The Web and Your Pictures: How Four Sites Stack Up
Yahoo Photos, a popular online photo-hosting site, is shutting down on Sept. 20, after which any images stored there will head into photo oblivion. Until then, you can buy a CD of your images or download them for free to your desktop. You can also move them to one of five suggested photo-hosting sites: Kodak Easy Share Gallery ( http:/
Most of the above sites are popular corporate options (Yahoo owns Flickr, Fox Media owns Photobucket, Kodak runs the Easy Share Gallery and Hewlett-Packard owns Snapfish). But what about the lesser-known choices? Here's a look at four independent photo-hosting sites with which you may be less familiar. -- Anne McDonough
Standard account: Free
Upgrade: Premium, $30 a year
Pros and cons: Free account starts with premium features (unlimited storage, no ads and control over image downloading); after 14 days, account is downgraded to standard or you pay to continue with premium. . . . Standard account includes only 50 megabytes of free storage. . . . Billed as a "media social network," it can store photo and video files and can host your "Fotki journal" or blog. . . . Backup digital images are stored in several locations. . . . Ongoing photo contests.
Print costs: 9 cents per 4-by-6; $1.95 for shipping up to 50 images
Smugmug (www.smugmug.com )
Standard account: $39.95 a year
Upgrade: Power User, $59.95 a year, and Professional, $149.95 a year
Pros and cons: No ads . . . Power users can customize their site and host video clips; pros can set their own print prices, sell digital downloads and apply customized watermarks. . . . Copies of each image are saved to backup servers in three states. . . . Unlimited uploading and storage in all categories. . . . Handy chart compares print sizes for compact digital cameras vs. single-lens reflex. . . . Will migrate galleries from Yahoo Photos and Flickr, with 50 percent off a standard account.
Print costs: 19 cents per 4-by-6; $1.75 for shipping up to 10 images
Standard account: Free
Upgrade: Pro, $19.95 a year
Pros and cons: Unlimited uploads . . . Sign up as a pro to get rid of ads. . . . Flickr users will find the interface familiar. . . . The "zipline" feature lets you track fans of your photos, as well as keep an eye on your favorite photogs. . . . User comments report repeated bugs in the system. . . . Recently released "marketplace" tag lets you set prices for your images, plus searches for images displaying similar color palettes. . . . The "Discover" section shows the "most awesome" 100 photos from the last hour, last day, last week and last year.
Print costs: Currently no print option available.
Standard account: $19.95 a year
Pros and cons: 60-day free trial now available. . . . No ads . . . Unlimited storage and backup . . . Light-box options let you control image display. . . . New features will launch by October, including flash-enabled galleries and sort-by-camera-settings options.
Print costs: 15 cents per 4-by-6 via Qoop ( http:/