Can Exiftool move files that have same timestamp (up to the second) to one folder?

I was taking pictures with exposure bracketing in sets of 3, so they have same-second timestamps. I want to split my images into folders where each folder holds the 3 bracketed images.

Edit I found a working solution in this exiftool.org messageboard thread

exiftool -d "%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S" "-Directory<datetimeoriginal" -ext ARW imagesfolder

Can I name the folder the name of the first file that getting copied instead of the date?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Exiftool only processes one file at a time and can't "remember" the name of a previous file. If the files have different filenames, then no, you can't put them into the same folder. If the files do have the same name, then you can use the %%f variable in the date format string. It would normally be just %f but the % needs to be doubled to add it to the date string. See the -w (-TextOut) option for details on %%f and -d (-dateFormat) option. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 16:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On other cameras (for instance y Canon) shots from the same bracketing sequence will have different time stamps. But with the help of ExifTool, looking at the right data it is possible two write a script to move them to one directory per sequence. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @xenoid would you shate your workflow e.g. what to look for in EXIF. Trying to move bracketed photos. Timestamp alone is not enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikaAdams
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 1:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll gladly do so, but change your question (or make a new one) because this one is explicitly about time stamps. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


IMatch (from photools.com) might be able to do this. It uses EXIFtool in the background, so your knowledge of EXIFtool commands will still come into use. But it also has a multi-step macro builder that is pretty powerful. Macros can be designed to operate on a single file or multiple files. And macros can have variables, so what it does to one file can be based on what it has seen in the past. Doing exactly what you want would require quite a steep learning curve, though. And IMatch costs $150 (one time fee), but I use it for all my Digital Asset Management.

However, IMatch has another feature where it can "auto-stack" (or group) similar images. So, it could group all the images in a bracketing sequence, without needing to move them to separate folders.


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