Camera roll and iCloud backups

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by boston04and07, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. boston04and07, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014

    boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #1
    I'm really confused about how my iPhone and iPad's camera rolls interact with iPhoto on my Mac and how they affect my iCloud backups. So, I sync both devices with iPhoto, and every photo taken on each device automatically shows up in iPhoto. Additionally, I select to sync all my iPhoto photos, albums, and events to both devices via iTunes. All my photos then appear via the "photos" tab in the Photos app, as well as in the iOS iPhoto app, on both devices. My question is, can I now safely delete my camera rolls? In other words, synced photos (including photos that may have originated in my camera roll) go elsewhere, right, and wouldn't be affected by deleting the camera roll?

    The reason I'm wondering is because my iCloud backups are insane, and I'm about to run out of (upgraded) storage space. I also only have 1 GB left on my iPhone and am trying to free up some local space, too. I'm trying to find ways to reduce the size of these backups, and since photos by far take up the most space on my iCloud as well as locally on both devices, I thought I'd start there. Thanks for any help with this...
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    Photo stream is the last 1000 photos from your camera roll. On your Mac you will want to make sure they are in a local album and then you can safely delete the camera roll (assuming you have them stored locally). I am not sure of the exact command, but you can use automater to have phots in iPhoto automatically moved to a local album
     
  3. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #3
    If you are using Photo Stream, iPhoto Preferences has a setting in its iCloud section "Automatic Import." If that is checked, the Photo Stream pictures are automatically moved into Events and can be safely deleted from Photo Stream. You can also manually move them to an Event.

    From your post however, it sounds like you might be connecting via USB to your computer. If that is the case, you can delete pictures from the Camera Roll on the phone as soon as you are sure that they have imported to the computer.

    If you then use iTunes to sync photos back to the phone, be aware that is essentially a one-way process. Each time you do the sync via iTunes it sets the non-Camera Roll photos on the phone to match the current settings/selected photos on the photos page in iTunes. The photos on the computer are the master and the ones synced to the phone can only be deleted by doing another sync with different settings (e.g., no check mark beside "Sync Photos From" or different photos selected).

    The photos you have synced back to the phone are not affected by deleting the Camera Roll photos. The photos synced to the phone are also not included in your phone backup. It is assumed the computer is the primary home of those photos and that you are backing that up.
     
  4. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    If you have verified that the photos have indeed copied to your computer then yes you can remove them from the camera roll

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    While this is correct the OP never said anything about using Photo Stream. He said iPhoto and iTunes which indicates he is importing and syncing to a computer, likely via a hard connection.
     
  5. RicoRich196 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #5
    This is somewhat confusing to me Apple needs to revist this and simplify or better explain the way these processes work.

    From what I gather if I have photo A on my iPhone and I sync it [my iPhone] to my iTunes, Photo A will now appear in iTunes [Photos Tab] and I can now safely delete the picture from my Camera Roll. If I then take a Photo B and C with my iPhone and sync to iTunes again then iTunes now has Photos A-B-C and my iPhone's Camera Roll will still ONLY have Photos B and C.

    Right?! :confused:
     
  6. boston04and07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #6
    Thanks, everyone, for your help with figuring this out! I do have Photo Stream enabled and run iPhoto on my computer pretty much every day, so my photos get transferred that way. I also have wireless iTunes syncing enabled to sync every night when I charge my phone. I figured out that I don't need to back up my camera roll photos to iCloud (I found that toggle in the Settings app) which cut back a huge amount of space in my backups - something like 15 gb for my phone and iPad each (!) So, I'm good there, but now that I'm at it, I would like to free up some more local space on my iPhone.

    After reading everyone's answers, it looks like deleting my camera roll probably won't do much, since it's not like those photos exist on the phone twice, both in the camera roll and then synced back in the All Photos section, which I wasn't sure about. Therefore, if I delete the camera roll, it would be empty, but all those same photos would just sync back from iTunes, right?

    Oh well - I'll probably just get in the habit of sorting through my photos and not syncing all of them all the time. Thanks for your help though :)
     
  7. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #7
    I agree that it is confusing. I'd go further and say that it is a unintuitive, poorly documented, confusing mess. It was quite a bit that way before Photo Stream and worse now.

    Your statement above is incorrect in that iTunes is not used to move photos from the phone to the computer and they do not display in iTunes. It is correct insofar as you can move photo A to the computer, delete it from the Camera Roll, take photos B & C, move them to the computer and if desired not delete them from the phone. That would leave B & C in the Camera Roll and all 3 on the computer.
    If you later decide you want to put photo A back onto the phone (but in a separate album from the Camera Roll, that is where an iTunes sync comes into use.

    First thing to understand -- using iTunes to sync photos is a one way transfer: from the computer to the phone. You can use it to add any photos you want to your phone, not just photos that originally came from the phone. You select those pictures via settings on the iTunes photos tab. The pictures themselves do not display there but you select folders or albums to be synced. The pictures synced to the phone will not be shown as part of the Camera Roll -- they are displayed as separate albums.

    Second: To move photos from the phone to the computer you use one of the methods described in http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4083

    One way to use this (and to think of it) is to use the Camera Roll as your "unprocessed" photos. I periodically import all of my Camera Roll photos to my computer via USB and delete all of the Camera Roll from the phone. Deleting them from the phone's Camera Roll reduces storage and helps me keep track of which ones I have "processed."

    I then arrange them in subfolders or albums on the computer. As part of the arranging process I am deciding how I want them organized on the computer and also which ones I want to have on the phone and how I want them organized there. I tend to keep most of the pictures on the computer with a few of them both on the computer and the phone. I then use iTunes to sync selected folders/albums back to the phone. This allows me to reduce the storage on the phone to just those pictures I really want on the phone, have them organized the way I want in both places, and maybe most importantly have all of them on the computer and allows me to include them in my normal computer backup process. Online forums are full of horror stories of photos lost due to all kinds of reasons.

    ----------

    I'm not sure that Camera Roll photos and the same photo synced back from the computer do not duplicate space. I suspect they do. I know that Camera Roll and Photo Stream don't but photos synced back from the computer can be from the phone or any other original source and even if they were originally from the phone, they may have been edited while on the computer. There could be a comparison process when they sync back but I doubt it. Again -- a suspicion but not a fact.

    Also, it is totally under your control which photos sync back via iTunes. You don't need to have a 100% match between photos on your computer and your phone.
     
  8. Dominicanyor macrumors 6502a

    Dominicanyor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #8
    What is the purpose to back up from the iPhone if we are not going to get all the pics that we had previously?
     
  9. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #9
    A backup via either iTunes or iCloud will include all pictures in your Camera Roll and all of those pictures should be restored if you need to do a restore. If you are willing to trust that, and accept that you can't see the photos in the backup, and understand that only the last backup per device is stored by iTunes, go for it.

    I prefer to import them to my computer where I can see that they are in fact there and then to also backup the computer both onsite and offsite. Photos synced to the phone from the computer via iTunes are not included in a backup of the phone by design since they originated from the computer not the phone.
     
  10. Dominicanyor macrumors 6502a

    Dominicanyor

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    You have a point. I just got so frustrated I did not see all my pics. Now I know that I should have them transfer to my pc.
     

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