Why Is My iPhone Sending Small Pictures?

By Sophie Southern

Send pictures to Grandma for the refrigerator using Photo Viewer's email feature.
i Jeffrey Coolidge/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Apple's iPhone comes with a built-in camera to take pictures on the go. First-, second- and third-generation iPhones featured one camera on the back of the phone; the iPhone 4 features not one, but two 5-megapixel cameras on the front and back of the phone's body. The iPhone allows you to share photos with family and friends through email or multimedia messaging. If your iPhone is sending small pictures, you may need to adjust the settings in your external photo applications or email.

iPhone Camera Resolution

Older iPhone models have a camera with a smaller image resolution than the iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera, which produces images of approximately 2,500-by-1,900 pixels. The first-generation iPhone has a 2 megapixel camera, and the iPhone 3GS has a 3 megapixel camera, which both produce photos that are significantly smaller than the iPhone 4. If you are comparing the size of photos sent with an older iPhone model to an iPhone 4, a clear difference in size is evident.

Sending Photos With an iPhone

The iPhone allows you to send photos via email or multimedia message (MMS), although first-generation iPhones are not compatible with multimedia messaging. When you send photos through MMS, you cannot choose the size; your iPhone automatically resizes and optimizes your photo for the message.

Email Selection

When you email photos with the iPhone, it gives you the option to choose which size you want to send. Tap your "Photos" app icon to access your photo library, then tap the small arrow in the bottom-left corner. Select the photos you want to share, then tap "Email." This is when your iPhone gives you a choice between small, medium, large and actual size. Choose "Actual Size" to send the photo in full resolution.

Photo Application Settings

If you use third-party photo applications to take pictures or edit photos on your iPhone, the application settings could be making your photos small. First, check within the application to see if the settings allow you to switch to full resolution. If you don't find it there, exit the application by pressing the "Home" key, then tap on your "Settings" icon. Scroll down to your third-party applications and look for the photo application in question. You should be able to change the output resolution if the application is listed.