Quick Tip: Rotate Your Images In-Camera

You spend a full day out shooting, filling up memory cards with photos, and then it’s time to load them onto the computer and take a look. You start looking through the images, and you find yourself rotating those vertical shots — and waiting for it every time. Maybe this isn’t a problem with the newer cameras, but I know that my camera doesn’t auto rotate my vertical shots. In addition, I don’t have the fastest computer on Earth, so it takes a few seconds to rotate each image. I don’t want to deal with that! I just want to look through my photos.

To save yourself some time on the computer, rotate your images in the camera before downloading your files. The camera is typically much faster at this operation than the computer, so you’re really saving a bit of time overall. Plus there are usually times between shots, or on the trip home, when you’re not actually using the camera. These are good times to flip through your images, make sure you got what you wanted, and rotate the sideways ones. Now when you get home and start going through your shots, you won’t get held up rotating the images.

This entry was posted in General Tips, Quick-Tip on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

6 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Rotate Your Images In-Camera

  1. Niels Henriksen

    Keep in mind that when you rotate Jpeg files in windows there is a loss of Data. I just verified this in Photoshop using the difference layer for one photo that had been rotated 4 times clockwise. 2 photos with saturated colours (red) showed a change in colour. one photo which was a more muted seascape showed no change.

    If you meed to rotate find programs that are lossless.

    Niels Henriksen



  2. damon

    What does in-camera rotation do to the embedded orientation tag in the EXIF data? With my Canon, portrait shots are all displayed correctly when opened in the software that came with the camera (DPP, ZoomBrowser – which I dislike), and from memory in other programs like Lightroom, Picasa etc.

    Does the camera change the EXIF data so that the computer doesn’t rotate them again?

  3. Brian Auer Post author

    The results may vary from camera to camera. Some cameras record the orientation correctly while others don’t. My guess is that if you change the orientation in the camera, it changes the EXIF information. I’m basing this guess on the observation that it takes much less time to change orientations in the camera versus on the computer (which remaps the JPEG).

    So if your images are coming out in the right direction on your computer already, you probably don’t need to worry about rotating them in-camera.

  4. Allen

    Another option is if you use Picasa to view your pictures. I’ve found that adding it as the first step of my workflow saves me some time because it will automatically import from my folder using the folder title as an album title, it sorts them nicely and it puts them right-side up for me. When done I will usually use it to do some quick corrections (red eye, WB a little, a little fill light) and then save all pictures with one click. Pretty nifty for a free app. And it’s easy to upload to picasaweb for sharing.

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