Join Seán Duggan for an in-depth discussion in this video Determining maximum resolution, part of Creating Photo Composites on Smartphones and Tablets.
- Your camera phone is designed to capture images at a specific resolution, but not all apps are created equal when it comes to the resolution that they support. If you use other camera apps to capture photos, you may end up inadvertently capturing an image at a lower resolution than your camera is capable of. Or, after you've edited images in an app, you could be unknowingly saving the file at a lower resolution, simply because that may be the default setting in the app or, as is the case with some apps, it may not have the ability to save the file at the original resolution.
This may not be an issue for screen display, or mobile devices or on the computer but, if you want to make prints, then it definitely could be an issue. Let's take a look at this. The first thing to check is what the maximum resolution is, in an app's technical specifications, before you make the purchase. You can usually find this in the details about the app, on the app store. For instance, Juxtaposer can export composites at the full resolution of the background image that you're using in your composite even if that's as large as 40 megapixels.
Unfortunately, some apps make this information hard to find, or state it in terms that may be a bit vague. Distressed FX is a really interesting app that creates some very cool texture effects, but in its specifications it doesn't clearly state what pixel resolution is supported. Instead, it states, "Pictures are printable "at 26 centimeters by 26 centimeters at 200 dpi." That translates to 2047 by 2047 pixels as the maximum resolution that can be saved when using that app.
This is due to the fact that the app only exports square-format images and that's also probably the size of the texture files that it uses, but my iPhone can currently capture images at a higher resolution. Somes apps may have paid and free versions. Free versions are much more likely to have a resolution limit, so just be on the lookout for that. Once you've installed the app, make sure that you investigate all the preferences and settings to see if there are options for choosing the resolution. Hipstamatic is a really popular camera app, but its side switch on the front of the lens is easy to accidentally change to a lower resolution and its also easy to miss once you have accidentally changed it.
Some apps give you a resolution choice as you open an image, while others give you this choice when you go to save the file. In Photoshop Touch, the resolution is determined at the import stage, so you need to double-check this before you begin working, to ensure that you can work with the full-size images that your phone captures. Other apps may not have a choice and always import and export at whatever the original size was. Resolution settings in apps are not an issue if your images will always be viewed on digital devices, but if you ever want to make prints of your images, then resolution becomes a very important factor.
Discovering, after the fact, that all of the images in a series were accidentally captured at the lowest possible resolution can be very disappointing if you're trying to make larger prints. So, do your research and make sure that the apps that you purchase can support the original resolution of your phone.
- Choosing which photos to use
- Stacking apps
- Combining two photos in a basic collage
- Using Juxtaposer's masking brushes
- Working with layers in Photoshop Touch
- Adding finishing touches with LensLight and Snapseed