The iPhone camera will now default to taking pictures in a new HEIF format, rather then JPEG. This camera formatting change to HEIF came in iOS 11, but some iPhone users may prefer to have the camera continue to snap photos in JPEG format for broader compatibility with sharing, copying to a computer, and more.
We’ll show you how you can change the iPhone camera default image file type so that the iPhone will shoot pictures in JPEG format again. We’ll also cover a trick for leaving HEIF image format enabled but have those HEIF images automatically convert to JPEG files upon transfer to a computer.
The iPhone camera image format setting is new to iOS 11 or later, and is specific to certain devices with newer cameras. Keep in mind that HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format, HEIF images have a .heic file extension) allows for greater file compression, meaning each HEIF picture file takes up less storage space than a standard JPEG image, sometimes up to half the size per image. While JPEG images are larger, they’re also broadly compatible without any conversion, and they might be easier to share for some users. Whether you want to use HEIF or JPEG for shooting iPhone pictures is up to you.
Note that not all iPhone and iPad models support the new HEIF image format. If you do not have this feature available on your device and it’s already updated to iOS 11, that means the camera is already taking pictures in JPEG format.
How to Change iPhone Camera to Shoot JPEG Format Pictures Again
- Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone and go to “Camera”
- Choose “Formats” and select “Most Compatible” to shoot photos in JPEG format on iPhone camera
- Exit out of Settings
With the “Most Compatible” setting enabled, all iPhone images will be captured as JPEG files, stored as JPEG files, and copied as JPEG image files too. This can help for sending and sharing pictures, and using JPEG as the image format for iPhone camera was the default since the first iPhone anyway.