asking for a friend. He has an iPhone 5 with a number of crisp photos on it that he wants to move to his computer. However, on moving them to his PC via file explorer, they appear to lose a certain degree of quality. Is this an actual loss in quality or is it just the differences in screens (size, resolution, etc.), and if it is a loss in quality, is there a way to avoid this loss of quality?
Moving the images via file explorer almost certainly moves the image as-is. If you're looking at the image on a bigger screen, of course it seems to have lower quality because you're seeing a much bigger image, with more magnification. You could verify this by seeing whether the file size in megabytes is the same on the computer and on the iPhone. You could also check the resolution of the image files after moving them to the computer.
iPhone 5 camera (and all mobile phone cameras) have a limited sensor size. This means that even though the megapixels rating may be good, noise, diffraction, long exposure and other factors limit the quality of the images. If the quality of the images is not good enough for your use cases, the only solution is to purchase a bigger digital system camera (DSLR or mirrorless) with bigger sensor, unfortunately. Carrying such a big camera isn't going to be as easy as carrying an iPhone.
iPhone 5 does not appear to have image stabilization. The following could perhaps improve the mobile phone images:
- Take the picture with a flash
- Mount the iPhone on a tripod
- Move closer instead of zooming, because the zoom in iPhone is digital, not optical
- Consider a mobile phone with image stabilization in the camera -- but don't expect miracles