How Mobile Devices Capture High Resolution Images
A smartphone with a 16mp autofocus rear camera, 8mp front camera, and recording in 1080p or UHD 4K is becoming somewhat the norm. This is mainly on the case on the consumer side rather than enterprise, but the enterprise is following suit. A typical old school Windows Mobile MC67 for example has an 8MP rear camera.
Windows Mobile devices are somewhat limited here as the 32mb RAM allowance means large images and videos will probably crash the unit. This is where iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 or 10 for the Enterprise are key.
Giving the end user the ability to capture media in high resolution is a big plus point. Images of completed works, or videos problem areas can be highlighted in detail. But at what cost?
Cost!? Surely a high res image is better than a low res image? Agreed, but what is the cost of transmitting a 16mp image, or a 30 second 1080p video? A 16MP image is roughly 5MB, one visit can require 1-10 images for example. Worst case of 10 images, that is 50MB of data. A 30 second video clip in 1080p is about 210MB (other file types may be increase file size considerably.) UHD 4K would be even bigger.
If the device is 4G compatible uploads speeds are very fast @ 8MBps, 3G considerably slower 0.4MBps, under 3G it becomes a big issue. 4G would take about 30 seconds if a good connection.
210MBps video file / 0.4MBps upload speed = Nearly 9 minutes to upload. That assumes a solid constant connection for the full nine minutes. Driving to/from jobs means the signal will strengthen/weaken or stop altogether.
Why Capture High Resolution Images
The purpose of real-time mobile applications is to receive the results back in real-time, no delays, immediate billing cycles customer records instantly updated etc. If working in large cities with a good 4G presence this may work fine, if uploading images over Wi-Fi only this is also a solution, but not real-time in the majority of cases.
Consider if a 16mp image is actually required. Would a 5mp image suffice? On a PDF report to the customer the image will be scaled down anyway. Smaller file sizes improve the mobile connection speed and increase the probability of real-time communication, as well as greatly reducing the storage requirements on the back-end.