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So is this embedded thumbnail (of the original image) part of the EXIF information only generated by a camera, or do some image editing software's also add this embedded thumbnail data?

Also, any way to tell if the image contains a thumbnail made by the editor?

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Edit, added a follow up question –  Moab Sep 10 '11 at 16:52

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The information that is embedded in the EXIF data is unique to the tool that created the image. Some software apps are happy to simply add "created with blah" while some cameras add time, date, and GPS to the image. There are open source tools like exiftool which can be used to view and edit EXIF data. If you are using a new tool, it may be wise to check a few samples before you start publishing your images.

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Both your statements are true :

EXIF data may contain an embedded thumbnail generated by the camera, depending on the camera model.

Some image editors may embed a thumbnail in image files of a format that can contain one, such as JPEG. TIFF encoded files often embed a JPEG image as a thumbnail of the main image. Even MP3 files can contain a JPEG of cover art, in the ID3v2 tag.

However, thumbnails created by image editors are never stored in the EXIF data, as that part is normally left unchanged by image editors, since it taken as belonging to the camera and not to the image. Also, this is usually not done automatically, but requires some user-action.

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any way to tell if the image has a thumbnail made by the editor? –  Moab Sep 7 '11 at 13:44

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