Years ago I scanned about 1000 negative photos. Now I have purchased a new negative scanner and rescanned all of my negatives.

Is there any way to copy metadata from the old DNG/XMP files to the new DNG files?

2 Answers 2


With exiftool:

exiftool -TagsFromFile srcimage.jpg targetimage.jpg

But your big problem will be to create the correspondence between the old scans and the new. Or did you manage to make them bear the same name in the two sets?

  • I have been thinking about writing a small tool that would use an image recognition library (e.g. opencv) to match up the images. But I would rather avoid doing so if there is a better way. Especially since I have never done any work in that area before. It does look relatively straight forward though. I have looked at exiftool. Looks great. Thanks!
    – Astronaut
    Feb 15, 2022 at 11:01

This is already quite old, but maybe still useful for someone who finds it:

Most pragmatic solution i found for transferring edits from DNG to another DNG or the original proprietary RAWs (CR3, NEF, ...) without bothering with XMPs or tempering with the LR catalogue database would be having the same name of the files, opening them up in Lightroom all in one view / collection (so there is always a CR3 / DNG / CR3 / DNG alternating) and then just clicking through: DNG (with edits)-> CR3 (virgin), copy develop settings from previous -> next pic -> next pic -> copy... -> next pic -> next pic -> copy..., [continue].

Most importantly: As all of that can be done with shortcuts it works really quickly and if you have a large set to copy you can also write a super simple keyboard macro... and just loop it 2000 times while going for dinner...

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