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It can be at an unexpected moment, for example, when you will want to shoot a beautiful rainbow, or you need to take subject photos of a new cosmetic product for Instagram. Apple company, noticing this problem, has developed a new file type. This is a HEIC. It saves space in your gadget, allowing you to take many quality contents. What is the HEIC photo format? How does it differ from other photo formats? How to convert HEIC to JPEG? In the article, we will answer these and many other questions.
You're getting used to the fact that the photos made on your camera are saved on the device in JPG format. But starting with iOS 11 and newer operating systems, you notice that images are captioned as HEIC instead of the usual abbreviation. Why is the format called? Let's find out further.
HEIC stands for High-Efficiency Image File. It’s a new container format developed by the Apple company for modern models of the iPhone and iPad. It saves photos in higher quality than the popular format JPEG but simultaneously takes up very little space in the memory card on the device. This is due to modern compression technology.
What does a HEIC file contain? It’s usually one image or sequence of iPhone photos you took with the device's camera. HEIC also includes metadata that describes every image. In particular, you can see information about the size of the image, location, resolution, editing, etc. Files of this format are saved as .heic or.HEIF. It all depends on the number of pictures inside. Image container HEIC functions as JPEG. You can edit, move, and convert HEIC extensions in other formats.
The process of photo compression seems complicated at first glance. But in practice, everything is effortless. The container uses High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) to save space on the memory card. This is a special codec that was developed initially for video compression.
To reduce video file size, HEVC compresses every frame with discrete cosine and sine transforms (DCT and DST) with block sizes raining from 4×4 pixels to 32×32 pixels. It makes the image more accurate with an emphasis on details. During this process, inter-frame compression also occurs. Thanks to this, the codec compresses video more than the photo. However, it’s very effective in compressing images.
The HEIC format allows you to save high-quality photos with twice less storage space. For example, to keep a good image in JPG format, you need 8 megabytes. HEIC requires only 4 megabytes.
In this case, you can transfer photos faster than when using the JPEG format. And this will help you well when you require the captured photo content to process in Photoshop or other editors on your computer.
At first glare, the HEIC file format differs from JPEG because it takes up less space in the memory gadget. There are more differences here:
You’ve discovered what is a .HEIC file and seen that the new format is better than the JPEG one. Below, we will consider the main advantages and disadvantages of this container.
HEIC extension was first mentioned in 2013. The Moving Pictures Expert Group finalized the main standard of this format in 2015, a popular company that developed MP3 and MPEG. Understanding consumers’ need to save space in phone memory, Apple decided to adopt this option. And in 2017, it realized iOS 11, where HEIC was instead the valid JPEG format. Since then, it has been the primary one for storing multimedia files in modern iPhones and iPods.
Many wonders why are iPhone photos HEIC and this format is needed. Having high-quality and space-saving capabilities can open eyes to many things in personal and professional life. For example, you are a professional photographer who shoots many photos of aroma candles or natural cosmetics for Instagram. So, you require a lot of space for high-quality content on one device. HEIC allows realizing it. And if you like moving animations, you can change the stored sequence of images from HEIC to GIF with a converter.
We have considered HEIC's meaning, known its pros and cons, and looked into history. Now we’re going to move to the practice part because there are several points regarding the use of this format that you need to know.
When we were learning what is HEIC we noticed it allows performing many actions with the photo. Creating, editing, and the opening file is the most significant among them. If you use Apple gadgets, the .heic file creates by default after shooting.
How to open a photo in this format? If you want to view pictures on the laptop screen to edit them, learn about different ways to open a file on Mac and Windows.
Previously, most new format files could not open even on Windows. Therefore, it caused great difficulties when working with photos. To enjoy viewing images on a computer screen and process them in graphic editors, you had first to convert them to JPEG format.
But over time, Microsoft found an even better way out of this situation, developing HEIF Image Extensions for version 18.09 of Windows 10 or later. There are many options for this free utility. To use one of them, you need to download it from Microsoft Store and install it. After it, you can view the file .heic in the default Photos App.
If you want to process your images for a job or personal goals, you need to restart Photoshop, import HEIC files, and edit photos as you always do. Also, after working with the file, you can Select As and convert it to your preferred format.
HEIC files are easily opened in macOS and iOS because they are files by default. Just click on the file to view photos and select Open with Preview. And if you want to edit the image in Photoshop, you need to open the file, go to Edit and Preference, and select Camera Raw. Then click on the File Handling Tab in the JPEG and TIFF Handling box, choose Automatically open JPEG and HEIC with settings, or Automatically open all supported JPEG and HEIC from the drop-down menu. After it, you can edit your file as you do it constantly.
As you have already seen, viewing photos after downloading them to your computer is only sometimes possible. It occurs in cases when you need to convert HEIC into JPEG or PNG format. How to do it? There are several ways available for Mac and Windows.
You can set your iPhone or iPad to automatically save HEIC as JPG when transferring photos to your Mac. But what to do if you need to change the format of images already on your computer? There are a few programs that will help you convert HEIC to JPEG or PNG format:
HEIF Image Extension is perfect, but only Windows 10 version. You need to use a particular app to convert .heic in the older operating system. There are several such instruments:
You don’t want to work with HEIC format on your gadget? Is it difficult for you? So, you can set your iPhone so that it takes and saves photos in JPEG format. To do this, you must take a few steps:
Kip in mind that all your available photos on the iPhone remain the same, but the format of the future images will be JPEG. HEIC is an optional file format, so you can switch back to it when you want.
Now you know what is a HEIC photo, But besides that, iPhones can shoot and save content in other formats. JPEG is the most common and compatible with applications. However, it takes up a lot of space. There is also RAW, which requires 5-10 times more space than JPEG. WebP is more efficient than HEIC because it compresses photos without loss. It’s available on most web browsers.
You have learned in more detail what is HEIC file. In practice, working with it may seem troublesome. But all the disadvantages are covered by two significant advantages. This is a huge saving of space in your device’s memory and high-quality images. And problems with the complexity of using this format can be easily and quickly solved thanks to programs that convert to a more familiar format, JPEG.