WARNING: Multiple Cameras = Duplicate File Names

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Great Horned Owl

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2012
Lake County, Illinois
DW and I both use cameras from the same manufacturer. I never gave it much thought,but they both use the same file naming convention. The newer one started out with file names that the older one had used years earlier.

I now have thousands of pairs of identically named files. I tend do delete at least75% of the shots, and I keep them in a lot different folders. Up till now, I have never had a conflict.

My luck finally ran out. I started getting warnings about "that file already exists." I don't think that I have actually overwritten any, but it is probably only a matter of time. At this point, I am faced with a massive file renaming task if I don't want to see ever worsening confusion.

If you have a similar situation, you might want to fix it before it gets out of hand.

Joel, I see you did not really ask for help, but I do have a suggestion.
I use Irfanview for my image editor, and it has a very nice batch file resize/rename/slap into another folder utility.
I can take a few hundred photos from a trip and it will do all the hard work for me on resizing for the web.
ACDSee is another good program with batch rename, find duplicate files (it compares files, not file names) and much more when it comes to both viewing and managing pictures (and movies, too). It can even rename when downloading from the camera.
Thanks for the suggestions. I know how set the cameras to keep the problem from continuing to happen. When W had only one camera, I didn't worry about file names. When we got the second, I just didn't think. Now, I just have a massive cleanup job from the mess that I have already created.

I am just posting to possibly save others from the same trouble.

I haven't used irfanview for a few years now, but, if my memory serves me correctly, you should be able to filter to select only photographs by creation date (or capture date as set in the EXIF information), and run a batch process to rename them. You could then just, say, change the "DSC_7581" to "DSC0_7581".

I'm sure many other packages could do the same. This could even be achieved using a terminal/dos script depending on your operating system.

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