HEIC Photo Format Artifacts

In the last iterations of iOS Apple has chosen the HEIC ( High Efficiency Image Format) for the Camera App photos. The HEIC photo format is super efficient. A typical photo on my iPhone 8 Plus is about 1-2 MB while the typical JPEG on the 8 is about 3-4 MB, or possibly larger. So, you save a lot of space, but I am switching my iPhone back to JPEG (or even RAW) format, hear is why.

HEIC Photo Artifacts

Using the HEIC format to slim down photo size is great, but my highest priority, especially with my iPhone 8, is photos taken at the best quality available with the device I am using. I do not take tons of photos with the iPhone 8, but a fair amount.

So, here is the problem. I take photos with my iPhone 8 Plus. I use the iCloud syncing service, so they are eventually imported into my Mac System Library in the Photos App. I usually do a little editing of the photos before I use them. Here is a photo I took recently of an Orchid:

Orhcid Photo
Orhcid Photo

If you look at the right side of the photo you can see those artifact lines. This occurs if I Edit the photo, either with an Extension like Photolemur or with the Photos App Controls. The above photo is in HEIC format:

HEIC Info
HEIC Info

It does not matter what I use to Edit the photo, it still develops these type of artifacts if it is an HEIC. If the photo is a JPEG or RAW, it Edits just fine. There are no artifacts present, it Edits normally.

I have put up with this problem for a while, but no more. I set my iPhone Camera App back to JPEG (larger) photos. If this is you and you are having problems with artifacts in HEIC photos here is how to reset the iOS Device to JPEG.

iOS Camera Settings

Go into Camera in the iOS Settings area:

Camera Settings
Camera Settings

Now, scroll down and Tap on Formats:

Settings Formats
Settings Formats

Then all you have to do is Tap on “Most Compatible” and your Camera is set to take JPEG photos:

Camera Most Compatible
Camera Most Compatible

Now, when you take photos they will be larger, but I believe you can do more with them in the Editing process with better results. But, wait, after thinking about this I decided on an even more excellent way.

I have had the Camera+ App on my iPhone for a while now. It is way more sophisticated than the iOS Photos and Camera Apps. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it takes great photos. I set my photos in Camera+ to RAW, but might change it to High JPEG, we will see.

Conclusion

If you are having problems with the very efficient, lean HEIC photo format, you may wish to change the iOS Camera App to JPEG or even get a third party photo App. Perhaps Apple will fix this problem in future macOS or iOS updates, but until then I will be taking larger photos for editing purposes.

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