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This is how a photo of 108 megapixels and 31 MB remains when we send it by WhatsApp and Telegram

Last week we published a small experiment to see how the photos that we upload to social networks look like after being subjected to their compression process. We upload a 108 megapixel photo to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and compare the result with the original to see how these platforms destroyed the image.

However, we leave out of the equation WhatsApp and Telegram, the two great instant messaging applications and, obviously, two of the favorite platforms to share photos with our friends and family. The question, therefore, is: how does a photo taken with our brand new mobile phone with a 108 megapixel camera look when we share it through these apps? Let’s see it.

Do you see your photo? Well now it’s like this

Original image
Original image

Compressed image for illustration purposes. Original image data: 12,000 x 9,000 pixels, 31MB, f / 1.8, 1 / 100s, ISO-50, 24mm.

For this experiment we have followed the same methodology that we follow in the article mentioned above. In fact, we have used the same image so that the results are even.

The photo on these lines has been taken with a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and shared via WhatsApp and Telegram on Android and iOS. The original photo weighs 31 MB and is 12,000 pixels wide and 9,000 pixels high. The rest of the parameters are in the image.

It is advisable, first of all, to make a small paragraph. Telegram allows you to send the photos as a file, ergo without compression of any kind. The photo that the contact receives is the same as the one we have. We have not used this function since then we could not see how compression affects.

WhatsApp, for its part, has been allowing for some time to choose the quality with which we send the photo, “better quality” and “data saving”. This has been taken into account and as such it will be reflected in the text.

That said, how does our 108 megapixel photo look when shared by WhatsApp and Telegram? In the following table you can see the Main image parameters compared to processed images by both apps and according to the operating system.

ORIGINAL IMAGE

WA ALTA IOS

WA BAJA IOS

WA ALTA ANDROID

WA BAJA ANDROID

TG IOS

TG ANDROID

width

12.000 px

2.048 px

1.600 px

2.048 px

2.048 px

1.280 px

1.280 px

alto

9.000 px

1.536 px

1.200 px

1.536 px

1.536 px

960 px

960 px

size

30,9 MB

596 KB

366 KB

530 KB

530 KB

238 KB

227 KB

horizontal resolution

72 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

72 ppp

72 ppp

vertical resolution

72 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

96 ppp

72 ppp

72 ppp

bit depth

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

histogram

Original histogram
Original histogram
Histo Whatsapp Alta Ios
Histo Whatsapp Alta Ios
Histo Whatsapp Baja Ios
Histo Whatsapp Baja Ios
Histo Whatsapp Alta Android
Histo Whatsapp Alta Android
Histo Whatsapp Low Android
Histo Whatsapp Low Android
Histo Telegram Ios
Histo Telegram Ios
Histo Telegram Android
Histo Telegram Android

As we can see, the two applications apply a severe compression process to the image. The most striking case is that of Telegram, which compresses the image to 1,280 x 960 pixels and a weight of 227 KB in the worst of chaos. WhatsApp, in this sense, compresses less than Telegram.

To give us an idea of ​​what this means, we can convert the pixels to meters and get an idea. While the original photo measures 4.23 x 3.17 meters, the photo with the worst compression (Telegram on Android) stays at 45.16 x 33.87 centimeters. Let’s go, that a photo of 4×3 meters remains in something more than a DIN A3.

The case of WhatsApp on Android is striking. Despite having configured the app to send the image high and low, the image you have sent is exactly the same. It may be an error in the app or something related to the quality of the network, but we have sent the images from several phones and the same thing has happened in all of them.

That said, what is such a large image good for? That mobile phones have opted for 108 megapixel sensors makes a certain sense, insofar as they allow magnify a point in the image without losing sharpness and retain a certain level of detail. In the image below, which is the original, you can see perfectly:

Original Trim
Original Trim

Cropping the original image.

And now that we know what our reference image looks like, Let’s see how it looks after being exposed to WhatsApp and Telegram. The result we already anticipate what it is: much less level of detail, more noise and, ultimately, a photo that does not do justice to the original.

WhatsApp

Cut Whatsapp Alta Ios
Cut Whatsapp Alta Ios

Cut WhatsApp (high) on iOS.

Cut Whatsapp Low Ios
Cut Whatsapp Low Ios

Cut WhatsApp (down) on iOS.

Cut Whatsapp High Android
Cut Whatsapp High Android

Cut WhatsApp (high) on Android.

Cut Whatsapp Low Android
Cut Whatsapp Low Android

Cut WhatsApp (low) on Android.

Telegram

Clipping Telegram Ios
Clipping Telegram Ios

Telegram clipping on iOS.

Crop Telegram Android
Crop Telegram Android

Telegram clipping on iOS.

As is obvious, all the level of detail that we can achieve in the original image almost completely lost. It is evident in WhatsApp, especially in low quality, but it is even more so in Telegram. Below are all the photos together so that we have a more global vision.

All
All

Image comparison.

Compression is unforgiving

As we can see in the images, app compression is unforgiving, let’s talk about WhatsApp or Telegram. Having a sensor of such a resolution does not mean anything if, finally, the images that we obtain with it end up being shared in messaging apps or social networks.

It is true that there are tricks to send uncompressed files by WhatsApp and that Telegram allows it to be done natively, but if we do not access these settings the result is what it is: an image that respects the original at a glance but that loses a lot when we try to expand it.

In any case, it makes sense that this is the case. Every day millions and millions of images are uploaded to these platforms and it is not efficient to send them uncompressed to users, since that would mean higher data consumption and slower loads.