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Photo Finale response to HEIF roll-out

The Dead Pixels Society asked leading kiosk vendors to respond to the challenges posed by the new HEIF image-file format. Here is the response from Photo Finale:

JPEG has long been the image format of choice for the imaging industry, for superior compression and easy-to-use format. However, as the imaging world has moved towards motion, transmission speeds are vital and storage is more ubiquitous, it is important to innovate again.

Enter: HEIF. A new format is always a little scary, but after the learning curve, we have the fun of all the advantages it offers. The first advantage is on the camera in the iPhone 7 where HEIF capture 10-bit color information, where JPEG would capture color in 8-bit. That means the HEIF format supports transparency (like PNG or GIF) and can handle images in 16-bit. Additionally, a HEIF image is around 50 percent smaller than the same image saved in JPEG format. That means because of HEIF you will have not only 50% more storage for your images, but also faster transmission of images. All good news for iPhone users, especially those of us in bad cellular areas. Where JPEG can carry the data that comprises a single image, HEIF acts like a container. You can store multiple images, audio, image thumbnails, depth of field information and other information in there.

How will it work for users in everyday device use?

Users installing iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will automatically be moved to the new image format, but remember your old images will not be converted to the new format automatically. Only the images captured after the upgrade will be kept in this new format.

When you share images, Apple’s devices will simply convert HEIF pictures into JPEGs. You will not notice the change. This is because Apple has provided HVEC video standard inside iPhone and iPad hardware for a while. iPhones and iPads can encode and decode images in the video format very quickly and it is the same thing when handling HEIF. Whenever you email an image or send it in iMessage, or just work on it in an app which doesn’t have HEIF support, your device will quietly convert HEIF to JPEG in real-time.

How will it work for Photo Finale Software?

APM Kiosk

  • APM Photo Transfer App
    • Photos are transmitted as HEIF and transcoded to JPEG on the kiosk
  • Upload2Kiosk – Universal Mobile Connectivity
    • via iOS app (v4.1+): Photos are transcoded to JPEG on the mobile device by iOS before being transmitted to the kiosk
    • via web browser (uploadtokiosk.com): Photos are transcoded to JPEG on the mobile device by iOS before being transmitted to the kiosk
  • Wired Connection (i.e. Lightning cable)
    • Photos are imported from the device as HEIF and transcoded to JPEG on the kiosk

Photo Finale Websites

  • Photos are transcoded to JPEG on the mobile device or macOS computer before being uploaded to the website

Pocket Pics iOS Apps (v4.1+)

  • Photos are transcoded to JPEG on the mobile device by iOS before being uploaded

General Notes

  • Consumers must be running iOS 11 and/or macOS High Sierra (10.13)
  • Pocket Pics apps must be updated to v4.1.
  • HEIF transcoding on the kiosk requires APM v10.
  • Photos transcoded on the kiosk (rather than by iOS/macOS) will result in the original photo without certain filters and effects which can only be applied by the iOS or macOS operating system on which they were created. 

Stephen Giordano, Jr.

CEO

Photo Finale Inc.

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