Having recently removed its best feature, Google Photos is now trying to convince us that it was no good in the first place and has warned users of the consequences.
In a recent subscriber email, the Google Photos team outlined new premium editing features available exclusively to their paying Google One customers. However, the email also contains a somewhat surprising section that encourages users to use one. most of your storage quota by switching from high-quality loads to original quality or risking seemingly dire consequences
According to the email, “Original-quality photos retain most of the detail and allow you to zoom in, crop, and print photos with less pixelation.” While this statement is objectively true, it disagrees with what Google has told us in the past about its high-quality option.
In its 2015 release, Google Photos creator Anil Sabharwal promised that high-quality uploads offered “nearly identical visual quality” compared to their original photos.
But now Google wants us to see a seemingly huge difference in quality between the two configurations and to be willing to pay more for it. It seems that “original quality” is now something we should all be willing to pay more for.
Here is the image that Google has used to show the difference between original quality and high quality:
So do the two quality settings deliver near-identical visual quality as originally promised, or do the high-quality images really look like a pixelated mess compared to the originals? Should you really switch to Original Quality as Google suggests and pay more for the additional storage it will require?
High-quality images are restricted to 16 megapixels for photos or 1080p resolution for video and can be stored for free on the service until June 2021. Original quality uploads, on the other hand, come in whatever resolution was set to the camera, which can often produce larger image files that exceed the 16 megapixel / 1080p limit. These larger files consume the user’s storage quota and require the purchase of a Google One storage plan after the initial 15GB of free storage has been used up.
If you are concerned about losing quality if you don’t switch to Original Quality, don’t worry. It is important to emphasize that the Google example image is not at all representative of the difference that you will actually see between the two quality settings. Most people probably won’t notice the difference at all.
On the other hand, cameras have come a long way since 2015 and if you made the decision to stick with high quality back then, you might want to reconsider that option for a moment if you have a new phone with much higher specs. what are you actually using.
If, for example, you have started recording a lot of videos in 4K, or even 8K, you may want to implement a plan to keep them in original quality. With photos, it’s a bit different: the iPhone 12 Pro Max, for example, comes with a 12-megapixel main sensor that adjusts below the 16-megapixel limit. However, if your phone offers a high-resolution option like a 108-megapixel mode, the story is different.
Of course, think about your quality options, but don’t be fooled by Google’s pixelated bird warning. It will probably be fine if you stick with the high quality.
Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram