Apple’s introduction of the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIC) in iOS 11 was a game-changer for iPhone photography. By adopting this new compressed image format, Apple aimed to reduce photo file sizes and optimize storage on iPhones.
However, this change from the JPEG standard has posed headaches for photographers needing to edit or share HEIC photos online. Most web and social platforms don’t support the format yet.
That’s why converting HEIC to JPEG or PNG remains essential for photographers today.
Let’s dive in to unravel the HEIC format and streamline your photo file conversion workflow.
An Introduction to HEIC Image Format
HEIC (High Efficiency Image Container) is Apple’s latest proprietary image format introduced in 2017 for iOS 11 and newer devices.
Previously, iPhones captured images in the near-universal JPEG format used online. So why did Apple decide to shake things up?
Here are some key advantages of the HEIC format:
- Smaller file sizes – HEIC uses improved compression techniques compared to JPEG. Photos take up 50% less storage space on average.
- Better quality – HEIC preserves image quality at smaller sizes. This means you can capture more photos and videos without sacrificing fidelity.
- Fast sharing – Smaller files allow for quicker loading and sharing of photos through email, messaging, and the cloud.
- Live Photos support – The format integrates seamlessly with Apple’s Live Photos feature.
- Secure encryption – HEIC offers better integrated image authentication to prevent tampering.
Overall, HEIC is a powerful upgrade tailored towards the iPhone photography experience. But not everyone is pleased with this change.
The major pitfall is lack of compatibility. Very few apps and web platforms recognize the HEIC format right now. Your photos may appear broken or corrupted if shared online.
Professional photographers also rely on editing images in software like Photoshop or Lightroom which don’t support HEIC yet.
For these reasons, converting to the older JPEG standard remains necessary in many workflows today. Understanding the key differences between formats helps optimize your output needs.
Key Differences Between Image Formats
Let’s compare the core characteristics of the HEIC, JPEG, and PNG formats that photographers should know:
|Image Format||File Compression||Quality||Compatibility||Supports Transparency|
|HEIC||High||Excellent at small sizes||Very Limited||Yes|
|JPEG||Medium||Average at small sizes||Nearly Universal||No|
|PNG||None||Excellent at any size||Very Good||Yes|
HEIC offers the best balance of high compression and quality. But compatibility issues hamper adoption.
JPEG is the old standard with medium compression. Pictures suffer at smaller sizes.
PNG has no compression but supports transparency. Files sizes are usually large.
Understanding these trade-offs helps decide the optimal format for your photographic needs.
Here are some quick guidelines on when to choose each one:
- HEIC – For storing high volumes of photos efficiently on Apple devices
- JPEG – For online sharing and printing photos through third-party apps
- PNG – For graphics, logos, and images with transparency needs
Now let’s explore your options to seamlessly convert HEIC photos to JPEG or PNG.
Converting HEIC on iPhone and iPad
The easiest way to convert HEIC files is directly on your iPhone or iPad.
Apple provides built-in tools so you can export HEIC pictures to JPEG or PNG formats right from the Photos app.
Here are the steps to convert images on your iOS device:
- Open the Photos app and select the HEIC photo you want to convert.
- Tap the Share icon in the bottom-left corner.
- Scroll down and select Save to Files.
- Choose the output format – JPEG or PNG.
- Select compressed or uncompressed quality.
- Tap Save and choose the destination folder.
This exports your HEIC picture into the chosen format. The original is untouched in your Photos library.
While handy for one-off conversions, this process can get tedious for large batches. That’s where desktop HEIC converters come in handy.
Using Online HEIC Converters
A quick way to convert HEIC files is through free online converter tools.
Here’s how online HEIC converters work:
- Go to the converter site and select HEIC as input format.
- Upload your HEIC files from computer or cloud storage.
- Choose JPEG or PNG as the output format.
- Adjust options like quality or color profile.
- Download the converted images.
Online converters offer a fast and easy option for one-time conversions. However, there are some downsides to watch out for:
- Uploading sensitive photos online carries privacy risks.
- File size limits may restrict batch conversions.
- Slow upload/download speeds can hinder workflows.
- Limited customization options compared to desktop software.
For professional photography needs, dedicated HEIC converter programs provide robust functionality and speed.
Using Aiseesoft HEIC Converter (Recommended)
For photographers working with large HEIC photo libraries, desktop converter software is the best solution.
Aiseesoft HEIC Converter is a free utility for Windows and Mac that outperforms any online tool. It’s specially designed to convert HEIC images in bulk while optimizing for quality and size.
Here are some standout benefits for photographers:
- Batch conversion – Convert hundreds of photos in one go.
- Retain EXIF data – Keeps useful metadata like geotags intact.
- Adjustable quality – Fine-tune compression from 0-100% as needed.
- Previews – Verify conversions accurately with before/after previews.
- Fast speeds – Uses hardware acceleration for quick workflow.
- Cross-platform – Supports both Windows and Mac OS.
- Free and unlimited – No watermarks or size limits.
Let’s examine the step-by-step process of using Aiseesoft HEIC Converter:
- Download and install the software on your computer from the official website.
- Launch the app. Click “Add HEIC” to browse your photo folders.
- Select all the HEIC photos you want to convert.
- Choose JPEG or PNG as output format.
- Adjust quality, color profile and metadata settings as needed.
- Click “Convert” and select the output folder to save images.
The batch conversion will now run smoothly in the background with progress updates.
Within minutes, you’ll have all HEIC photos exported losslessly to JPEG/PNG while retaining originals.
The intuitive interface, customizable options and speedy conversions make Aiseesoft HEIC Converter the best solution for photographers.
Now that you understand the utility of HEIC converters for photography workflows, let’s tackle some common issues faced.
Troubleshooting HEIC Conversion Problems
When working with hundreds of photos, you may face technical hiccups during HEIC conversions.
Here are some troubleshooting tips for common problems:
Converted photos appear corrupted
- Use latest HEIC decoder software. Old programs won’t recognize new format.
- Adjust quality settings in converter app. Lower quality causes corruptions sometimes.
Photos lose metadata after conversion
- Enable “Retain EXIF Data” option during conversion to preserve info like geotags.
Large file sizes despite conversion
- Raise compression quality setting progressively to optimize size reduction.
Converter app crashes mid-process
- Close other resource-heavy software. Don’t multitask during conversion.
- Convert smaller batches if system struggles with huge libraries.
Slow conversion speed
- Use converter software leveraging hardware acceleration like GPU encoding.
- Clear app caches and ensure sufficient computing power.
Paying attention to these potential pitfalls upfront ensures a smooth HEIC conversion experience.
Changing Default Camera Format on iPhone
After tackling the conversion process, you may want to simply avoid HEIC photos altogether.
Fortunately, there is a quick setting on iPhones to revert back to capturing pictures in JPEG format instead:
- Open your iPhone Camera app and tap on the Settings icon.
- Choose Formats > Most Compatible option.
This automatically changes the camera default format from HEIC to JPEG.
Now any new photos taken will save directly in the older JPEG format. While you lose out on some HEIC benefits like smaller files, it removes the conversion headache.
Key Takeaways and Recommendations
Converting HEIC photos to edit and share them remains vital for most photographers today.
Here are the key takeaways from this guide:
- Understand differences – Know when to use HEIC vs JPEG/PNG formats for your needs.
- Convert in bulk – Use robust desktop software like Aiseesoft HEIC Converter for large libraries.
- Adjust quality – Fine-tune compression to balance size and corruption.
- Keep metadata – Preserve useful EXIF data like geotag location.
- Change default – Shoot JPEG natively by toggling iPhone camera setting.
- Mind the pitfalls – Monitor and prevent common conversion issues proactively.
Converting HEIC may feel tedious, but a streamlined process makes it easy to integrate into photography workflows.
The versatile Aiseesoft HEIC Converter combined with the right workflow minimizes headaches when dealing with HEIC files.
Now you can swiftly convert batches of iPhone HEIC photos to shareable formats – saving time while upholding professional image quality standards.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are answers to some common questions photographers have about HEIC conversion:
Q: Will HEIC conversion reduce image quality?
A: Slight quality loss can occur during conversion, especially when lowering compression. But adjusting converter settings minimizes this loss while sufficiently reducing file size.
Q: How do I convert HEIC photos on Windows/Mac computer?
A: Desktop converter programs like Aiseesoft HEIC Converter provide the best way to batch convert HEIC on both Windows and Mac PCs.
Q: Is it better to convert to JPEG or PNG?
A: JPEG is preferable for photos to retain universal compatibility. PNG is better for graphics with transparency needs due to lossless compression.
Q: Should I change iPhone camera to shoot JPEG instead of HEIC?
A: If you need to edit photos in other apps or share online, switching to JPEG can improve compatibility without conversion.
Q: Will my HEIC Live Photos convert properly?
A: Most converters don’t support Live Photos yet. Simple HEIC images convert fine. For Live Photos, change camera default format to JPEG.
Q: How can I conserve quality when converting HEIC photos?
A: Use latest converter software with quality retention options. Avoid excessive compression and review both before/after images to validate output.
Q: Can I automate HEIC conversion workflow for new photos?
A: Yes, you can set up scripts or cloud services like Dropbox to auto-convert new HEIC photos added from your camera.
Converting from HEIC to JPEG/PNG will provide the flexibility and compatibility photographers need in their workflows. With the strategies outlined in this guide, you’re now well-equipped to handle bulk HEIC conversions seamlessly.