictures at the time of a claim.

Here you go - it took me about 30 seconds to do this including the time to upload it to the UnaServer. With more time, I could probably make it such that no one could ever tell it was a fake timestamp.

I kind of feel that way about my new cell phone, which has a multi-megapixel camera and no flash.

Do people have albums full of photos with date/time stamps on them? Looks tackoid to me, but that’s my preference showing.

I have no idea if any camera I own has such a feature, but it does I’ll never use it.

Camera makers spend lots of money and effort to make the best possible images available, they don’t want you dropping ugly yellow numbers right on top of their work.


With the EXIF data there’s not much call for it. Most cameras will allow you to put the date/time on a photo but only if you set it to the lowest resolution. There are programs out there that will pull the date out of the EXIF and drop it on the photos for you, and you can do it in bulk. That may be your best solution.

As others have pointed out, image-encoded data is no less spoofable than the exif metadata. For that matter, even film cameras with timestamps can hardly be considered reliable, since you’ve only got to modify the date in the camera’s settings, take a photo and poof! - one fake dated photo.

If you want to properly date and assure a digital file, you’ll have to look into digital signing like PGP, in the same way as a dated analogue photo would need to be notarized to have any significant legal standing.

Hey, wait a minute … I can so totally tell you digitally manipulated that picture. First you converted it to grayscale, then you must have added the time stamp! Gotcha! :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, and since signatures are falsifiable, why do we bother signing anything?

I’m not claiming it’s a panacea or some kind of “beyond a doubt” method, but I’d rather have it than not.

Like everyone else has said, I’ve never seen a digital camera that does this, because there’s really no point. I have digital cameras that run the gamut from consumer point-and-shoots to $5000 digital SLRs. None of them have this functionality. Apparently your old Sony did. I’ve never seen it before, though.

If an on-picture time stamp is good enough, why isn’t an in-file time stamp good enough? I’d say it’s better because you have the option of pulling it and pasting it onto the image. Just googling “Photo time stamper,” I’ve found several freeware programs that will do it for you.

It’s as easy to spoof an EXIF as it is to reset the camera’s date to print the wrong date on your pictures. Actually, I’d argue it takes a little bit more know-how to spoof the EXIF after the fact.

It’s understandable that you like the feature. I guess what folks are saying is, you didn’t get ripped or anything, and you likely didn’t lose any real usability in reality. Small comfort if having the timestamp is make-or-break to you, I know.

I’ll bet there’s a facility out there which will read the timestamp from EXIF and automatically create a timestamp on your JPG files in a batch mode. I don’t know of one, but surely someone’s come up something. I checked Irfanview and I don’t see anything like that (it will stamp with the current date/time, but not from the EXIF info).

Hint for next time: Cameras of that era impressed the date on the image in gold leaf, copperplate gothic

Return the camera or exchange it for one with the feature you want.

When I realized that neither of my Nikon digitals have that feature, I keep and use my Samsung FILM camera for pre-planned pix on which I want the date stamp. I can still buy film and take it to most any chain drug store and have them develop and burn a disk in an hour.