Remember To Update Your Camera’s Clock

Yesterday (March 8) was the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) here in the US, so I thought it’d be a good time to remind everyone to update your camera’s clock.

It’s helpful to keep the clock very accurate (down to the second!), so you can better review your photos later. Sometimes the best way to learn is to constantly review old photos and revisit your thought process of creating those images. So, knowing the exact time the image was shot can help you check other things (like where was the sun at that time?).

Having an accurate clock also helps you stitch two scenes together if you’re using multiple cameras to photograph the same scene.

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steveb2About the Author: Steve Berardi is a nature photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.


  1. Steve, first let me say I always look forward to your updates, I’ve picked up a lot of helpful tips over the last couple years.
    Now about camera clocksAnother reason (for some of us) is that an accurate camera clock is imperative when Geotagging pictures out of camera. When I take my Canon SX40 out on the trail I always take my Garmin GPS with me. Later I can load my pics to my hard drive then connect the GPS and GEO Tag the photos in a program from Garmin called Basecamp. It basically matches your recorded route time to the meta-data from the photo and assigns a location to the picture. If the clocks aren’t accurate niether is the location. Until I can afford a nicer camera with GPS, this is a great work around.
    Thanks again for all the tips.

  2. Hi Steve,
    Just a reminder that DST is in effect in Canada as well, except in Saskatchewan. I believe Arizona does not recognize it either, but there may be some other US states that are not on-board as well.

    Frank Townsley

  3. Thanks, Steve. I once again forgot and would have regretted it later. I use the Canon EOS utility, because I have two bodies and that will sync the time for both by setting them to the computer’s time. Now if I can only figure out why my mac no longer automatically starts up the utility when I connect to the USB port.

    • OK, there was a small icon in the bottom left corner of ImageCapture that sets what to do when a camera is detected – it had apparently lost its setting. Fixed.

      Also, apparently though the utility will set the time on the camera, I needed to manually change the time zone in the menu to DST. Nothing is simple.

  4. Terry Mullen says:

    Thanks for your weekly posts Steve, I read them every week and always find them inspiring. They encourage me to get out there with the camera! Just to add the UK viewpoint on Daylight Saving Time, we put the clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday in March and (confusingly) call this British Summer Time, BST.
    I’ll check my camera clock and think again about a gps gadget – it’s about time cameras all had these built in!

    • Thanks, Terry! Wow, another country that changes time πŸ™‚ for some reason I always thought only the US did this. I like what they call it in the UK though. We should call it “summer time” here too.

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