So you’ve got a digital camera, started taking some photos, and now you want to show them to your friends, family, or maybe the whole world? Well luckily in the age of digital photography and the internet, this is very simple to achieve. In fact the most difficult aspect might be choosing where to do it… Luckily in steps Digital Camera Beginner to help out! Here’s a few of the options available…
When choosing a site, or deciding if you need to pay, think about how you’ll be using it. 1gb of storage might not sound much, but if you only want to share photos with people online then you can reduce the quality of the photos to allow you to store thousands in that space. If you’re wanting to store hi-res versions for backup or printing then you’ll probably want a lot more space.
Run by Google, this is one of the easiest ways to share, backup and do some basic editing to your photos. A free account only gets you 1gb of storage (enough for about 200 pictures on a 5mp camera), but this should be enough for you to get started and see if you like the service. You can even sign up with your GMail account, so you may be only seconds away from getting started. If you need more storage space then you can rent it (a variety of plans are available – for example $20 per year for 80gb of storage) on a yearly basis, but you do need to decide how much space you require which is a tiny bit more complicated than some of the other sites. Picasa also offers software for your computer that helps organise your photos and upload them to the service.
Flickr is one of the biggest sites in the photo sharing market. Even with a free account you get unlimited storage, but you’ll be limited to 100mb (about 30 hi res photos on a 5mp camera) of uploads per month and only able to view lower quality versions of the photos you upload. A pro account costs $25 per year and gives you unlimited uploads. It also raises the maximum size of the pictures you can upload from 10mb to 20mb, big enough for most cameras you’ll come across.
Flickr does have software available for your computer to help upload pictures, but it isn’t as full featured as Picasas offering. It also offers online editing through a third party service. Really, the big advantage Flickr has over other sites is it’s size and community. With loads of people using it you can get involved with likeminded people, join groups and get feedback on your pictures from people all around the world.
A lot of people already have a Facebook account, and you might have already used it for sharing photos. It’s free and easy, but the photos are low quality. The site is also not dedicated to photo sharing, so it tends to lag behind the others in terms of features. On the plus side, your family and friends might already be using it so they’ll be able to see your pictures easily. It’s probably not the best if photography means more to you than just a means to take snapshots though.
This is a bit of an odd one. It’s more used for people who want to store photos and share them on other sites, like Facebook, blogs, online forums etc. A free account gets you 500mb of storage and a 10gb limit on use (so including all the people who view your photos as well as uploading them). A pro account costs $25 per year, and gets you unlimited storage and uploads. Photobucket has a slightly unusual limitation on photo quality – you can upload photos up to 20mb for storage or download, but only a 2mb version will be sharable on websites. This probably won’t be a big limitation though as that is easily big enough for a good web quality photo.
Since the sites above all offer a free option, you can try them all out. Pricewise they all come out rather similar, at around $25 a year for a lot of storage. Facebook isn’t really an option for someone who is interested in the quality of their photos, but it’s social options make it worth considering for snapshots. However you’d probably be better off using one of the other sites and integrating it with Facebook instead. Of the others, their similarities make a decision difficult, but I’d would point you in the direction of Flickr. It’s on a par with the others in terms of features and it’s huge community puts it on a step above the other options. Plus we use it!