James asks: Hey Brian, I’m looking to get a handheld camera for private investigation work. For court, we must display the time and date on all videos. I need a camera that will “burn” the time/date stamp on the video itself as opposed to only being able to see that time/date stamp in the viewfinder. It would be nice to burn the timestamp on video from our smartphones too. I found your podcast yesterday and it sounds like you guys are the real experts.

Adding date and time stamp used to be a popular feature in cameras but has since been discontinued due to complaints. The date and time stamp are still there – you just need to pull out the meta data and force display it. You would need a program that will read that meta data from the video and burn it into the image while importing to the PC or Mac. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere both support this along with some stand lone apps and software:



Timestamp Camera  – is the best(maybe only) app to add timestamps to new videos. Add current time and location when recording or capturing, you can change time format or select the location around easily. Timestamp Camera is the only App that can record video with the time watermark accurate to millisecond(0.001 second).


Timestamp photo and video – add timestamp to photo and video easily and save to a new file. It’s the most powerful app to add timestamp on video. You can change time format, position, font, color and size. By this app you will know when the funny or important moment happened after a long time.


Investigation Video Editor  – a dedicated, fast, user-friendly private investigator software that synchronizes video from multiple cameras.

Visual MP4/MOV Time Stamp – a tool to add date and/or time stamp to the captured MP4/MOV/video files. The MP4/MOV video files have the time codes embedded in the files, such time codes are stored in the video files when they are recorded. But the time codes are not visible when you view the MP4/MOV files. When you use video edit tools to convert the MP4/MOV files to other files, the time codes get lost. By using vMTS, the time codes are extracted from the MP4/MOV files and superimposed onto the videos. This way the date/time will be visible when you view the stamped file, consequently other files made out of the stamped files will have date/time displayed. MP4/MOV format is used by iPhone, GoPro camcorders, and digital cameras made by Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, etc. Such video files have ‘mp4’ or ‘MOV’ file extension.

Visual AVCHD TimeStamp  – will add timestamp to the AVCHD files.

Video tutorials:

YouTube Visual MP4/MOV Time Stamp video tutorials

Similar Posts:


  1. Hi there!
    Thanks for the cool stuff.
    I would like to suggest you an app which adds ‘Signature stamp’, ‘Location Stamp’ and ‘Timestamp’to gallery videos!
    It’s three in one app, just click here:

    Hope it helps!

  2. The original evidence is separate from the highlight reels we make for the courts. Vats will add that for you and then you can edit the video with any editing app you want.

  3. We do not call it original evidence we call it a highlight reel because wasting the courts time with an hour to 6 hours of video is rediculous. All we are asking for is video editing software that can bring out the metadata time and date stamp so we can make a video of particular events. That’s all we want

  4. You must have an interesting court. Because you say “For Court we must display the time and date in the video.”

    I can believe there is a client that may require that, but courts usually do not require evidence that has been tampered with (if there is a time and date on an HD video it is NOT original)

    The adding of date and time stamps s convenient – but you still need the person who shot the video to get it entered. If there is a date and time stamp, I hope you are not saying that what is shown in court is the original video. By saying so it would be perjury.

    What investigators need to to is educate our clients, because by adding a time and date stamp, you are muddying up the water needlessly. I say this because you have to explain on the stand that you had to make a special modification to the video to display the time/date stamp. It is not different than editing the video in other fashions.

  5. I have found the easiest way to apply date and time stamp to your videos. If you are using a camera with the analog (yellow/redwhite) connectors, do to Best Buy and get the Pinnacle Dazzle DVD Recorder. Nothing could be easier.

Engage with us