Photos look a lot better when using native camera app vs iNaturalist app

I notice that my cell phone photos turn out a lot better if I don’t take them with the iNaturalist app, but instead open the camera, take the photos, then import them into iNaturalist. It appears that my Google Pixel 6 pro does a lot of post processing to make the photos sharper and more clear, and when I use the iNaturalist app directly it doesn’t do any of this. The difference is extremely noticeable - not sure if other phones are this way also, but I suspect that they are.

Platform: Android

App version number: 1.28.10 (563)


i doubt this is actually a bug. i would suspect it’s just a matter of what stock Android is capable of vs the custom apps created to leverage the special capabilities of each phone. i suspect it would not be reasonable to ask iNat developers to try to handle all the various custom capabilities across all of the different phone models out there. if you can take better photos with your phone’s camera app, i suspect that’s the best way to start an observation. then just share your photos to the iNat app.

otherwise, i think the gist of what you’re wanting is covered by an existing feature request:


I saw that thread and was thinking the same thing - if that was implemented it would fix this issue too.

I talked to a few other people and they have noticed the quality reduction too - both on iPhone and Pixel 7.

The camera app can also shoot photos much more quickly than you can with the iNaturalist app - what would be really cool is if when you hit the button in the app to take a picture it just runs the native camera app, and then when you exit the camera app it loads the photos you have just taken into the iNaturalist observation. Would be great for people who are shooting moving subjects, and a big time saver overall.

A few people commented that they work around this by using their camera app in the field and add the photos to observations later. This isn’t optimal because it reduces GPS accuracy, it’s easy to forget to create the observations and it’s a good idea to put everything that isn’t visible in the photos in the notes field while the organism is right in front of you.


you can take the photo in your camera app, view the photo, click the share button, and then share to iNat. from there, you can override the location if you like and add notes, etc. for me, it’s about the same effort to execute this workflow as it is to do it all within the iNat app.


Plus, on most phones, once the pic is in the gallery, you can quickly do simple edits like crops and rotations. On some you can also add text, draw on top etc.

Shoot first, upload later is in the end a more flexible and optimizable workflow.


4 posts were split to a new topic: How to import photos to iNaturalist app from iPhone photo gallery