Google Photos – Unlimited Storage, Limited Quality
At Google’s I/O event last week, the company announced Google Photos, a new photo service which replaces Google+ Photos (formerly Picasa Web Albums). Google Photos has some great features, such as automatically enhancing your photos and creating “stories”, organizing your photos by location, people and topic (without the need to tag them), and easy sharing of individual photos and albums. But one of the most discussed features of the new Google Photos service is the ability to store an unlimited amount of high resolution photos (up to 16 Megapixels) for free. This mode called “High Quality” creates compressed versions of your photos, which Google claims will “essentially look the same” to the originals.
We care so much about photo quality, we decided to check out Google’s claims by examining the compression which they apply to your photos in “High Quality” mode (the mode that enables you to store an unlimited number of photos for free). We discovered that this compression can create significant artifacts on certain type of photos.
Below is a photo that we uploaded to Google Photos, and the same photo after Google Photos compression:
[Download the full-res version of the original and the Google version to compare on your desktop]
Here is the same image before and after JPEGmini optimization:
[Download the full-res version of the original and the JPEGmini version to compare on your desktop]
We believe that the images speaks for themselves.
If you use Google Photos, we recommend optimizing your photos with JPEGmini using our desktop app, and then uploading in Original Quality to Google Photos. This will ensure that the quality of your photos is preserved, and will also triple your storage space: After JPEGmini optimization, you can store 3-4 times the photos using your free 15 GB Google quota, or any paid quota that you choose to buy.
Jellyfish photo taken by Don DeBold, Sad Baby photo taken by Donnie Ray Jones and both are Licensed under creative commons license.
Well Thanks.. on my monitor just looking at the photos you posted, I can NOT see any difference in them – right now anyway – for either process: original vrs JPEGmini or Google Photos version.
It’s subtle – as all things considering photo quality – but, take notice on high contrast details in thin lines middle bottom of the photo and solid color areas. You’ll notice thin lines getting smudged and solid colors getting noise kind of texture.
The difference is so subtle, that it’s negligible.
Its more about filesize.
I can see a definite difference. It may not look too bad on that small scale, but if you plan to hang them to a wall in large one days…
Anyone using Google Photos as archival storage/backup of important images is not thinking straight.
Anyone using lossy compression for important images that you want to show off at A4 size or larger is not thinking straight. Any other judgement is subjective.
Great comparison. So how long until Google acquires JPEGmini and applies it to Google Photos by default? 😉
Great comparison.I can see a definite difference.This is the post what actually I search for..thank
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