You may or may not have noticed that there are tons of MakerNote fields that come up when photos are analysed. Some of these are followed by a descriptor, some just have something like 0x0002 and then a jumble of numbers and letters as the result. Whilst it sounds unlikely, this isn’t my awful programming causing this.

The MakerNote fields are custom fields allowed within the Exif standard that allow device manufacturers to store whatever they want in them. For some reason, these fields are also a jealously guarded secret by companies – some just aren’t listed, and others are encrypted. Even with my biggest and shiniest security hat on I can’t really understand what they could be storing in them that requires such security – I don’t know what you’d need to store on a file that would give insight into anything proprietary or that would have security implications.

Various efforts have gone into trying to decipher what these fields mean (and the ones known are included in Metadata Interrogator) however some are very difficult to guess. If there’s anyone out there that wants to team up on trying to decipher the fields of common devices, please get in touch.

MakerNote – the greatest secret there ever was.

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