The auto-backup dilemma and Rich Capture

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There's an interesting question being posed by Lucas at WMPU, in which he points out that only the original 20MP photos from the Lumia 930 and 1520 are auto-uploaded and not any subsequent tweaks made to the 'Rich Capture' versions. This is phrased as a complaint but I'd argue that it's not at clear what Microsoft should do under these circumstances. See below for some options.

From the original piece:

However, as I just found out, both my Lumia devices – my personal Lumia 1520 and the 830 I have for testing purposes – will not upload the edited picture (neither Rich Capture and/or reframed via Creative Studio), but the picture how it looked before it was edited, to OneDrive. Why? The answer is simple: The pictures are immediately uploaded after the shot is taken. This is nice for normal pictures, but it is simply useless for rich capture pictures.

My solution to this problem would be making an exception for Rich Capture pictures: Upload the pictures five minutes after the camera app was closed, or after they have been edited. However Microsoft does it, I hope they come along with a fix ASAP.

It's a good observation, though really just the continuation of uncertainty as to what to do what started back in 2013 under Nokia's watch. When the Lumia 1020 came out, the auto-upload system to OneDrive was set to only handle the 5MP 'shareable'/oversampled version - which made sense, since this was the highest quality image available. 

Then, seemingly overnight, the system changed to only upload the full 34MP version (equivalent to the 16MP 16:9 images in the Lumia 930 and 1520), the argument being (from Nokia) that they wanted users to have the highest resolution version available as the backup (as opposed to highest quality). This could be argued either way, of course. In fact, I might even suggest that both get uploaded, just in case?

And now, with Rich Capture, we have other auto-upload possibilities. It's easy to suggest (as Lucas does) that there be a 5 minute delay on the auto-uploading and that if there's a 'Rich' version, presumably tweaked by the user by then, that this gets uploaded instead.


The problem with this suggestion is two fold. Firstly, there's no guarantee that the user will do the Rich Capture adjustments within 5 minutes. In fact, quite often you'll be out and about and all cropping, editing and other tweaking will happen later on, sitting on the couch. Secondly, once you're into the Rich Capture then all bets are off in terms of re-usability. As already described, the software pre-compiles some likely candidates, but you're already into 'lossy' territory - and then customising the degree of 'richness' will alter the image further. 

The version that currently gets auto-uploaded seems to be the least dramatic of the original options put forward by the Rich Capture system - which makes sense, since you can always adjust images from 'neutral', whereas it's much harder to downplay an artificial HDR image.

The key, of course, is to only use these OneDrive backups as that - backups - and, in the meantime, if you produce a HDR or Dynamic Flash work of 5MP art then share it on to others, via email (ahem), social networks (double ahem) or even just back to OneDrive itself.

In short, it's not clear what Microsoft should do here, for this ever more complicated imaging workflow. Maybe an optional time delay would be a good thing? It would certainly help with my biggest problem - OneDrive auto-archiving too much, i.e. every test shot, every wrong pose, every photo that went wrong. I must find time to have an enormous sorting out at some point soon!!

Source / Credit: WMPU