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P: iPhone video Capture Time is shifted upon Import

27 Votes
Explorer ,
Feb 03, 2014 Feb 03, 2014

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Beginning with at least the iPhone 4S, and continuing with the 5 and 5s, I see that videos shot with those devices show a capture time that seems to relate to GMT, when it was actually shot at GMT -5.

The videos show a correct creation time in Finder prior to import, but this odd shift occurs upon import. I know that the capture time can be edited in Lightroom, but I'd rather see the correct time on import.

This happens in Lightroom 5.3, but also occurred all the way back into 4.

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Jul 18, 2017 Jul 18, 2017
Lightroom CC2015.12/6.12 was released today and should address this issue.  Please update your Lightroom to the latest version and let us know if you continue to see the issue. Thank you for your patience.

http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/07/lightroom-cc-2015-12-now-available.html

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Adobe Employee , May 19, 2017 May 19, 2017
Hi,

Capture Time for Videos captured on Apple's iOS Camera app now shows correct value in Lightroom (CC 2015.10 / 6.10 onwards).

Note:
  • Videos captured from other iOS apps like Instagram, Facebook, Hyperloop, Snapchat, etc are shot with MPEG4 Standard. 
  • The MPEG4 standard only provides specification of capture time in GMT. That is the reason why each vendor decides (or not) to put time zone info into proprietary location in a proprietary format. 
  • Videos by these apps do not have Time Zone info.
Thus, ...

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Adobe Employee , Apr 11, 2017 Apr 11, 2017
This issue should be fixed in Lightroom CC2015.10/6.10.  Please update your system and let us know if you have any additional issues. 

Additional information on this update can be found here: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/04/lightroom-cc-2015-10-now-available.html

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2014 Feb 03, 2014

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Details about the cause of this bug in LR:

The QuickTime spec "strongly recommends" that date/time values be stored as UTC (GMT):

https://developer.apple.com/library/m...

The iPhone (iOS 7) does indeed store a video's Media Create Date as UTC.

When LR reads the Media Create Date of a QuickTime video, it correctly interprets that date/time as being in UTC. But the problem arises with LR's policy for handling date/times with time zones. When displaying a metadata date/time containing a time zone to the user, LR always hides the time zone. So the QuickTime date/time will appear to the user as shifted into UTC.

The fix is straightforward: When LR reads a QuickTime date/time, it should convert it into the time zone of the computer running LR. While this would produce incorrect results for the uncommon case of videos taken in one time zone but imported to a computer in another time zone, in the common case this fix would produce the desired result. And this would be better than the current situation, in which the displayed date/time is almost always wrong (except for the minority of users who take videos in GMT while not in daylight savings time). (And shame on Apple for defining a spec for date/times that doesn't allow for time zones.)

An example makes this clearer:

1. I took an iPhone iOS 7 video at 2014:02:03 19:16:26 -8:00.

2. Exiftool shows Media Create Date is the UTC version of that: 2014:02:04 03:16:26.

3. When the video is imported into LR 5.3, LR correctly interprets that date/time as being in UTC -- the LR SDK call to photo:getRawMetadata ("dateTimeDigitizedISO8601") returns "2014-02-04T03:16:26Z". (Z is ISO8601 designator for UTC.)

4. As with all metadata date/times, when LR displays the date/time in Metadata panel, it drops the time zone, thus showing Capture Date/Time as "February 04, 2014 3:16:26 AM".

5. If in step 3, LR instead represented internally the QuickTime Media Create Date in the local time of the computer doing the import into LR ("2014:02:03 19:16:26-8:00"), then the Metadata panel would display the correct Capture Date/Time -- "February 03, 2014 7:16:26 PM".

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2014 Feb 04, 2014

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Thanks for that explanation, John. I'd love to see Adobe implement a fix.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 08, 2014 Jul 08, 2014

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Hi John, Great explanation.
However since PSE/PRE handles metadata and date codes properly, Adobe should be able to do it in LR. How much different could the import logic be? Of course, that is unless I am missing something here.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 08, 2014 Jul 08, 2014

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There's nothing fundamental that would prevent Adobe from fixing this problem in LR. In general, though, based on the past many years of experience, Adobe doesn't attach much priority to metadata issues, especially video metadata issues.

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Explorer ,
Nov 15, 2015 Nov 15, 2015

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Adobe, why not offer a preference for those of us that want the import video time left alone, not shifted to GMT or UTC 0? I too am finding that when importing iPhone 6s videos to Lightroom CC 2015 I can see the correct time on the video in the Import window but after I submit the Import operation, the time shifts by 8 hrs (in my case I'm in PDT). Why would Adobe force us to accept this time shift without at least an option to disable it?

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LEGEND ,
Nov 15, 2015 Nov 15, 2015

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Note that LR isn't actually shifting the time of the video, it's failing to shift the the UTC time that the iPhone records to local time. (See the post above: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh....)

The original sin is Apple's, defining a spec (Quick Time) that doesn't allow time zones to be recorded. Given that, there are a couple of possible fixes for LR:

1. LR could always shift the recorded UTC time to local time, which isn't perfect, since it wouldn't correctly handle videos taken in one time zone but uploaded to LR in another. But the most common case (videos taken in the same time zone as the computer) would be correctly handled.

2. LR could have a preference or option in the Import window for how to handle Quick Time videos.

Given that video metadata is in general highly incomplete and buggy, and has been ever since video was added to LR 4, I think it's unlikely that Adobe will ever address this. :-<

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Explorer ,
Nov 18, 2015 Nov 18, 2015

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Thanks John. I hope Adobe addes a preference setting in Lightroom to allow shifting the UTC stored time back to the computer's local timezone offset. Seems like a simple solution and if made a preference, users could opt in/out of this setting. However, I'd think all would opt for this option.

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2016 Jan 02, 2016

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While using lightroom to import iPhone6 plus videos, the captured date/time are wrong and off by days sometimes(I have an example of a video who's meta data shows 12/27/2015 @ 4PM which is correct but lightroom shows 12/19/2015 @3:21:36 PM which is not correct) . Other times, the date is correct but the time is off by +8 hour for my videos taking in pacific standard time.

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LEGEND ,
May 04, 2016 May 04, 2016

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An update to my analysis above: 

Many cameras don't have a notion of time zone, and these cameras record their current time (usually local time) in the QuickTime/MP4 Create Date field.  For these cameras, it would be a mistake for LR to interpret the Create Date as UTC.

But newer cameras and phones do have a notion of time zone, and some of these (e.g. the iPhone and the Sony RX10 II) follow the original spec and record UTC in Create Date.  They may also record a time zone in an undocumented, manufacturer-specific field.

So there's no straightforward, practical way LR can figure out whether the Create Date field is in UTC or local time.

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Participant ,
May 04, 2016 May 04, 2016

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I've encountered the same issue with my new Sony RX10 II - MP4 videos recorded with the XAVC S codec are shifted on import by 4 hours to match UTC. John R. Ellis has been a huge help in figuring out exactly what was happening and pointing me to this topic.

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Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2016 May 04, 2016

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John is a HUGE wealth of knowledge and asset to the community.

Here is what bothers me, PSE seems to work while LR does not for creation dates of movies. If tat is true then why?


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LEGEND ,
May 04, 2016 May 04, 2016

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"PSE seems to work while LR does not for creation dates of movies. If tat is true then why?"

That's a good question.  I'll look into it.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2016 May 05, 2016

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I am having the same problem with LR5.7.1 when importing MP4 from a Nexus 5 phone (Android 6.01.

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2016 May 06, 2016

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I just tried the PSE 14 Organizer with a couple of sample MP4s.  It appears to be using the file's date modified, not any metadata in the file.   That approach works much of the time, since the camera/phone will usually set the file's date modified to the camera's clock (cameras and phones that understand time zones will set it to local time).

The problem with using file date modified and file date created is that too many applications, utilities, and cloud services don't preserve them as the file is copied and moved.  Long-time Mac users have relied on the tradition of Mac apps preserving those dates, but these days there are many Mac apps and utilities that don't (including from Apple, and most especially including LR).

But using file date modified is often better than file date created, especially on Windows, where the convention on Windows is that the file date created represents when that specific copy of the file was created, not when the original was created.  (I.e. making a copy of a file sets the copy's date created to "now".)

The whole point of photo and video metadata is to preserve important information inside the file in a documented way that all applications respect. But with respect to capture date, the industry has collectively screwed it up.

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Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2016 May 07, 2016

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Thanks John. That makes sense to me.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2016 Jul 16, 2016

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Interestingly, LR mobile on the iPhone recognizes the correct timestamp when I import the video into LR mobile. Only LR CC on my mac shows an incorrect timestamp. Would be nice if LR mobile would sync the correct timestamp to LR CC on the Mac... (or LR CC on the Mac would have the same algorithm to evaluate the timestamp)

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LEGEND ,
Dec 08, 2016 Dec 08, 2016

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Please fix this already! Super annoying.

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Explorer ,
Dec 08, 2016 Dec 08, 2016

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Hooray! Three years after I started this thread, someone on the Lightroom team has acknowledged it and said they're on it. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'm hopeful.

@LR_Tom: @five__19 Per your Lr time stamp bug. Yes, we do care, I’m tracking a bug filed against the shared component we use to parse date/times. (https://twitter.com/LR_Tom/status/806...)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 08, 2016 Dec 08, 2016

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That's not just someone. That's the boss. 🙂
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 08, 2016 Dec 08, 2016

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Lol quite the timing to complain about this 😄

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LEGEND ,
Dec 16, 2016 Dec 16, 2016

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I've encountered the same issue with my new iPhone 7 but not with my Sony RX100 III as Rick has with his Sony RX100 II. My husbands Sony RX 100 does not show that problem either. When I spoke with the Apple help he could not reprouce the problem with his iPhone and LR either. Strange isn't it?

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LEGEND ,
Dec 16, 2016 Dec 16, 2016

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The Sonys (as do most non-phone cameras) store the capture time as local time, whereas the iPhones store it as UTC (GMT).   This obviously confuses LR.  It's a consequence of a poorly designed QuickTime specification: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/iphone_video_capture_time_is_shifted_upon_imp...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017

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While we wait for a fix I have an imperfect workaround that works for me. I have a Sony a7Sii and I now set the "Area" (Timezone) to "London" and "Daylight saving" to "Off". This means that the time value never changes when Lr or the camera tries to calculate UTC time for Capture (Create) Time.

This is an inelegant solution because I now have to manually change the time when daylight savings comes on and off. But that is only twice a year.

Incidentally this also accounts for why some Sony users have this problem and others do not. If these values were never changed from UTC then the camera thinks it is in the UTC Timezone and they will never have this problem.

Moreover, the a7Sii does not have a GPS so it will never know what Timezone it is really in unless I tell it.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 07, 2017 Mar 07, 2017

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Adobe released Lightroom 6.9/CC2015.9 today.

This issue should be corrected in this release. Please give it a try and let us know if you see any further issues. 

Complete information about this update can be found at the Lightroom Journal: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2017/03/lightroom-cc-2015-9-now-available.html

If you don’t see the update in your Creative Cloud App, you can use the kbsc [Cmd/Ctrl]+[Opt/Alt]+[ R ]  to refresh your app. If you are a perpetual license holder, you can access the update via Help>Updates...

Refer to this for any installation issues: http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2013/06/keeping-lightroom-up-to-date.html#lrcc2015
Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2017 Mar 07, 2017

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Will this fix only impact future imports of video or will it try to correct past videos already in the LR library? I have already corrected most of my videos (painfully) but not all. I'd hate for it to get confused and make a mess of the capture time unless it was able to do it somehow flawlessly and accurately.

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