5

The photo quality is my iPhone 7 is very low. I found out that this may be because I switched on “iCloud Photo Library” a few months earlier, and “Optimize IPhone Store” was selected. Does doing so move all PREVIOUS photos to cloud, and replace them with low-res photos?

  • I’d be interested in an edit that shows how much free space you have on your device, how much space on the device photos take up and how large the iCloud library is. Also - can you make the loss of quality happen with a new photo you take today? – bmike Jul 22 '18 at 21:30
5

The answer is in the Optimize iPhone Storage setting.

When enabled, only thumbnails of photos are stored in local storage. By viewing a photo, you are downloading a compressed version from iCloud. There is no quality loss, since the original photos are still accessible by loading them one by one or turning this optimization off.

I believe that iCloud Photo Library uses some kind of lossy compression.

  • 2
    The full version is actually available even without turning “Optimize storage” off. If you zoom in enough to need full resolution or try to edit the photo the full version will be downloaded (albeit sometimes at a speed that brings me back to 1995) and displayed. But yes, this may explain a perceived degradation in quality if one does waits for the version of appropriate resolution to download. – Daniel Schlaug Oct 28 '18 at 21:59
1

Don't know if this still is an issue, but here's a fix that worked for me.. KEEP IN MIND: Although the screenshots are in Danish, the instructions below are in English, and the placement of the marked settings are the same in both English and Danish running iOS 12.2.

Hope This helps :-)

Go to "Settings" in your iPhone. Scroll down until you find "Photos". Tap it (Marked with a red circle in the following picture)

Settings - select Photo settings

Now, you should see the following screen. Tap on "Download and Keep Originals" (Marked with a red circle in the following picture)

Photos Settings

Scroll down until you find a setting called "Keep Originals". Tap it. (Marked with a red circle in the following picture)

Photos Settings

Go back to "Settings" by tapping on the arrow in the upper left corner. (Marked with a green circle in the following picture)

Photos Settings

Now you should see the following screen. Right under the "Photos" setting, you'll find a setting called "Camera". Tap it. (Marked with a red circle in the following picture)

Settings - select Camera settings

Now you should see the following screen. Tap on "Formats" (Marked with a red circle in the following picture)

Camera settings

Now you should see the following screen. Tap on "Most Compatible" (Marked with a red circle in picture 6)

Camera settings - Format

This should fix the issue :-)

  • 1
    +1 for the effort, but as this is an English only web site, it would be much better if you changed the setting on your phone to English and then took the screen shots. Your question might get removed due to the Danish, I'm not sure. – Greenonline May 16 at 7:06
  • @Greenonline But most of the keywords are understable :) – ankiiiiiii May 16 at 7:13
  • That is true :-) Also, you seem to have a duplicate image (#3 and #4). It might be best to have the green circle only on image 4. I have suggested an edit to your post which adds image descriptions and image hover tags, as well as blockquote formatting outlining for the images - for clarity – Greenonline May 16 at 7:23
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I’ve seen no degradataion whatsoever by optimize and yes, the compression used is lossy, but I believe Apple keeps the actual screen resolution / print resolution in mind and does very light handed compression (as opposed to severe compression at high ratios that causes bad image quality.)

What do you see for the size of an exported image? You should be able to save off the images to Files / iCloud and then download them from the computer if you don’t use an iOS tool like ViewEXIF to see the resolution (pixels) and size (KB/MB) of the images.

For me, when I need to do an operation like edit the photo and I have a reduced resolution size image (if it were added recently and I only have a placeholder), iOS shows me that it’s downloading the full resolution image from the cloud so I can then share / export a good quality image.

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