Photographer’s Notebook Android App for Film Shooters

The Exif4Film app is a handy tool for Android-toting film photographers, but it’s not the only fish in the sea. Similar to Exif4Film, the Photographer’s Notebook app can help you to keep track of film rolls and record information about each exposure. Although Photographer’s Notebook feels somewhat rough around the edges, and it lacks a desktop companion tool for processing the recorded data, the app has several redeeming points that make it worth a consideration.

Like Exif4Film, Photographer’s Notebook allows you to create a list of camera and lens combinations as well as configure a vast array of options: from focus and aperture values, to film formats and flash settings.

Adding a film roll

Adding a film roll

Populating Photographer’s Notebook with cameras and lenses is easy enough. Switch to the Settings → Camera model section, enter the camera’s name and press the Add button. You can then specify lenses for the added camera. To tweak, for example, aperture values, switch to the Aperture section, and disable entries you don’t need. You can also specify custom entries. Before you leave the Settings screen, you might want to enable the geotagging feature in the General section which automatically records geographical coordinates for each frame.

Photographer's Notebook in action

Photographer’s Notebook in action

Once Photographer’s Notebook has been configured, you can start using the app. First, create a new film roll using the button in the upper-right corner of the screen and provide the required information, such as the roll’s title (tap the Automatic title button to use the current timestamp as the roll’s name), film brand, speed, and type. Tap the Start film button to save the roll and open it. Recording information for each exposure is equally straightforward: use the available drop-down lists and fields to provide the required and optional info, then tap the Record picture button.

As already mentioned, Photographer’s Notebook lacks a desktop utility for writing the recorded data to the digitized photos, but the app makes it possible to export rolls in the XML format. The exported XML files can be opened in any text editor or processed using XML tools. On Linux, you can use the xml2exif Bash shell script cobbled together by yours truly to extract aperture, shutter speed, and ISO values from a generated XML file and write them into the appropriate photo.

Photographer’s Notebook is available on both Google Play Store and F-Droid, and you’ll find the app’s source code and additional information (mostly in German) in the project’s Bitbucket repository.

Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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