Most popular photo sharing sites suck... what are the alternatives?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    The photos I share on MobileMe, Facebook, and even Flickr all suffer from massive JPEG compression or really small image sizes that really ruin a nice sharp photo.

    What are my alternatives? Can I control the image quality better by going with my own Wordpress portfolio type blog?
     
  2. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #2
    try looking at pbase. My photos there come up whatever size and resolution I make them. IOW, I pay for the space, they don't care what I do with it.
     
  3. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
  4. Sti-R macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    #4
    +1 on Pbase. I have been using them for years and i am very satisfied with them.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    not any free sites. a lot of people on POTN complain about Pbase, something having to do with its servers or bad service or something.

    there's viewbook, zenfolio, smugmug...a few others.
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    for quick and dirty photo url sharing i use picimg.com or imgur.com. picimg has multiple file uploading , but ive noticed seems to change the original photo over time as ive seen in some of my posts. so now im looking for something like picimg, but less careless with image files.
     
  7. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #7
    Yeh, I had my photos over on pBase for more than 8 years. Three times over that period, they've had some kind of server problems. The first two weren't bad and were the result of expansion and rebuilds, but this last one in September 2009 was a destroyed server from a power outage and they were down for about 36 hours as they rebuilt. They're cheap, and other than those problems I've always had good service from them. I'd never hesitate to recommend pbase.

    http://pbase.com
     
  8. osin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    Are you looking for free alternatives?
    If not, most popular paid services these days are: Smugmug and Zenfolio. Personally, zenfolio.com is my favorite.
     
  9. Phil Lee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
  10. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #11
    I cannot say enough about Smugmug - I got in a long time ago and so I've paid the same rate for a while, but even at $40/year...

    -you can put as many photos (at practically any size) on your site at you want
    -you get your own URL
    -no stupid prompts to have your friends register to see your photos
    -redundant backup in case you lose your photos on your computer or your own backup solution.
     
  11. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    Thanks for the suggestions! Smugmug appears to have the most attractive UI in my opinion.

    Does anyone here use Wordpress to host their own photo portfolio? I've seen a lot of attractive Wordpress templates aimed at exactly this concept.
     
  12. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #13
    I've used Google picasa web for 2+ years.
    • Free up to 1GB space
    • Max size is 1600 pixels, big but not true full size big
    • Albums can be public, semi-private, or private
    • easy upload from iPhoto or Picasa3 app(WinTel)
    Works for me, I don't sell my photos, just share them here/other forums.
     
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #14
    both Smugmug and Zenfolio are customizable. you should try out both if you didn't plan to already... also, Zenfolio gives out referral codes, usually $5 off but sometimes $10. I have one if you're interested. I dunno if Smugmug does the same thing.

    I dunno about the Wordpress themes since they aren't free...I'd rather just go to a photo hosting site or just buy my own domain for cheap and do it from scratch.
     
  14. scott182 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #15

    SmugMug does do referrals, $5 I believe. I (or any of the other SmugMug users) would be happy to provide you with a referral code. From comparing features, it seems like SmugMug's standard account offers more than Zenfolio's "Unlimited" account, and for $10 less.

    I'm not sure how Zenfolio works, but a nice feature of SmugMug is that they let you lock in the price (forever?). I've been paying $30 a year for the past 5 years.
     
  15. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #16
    Get some cheap web space, it's not difficult.

    Both Aperture and Lightroom will output a portfolio as HTML - with really good controls, and some nice themes. Load the HTML up to your web space and you're done - really easy. You get complete control over picture size/quality too.
     
  16. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #17
    Avoid the flash-based sites if you want people with iPads to see anything. ;)
     
  17. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    I'm just using Picasa and I'm pretty happy with it. I have plug-ins for Picasa for both Lightroom and Aperture, which makes things pretty easy.
     
  18. tonyburkhart macrumors regular

    tonyburkhart

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio
    #19
    I just signed up for 200GB with Google at $50 per year and got a free eye-fi card

    http://www.eye.fi/google

    I currently use Flickr paid for everything and have over 8,000 photos I'm going to move to Google/Picasa if it works out alright. I have never had issues with size restriction/manipulation by Flickr.
     
  19. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #20
    After exploring Zenfolio, I like it more... even cleaner UI with the right settings.

    I think the quality of their JPEG encoding is better... You can see the difference by looking at the artifacts around ...

    Zenfolio...

    [​IMG]

    Smugmug...

    [​IMG]

    I'll PM you for a referral code.
     
  20. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    Personally I don't see what is so wrong with Flickr. Tons of traffic should make up for, at least in part, poor compression. And if you pay for Flickr people can see the original sized image if they want to see it. If someone is looking at your site from an iPhone you don't want to saddle them with 10000x8000 pixel image. I just feel that Flickr gives the most robust offering coupled with significant web traffic.

    With that being said, I don't host my portfolio on any open site, I have my own website. Flickr, Smugmug, et al. is great to show off work and snaps, but Im not sure if I think a portfolio should be on free or open site. My 2 most viewed images on Flickr are a funny shot of a sign and a shot of my tattoo. Not really things I want in my portfolio that a client might be looking through. Thats just IMO though, YMMV.
     
  21. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #22
    The sharpness of my images is important... Flickr's compression ruins that and their default display size is tiny.

    What are you using for your own site? Is it Wordpress based or custom coded?
     
  22. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #23
    Smugmug. End of story. Can't say enough good things about it.
     
  23. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #24
    +1

    Flickr works quite robust for me. The site is always up, the upload/download speed is fast. You can upload all resolutions and everybody can download a full res pic if they need it. The upload tools are great and easy to use. No limitations that I'm aware of. Only the sorting of pics into sets and batch editing seems a bit counter intuitive to me.
     
  24. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #25
    FYI, your results on Facebook will be MUCH improved if you do three things before exporting:

    1. Resize everything to 604 pixels (that's 604, NOT 640) on the long edge; FB uses a NASTY downsizing algorithm, and you can definitely do better yourself.

    2. After the downrez, give your image some extra Unsharp Mask

    3. Make sure you export as sRGB (this applies to everything that ends up on the web, of course)
     

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