Issue with uploaded images: loss of sharpness and wrong size

the Interceptor

Feb 22, 2005
ze Vaterland
VW Diesel of Death
I just came across a weird problem. I uploaded a new picture to my picasa webspace to post it in lens flair. As always, after the upload I extracted the direct link to the photo. When I checked it, I noticed that the image quality (mainly sharpness) has suffered quite a bit. I did a side-by-side-check by displaying the image in the browser (original size, just the image) and looking at the original image on my computer with my image viewer. It is obvious that the original image is much sharper. Also, the size of the image in the browser is a little different, it is roughly 10% larger than the original image. So for whatever reason, the browser does not display the image correctly.

To find the reason, I played around with many options. I uploaded the same image to picasa, imgur and armedcats and looked at it with Firefox and Internet Explorer on 2 different computers. However, the result is always the same: the image always is too large and is unsharp (probably because it is too large). I also tried the Picasa software to upload the image, it has the option to upload an image with its original size. However, this image also looked exactly like the others: too large and unsharp.

I checked the images I posted in lens flair lately and noticed that they all have this issue, a lack of sharpness and a wrong size.

I have no idea what is happening there. Any ideas?

EDIT: it gets even better. I just downloaded one of the uploaded test images back to my computer. When I look at it in my image viewer, it has the correct pixel size again, but it was reduced from 450kb to 250kb. When I look at the image info on my picasa webinterface, it says that the image has 450kb. However, when I check the image info via the browser's context menu, it actually only has 250kb. Something fishy is going on here...
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The images you have in Lens Flair are pretty sharp and crisp. Also, just for the heck of it, I looked at 'em using 5 browsers: Maxthon Nitro, FF, Pale Moon, Chrome, and IE11. They all looked fine in any browser.

For me, I don't use any "image viewers". I always use a browser, in this case, Chrome to view the final quality/clarity check. I changed the .jpg association to open in Chrome. I figured 99.9999% of the time, the images will be viewed on a browser and not an image viewer. Also, some image viewers may try apply some kind of enhancements because they think they know better. But, that's just me. :D
I was away for the weekend, so I have to do some more checks to find the cause of this issue. However, both my image viewers (IrfanView and XnView) agree with Photoshop. The jpg I save after processing looks exactly the same in all three programs (except some color differences when they don't agree on the color space). The browsers however look different.

I did a test yesterday. I opened one of the example images in XnView and opened the exact same file in Firefox locally from my computer. Firefox displays the image larger despite being set ( I checked this again) to 100% view, no magnification there. As a result, the image looks less sharp, at least due to being enlarged.

When I find the time I will have to do more digging.
I think I've had something similar going on once... But that was years ago and I didn't care back then. So in my case it was fixed by one of the many fresh installs of windows I've done in the meantime...

Hmpf... Not much help, I guess. But hey, at least you're not the only one with this issue (even if I did somehow get rid of it).
After some more digging and thinking, I assume I've found the two problems I've had:

1. Because my screen resolution is very high and thus all symbols and writing is quite small, I set my system to display all items at 125% size. Apparently this also applies to the browsers without them telling, so they claim that they're only at 100% magnification when they're actually at 125% due to the system's setting. So my browsers were blowing up my pictures to 125%, thus the size difference and the lack of sharpness.

2. Picasa cheats with filesize. For example, the image with the wall of oranges I posted in lens flair lately has an original filesize of 451kb. When I check the stats of this picture in my picasa webinterface, it also says "451kb". However, when I look at the actual image data or save the file to my desktop and then check it, it only has 251kb. So picasa applies more compression when a picture is uploaded, but it claims that the file still has the original size.

Maybe someone will have the same problems in the future and will find this thread for some help.

Thanks for your support guys! :thumbsup:

EDIT: for comparison, here are the pics from picasa (increased compression) and armedcats (unaltered compression):

Picasa, 251kB:

Armedcats, 451kB:

The difference in detail sharpness is well visible, for example in the fruit on the small plant.
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