iPhone 6s Live Photos take up around twice as much space as still images

BY Killian Bell

Published 11 Sep 2015

iPhone 6s cameras

The new Live Photos feature on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is terrific, but there are concerns about how much storage space those moving images will require. Apple said during its keynote that they weren’t much larger than regular still images, but it seems that’s not quite true.

“A still photo captures an instant frozen in time. With Live Photos, you can turn those instants into unforgettable living memories,” Apple describes. “At the heart of a Live Photo is a beautiful 12‑megapixel photo. But together with that photo are the moments just before and after it was taken, captured with movement and sound.”

Although Live Photos can only be captured on an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, the images can be viewed on older iPhones, as well as Macs and the Apple Watch. Apple is also opening up its API so that developers can add Live Photos support to third-party apps, and Facebook will be one of the first to support them later this year.

If you only have a 16GB device, however, you won’t want to store too many of them.

According to TechCrunchLive Photos will take up around twice as much space as a regular, still 12-megapixel photo, which typically weighs in at about 2.5MB. That’s means ten still images would take up around 25MB, while ten Live Photos will take up around 50MB.

Couple that with the 4K video that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are capable of shooting, which takes up an incredible amount of storage by itself, and all of a sudden a 16GB iPhone seems like an even worse option than it was before.

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino, who put together a video explaining Live Photos, also shared some details on how they are captured. He explains that while current iPhones begin taking images as soon as the Camera app is launched, they only save those that are taken as the shutter button is pressed. The new models also save the surrounding images and puts them all together.

Live Photos are enabled by default on the new iPhones, but users can disable the feature when they want to capture still images only. Just like stills, however, Live Photos are saved in the JPEG format, so they can be shared just as easily, and viewed on any device. However, devices that don’t support Live Photos will only be able to view them as still images.

[via MacRumors]