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.