If you have never used photo editing software with the images the images are all camera generated jpegs(?) and there should not be any major difference in the metadata.
In that case the images with the minimum metadata should be the originals and there is nothing to really be concerned about.
The way to avoid losing anything important is to keep everything.
Disk space is inexpensive.
Your goal is probably to find pictures more easily.
Multiple copies makes finding a particular picture easier.
The right approach is search. It is not a grand scheme of organized folders. Search is why you use Google.
Pick a photo manager and spend your time tagging. ...
There are multiple standards when it comes to photo metadata. EXIF is one type, IPTC IIM/Legacy is another, and then XMP (which includes IPTC Core/Ext).
Most of the data in the EXIF block is data from the camera that created the image, though there are a few others that do get added by other software, such as Artist and Copyright. Anything that is in the ...