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Windows Phone 8 Image Compression Is Annoying


Since the iPhone 4, I’ve long made my decision to leave a digital camera behind when I go about my day, mostly because I was more than satisfied with the image quality produced from that device. Over the years since I last owned and iPhone, HTC has been good to me with the likes of the HD7 and Titan, those phones both took amazing photos for their time. Then came the Lumia 900 with a complete let down in optics. But never fear, the mighty Lumia 920 is at hand and I am loving it! I have complete confidence in this phones picture taking capabilities. Now, I seem to have run into an all new annoyance, image compression.

The way Windows 8 handles images is elegant to say the least, but the image compression part of it needs some serious revision. First lets explore the automatic backup to SkyDrive portion. One of my biggest admirations for Windows Phone is the SkyDrive integration, to be able to take an image and have it automatically uploaded to my cloud storage is a paramount feature these days, especially when SkyDrive is available on all of my other devices, even the Xbox 360! WP8 gives us the option to toggle image quality when automatically uploading to SkyDrive, if you want to uploading the full uncompressed image, you can, but this will only happen if a WiFi connection is established!

Well then, let me express my empathy to this decision. After all, in a world where cellular data is not cheap, I sure can appreciate Microsoft’s angle on this, but boy oh boy is this annoying to me! I don’t care about a 4mb image, I stream much more than in Xbox Music in 10 minutes, however, what I do care about is having my full sized image backed up on my SkyDrive the instant I take it. Why? Well, in the event I should lose my phone or something should happen to it before getting home to connect to WiFi, at least I know the images are safe! Secondly, because Microsoft can’t seem to get this instagram thing sorted out, I often take pictures with my Lumia 920, then use my SG2 to pull the images from SkyDrive to post to instagram.

Then there is sharing, when sending a mms picture, I can fully understand the reason image compression exists, although there are carrier restrictions on size of images sent via mms, and even ways around those limitations, the nature of mms is just a quick and easy share, so image quality isn’t really a concern here. But sending pictures via email or even uploading to Facebook? Ugh! I get the data usage part of the equation, I also get sending a 687kb image is much faster than sending a 4mb flick, but have we not met LTE? Still, I have no beef, just give me the option to toggle this in the settings somewhere.

Although minor complaints, as a lover of photography, it stabs at me a bit to know I am not getting the full quality of images taken, especially given the fact that I am in love with the Lumia 920 camera.