I recently bought a second hand Canon G1X and would like to insure it. However, the serial number under the camera has partially rubbed off and only 6 digits are still visible. I was recommended by a local camera store to try the Chinese EOS MSG software but that did not help (incidentally, I also now can't uninstall that software from my computer).

Does anyone know how I can find out the serial number?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My 550D writes the serial number into the RAW files it creates; have you looked at those? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 18, 2015 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only looked at JPGs so far, will check out RAW tonight. How are you viewing the serial number from the file? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Aug 18, 2015 at 13:01
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ In my case, Lightroom but I'm sure you can pull them out with exiftool or similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 18, 2015 at 13:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall tried exiftool on oth jpg and raw images, no serial number :( \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Chinese MSG software? That sounds delicious! \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Aug 19, 2015 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


Short Answer :

Use Exiftool, it works with JPEG and RAW and gives you the Serial Number.

Full Answer :

On Windows, as Philip mentioned, you can download the tool Exiftool, available on its author's website. The last version is currently v10.00 and is available here : http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/exiftool-10.00.zip

Unzipped the executable "exiftool(-k).exe" in the directory of your choice.

1) The "I'm feeling lazy" way :

Rename the executable "exiftool(-k).exe" to "exiftool(-k -serialnumber).exe" and drag and drop your file on it. It should output something like :

Serial Number                   : xxxx
-- press any key --

2) The "g33k" way :

Open a console ("cmd.exe") and type : "path/to/exiftool(-k).exe" -serialnumber "path/to/my_image.cr2"

3) The "I love to read" way :

Drag and drop on top of the executable exiftool(-k).exe any picture taken with your Canon... and get ready for A LOT of text !

That should give you something like the following output with a RAW file (CR2) :

ExifTool Version Number         : 10.00
File Name                       : IMG_5936.CR2

[..bla bla bla..]

Serial Number                   : xxxx

[..bla bla bla..]

-- press any key --

and with a JPEG file :

ExifTool Version Number         : 10.00
File Name                       : IMG_5936.JPG

[..bla bla bla..]

Serial Number                   : xxx

[..bla bla bla..]

-- press any key --

If your aren't able to read all the information from the console window, it's because of its default settings : it doesn't keep enough information in its buffer.

To change that, go to the console properties and change the field *Screen Buffer Size**

  1. Step 1 : open the console properties

Step 1 : open the console properties

  1. Step 2 : change the values

Step 2 : change the values

Don't go to fast and don't stop at the Internal Serial Number, that's not what you are looking for. Easiest way to find it, copy/paste all the text in your favorite text editor and search for "Serial Number".

4) The "I LOVE graphic interface" way :

Get one more executable : ExifToolGui. It's available here : http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/~bogdan/

Read how to use it :)

5) The "last chance" way :

Still not working ? Try the following steps (tips from http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39334705), it works for the G12 and other models :

  1. Format an SD card.
  2. Create an empty file on the card called "vers.req" (not "vers.req.txt" !!)
  3. Put the card in the camera and start it using the rear 'playback' button, not the top on/off button.
  4. Press the Func/Set button and while holding this press Disp as well (or press Func/Set and Disp buttons at the same time).

If that is not working, I'm out of idea...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the detailed answer! Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work with the (or my) G1X. The command line tool gives a warning "adjusted MakerData" and does not return a serial number. I tried it on other fields such as ISO and it did work for those. I also tried the drag and drop and went through the entire list, serialnumber was not there. I treid this on both raw and jpg images. If there is a setting on the camera to tell it to record the serial number onto the images it takes I could not find it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Crap ! If ExifTool can't find it, it's probably not there. BTW, the list from stolencamerafinder.com/listmodels contains Canon g11, Canon g12 and Canon g2... but not the G1x... \$\endgroup\$
    – Olivier
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, new (and last) idea, using a formatted SD card... \$\endgroup\$
    – Olivier
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The text output can be put into a text file for easy reading. exiftool x.jpg > x.txt \$\endgroup\$
    – QuentinUK
    Aug 19, 2015 at 12:53

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