I’ve caught the photography bug. Not sure exactly what did it…I was reading a copy of PC Magazine a few months ago where they reviewed some DSLR’s, and somehow got excited about it. Many hours of research later, and I had a Nikon D50 sitting on my table, and that was just the beginning. :-) Since then I’ve accumulated a bunch of those gold Nikon boxes (lenses, flash, the list goes on and on), not to mention a tripod and other such things.
Since then I’ve taken a bunch of photos, of course, and I looked for a place to put some of them online so I could share them with others. Flickr was the first thing that came to mind (duh!), but I wasn’t immediately satisfied with that…so I started looking around some more.
My basic requirements were as follows:
- Lots of storage space and bandwidth (I wanted to upload high-quality original images, from 2-4MB each)
- Galleries, where I could group my own photos together (by trip, subject, etc)
- Ability to password-protect certain galleries
- Ability to customize interface if I want to
- Relatively professional appearance (in case I happen to shoot a Pulitzer prize winner :-)
- Reasonable cost
I ended up spending some quality time with four different systems:
I also looked briefly at PBase, but the basic account limits you to 300MB of storage (and 900MB for the uplevel account), so that just wasn’t going to work.
I really liked JAlbum, and I was tempted to create my own site and host it. One of the perks of being NewsGator’s founder is my blog is hosted on the company’s hardware, and if something breaks, I can call one of our operations guys and if they’re not doing anything really important then they will help me with it :-). So that was tempting…but in the end, I wanted a hosted service (password protection built in, with no work from me, cross-user tagging, etc).
So that leaves us with Flickr, Zoto, and Smugmug. I’m going to write up short reviews of each of these, and I’ll let you know at the end what I finally ended up going with…so here we go!