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How Do I Export Photos From iPhoto and Maintain the Original File Size?

I want to import photos I have on disk into iPhoto to crop, touch up, rotate, etc. and then exporting those photos from my iPhoto Library onto a drive on a Windows PC for other people to work with. I have noticed that the file sizes differ when I export them. I don’t want to end up with unnecessarily large files after the export, but I also don’t want to reduce the quality of the images. I tried importing and exporting without doing any changes in iPhoto to see if I could get the settings right so that I would know the best way to do the export. However, if the original file is say 2.9mb before importing into iPhoto, then when I export the photo again from iPhoto the file size is either much smaller or much larger. Setting the JPEG Quality = Maximum and File Size = Full Size on export results in a much larger file. Using the next settings down – JPEG Quality = High and File Size = Full results in a smaller file. What settings should I use to get a file that is not larger than the original but not too low quality either?
Simon Hill

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Export Photos From iPhoto and Maintain the Original File Size?”

    8 years ago

    When you export, if you choose Kind = Original, the you should get the exact same file back that you put in. Notice then that you don’t get the quality and size options, of course, which makes logical sense.
    Of course, if you have made any changes to it, then you won’t be able to do that as you are no longer looking at the original file, but one that has been changed.
    With photos you are usually dealing with JPEG images, which are compressed. YOur original was compressed by the hardware in your camera. Exporting a new re-compressed JPEG from iPhoto means it is being compressed by iPhoto, not your camera and the results will vary as they likely don’t use the exact same algorithm. So making a slight change to the image and the exporting could result in a slightly larger or smaller file, and that is normal as it is a new version of that photo, re-compressed.
    BTW, another option for you to try instead of using File, Export is to simply drag and drop from iPhoto. You can select a bunch of photos and drag and drop them into a Finder window, say one that shows you a drive on another computer, etc.

      Simon Hill
      8 years ago

      Hi Gary

      Thanks for the quick and useful reply. I should have thought more carefully about what Original would do and about dragging to a Finder window before posting, but I have had a look at those options now.

      It seems like it will be a tradeoff between the ease of dragging photos to a Finder window, which does take the edited versions of photos as I want, versus the ease of automatically exporting many events. This is nice because I can have the export create a folder structure to match my events within iPhoto which is great when exporting lots of events, but then if I use the Original option my edits/changes do not export out.

      I will do some experimentation and then make a (hopefully) informed choice! Thanks again for the reply, and also for a really useful site with lots of great tips and how-to’s.


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