iOS – Photos Not Full Resolution?

Did you know that anytime you send a photo from you iPhone using the iPhone mail client your photo is reduced in size and quality? It's not done to rid the world of photo thieves, or any other nefarious plot. The thought behind it is simply to reduce the file size and make sending the e-mail easier and faster. The same occurs when you send an MMS of a photo, the receiver doesn't quite get what you sent. So, is there anything you can do about this offense to your personal photographic skills? Yes and no. How's that for answer? There is no option in the iPhone Mail app to choose what size photo you want to send, either globally or individually. If you use Mail on the Mac you know you can chose if you want to reduce the size of your photo(s) or not. Of course you can't attach a photo from inside the iPhone Mail application yet either. If you share a photo via e-mail, the image will be greatly reduced in size. One photo I tested was shrunk from 816kb to 93kb. The photo still looked good, but never-the-less there was over 600 missing kilobytes of data. That's your "no."

Now for your "yes." There are two options to get your photos from your iPhone to a friend without the annoying file shrinkage. Both are pretty easy. Your first choice is to use that much talked about "copy" feature that was introduced with iPhone OS 3.0. Any photo you are looking at, whether it be on the web or in your iPhone Photos app can be be copied. Just hold touch the photo for a second or two and the copy dialogue box will pop up. Choose copy and then open mail. Once you have your new mail message, touch and hold the screen again and choose "Paste" from the pop-up menu. You aren't limited to just one photo either, close Mail and then copy another. Your only limit is how big of a file you can send or your friend can receive.

The second option is to use one of the many iPhone camera or photo applications that specifically tell you that they allow you to share the uncompressed image. Typically all they are doing is copying the image or images into mail and sending for you. Others allow you to share your photo to the internet and upload the uncompressed image to one of the many photo sharing sites like Flickr.

Why does all of this matter? Well, if you are sending a photo of little Johnny winning the big baseball game to grandma and grandma wants to print an 8x10 photo for her wall, she may not be able to do that with the compressed file. The iPhone camera isn't great to begin with and file compression doesn't help the quality of the photos out very much.

This could all change with the release of next version of the iPhone OS, but so far there have been no rumors to that affect. There are rumors that the camera will be better and taken higher resolution photos, which will actually make the file compression issue even a bigger deal for ardent photographers. For now though, use the copy and past trick or just use a photo application that allows you to send directly from their app without any compression. Grandma will be happy you did!