Use all modes of phone's camera

In the older smartphones it was not that important, but for example in my new Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro there are several crucial modes that iN app cannot access: super macro (separate camera), night mode, 108mp mode, as well as iN app seems to not use AI in contrast to the default camera app. All these could be very useful for purposes of iN and I would say that iN app uses only 10% of useful stuff these cameras can do. Of course photos could be simply uploaded, but this is much slower (so less observations can be made) and will be less verifiable, as well as most people will simply not do it. Perhaps it’s difficult technically, but it clearly should be a priority, as all people will be using phones with such cameras soon.

Agree that this could be very useful, though one note is that iNat does save all pics at a lower size than most cameras can reach (I think 2048 pix? But can’t remember) So the 108 mp won’t help unless you do some processing of the photos yourself.

Also, don’t forget to vote for your own request!


I make photo’s with my phone app, go to the gallery, select the photo’s I want and share them with oa. iNaturalist app. Does it save time when you use the camera in the iNat- app?

Poco X3 NFC


I actually don’t use the app, so I don’t have personal experience. However, based on what others have said on the forum: yes, because it can pull GPS, etc. automatically. But someone else who uses the app will know better than me!

Already a post about this:

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I agree over all, but honestly something like 108mp mode is pretty much a waste on a phone. Companies keep pushing the megapixel numbers to ridiculous extremes.

Even with a DSLR or Mirrorless shooting RAW the 24-40mp standard camera range is far more than even many professional photographers actually need, and the final image is almost always downscaled enormously if it’s going to be used for anything other than full-sized art prints.

The lens you use is generally much more important than the size of the image.

In addition, iNat doesn’t have unlimited storage space, so all images get reduced down quite a bit, so trying to post super high rez images just winds up with them getting compressed, and done so in a way that you don’t have any control over. Better to do the post processing yourself and have control over how the image is compressed.


Nah, it doesn’t, as I understand it people use it to create fast observations with or without if that they revisit again after hike. Using regular camera app allows you to do whatever you want as fast or slow as you want, app is pretty slow when you delete new observation.

Well, I’m surprised by such hostility, you all repeating that 108mp is too much, but (1) phone is processing these photos and their final size is only about 3-4 Mb, while quality is better and (2) it’s not even closely a main point here, as I can’t use a SEPARATE MACRO CAMERA in the phone, only if spending much more time and switching apps, and this is clear loss for iN, as this camera can take photos of ~1 mm organisms, but whatever. Apparently you prefer terabytes of trashy “casual” observations and imprecise/unverifiable geolocation in photos that were uploaded not by app.

Problem is under investigation as was said in previous posts, it’s also clearly an effect of how phone creators couldn’t add this camera to the row of others, instead got it in the settings, they didn’t know how other apps will use cameras. For now you can just use camera, it’s much easier than using camera through the app anyway.

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So currently I’m doing nearly 90% of my observations by creating a new observation with “No Media” in the iN app, then switching to the phone’s camera app, taking photos, switching back to iN app and adding recent photos to this observation by “Choose Image”. I guess it taking at least 3 times more than if iN app would work properly. To illustrate why I’m doing it, in this observation photo 1 is with the phone’s camera app (“supermacro” mode) and photo 2 is as well as it could be with the iN app:

Is that the iOS app or android app?
I take all pics on the iPhone, crop and correct if needed, then use the iOS app to upload the photos with meta data for place, date/time.

Why do you need to make a no media Observation first?

Android app in Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. Because I want precise coordinates with range of accuracy, not to guess where I was approximately. It’s also crucial to make more observations. Why to even use app if upload photos later.

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meta data for place could be very imprecise, while in the app it evaluates accuracy and if it’s low you can re-measure it

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If I upload photos to the iOS app, the loading process brings in metadata automatically, so my OBs have place, date/time already input. For me, metadata is usually omitted if I upload at the website.

? Does the Android app have the function of editing the pictures?

Well, this is my thinking…

In many cases, it is helpful to crop and center the organism of interest. Color correction can bring up helpful features, too. Such photo editing cannot be done in the iOS app, or even the website. Yes, it takes time, but I think the IDers appreciate such improvements to the photos.

Plus, I rarely want to upload all of the photos I took. Using the phone camera, I can just upload the more helpful shots.

I may misunderstand what you say about location accuracy in the phone app vs the phone camera. Would not the same GPS data be available to the Camera and the iNat phone app?

My iPhone tends to upload pretty good coordinates. Admittedly, I am rarely out in the back country with no cell service.

Yes, you can crop it and edit otherwise in android iN app, as well as you can delete bad shots there. But when you have 5 minutes and sees at least 20 species of organisms each deserving an observation there could be other priorities.

It takes some time for GPS to figure it out where are you exactly, so it could easily add coordinates in few km from your real location. iN app shows you accuracy of this coordinates, like 1000 m, which means that you’re in the diameter of 1000 m from the determined coordinates, but normally it should be within 10 m. Of course new phones are pretty good and fast with it, but for example my previous model was sometimes very inaccurate if not checking and not re-measuring location.

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I say! That is nice that you can photo edit! Even the website offers very little photo editing capability.

But when you have 5 minutes and sees at least 20 species of organisms each deserving an observation there could be other priorities.

Yes, I understand about your enthusiasm! It is exciting out there.

With my phone, I find I can capture many more organisms by just photographing them - I can shoot as fast as I want without waiting for iNat to process the data. Then, later, in the evening or next day, I can upload pics at my leisure.

I’m not trying to talk you into a different workflow, as your way works for you in most respects. It’s just that it would not work so well for me. I was just addressing your question about why use the app if not using its camera function.

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Why did you choose such long routine? Just make photos with GPS on and then use share option to create observations.

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The camera app GPS accuracy is also laughably bad on my phone, same reason I almost always take photos within the iNat app.


I know a couple of people who lost lots of their obs cause of weird app behaviour, so I’m afraid too sticking to native programms that save everything to memory card and it’s easier to not be hurried with ids. Plus OP’s phone is a new model of the same brand as mine, doubt their GPS system got worse.

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Since iOS 11 or so, the iOS camera app records horizontal accuracy along with GPS coordinates, and that accuracy data gets included in the observation when the photo is imported. In Android, however, I don’t think this happens or at least only some devices do it, so I understand why you’d want to use the app.