Photo tricks. Part 18. Synchronization of images from two or more cameras

In this part, I describe a simple method for synchronizing pictures from multiple cameras.

Photo Sync

Photo Sync

I often shoot with two cameras. For example, at some event, I shoot general scenes with a wide-angle lens, and 'snatch' portraits with a telephoto lens on the second camera. When you give back the footage, you want all the photos to go one after another without breaking the holistic picture of what is happening... The same goes for the case when the same scene is shot by several photographers. For example, sometimes I work with my colleague, he shoots in the tele range, and I 'take' general scenes with a standard lens. This allows you to shoot the same event from different angles. After such a shooting, I also want the photos on the computer to follow one after another. This is especially important when shooting with cameras from different manufacturers with different sets of standard names.

The solution to this problem is very simple. Enough synchronize time on multiple cameras (set the same time on the camera), then sort the photos by creation time. Not all computers are able to sort by date, especially RAW files. RAW files are convenient for me to process and sort using ADOBE LIGHTROOM, in the 'Library' section there is a special 'SORT' button, where you can set sorting by the time the picture was taken 'Capture Time'. Time is taken from EXIF file module. Thus, I get a tape of photos from different cameras, while all the photos go one after another in a row.

Sort Button in Lighroom

Sort Button in Lighroom

To get a tape of exported files in JPEG or TIFF format, I use the file name generator, giving each file a name that consists of digits of the time the file was created. This is done as follows, after clicking on the EXPORT button, such a dialog appears where you can configure the file names:

Setting File Names

Setting File Names

And then using the name constructor you can create anything you want:

Create a name template

Create a name template

After such manipulations, the photo ribbon will be exported with the names generated by the time the image was taken and it is enough to sort the files by name to get a list of photos that follow one after another.
But if you're shooting in JPEG straight away and don't want to bother with Lightroom, there is an even easier method with a million other filenames. I am using Total Commander and the batch file rename feature. You can also use the built-in function of the navigator program of your computer's operating system. When I give away a disc with finished photos or send photos by e-mail, I always name the photos using a standard template, for example 'Photo - 1', 'Photo - 2', etc. As a result, the customer receives set of correctly sorted and correctly renamed photos, instead of the 'terrible and clumsy' names 'DSC_4829.JPG' and the like.

Normal and streamlined photo file numbering

Normal and streamlined photo file numbering

Of course, all these file manipulations will be useful only for those who shoot a lot, and even with several cameras. I also often need to sync and rename photos taken in several days, there are a little more manipulations with names. It is especially important to rename files when the camera counter goes off scale for 9999 frames and starts numbering all photos from scratch, then it is very easy to get confused, and it is very inconvenient to search for files. It is also easy for me to separate the processed and original images visually by names - the originals have a 'terrible' rough original set of names, and the modified ones have the 'correct' set of names.

Conclusions:

Photos from multiple cameras are the easiest sort by time taken. This allows you to do the right thing. semantic row by time of all available photos. One of the methods I do is described above.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 19, on the topic: Photo tricks. Part 18. Synchronization of images from two or more cameras

  • = MK =

    In Windows 8, raw files (nef and cr2 for sure) are easy to read with a standard re-view, like jpeg and “standard” formats, and all the data, that sort and re-named (date, camera, focal points ...) are read in a similar way without program.

  • Victor

    In Windows 7, you can also look at it with standard look at it, only to download additionally from the Microsoft website

  • Denis

    I want to add that when renaming files it is better to number not just 1, 2, 3, etc., but 001, 002, 003, etc., take the number of zeros based on the total number of photos. Otherwise, when sorting and viewing, then the files may appear in the sequence 1, 11, 2, etc.

    • = MK =

      Denis, on Win 7 and 8 such problems are dumb, sort of normal and without zero.

      • Denis

        On XP, it seems, too, but in many cases I still came across this, because some programs sort this way when opened. On a mobile phone, for example, sorting will be a curve. The article mentioned that the photos are already sorted to the client, it is not known what he will view them (maybe he’ll fill in the phone) and so that it doesn’t work as I described, it is better to sort with zeros.

      • Denis

        PS about the phone - I meant the standard file manager in Android and Bada, checked on them

  • Ilya

    On the poppy, the ravs were always read without additional p / o :)

  • Novel

    Problems with numbers (1, 11, 2, 22, etc.) arise depending on which file manager to use. For example, in Total Commander such a problem exists. Therefore, I advise you to use the recommendations of Denis (that is, make files 0001, 0002, etc., depending on the number of photos).

  • Novel

    In Total Commander, you can do all this much faster. Just sort by date, select everything and do a group rename.

  • Anatoly

    The most important thing is to make sure that the time set on the cameras is accurate before shooting)

  • Michael

    For those who do not want to bother with renaming files, it is enough to select the method of sorting by date in the "View" tab menu, this can be done both in Windows Explorer and in a program for viewing, for example XnView, and then decompose the events into fragments into separate folders ...

  • Andrei

    Actually, this article is intended for the user to be able to do all this in the LightRoom program, in other words, you are given just one more way, but the fact that a bunch of file managers and Windows know how to do this has long been known !!! Indeed, many photographers only do all their work with images in this program, and for those who are not fully educated yet, this method has been brought up, so to speak, without leaving the program!

  • Elena

    Arkady, thanks for another useful photo trick.
    When fujik was added to my Nikon not so long ago, this little problem with file storage appeared. Still somehow it was possible to navigate "in space" and find the necessary files (files from fujik stood after files from nikon), but when the second nikon appeared, the problem worsened :), and had to be put into different folders (as well as after going through 9999) ... With your advice, you made my life easier :))

  • Denis

    Hello, tell me please, after the manipulations, everything turned out, but after the lightroom, the photos weighed about 10 megabytes and began to weigh 1 megabyte, although when comparing even with a strong increase in the picture, the difference is not visible, due to which the photo began to weigh 10 times less?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Due to JPEG compression algorithms. When exporting, set the quality to 100 and turn off size limits.

  • Denis

    the export window did not have these values, how to configure it?

  • Denis

    I apologize, I flipped through the export window too quickly, I found everything)

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