Does Dropbox Reduce Image Quality? (We Tested It)

Dropbox is a cloud storage and file storage service that families and professionals often use to share photos and photo albums. But does sharing photos using Dropbox reduce the quality of your image?

No, sharing photos with Dropbox should not reduce the quality of your image. Most people who see the quality of their image lessen when using Dropbox are only viewing a preview of the image and need to download the image to see it in full quality.

Read on to find out how best to preserve the quality of your images when using Dropbox. 

Does Dropbox Compress Images When You Upload Them? 

Does Dropbox Compress Images?
Does Dropbox Compress Images?

Dropbox claims on their website that they do not compress your photos when you upload them to your Dropbox account. To verify this claim, we uploaded 3 different photos to Dropbox and checked the size of the file and resolution on the original device (Android) versus the size and resolution on a laptop we downloaded to.

Here are the results:

Photo 1:
Original – 6.9MB 3072×4080 Resolution
Dropbox- 6.6MB 3072×4080 Resolution

Photo 2:
Original: 4.7MB 3072×4080 Resolution
Dropbox: 4.5MB 3072×4080 Resolution
 
Photo 3:
Original – 6.5MB 3072×4080 Resolution 
Dropbox – 6.2MB 3072×4080 Resolution 

As you can see, there was a slight drop in file size with each photo but no drop in resolution from the original to the Dropbox version. We were not able to find a reason for this slight drop in file size but it is not large enough to signify compression and did not affect resolution or image quality to the naked eye or when zoomed. 

Why Do Images Appear Blurry On Dropbox?

Blurry Image On Dropbox
Blurry Image On Dropbox

The reason that images can sometimes appear blurry when viewed on Dropbox is you are viewing a preview image.

Dropbox will show an image preview in its app or web browser client that is not representative of the actual image’s quality.

To view the full image, click the download option in the app or on the web browser and you will have the quality image you expected. 

How Do You Send Images From Dropbox Without Losing Quality?

Send Image From Dropbox
Send Image From Dropbox

To make sure you preserve the quality of your image when you share it through Dropbox, follow these easy steps 

  1. Upload the image to Dropbox on the original device.
  2. Share it using a link or by giving the intended recipient access to your Dropbox account.
  3. Make sure that the recipient downloads the image and does not save the preview image directly from Dropbox. 

Do Photographers Use Dropbox?

Do Photographers Use Dropbox?
Do Photographers Use Dropbox?

Yes, photographers do use Dropbox to share images with their clients because it is simple and free for the client to use. Sharing photo collections with clients is as easy as sending a link and the recipient does not even have to download Dropbox.

For a large photo album with high-resolution photos, they would use Dropbox Transfer which lets the photographer hand off large files or collections of files and confirm delivery. Photographers sometimes require more feature-rich applications like ShootProof or Prodibi, but Dropbox is still one of the most utilized services in the industry. 

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