Question about Canon PowerShot S3 IS Digital Camera

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How do I get the camera to print the date and time on the picture image that can be transferred to a print or a digital file

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This is weird, actually. I just read your manual, and it seems that the only way to stamp a print is to go into the DPOF settings, and choose the date in the "Print Settings..." menu item. But here's the werid part: it warns you that if you have the Date Stamp function turned on, then you may get the date printed twice... but there's no mention in the manual of any "date stamp" function at all!

I'm afraid that I'm guessing that your camera does not have the date stamp function, and that it appears in the manual by mistake, because they've copied it from the manual for a camera that does. Feel free to search your menu for a date stamp function; if you have one and they forgot to put it in the manual, it will look something like this (this is not your camera):
how do I get the camera to print the date and time - andythechikn_9.png

Also, here's an essay I wrote about date stamping that you might find useful:

How do I get the date printed on my photo?

I'm sorry, but many cameras don't bother to have this feature. The thing is, this was a useful feature on film photos, but the concept has been overtaken by technology, and is no longer relevant. Heh - you probably disagree with me, so let me explain that fully! When you take a photo with a digital camera, the current date and time are automatically stored in the photo file. In some cameras, it will be the same as the file date. Some cameras date the file with the date of download rather than the date of capture, but the date inside the file will always be the capture date. The date of capture is one of the items of EXIF data. You can read about this 'metadata' on wikipedia.

So how does EXIF data fulfill the benefits of the old 'print on film' date? From the point of view of indexing your library and simply not forgetting when the photo was taken, the EXIF data should always be present in the file, unless you choose to erase it. Thus, you will never lose track of the date of capture; if you have the image, you have the date. You can read the date with many tools, and in fact even Windows explorer will tell you the date if you simply hover over the picture. Here's an example; the bubble help shows the time of capture where the picture was taken, (windows shows me the time of capture in my own time zone).

andythechikn_10.png

What about legal proof of something? Sorry, you can't really do that any more. You couldn't have done it if you'd printed it on the image, either; it's just too easy to fake. The date of capture is editable, so it doesn't prove anything. If you need proof, get legal advice... in the heat of the moment, include a cellphone in-frame showing the date and time; you could fake that too, but it would be much harder.

Oh, you wanted your dates printed on physical pictures? Find a print shop that will print the EXIF capture date on the reverse of your photo; that way the face of your picture won't be spoiled. There is software that will print index sheets of your images and list their capture dates and times, too.

Some Canon cameras can add a date stamp just like the old days, some can't do it at all, and some do it ONLY in 'postcard' mode (it's one of the resolution settings). It's interesting that they limit it to this size only when they could quite easily have done it on all sizes, and I think this is to emphasise its novelty value rather than a serious feature, for the reasons I gave above.

I have discovered that there are softwares which can add the EXIF date to the actual visible image, there's one here: http://gphotoshow.com/exif-iptc-watermarker.php and it is billed as a watermarking tool. One of your choices for the input data is the EXIF date within the file. It works, and it's free, but it does nag you to pay from time to time.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011

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