How to Reduce a Picture Size Before Sending From an iPhone

By Ashley Poland

The iPhone camera continues to improve on photo quality with each generation.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple puts a lot of emphasis on the quality of the iPhone's camera. While photos come out crisp and clear, they can also be quite large, which can cause a problem when you're sending or uploading photos. Emailing photos in iOS allows you to resize photos automatically, but you can also use other tools to changing your photo file size.

Actual Photo Size

The actual iPhone photo size will vary depending on which camera you used to take the photo. The 8-megapixel iSight camera on the back of the iPhone creates photos that measure 3264 by 2448 pixels. If you're using the FaceTime camera on the front of the iPhone, the camera produces 1280 by 960 pixel photos. These photos can range anywhere from 1.5MB to 4MB in size, more if you're using the iPhone's HDR feature. These large photos can use significant chunks of your data plan -- especially if you email several pictures at once.

Sending via Email

When you attach a photo to an email on an iPhone, it asks if you want to resize the image to send in the email. You have four options: small, medium, large, and actual size. The small image will produce an image 320 by 240 pixels. Medium is 640 by 480 pixels. Large pictures sent this way will be 1632 by 2448 pixels.

Resizing Apps

If you want to resize photos outside of the email application, you can download an app that allows you to resize your photos. This provides some flexibility in the size, as opposed to the automatic standards set by iOS. The Simple Resize app allows you to manage one photo, while Reduce allows you to resize photos in batches. Adobe Photoshop Express allows you to make several significant changes to your iOS photos.

Choosing a File Size

If you intend to print out photos, then you want to keep them at the largest resolution possible to make sure that the printed photos aren't pixelated. For a photo sharing site, large sizes are fine, but you ought not need anything bigger than 1000 pixels. Photo albums on Facebook go a bit smaller: images aren't displayed any larger than 960 by 720 pixels, and are even smaller in other places on the news feed. If you're just texting a photo to friends for fun, a small photo will suffice.