Today’s Question: Just one more question about setting the time on the camera when changing time zones. Does it matter whether you set the time by choosing a time zone on your camera, versus leaving the time zone along and manually changing the hours?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Either method is perfectly fine, as long as you actually remember to change the time on your camera when you change time zones, and that you are sure to set the time accurately.
More Detail: Some photographers (many of whom I’ve heard from recently) prefer to leave their camera set to a single time zone permanently, such as by setting their camera to Universal Coordinated Time (UCT). Others prefer to leave the camera always set to their home time zone.
To be sure, for many photographers in many situations the specific time of capture is not critical. Simply having their photos sorted in the order they were captured, along with the date of capture, is all they need. And to be fair, most of the time that’s about all I need. However, I do find that periodically I do want to reference the actual time of capture, and so I prefer to have the clock on my camera set accurately.
Many cameras enable you to adjust the time either by manually adjusting the hours and minutes, or by selecting a time zone. The time zone option is essentially a shortcut to help you get to the correct time setting more quickly. Of course, I always recommend double-checking the time from another source, such as by performing a simple Google search for the current time in your location.
Any method of setting the time is perfectly fine, so whichever you find more convenient will work equally well. I do prefer to set the time zone on the camera to the correct location, but that’s just me being perhaps a little too focused on the details. The actual time zone setting is not recorded in the metadata for your photos. Only the actual date and time of capture (based on the current camera setting) will be included in that metadata.