The iPhone and iPad have great cameras built in and they work really well. However, there is a strange phenomenon that affects the way that the photos that are taken on them are displayed on other devices and computers. It all seems a little arbitrary : the same photo will look correct (the right way up) on some devices and in some programs and upside down in others!

So, what' going on ? And what can you do about it?

The quick answer:

The 'correct' way to take a photo is with the home button on the Right. For portrait photos the camera should be at the top.

The Problem:

This is unfair to Apple and Apple's users because it really isn't their fault! When you take a photo on your iPad, iPhone and many/most digital cameras the photo contains information about the orientation of the camera when the photo was taken. It is the job of the software (email program, file manager, photo software) being used to display the photo to read this information and display the photo correctly.

Unfortunately, not all software respects this - and Microsoft Windows Explorer is one of them!! So, by all means, complain about or to the software producers but don't blame Apple. All Apple software displays them correctly.

The Solution:

Eventually, most software will be updated to deal with this, but in the meantime, help yourself and your recipients by taking photos with the Home button on the right. Or, for portrait photos, the camera at the top.

If you receive a photo and it is upside down then I recommend Fotosizer. A free program that not only flips your photos but re-sizes them as well.

Does it matter?

It matters for 2 reasons. The first is that the cameras take a very good photo and you want it to be seen at its best by everyone.

The second is that the actual quality of the photo will be reduced when you 'flip' it! I'm not being awkward about the orientation. I have software (Fotosizer) that will batch rotate/flip photos instantly but it's amazing how much info is lost. Typically about half!! One example of the reduction in file size after flipping went from 260Kb to 101Kb. I can use other software to limit the loss but there is always significant loss. Strangely, Photoshop 'sees' the photo the right way but if I flip it the size of the file nearly doubles! Either way, the image is being altered for no real benefit.

I receive photos from my web clients to go on their website and this can have an impact on the final product depending on the display size and any cropping.

So, if you can try to take the photo with the button on the right it will help with the final quality.


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