The first consumer-priced, one-megapixel digital cameras hit the streets just over ten years ago, and today digital cameras are everywhere—hell, one megapixel is tiny for even our cell phone cameras. As a result, we snap picture after picture without giving a thought to the price of film, which means you’ve got hundreds of pictures to share with friends and family. Earlier this week we asked you to tell us your favourite photo sharing web site, and today we’re back with the five most popular answers. Hit the jump for the low-down on the five best photo sharing tools the web has to offer.
SmugMug is a premium photo sharing web site with an emphasis on professional photography. That’s not to say that the site’s not also perfect for the weekend photographer, as its attractive and user-friendly interface is tempting for any level of photog. The biggest hurdle for new SmugMug users is that the site has no free account (though there is a 14-day free trial), and the minimum price for an account at US$40/year. However, SmugMug users—many of whom are former Flickr die-hards (there’s even an import tool called Smugglr)—seem very pleased with their choice.
Personal Web Site
If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got some hosted web space, you can host your digital photos on your own web site. Granted, it may seem like a lot more work compared to the other options, but hosting your photos on a personal site means you’ve got total control, and some free, open-source options for rolling your own hosting solution are often as robust on features as their counterparts. If that sounds appealing, we’ve already walked you through how to set up the free Gallery2 (pictured above) on your hosted web server. You may also want to check out Jalbum (pictured at the top of this article).
Flickr was originally conceived in 2002 as a video game-screenshot sharing web site, but it quickly blossomed into a full-fledged photo sharing site with a bustling community. The now Yahoo-owned site offers free accounts with limitations placed on photo uploads and other features, while the US$25/year Pro account promises unlimited uploads, storage, and sets. Flickr, like many of the others, also recently added video sharing to their repertoire.
Picasa Web Albums
Picasa Web Albums are the online counterpart to Google’s popular, Windows- and Linux-only desktop photo organisation software, Picasa. Despite its late entry to the photo sharing game in mid-2006, Picasa Web Album’s seamless integration with Picasa and Google accounts quickly gained the service a large following. A free account with Picasa Web Albums gives you 1GB of free storage space, and you can buy extra storage that’s shared with your Gmail account for anywhere between US$20/year for 10GB to US$500/year for 400GB.
Once upon a time, Photobucket was a favourite among internet users looking to quickly host an image and share it online at sites like eBay and MySpace or on blogs and message boards. While that’s still true, Photobucket has added several features to keep users coming back to the site for managing photo albums and videos.
Whether or not it made the short list, let’s hear more about your favourite in the comments.