Capture Time Updates

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Today’s Question: Does Lightroom [Classic] embed the original capture date into the image file if “write date or time changes into proprietary raw files” is enabled?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To have Lightroom Classic automatically save changes to date and time to your original image files, you must turn on two checkboxes. Of course, the “Write date or time changes into proprietary raw files” checkbox must be turned on in order for date and time changes to be written to the files. In addition, the “Automatically write changes into XMP” checkbox must be turned on so that metadata updates in general are written to the source images in addition to being updated within the catalog. Both of these options are found on the Metadata tab of the Catalog Settings dialog.

More Detail: There are several date and time values included in the metadata for your images, and if you had your camera set to the wrong time (such as by not updating the time zone) you can update the capture time in Lightroom. After selecting photos within Lightroom (in the Grid view) you can choose Metadata > Edit Capture Time from the menu. You can then apply the appropriate adjustment to the capture time.

By default, Lightroom only updates metadata values for your photos within the Lightroom catalog. However, you can have most updates applied to the source photos as well. To enable this option, you can turn on the “Automatically write changes into XMP” checkbox on the Metadata tab of the Catalog Settings dialog. Keep in mind that Lightroom-specific features such as collections, virtual copies, pick and reject flags, and history, will not be written to metadata as part of this process.

In order to update the original capture time to proprietary raw captures, you must also turn on the “Write date or time changes into proprietary raw files” checkbox. Keep in mind that as noted above, this option will only actually apply if you have also turned on the “Automatically write changes into XMP” checkbox.