Optimal Conversion of DSC-F1 PMP to JPEG

If, like myself, you have several thousand pictures taken with a Sony DSC-F1 camera (a 1997 model), you are probably looking for a good solution to preserve these for the future with no loss of information. The DSC-F1 camera stores files using Sony’s proprietary PMP format, which is essentially JPEG with a custom 124-byte header. The header contains information like date taken, picture orientation, shutter and aperture details, etc. Nowadays these mostly camera-specific fields are encoded by embedding EXIF/DCF metadata in the JPEG file.

I would like to convert all my PMP file to JPEG (with EXIF metadata) files, because that’s the format that is currently universally accepted both by operating systems and by album applications. Whatever new format will emerge in the future (e.g. JPEG 2000 with EXIF-equivalent metadata), I am quite confident that a similar conversion will be supported in the future.

I couldn’t find a piece of software able to do all of the following:

  • Conversion of .pmp to .jpeg file(s)
  • Ability to convert selection of files or entire directories
  • Lossless “conversion” of JPEG portion
  • Conversion of all PMP header data to EXIF metadata
  • Option to delete original file(s) after successful conversion
  • Option to perform lossless rotation of JPEG image to reflect orientation indicated in PMP header (resulting JPEG oriented as shown by Sony Digital Still Camera Album Utility)
  • Option to apply original PMP file date to JPEG file
  • Ideally, ability to perform reverse conversion (from JPEG with EXIF to PMP), which would simplify comparisons and integrity checks

Tempest Solutions offers a free tool, Pump, which can perform a lossless conversion, but it does not support writing the PMP header metadata as EXIF. (Special thanks to Chris Klingebiel of Tempest Solutions for sharing information about PMP file format details.)

I already use ACDSee 7 to automatically perform lossless rotations of JPEG images, based on existing EXIF rotation attributes, so the requirement to perform the rotation in the conversion tool is not really important. However, this adds to the importance of properly converting PMP rotation attributes to EXIF rotation information.

The purpose of this page is to request feedback from other DSC-F1 camera users, and especially to see who may be interested in a tool fitting the above description. If there is sufficient interest, it will raise the priority for me to invest in the creation of such a conversion tool, and I will let you know then the tool is ready.

Other sites of interest include