(Forgive the clunky title, but I’m quite keen that people stuck in the situation I’m about to describe can find this post.)
If you take your photography seriously or commercially, it can be a very good idea to embed some information about you-the-photographer-and-copyright-holder within the file itself.
This lives within the Exif information about the photo – a type of metadata (data about data). Here’s an example of mine:
Yes, there are ways to wipe it if someone really wants to nick your pics, but it can be surprisingly useful in lots of ways, as I wrote about in this post.
To get this text into your camera so it’s automatically written to all of your photos is a slightly laboured process on a Canon. I believe other well-known manufacturers provide an interface on the camera itself to set it, but with the Canons you’re reliant on a little bit of software called the Canon EOS Utility. You get it on a disk with every camera you buy. [Update: I’m told there is now an on-camera interface to add copyright info on newer EOS bodies, e.g. 7D, 60D and 600D, but that still leaves many – including the 5DMkii – requiring EOS Utility).
But disks get lost, and cameras get sold on without their box of gubbins and disks – and in my case, software gets outpaced by operating system upgrades (I have the disk, but it won’t run on Windows 7) – so you need another way to install it.
And this is where Canon have done something rather weird. If you go to their site, you can download an update to get you to the latest version of the EOS Utility, but you have to already have an earlier version installed on your machine for the update to run. As a matter of policy, they don’t make the original Utility available.
It’s a bit weird, really – it’s bundled as a freebie with all their kit, but if you lose it, you’re stuffed. I asked their support team to help.
The first response was: well, just use your disk and run the update from our site… -Try reading the problem description again, I suggested.
Ah well, in that case you’re stuck, really; but you can buy an updated solution disk from our friends at Robert Scott Associates. They handle this for us. Thank you and goodbye.
Buy? Because my legit copy won’t work any more? This seems a bit odd. So I Google a bit and find a way round it. Most of the descriptions I read are slightly technically frightening (and more complex and extensive than you actually need to do this job). So I thought I’d write a plain language post on how to do this. Because if you use a Canon I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to.
The fix relies on the fact that the updater on Canon’s site is actually a full working version of the EOS Utility. Here’s a link to the updater to save you digging around (there’s a Mac OS version nearby). All it does is check that you’ve already got a version installed on your machine. So if you can find a way for your machine to respond “Yes, I have that installed” when the updater asks the question, it will go ahead and install the full thing.
To get that response to happen (without you actually installing a thing) hit the Windows button and type “regedit” (without the quotes) [sorry, these are Windows 7 instructions, but the Mac equivalents are easy to find]. Hit return, go past the warning screen, and a moderately scary window pops up. I say this because fiddling with the settings in here can seriously disrupt your system. I take no responsibility for any action you take as a result of reading this post, etc. etc. Tread carefully.
Navigate your way from the left hand side by double-clicking (or expanding) the following sequence of folders: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE then Wow6432Node then Canon. At this point, right click on the word Canon and select New -> Key. Enter (without quotes but with the space) “EOS Utility” here. And that’s it. At least in its intimate conversations with other bits of software, your machine now thinks you have the Utility installed. Sorry, Mr Scott & Associates.
Go ahead and run the updater you downloaded from that link above, and follow your nose from there (you will need to use a miniUSB cable to connect your camera body to the PC before anything meaningful will happen). Happy metadating.