Adventures in Canon software

Someone recently called to my attention that they were seeing a strange person's name in the "Artist" EXIF field in my photos on flickr. Here's an example. I bought my Canon 40D used, so there may have been some old stuff hanging around from the previous owner, however, this was a name that was foreign to me.

I use Adobe Lightroom, so my immediate thought was that it was defaulting this field without my knowledge. I did some searching about the "Artist" field in Lightroom being set, but nothing came up. I couldn't even find a way to change the Artist field in Lightroom, only the "Creator" field. It wasn't flickr, either, since flickr just displays whatever EXIF data you give it.

After some searching around, I found out that this field is set for you by some Canon cameras. The "Artist" field comes from the "Owner's Name" setting on the camera itself. To change the field, you need to use Canon's software that comes bundled with the camera. You can't change it through the controls on the camera itself. Since my camera is a Canon EOS 40D, I specifically needed the Canon EOS Utility software.

Easy enough, but I didn't have that software installed, and the CD's that came with my camera were across town in a storage unit. So, I went to the Canon USA site to download the EOS Utility Updater, which is actually a full installer. But, of course, Canon doesn't make anything easy: You need have the EOS Utility already installed or have the CD to use the installer. But what do you do if you don't have the CD!?

NOTE: If you're just looking for steps on how to change this setting and don't care about the adventures of installing the EOS Utility without a CD, just skip to the steps a few paragraphs down.

I happen to use a Mac (OS X) and I found this great post and comment trail which shows you how to fake the Canon installer into believing you already have the EOS Utility installed. Basically, the Canon installer looks for a few specific application name strings in your Applications folder. If you install a "fake" application with those names, the installer will think that the EOS Utility is already installed and go on. Someone on the comment trail was kind enough to post a handy, "fake" Mac application you can use for this . I put the fake application in my Applications directory, and the installer worked like a charm!

If you're on Windows, it should be as simple as spoofing some Registry settings. Check out this post for more info. Note that I haven't tried this on Windows, but it looks fairly straightforward, if (and only if!) you're comfortable editing the Windows Registry.

Once you have the EOS Utility installed, it's really easy to change the Owner's Name. Here's the steps that I followed (this was on EOS Utility version 2.9.0):

  • Plug in your camera, turn it on, and fire up the EOS Utility.
  • Go to "Camera Settings/Remote Shooting"
  • Click the little "tools" icon with the wrench on it.
  • Change the "Owner's Name" to whatever you want.
  • Exit out of the EOS Utility to save the setting.
That's it, hopefully this saves people some time in the future! Here's the "after" example with the "Artist" tag I wanted. Don't ask me why Canon requires you to have a physical CD to "update" their software... If you don't have a Canon product, why would you want to get their software, anyway? You make great cameras, Canon, but the software leaves a lot to be desired.

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Posted by Matt 12/27/2010 03:29:00 PM


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