Camera clock: have you changed it for daylight savings?

 In For Photographers

One of the elements that I often notice in our trainees is that their camera clock is often imprecise. Some cameras clock run few minutes late, some others an hour, some have the date set to a random date. My question for you today is: have you corrected your camera clock for daytime savings?
This year I totally forgot about the daylight savings, and last Sunday I was puzzled for a couple of seconds seeing my clocks at a different time. I will not defend myself behind the fact that was Sunday morning before coffee time, let’s just say that I totally forgot about it.
Do you want to know why keeping the correct camera clock is important?

Organising your photos thanks to your Camera Clock

Having the right camera clock may seem a trivial thing to do. In my opinion, it is not. Excluding particular cases, which we will discuss later, camera clock is important to keep your photos organised. It may not hit you from the beginning, but in a few months time, having the correct camera clock may sort out a lot of headaches.
We use Lightroom to keep our images organised, and we reserve one catalog to manage just our final images. They are organised in and divided into collections, which are sorted by date. Moreover, we rename every image with the format YearMonthDay-HourMinuteSecond-incremental as the images become very easily recognisable and easy to find. This, of course, considering a right camera clock.

Multiple Cameras and Camera Clock

The most important implication for your camera clock is if you use more than one camera. You can be like Faby and me, two photographers shooting each with a camera, or you can use two cameras yourself.
What happens if one camera clock is set to one time and the other differs sensibly? When you import your images, the culling and editing will be more difficult, as to compare photos shot at the same time, you will have to browse your catalog up and down. Try imagining evaluating all the images shoot with one outfits, and now try to imagining doing the same evaluation with images that alternates from one outfit to another. It is a mess and it makes your life more difficult.
Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to end up working on hundreds of RAW files coming from different cameras with different settings for the camera clock.

Daylight Savings

In the past, the daylight savings gave me some grief while importing. This was because I was not updating the cameras settings. You find that a small change may have an important impact if you shoot with someone else, or if your images have any relevance for the time they are shot. Even when shooting boudoir, we tend to keep our cameras clock aligned, as it helps us organising our images.

Are you shooting events?

If you photograph events, and weddings are the events that pop in my mind, camera clock is vital. You want to be able to organise the photographs in chronological order, and in order to do so you need them to match the real clock. While shooting weddings it is absolutely normal to have more than one camera and have a time-sensitive editing. It would not be a great presentation to mix the images of the preparation (shoot with one camera) with a sudden first kiss (shoot with the second).

It really takes one minute to switch on your cameras, set the right camera clock on the first camera and synchronise all the others. And that minute will save many more!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Patrick

    I’m not sure how many cameras you’ve had to adjust the time for but I keep opening cupboards to find another camera that needs doing…

    • Carlo Nicora

      Hi Patrick!
      We use three cameras, plus other two that are “old”. I haven’t synchronised the ones we don’t use… :) Shame! :P

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