The answer to the question What picture size should i set my phone camera to comes with an undesirable answer. It depends. I know, it’s not what you wanted to hear, I wish there was a straight answer to this question, but it really depends on the purpose for which you are taking pictures for, your storage, etc.
What picture size should i set my phone camera to
What platform are you shooting for
Let’s brainstorm for a moment. Are you taking pictures for your Instagram account? If so, the popular belief is that you should take square pictures. Which would be true when Instagram had just started, but nowadays, taller picture perform better. Think about it this way, it takes you longer to scroll past a taller post, therefore it gets more “screen time” so is more likely to get engaged with.
If your phone camera is set to produce super high quality 12 megabyte pictures, keep in Mind that platforms like Instagram will not take in its full quality. They will have to reduce the pixels of the image to save on bandwidth and storage space. So even if you have the highest quality image, it being that large of a size might be counter productive for you. Smushing a very large image can result in a lot of weird looking parts of the picture. It’s much better to reduce an already smaller image.
That being said, my personal opinion is that the best image size to aim for if you are taking pictures for Instagram is 1080 x 1350. Next best would be 1080 x 1080.
If you are creating content for Pinterest, the best size is said to be 735 x 1102. Pinterest is pretty flexible when it comes down to what size of images it displays well, however sticking to one size might save you some frustration and editing down the line.
How much phone storage do you have
If you have 32GB phone hard drive, you probably would want to be cautious of the image size being too large. A lot of the new smartphones can take very high quality. Here are a few phones with RIDICULOUSLY good image quality:
- Huawei P40 Pro – 50MP rear camera, 32MP front camera
- Huawei P30 Pro – 40MP rear camera, 32MP front camera
- iPhone 11 Pro – 12MP rear camera, 12MP front camera
- iPhone 11 – 12MP rear camera, 12MP front camera
- Google Pixel 4 – Up to 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – 108MP rear camera (Yeah….), 40MP front camera
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus – Up to 64MP rear camera, 10MP front camera
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus – 12MP rear camera, 10MP front camera
- Xiamoi Mi Note 10 – 108MP rear camera, 32MP front camera
- OnePlus 8 Pro – 48MP rear camera, 16MP front camera
- If you look at all of the ridiculously good cameras on these newer phones, you might wonder, how much storage would it take to take max quality pics all of the time. Well, it could get up to 20MB fairly easily per picture. So if you dedicated your full 32GB hard drive to taking 20MB pics, you’ll fill it all up with 1600 pictures. I’m not sure about you, but my phone currently holds over 25k pictures… Don’t believe me? Check out the next image…
What picture size should i set my phone camera to if I want to take pictures for myself only and I often free up space? If that is the case and you have a decent sized hard drive on your smartphone (32GB+) I would say go for max settings. Unless, you are shooting for social media accounts. Then refer to the above.
What picture size should i set my phone camera to if I plan on Photoshopping images
If quality is key and your phone has a setting to shoot in RAW format, which means that your picture file has not been processed or processed minimally. When you shoot in RAW file format, you can use graphic editors such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to completely change image from 0 to a hero. Here is what you could do to a iPhone photo in Lightroom in about 2-3 minutes:
Top picture is the result of 2 minute editing work in Lightroom straight from the iPhone. This was not even a RAW file, so you can only imagine what kind of art piece you can make out of a RAW file and editing on a Desktop computer. Phones are pretty limited, but still can get a great deal done.
What Picture Size Should I Set My Phone Camera To – Conclusion
As you can see there are quite a few variables that you need to consider when deciding what picture size should I set my phone camera to. With a little bit of tweaking and testing you will find the best answer that will fit your needs.
For social media posts, do not go all out. Instagram is known for punishing high image quality when they compress it. Lots of photographers on the gram had to readjust quite a bit to not get their picture quality trashed. There are completely different shooting and editing settings for shooting for print and shooting for social media posts.
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