In my last post, I shot images with both the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 to compare the ISO performance of both cameras. As always, this led to a lot of comments, emails, and DMs asking me if I could also compare the different file formats of these cameras. While I still have both these cameras on loan from Canon, I decided that now would be a good time to tests these parameters for all of you (and me too).
Here’s an interesting twist of fate. Google Photos used to offer free unlimited original quality photo backup for the Pixel phones as a perk of owning one of the devices. This courtesy, apparently, hasn’t been extended to the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL phones. You’ll only be able to save compressed jpg backups to Google Photos on the free unlimited account.
It seems, however, that due to the file sizes offered by Apple’s HEIC/HEVC encoding, Google Photos doesn’t need to compress the files to optimise them for storage. In fact, recompressing them would result in a larger file. So, the original image quality captured by the iPhone is retained with the free unlimited storage on Google Photos.
High Efficiency Image File Format (or “HEIF”, for short) is Apple’s new format for storing stills on your phone. With the goal of replacing JPG as the new image standard, it claims to save up to 50% of storage space for your photos. Until now, though, the only way you’ve been able to view them or really do anything with them is using an iOS 11 device or a mac.
That’s starting to change, though, with the release of Zoner Photo Studio X, which brings HEIF compatibility to Windows. It’s still labelled as “experimental”, and there are some specific software requirements, so it’s not available to everybody. But, it’s a start.
Other than the dual stabilised cameras, one of the biggest bits of photo news surrounding the new iPhones and iOS11 is HEIC. HEIC is a High Efficiency Image File Format. Essentially this means it can hold a lot of data in a relatively small amount of space. For mobile users with limited storage, it’s fantastic. But, right now, there aren’t really any desktop apps that fully support it – at least on Windows.
Desktop support will probably be coming at some point in the future. For now, though, this handy web based converter is stepping in to fill the need. Heictojpg is an online converter into which you feed your iOS11 HEIC files, and you get nice, friendly, and compatible JPG files in return.
As the number of photos we take grows, the more space we need for storage. Apple has launched HEIF and HEVC, formats that could save you up to 50% of storage for photos and videos. They’ve launched it for the camera in iOS 11, and it’s supposed to replace JPEG and allow you to shoot twice as much photos without compromising the image quality.