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PHP : Function Reference : Exif Functions : exif_thumbnail


Retrieve the embedded thumbnail of a TIFF or JPEG image (PHP 4 >= 4.2.0, PHP 5)
string exif_thumbnail ( string filename [, int &width [, int &height [, int &imagetype]]] )

Example 601. exif_thumbnail() example

if (array_key_exists('file', $_REQUEST)) {
$image = exif_thumbnail($_REQUEST['file'], $width, $height, $type);
} else {
$image = false;
if (
$image!==false) {
header('Content-type: ' .image_type_to_mime_type($type));
} else {
// no thumbnail available, handle the error here
echo 'No thumbnail available';

Code Examples / Notes » exif_thumbnail


You can use the EXIF thumbnail function to extract the thumnails for use in an image gallery. I've found this to be faster than using other GD functions to convert the image to a smaller one then save it.
Here is the code I use to generate thumbnails. Remember, this is more of a utility script, although its simple to modifiy it for use...
set_time_limit(0); //use this to make sure the script doesn't time out on large number of images.
//error_reporting(E_NONE); //use this to disable errors in a production script
function getmicrotime() {
$temparray=split(" ",microtime());
return $returntime;
//lets make it slightly proper HTML. not valid, but can be changed quickly to be
echo "<html>
$maindir = "." ; //change this to what ever directory needs scanning
$mydir = opendir($maindir) ;
$i = 0; //set the count of images processed to 0
while($fn = readdir($mydir)) //scan through the whole directory
{//open while
$startimagetime = getmicrotime();
$ext = strtolower(substr($fn,strlen($fn)-3)); //get the extension of an image
if ($ext == "jpg") {
$i++; //increase the number of images processed
echo $fn ." is being processed....
flush(); //needed to display each image progress

$image = exif_thumbnail($fn, $width, $height, $type);
if ($image!==false) {
//if there is a good enough thumbnail to use, we have it here.
//extract it and put it in the file, call it [original image name].thumb.jpg
$handle = fopen ($fn.".thumb.jpg", 'a');
//write the thumbnail image
fwrite($handle, $image);
} else {
// no thumbnail available, handle the error here
echo "No thumbnail available for file ".$fn."
echo "
All Images have been processed, script is finshed.
Total processing time: ";
print $endtime-$starttime;
echo "
Images processed: " .$i;
echo "</body>";
echo "</html>"
Its a bit crude, I must admit, but it can easily be adapted to suit user.

miguel vitorino

use this if you want to embed a thumbnail directly on the HTML page without writing it first to a file:
$image = exif_thumbnail($file, $width, $height, $type);
echo "<img  width='$width' height='$height' src='data:image/gif;base64,".base64_encode($image)."'>";


This will allow you to manipulate the thumbnail image ($imgJpeg) using the various gd commands:
 if (($imgJpeg = exif_thumbnail($strImagePath)) === false)
   print "No Thumbnail!";
   $imgJpeg = imageCreateFromString($imgJpeg);

05-jan-2007 02:23

If you want to convert from TIFF to JPG you can use ImageMagick if it is installed in your server.
$exec = 'convert /path/to/file.tiff /path/to/file.jpg 2>&1';
@exec($exec, $exec_output, $exec_retval);
//possible error

hanspeter dot debets

Great that the thumbnail can be in TIFF format (f.i. Kodak cameras have embedded thumbnail in TIFF) BUT I have not been able to show TIFF as an embedded image in HTML (using the <IMG...> tag). There seems to be no function in PHP to change TIFF to, lets say, JPG. (imagecreatefromstring gives a 'unknown datatype' error for the TIFF stream. So below sample works great for JPEG embedded thumbnail, but not for TIFF embedded (but then, maybe I did something wrong?):
   <TITLE>Test EXIF Read  </TITLE>
echo("<B>". $image. "</B>:
$exif = exif_read_data($image, 'ANY_TAG',true);
if (!$exif===false)
   echo("Image contains headers
   echo("<A href=showthumb.php?image=" . $image ."> <IMG border=0 src=showthumb.php?image=" . $image ."></A>
   foreach ($exif as $key => $section)
       foreach ($section as $name => $val)
           echo "$key.$name: $val
   echo("Sorry, image <B>".$image . "</B> does not contain (readable) EXIF data.");
$imgdat = exif_thumbnail($_REQUEST['image'],$width, $height, $type);
header('Content-type: ' . image_type_to_mime_type($type));
When clicking on the <A> opens the TIFF image in the program that windows assigned to this type, but the JPEG opens in the browser.
I am using PHP 4.3.6 on windows iis 4 (yeah, I know.....)

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