Why is Resizing Photos Important ?

We will explore the question of the importance of resizing photos for the web and a few reasons to do so.

It is not uncommon to find Digital Cameras which are capable of taking a 16 megapixel images and some like the Canon EOS 5DS is capable of taking up to 50.6 megapixel photos. These all translate into pictures which contains greater details than ever before. There are discussions as to how many megapixels our eyes can see but since our eyes are not cameras, that number can range anything from 5 to 576 megapixels. What our eyes can see is another discussion we would not get into as we are no scientists.

What is of importance is what can our monitor displays since that’s what most of us would be using to view our photos. So far the highest resolution display which is the Ultra HD 5K display which has a display resolution of 5120×2880 pixels. That works out to be about 15 megapixels. Thus in theory, any photos which is above that 15 to 16 megapixels would not be viewable on the highest resolution display at full size and would need to be downsized. Of course, there is nothing preventing us from scrolling up/down and left/right to view the photos in full glory.

Ultra High resolution photos have its purpose especially for the scientific research in areas such as remote sensing, medical and space exploration. For the regular photographers, we could probably crop areas which may be relevant to our needs. However,  the higher resolution photographs will inevitably mean that it will take up a lot more storage space and at full resolution it can take a hit on speed when it is viewed on the website or send as an email attachment.

A 50.6 megapixel photo with a resolution of 8688×5792 pixels photo will roughly take up 4.5mb space as a JPEG. This might not seems much when it comes to storage the photos on an SD Card since most memory cards are not at least 32gb or more. Downloading that photo would probably take at least a couple of minutes to view on a high speed connection taking into account latency and the likes. Not really optimum as most people would expect the photos and the pages to load up in a matter of seconds.

Thus that brings to the main question, Why is Resizing Photos Important ? There are many advantages to that.

Display Technology

As we discussed in the first part, the highest display is just about 15 megapixels and with those displays, we would not be able to view the entire photos with all its full resolution in a single screen. Of course if you are projecting the photos on a big screen then it is a different issue or intend to print the photos life size or bigger than life size.

Speed

Speed is everything when it comes to viewing anything over the internet. Google now requires websites to be mobile-friendly even if the target audience may not be mobile users. Part of that criteria of mobile friendliness is speediest of how the web page loads. Any page which is deemed slow would get a much lower ranking. See http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.sg/2015/04/rolling-out-mobile-friendly-update.html .

Anyone will any website should test your website at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ to see if it is mobile friendly.

We are blessed with high speed internet and now the trend is to always want things fast and as instantaneous as possible. A slow website because of slow photo downloading can disrupt that user experience and could cause your potential clients or users to navigating away to another website.

The other issue about speed is that the computing industry has been gearing towards the mobile platform, be it a mobile phone or a tablet. Although those devices do use very impressive CPU and hardware, it is still no match to our high speed desktop. Going mobile the main emphasis is heat generation and energy consumption. Obviously both of which needs to be low to be comfortable to use. Most of which are based on a modern scaled down processor based on the ARM architecture. Even with the faster multi-core GPU, it could be a drain on battery life to load multiple high resolution images.

Storage

If you are like me, I do keep my photos on my phone and tablet but those devices do not come with a lot of storage space. The bulk of my photos backup apart from my hard drives are stored on Google Photos which allows for unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels. This certainly works beautifully as I can access my photos wherever I am. However, any photos above 16 megapixels will eat into the 15 gb free space which Google offers and will cost a pretty penny to use their cloud storage services.

Quality

Have you noticed that viewing a picture at full resolution at its full size does not look as brilliant as those images being downsized. Digital Cameras no matter the quality doesn’t produce super sharp pixels because of the current technology in regards to the light capture. When a photo is downsize by 50%, much of the “missing details” are squished together and provide a much more brilliant result for the human eye. This is especially true for high contrast images.

Take for example

The On Screen Size
The Size as displayed on screen
orisize
The Original File Size

Does the first picture on the top look sharper than the one below it ? It’s the same photo with the first being a downsized image and the bottom being the original photo at the original file size.

As mentioned earlier, our eyes if viewed as a camera is pretty sharp which can view more pixels per inch than the current display offerings. Apple came out with Retina display which redefines the display industry for sharp images at 326 pixels per inch. This however this is good for a viewing displace of about 10 inches. View it right close to the eye and you can still see the pixels.

Thus one of the ways to trick the eye is to downsize the images to pack as much details together so sort of blur the color transition.

Conclusion

We explored several reasons to resize your photos particular when you want to share them and offer them for distribution. With that said, we have a number of batch image photo resizers which targets different pain points to help you optimize your photos for the web.

Batch Image Resizing is available to

  1. Batch It Ultra (Windows)
  2. Batch It Pro (Windows)
  3. Batch It (Windows)
  4. JBatch It (Windows)
  5. iRedSoft Image Resizer (Windows)
  6. CM Batch Photo Processor (Mac)
  7. CM Shrink My Photo (Mac)

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