I want to be able to share the RAW files my camera produces, including EXIF data, with the one exception that I want to remove the camera (and lens if that is also recorded) serial number(s) to avoid any opportunity for someone with bad motives to cause problems. I need to do this on Linux (preferrably distro neutral, source is better, but I do have Slackware and Ubuntu).

I have dcraw but it seems to not have any option to do this. I did find other tools to delete EXIF data or serial numbers, but all were for JPEG or PNG or TIFF. The appropriate tool would need to write out a new .CR2 file without the serial number(s), or zeros substituted for the serial number(s). But I want all the technical aspects to be available in these RAW files so people can do their own processing of them with whatever they have.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer lists a product that can supposedly write metadata to some raw formats \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2012 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Want to avoid tools allowing to crawl internet looking for the serial number into exif? as exemple stolencamerafinder.com \$\endgroup\$
    – floqui
    May 15, 2012 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The thief would not be using my process work flow. To catch a camera thief, it matters whether HE leaves the serial numbers on, or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    May 15, 2012 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


I think that exiftool should be able to do this work for you. I'm able to use it to read and write the temperature value to a tag in windows 7.

The exiftool webpage suggests that it can read and write maker tags, so serial numbers may be removable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried the Linux (Ubuntu) version of this, after I found the oddball name someone gave it. It seems to be able to delete lots of tags, but it doesn't have a tag name for the serial number (lists it as "Camera Body No." for which there is no corresponding tag). Unfortunately, this is coded in a language I don't have the skills to read. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    May 15, 2012 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I looked at a CR2 file that I have from a friend with PhotoMe (a windows program). It looks like the tag name for body number is: CameraSerialNumber. \$\endgroup\$
    – smigol
    May 15, 2012 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The .CR2 files from my 7D do not have such a tag. It should be listed on the exiftool output as "Camera Serial Number :" but that is not in the output. It should get listed when doing "exiftool -CameraSerialNumber myfile.cr2" but nothing is listed. I suspect the serial number is really stored in a hard coded field of Canon's .CR2 format, rather than in a tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    May 16, 2012 at 0:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have found where the serial number, in binary form, is stored in the file. It is at offset 0x3e0 if 6 bytes, or 0x3e2 if 4 bytes, in little-endian byte order. I do not know if that position would shift based on other other content conditions. What I will try next is a C program to substitute those bytes with other values and see what effect I have (and also scan my other CR2 files for similarity). I am still concern an additional copy might be coded elsewhere in another format. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    May 16, 2012 at 0:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ At 0x33c or 0x33e for my 450D. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    May 16, 2012 at 0:44

In Windows, you can remove the serial by using the program "EXIF Cleaner", and choosing "Remove only the following tags", then selecting the MakerNote check only (MakerNote contains the camera manufacturing number).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! Perhaps you could include a link to the program's developer or download site? Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 13, 2013 at 16:44

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