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Is there a tool that can take two folders of images files and give comparison (duplicates info) based on images' EXIF data, instead of comparing file size or file dates (which tend to be unreliable since they can relatively easily change with file operations, while the actual images do not)?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Be aware that the EXIF time only has a resolution of one second, so it is possible for images taken in a burst to share the same time. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 27, 2015 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm - I see what you're trying to say. But not doing anything complicated in this case, just trying to weed out the duplicates and don't trust the file dates due to a lot of copying/moving that has been going on with the unsorted database in the meantime. So seconds are not an issue for me at this point. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rook
    Jun 27, 2015 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also see Is there a free program to (batch) change photo file's date to match EXIF? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 27, 2015 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe: How can I find duplicate photos in a very large pool of data..? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Jun 27, 2015 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you don't find a Windows solution, then the link @inkista provided may still be your best solution.You could install virtualbox and put a Linux distro in it and give it access to your photos. Then, you can use all those Linux tools without having to completely switch to Linux. It's not super difficult to do, but more details would be way off topic for this community. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe
    Jun 30, 2015 at 21:54

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Yes, there is, but you will need to be comfortable with the command line to do it. It will work best if you are in a unix/posix environment. This is available for Windows as an add-on using cygwin.

The program is exif tool Instructions for getting and installing.

Here are some examples

You will want something like

exiftool -CreateDate /path/to/folder/*.jpg

It will spew the filename and the create date of each.

Do this for each folder. Sort the two lists together. Now look at the corresponding files that have the same date.

*** Method 2. Create a temp directory Copy the content of both folders into it. Use a program that reads the creation date out of the file. (Aperture does this)
Files with the same date will show up next to each other.

Note: Different programs that edit images do not respect all metadata. You have to do substantial sanity checking on this sort of project.

Note: If you start with a raw format, process it into a JPEG, then the createfile time stamp of the JPEG may be the same as that of the raw file, or that of the time it was created. (Software should only change the Modify tag)

Note: If you are mixing up files, you want to be able to get back to where you were. Lot to be said for giving each file a keyword as to it's source: E.g. keyword folder:/path/to/folder1 for the ones that were originally in folder 1.

Note: exiftool allows you to rename files. You can rename files as date-stamp-original filename. This would make the files sort alphabetically in the order they were created.

It's really easy to shoot yourself in the foot. E.g. if you rename files to the date stamp, then if you have 2 shots with the same time stamp, one is overwritten. Exiftool can protect you from this with an incremental counter.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "This is available for Windows as an add-on using cygwin." - exiftool has binaries for Windows that work really well both with PowerShell and the Command Prompt. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Nov 5, 2017 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ And in 2019, you can run this kind of thing with docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10 - the Windows Subsystem for Linux \$\endgroup\$ Dec 14, 2019 at 17:18
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On macOS and Linux you can use the command line tool

https://github.com/ewanmellor/git-diff-image

which is excellent

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I use a free Windows shareware utility called DupeGuru. Not only can you compare files for identical content, in picture mode it will identify possible/probable matches based on a degree of variability you specify and thereby identify pictures that may be crops of others, or the same picture saved at different resolutions or compression factors. It gives you a list of apparent matches (including pixel dimensions), and you can then click to view them, and delete them or move the matches to another folder structure for further consideration.

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