Dropbox vs Bluetooth vs Google Photos

There are so many good choices for automatically storing images from your smartphone. I’ve been using a couple of them and wanted to review the resulting images and metadata.

On my Nexus I have Dropbox and Google Photos both set to automatically upload images when I’m on Wi-Fi. When I want to “archive” a photo, I transfer it from my smartphone to my laptop using Bluetooth.

Here are the actual images:

Dropbox
Bluetooth
Google Photos

To my untrained eye, the images are visually indistinguishable.

But the files are different. Here’re the details as I observed. (complete data at the end of the post)

File Names
Dropbox: 2015–12–16 16.12.47.jpg
Bluetooth: IMG_20151216_161246.jpg
Google Photos: IMG_20151216_161246.jpg

Notice that not only does Dropbox rename the file but the implied date/time is different than the other methods.

File Size:
Dropbox: 2,623,643
Bluetooth: 2,623,643
Google Photos: 1,557,928

This is using Google Photos “Upload size” set to “High quality”, not “Original”. In this test Google further compressed the image by 40%.

The other characteristics and metadata are all the same as far as I can tell.

So what am I going to change?

Nothing, yet.

For me each of these tools have different use cases.

For Dropbox, I really like having my images automatically stored in a Windows file system. There’s probably some method to accomplish this with Google Photos but it doesn’t just jump out at me. I really don’t like that Dropbox renames the files.

Bluetooth is clearly the geek’s solution. I only use this method when I want to preserve a high quality image. The file system target for the Bluetooth upload varies by whether the file is an image or a video. I probably could change that.

Google Photos is the slickest tool. It’s fast and easy to manage. Using “High quality” (which really isn’t high quality) is free. I wish that Google wouldn’t recompress the images when they fall below 16 megapixels. Since my camera is 8 megapixels I tried changing the “Upload size” to “Original” and sending the image again. I had the same result of additional compression. There are still some outstanding questions to me about this. How long does it take to Google Photos to recognize and act on this Settings change? Does this Settings change on the phone propagate to the web uploading? I’ll keep playing with this.

Have fun!

Image properties
Image name : 2015–12–16 16.12.47 (Dropbox upload).jpg
Folder : C:\Users\Ben Moore\Desktop\Uploads\
Size : 3200 x 2368 pixels ==> 44.44 x 32.89 inches (72.00 dpi)
Color count : 518272
File size : 2.50 Mb
Date : 12/16/2015 4:12 PM

EXIF
Date Time=2015:12:16 16:12:47
GPSDate Stamp=2015:12:16
GPSLongitude Ref=W
GPSLongitude=89 Degrees 33 Minutes 49 Seconds
GPSImage Direction=297/1
GPSLatitude Ref=N
GPSTime Stamp=22:12:34
GPSImage Direction Ref=M
GPSLatitude=34 Degrees 49 Minutes 55 Seconds
GPSInfo=692
Model=Nexus 5
Image Width=3200
Resolution Unit=Inch
YCb Cr Positioning=Centered
Image Length=2368
YResolution=72.00
Orientation=Normal
Software=HDR+ 1.0.106412213y
Color Space=sRGB
FNumber=F2.4
Date Time Digitized=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Subject Distance Range=Unknown
Focal Length=3.97 mm
Aperture Value=F2.5
Exposure Mode=Auto
Exif Image Length=2368
Custom Rendered=Custom process
Max Aperture Value=F2.5
Scene Capture Type=Standard
Scene Type=Directly Photographed
Digital Zoom Ratio=1/1
Saturation=Normal
Exposure Program=Normal
Sharpness=Normal
Exif Image Width=3200
Shutter Speed Value=0.0487 sec (1/21)
Metering Mode=Center
Date Time Original=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Components Configuration=YCbCr
Subject Distance=0/1
Flash=Off, surpressed
Exif Version=0210
Contrast=Normal
ISOSpeed Ratings=587
Sensing Method=OneChipColorArea
Flash Pix Version=0100
Exposure Time=48861/1000000 sec
Exif Offset=234
XResolution=72.00
Make=LGE

Comment

Dropbox

Image properties
Image name : IMG_20151216_161246 (Bluetooth transfer).jpg
Folder : C:\Users\Ben Moore\Desktop\Uploads\
Size : 3200 x 2368 pixels ==> 44.44 x 32.89 inches (72.00 dpi)
Color count : 518272
File size : 2.50 Mb
Date : 12/16/2015 10:03 PM

EXIF
Date Time=2015:12:16 16:12:47
GPSDate Stamp=2015:12:16
GPSLongitude Ref=W
GPSLongitude=89 Degrees 33 Minutes 49 Seconds
GPSImage Direction=297/1
GPSLatitude Ref=N
GPSTime Stamp=22:12:34
GPSImage Direction Ref=M
GPSLatitude=34 Degrees 49 Minutes 55 Seconds
GPSInfo=692
Model=Nexus 5
Image Width=3200
Resolution Unit=Inch
YCb Cr Positioning=Centered
Image Length=2368
YResolution=72.00
Orientation=Normal
Software=HDR+ 1.0.106412213y
Color Space=sRGB
FNumber=F2.4
Date Time Digitized=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Subject Distance Range=Unknown
Focal Length=3.97 mm
Aperture Value=F2.5
Exposure Mode=Auto
Exif Image Length=2368
Custom Rendered=Custom process
Max Aperture Value=F2.5
Scene Capture Type=Standard
Scene Type=Directly Photographed
Digital Zoom Ratio=1/1
Saturation=Normal
Exposure Program=Normal
Sharpness=Normal
Exif Image Width=3200
Shutter Speed Value=0.0487 sec (1/21)
Metering Mode=Center
Date Time Original=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Components Configuration=YCbCr
Subject Distance=0/1
Flash=Off, surpressed
Exif Version=0210
Contrast=Normal
ISOSpeed Ratings=587
Sensing Method=OneChipColorArea
Flash Pix Version=0100
Exposure Time=48861/1000000 sec
Exif Offset=234
XResolution=72.00
Make=LGE

Comment

Bluetooth

Image properties
Image name : IMG_20151216_161246 (Google Photos download).jpg
Folder : C:\Users\Ben Moore\Desktop\Uploads\
Size : 3200 x 2368 pixels ==> 44.44 x 32.89 inches (72.00 dpi)
Color count : 515986
File size : 1.49 Mb
Date : 12/16/2015 10:19 PM

EXIF
Image Width=3200
Image Length=2368
Make=LGE
Model=Nexus 5
Orientation=Normal
XResolution=72.00
YResolution=72.00
Resolution Unit=Inch
Software=HDR+ 1.0.106412213y
Date Time=2015:12:16 16:12:47
YCb Cr Positioning=Centered
Exposure Time=48861/1000000 sec
FNumber=F2.4
Exposure Program=Normal
ISOSpeed Ratings=587
Exif Version=0210
Date Time Original=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Date Time Digitized=2015:12:16 16:12:47
Components Configuration=YCbCr
Shutter Speed Value=0.0487 sec (1/21)
Aperture Value=F2.5
Max Aperture Value=F2.5
Subject Distance=0/1
Metering Mode=Center
Flash=Off, surpressed
Focal Length=3.97 mm
Flash Pix Version=0100
Color Space=sRGB
Exif Image Width=3200
Exif Image Length=2368
Sensing Method=OneChipColorArea
Scene Type=Directly Photographed
Custom Rendered=Custom process
Exposure Mode=Auto
Digital Zoom Ratio=1/1
Scene Capture Type=Standard
Contrast=Normal
Saturation=Normal
Sharpness=Normal
Subject Distance Range=Unknown
Image Unique ID=07daf91361effb820000000000000000
Exif Offset=234
GPSLatitude Ref=N
GPSLatitude=34 Degrees 49 Minutes 55 Seconds
GPSLongitude Ref=W
GPSLongitude=89 Degrees 33 Minutes 49 Seconds
GPSAltitude Ref=Sealevel
GPSTime Stamp=22:12:34
GPSImage Direction Ref=M
GPSImage Direction=297/1
GPSDate Stamp=2015:12:16
GPSInfo=738

Comment

Google Photos

Originally published at benmoore.blogspot.com on February 8, 2016.

IT professional, Formula 1 fan

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