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Since more then ten years I use exiftran to rotate images after getting them from the camera.

Is this step still needed today?

Don't browsers and other image apps rotate the image correctly without running exiftran on the files.

Background on exiftran:

exiftran is a command line utility to transform digital image jpeg images. It can do lossless rotations like jpegtran, but unlike jpegtran it cares about the EXIF data: It can rotate images automatically by checking the exif orientation tag, it updates the exif information if needed (image dimension, orientation), it also rotates the exif thumbnail. It can process multiple images at once.

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    This will no doubt be a matter of opinion. I personally still experience occasional pain from discovering that the actual orientation of an image wasn't what it appeared to be, so I try to eliminate the discrepancy in my files as much as possible. – junkyardsparkle May 26 '15 at 20:32
  • most camera/software combinations will auto-rotate all the time. It depends on a few factors and there can be errors (e.g. the camera doesn't record the correct orientation on a particular shot.) – A K May 26 '15 at 22:44
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    @AKPhoto As far as I know, all cameras which auto rotate do so by setting a flag in the JPEG header indicating that the image is to be drawn in that rotation, rather than actually changing the pixels. It used to be very typical for viewing software to not know about or respect the rotation flag, so jpegtran and its derivatives can take this flag and actually (losslessly) rewrite the image so that it's oriented differently — making it appear in the correct orientation always. The question here is whether that's still needed, or if significant % of client software is now "smart enough" itself. – mattdm May 27 '15 at 1:15
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Since more then ten years I use exiftran to rotate images after getting them from the camera. Is this step still needed today?

Yes.

Don't browsers and other image apps rotate the image correctly without running exiftran on the files.

No.


As stated by @junkyardsparkle:

I personally still experience occasional pain from discovering that the actual orientation of an image wasn't what it appeared to be, so I try to eliminate the discrepancy in my files as much as possible.

And noted by @AK:

There can be errors (e.g. the camera doesn't record the correct orientation on a particular shot.)

Also, often, images can become separated from their Exif data. Or images can be saved rotated, but the Exif not updated. Or multiple programs may treat the rotation flag differently resulting in different orientations being displayed.

The best way to minimize surprises and maximize interoperability is to use exiftran to rotate the images. It can be scripted to auto-rotate all files at import.

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