Google adds high-res photo zoom to Google+
People now can immerse themselves in high-resolution photos posted on Google+ instead of seeing a blurry version when zoomed in all the way.
Two days ago, I griped that thedidn't work with high-resolution images. But today, it does.
"The blurriness issue you mention has already been fixed," said Dave Cohen, a photographer and Google+ team leader, in response to my experiments posting images ranging from 22 to 80 megapixels.
If you want to take advantage of the full-immersion view that's now available, I uploaded a batch of high-resolution photos from a trip to New Mexico and some even higher-resolution 60- and 80-megapixel shots taken with medium-format Phase One cameras of San Francisco and England.
Google's engineering turnaround here is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, they haven't found a way to magically speed up the download of multigigabyte high-res photos. When I asked Cohen about this (the JPEG XR photo format can show just a portion of a much larger image, for example), he only said, "Stay tuned."
It also can be slow panning around the high-resolution photo in a browser. And the feature doesn't work in full-screen view. But these are nitpicks. I know some photographers only want their photos viewed as an entire work and frown on pixel peeping, but I like to dive in. Even in galleries, I'm prone to walk up close to big prints, squint, and imagine I'm there. Google+ is now a better way to do that.
Getting high-resolution photos into Google+ takes a little work, because Google ordinarily downsamples photos when on upload so the maximum height or width is 2,048 pixels.
You can get around that by enabling automatic Google+ upload on an Android phone or by uploading photos with Google's Picasa photo management software, making sure you check the "original size" option. Note, though, that photos exceeding the 2,048-pixel dimension will count against your Google storage quota.