The mobile phone user world has photo fever, or perhaps even down with photo plague as is evidenced by the fact adverts for mobile devices seem to suggest a device’s success is now predicated upon having a great camera and adequate apps. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are testament to that.
Apple has dropped numerous 12MP camera’d devices within the last 12 months, and of course more people are using mobile devices to upload photos than ever. The only problem is, many of us, myself included, have been uploading rubbish quality thanks to a Facebook setting. Essentially, Facebook defaults into a mode that uploads photos that look more like you pulled them off a Motorolla RAZR than an iPhone. Here’s an example ‘before and after’ HD toggle, and it’s significant: (click the images)
Shot on an RX100 MK1 at ISO1600
This is problematic now, because as photo professionals we’re judged on the quality of the work people see, and there’s no denying Facebook is a major source of eyes-on-work; It’s significant for many of our businesses.
As that’s the case, when we upload images to Facebook these days, we’re not simply uploading phone snaps, but using our phones and tablets to upload proper, edited, polished representations of our work. So, without further a-do, here’s the fix that will let your best work shine through:
From the Facebook Mobile App go to Settings>Videos & Photos. Your screen progression should appear as below:
Once there, you’ll be greeted with the following menu, and all you’ll need to do it toggle those switches to the right to turn the default low-res setting off, and Facebook will upload higher quality versions for you.
Those of you who are discerning photographers are probably wondering what size this ‘HD’ feature maxes out at, and as far as I can tell it’s 2048×2048, and video can be input as 1080p or even 4K, but will be downscaled to 720. It appears that using your own software to downscale the video to 720 yields a better result than Facebook’s own algorithm.
Furthermore, while I can’t seem to find a precise size limit for photo uploads, uploading a JPEG where I first saved for web and then ran through JPEGMini seems to look a little better than just uploading the JPEG straight, even with the HD feature on. It’s always advantageous to save for web when possible, for Facebook.