Sunday, May 01, 2016

First world problems...

Warning- extremely geeky camera/android subject matter follows- get out while you can!

So, my new phone seems to be working out very well. It does everything I need it to, and, at 3:30pm and having been unplugged at 7 this morning, the battery is currently at 80% and it's telling me there is still 1 day and 7 hours of battery life left :)

However I ran into an unexpected glitch yesterday- I post pictures from my phone to this blog and my Saxon Woods blog via email, I email the picture to a special Blogger email address and it takes the subject line of the email and uses it as the blog post title, formats the picture and puts the email text below it as the body of the post- nice and easy and I've been doing it that way for years. But the Blogger email system will only accept picture attachments up to a certain size (it says it's 10MB, but in reality it seems to be closer to 7-8MB), which was never a problem with the 8 Megapixel camera on my Nexus 5, but the camera on the new phone is 13 MP, and while most of the time pictures are around 5-6MB, if the subject is particularly busy (like, say, the woodland picture I send everyday to the Saxon Woods blog) the size can shoot up to 8-9MB.

Now, part of the problem is the Moto Camera app that Motorola has put on this phone- it has no way to reduce the resolution of the picture you take (other than to choose a 16:9 format that is 9.7MP rather than the 13MP of the standard 4:3 one I like to use). I could use another camera app (I have been fooling around with the excellent Open Camera, which I like a lot and does indeed have the option to reduce the MP of the picture), but I kind of object to having to reduce the size and lose some quality- and the Moto G has a very cool feature that when you hold the phone and double-twist it (like you're opening a door handle) it will automatically open the camera app, even if the phone is asleep. It's not a huge deal to wake up the phone and choose a different camera app, but this has already become one of my favorite features of the new phone- and it saves seconds if you're trying capture a candid moment.

I posted the problem on Reddit (of course there's a MotoG subreddit) and I think it's been solved :)

One person suggested saving the pictures to Google Photos and seeing if that would reduce the size a bit (it does if you use the free storage), but to save bandwidth I have my phone set to only back up my pictures to Google Photos when it had a wifi connection- so that's no good while I'm out and about.

Someone else suggested a gallery app called Piktures, which is just the ticket :) It's free, and when you hit share to share a photo by email or whatever it shows you the size of the original picture and offers you 3 other options at Full HD, HD and VGA sizes- each one smaller than the one before. I have set it up so that when I take a picture and swipe from the camera app to see it, it open in Piktures. Then I just hit share and it shows me the size so I can see if it needs to be reduced, and then it will open my email with the picture (reduced if necessary) attached- simple, easy and fast :)

But what of the reduction in quality you ask- well, Blogger reduces pictures when you post them anyway, but this way I still have the original, full resolution picture on my phone in case I decide it's good enough to pull off and edit in Lightroom or something, Google Photos will save it at a slightly reduced quality, and it really doesn't look much different on Blogger :)

Here is today's picture from the Saxon Woods Blog 3 ways- full resolution from the phone (8MB, 4160x3120)), slightly reduced by Google Photos (5.33MB, 4160x3120), and reduced to Full HD by Piktures (3.57MB, 1920x1440). Each of these will have been further compressed by Blogger (to 1600x1200), so I'd be very surprised if you can tell much difference, even when you click to embiggen them-

full resolution from the phone (8MB, 4160x3120)
slightly reduced by Google Photos (5.33MB, 4160x3120)
reduced to Full HD by Piktures (3.57MB, 1920x1440)

No comments:

Post a Comment