I've started scripting the processing of images using EXIF 2.2.1 data. I noticed that all the date stamps are set to UTC (+0000).

Today I set my camera to 2018-01-07 15:12:00 and captured an image. Inspecting the EXIF data the created date is: 2018-01-07 04:12:00 +0000, exactly +11 hours, which is my timezone +DST

If EXIF 2.2.1 doesn't support Time Zones, how does it know what time zone I'm in when I set the camera's time to my location?

I can only presume that the firmware has it date set at manufacture?

  • Does your camera have a GPS function built into it? Jan 7, 2018 at 5:38
  • No, It's a 10+ year old Canon 400D
    – sansSpoon
    Jan 7, 2018 at 9:53
  • 1
    What did you inspect with? Possible your software is doing the translation because cameras (except for Fujifilm's and some GPS-enabled models) do not know anything about time zones.
    – Itai
    Jan 8, 2018 at 5:25
  • @Itai there's TZ setting in a number of newer EOS camers without GPS as well.
    – Gnudiff
    Jan 9, 2018 at 6:25

2 Answers 2


There are no provisions for time zones in the EXIF standard, just a year, month, day, hours, minutes, seconds and a null character to end it.

Some timezone-aware cameras include an offset in the maker-specific data, and it would be up to the software to understand, extract and correct it. I suspect that whatever you're using to inspect the EXIF data is making assumptions about it based on there being no offset in the file. It may also have a setting that tells it to use a specific time zone which is set to UTC.


The offset is being provided by the application you are using to view the EXIF info. The offset is most likely based upon an assumption that the image was taken in the same time zone as the current time zone setting for the computer or other device you are using to view the EXIF information.

Canon cameras without GPS, such as your Rebel XTi/400D, do not encode any information regarding time zone. They simply write a date and time provided by the camera's internal clock.

  • It appears that newer Canon cameras allow to set timezone, regardless of GPS-ability of the camera. I have TZ setting in, 70D, and I see in manual it is present on 1200D. By contrast, there is no TZ in 5DMk2 or 1000D.
    – Gnudiff
    Jan 9, 2018 at 6:22

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