I'm in photo-backup-deduplication hell. Thousands of folders organised in a different way, backups of backups of backups. There's no easy way to know what's latest/more important.
I'm using dupeGuru and it found many duplicates with different metadata. This answer is very good, it says that new metadata were probably added by visualisation software like Picasa. So it doesn't really matter which version I pick, since these can be re-generated*.
However, by the looks of their names and description, it seems that a lot of these metadata could only be generated by the camera; they seem to be hardware-related:
Exposure Mode: Auto exposure
Digital Zoom Ratio: 1
Custom Rendered: Normal process Scene Capture Type: Standard
White Balance: Auto white balance
Also flipped information on
Focal Plane X Resolution and on
Pixel X Dimension too (X value on Y and Y on X).
Orientation: 6(Rotated 90o ACW)
Maybe they were added as default values?
How can I make sure I'm not losing anything important?
Are these metadata really newer and generated by software or can I somehow irretrievably erase data?
I've never used any photo editing tools on these photos. They are all JPG.
The only differences are in metadata, resolution and "content" are the same. I also didn't fix rotation in any of these pictures.
*- This is important to me because - in the middle of the huge mess that are my photo libraries - I elected one folder to be the organised/official, which never gets anything deleted, and everything else is compared against it. So it happens that sometimes the official one is the one that has photos with less metadata.