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Photo Sharing Sites: Have you used 500px.com or Smugmug.com?

500px

I've been on 500px for a couple of weeks now; It does seem like the new edge in terms of photo sharing sites indeed, but it's probably too early to judge its long-term stamina. At this point, the website is positioned as high-end content (think 1X) but with the openness of Flickr and some nice social networking features. One of the big open questions for 500px is whether they can maintain the current apparent level of quality (in terms of photos submitted) as they grow larger. In other words, how do they get the size of Flickr without sacrificing quality?

At the moment, 500px seems to be working on enabling photo sales through Fotomoto. According to this link, photo sales are currently active and functional, but the link to activate them is not yet in the normal user interface as the tests are not yet complete. You can sell photos either through the free account or through a paid account ("awesome"). With that in mind, and with the added features you get when you upgrade to awesome, 500px has a lot of potential.

Complacency

I recently deactivated a smugmug account. I thought Smugmug was great for photo sharing, but most of the things I wanted to use were only available on their paid account. I chose to build my own website instead of upgrading, but Smugmug is being used successfully by many photographers to do exactly what you're looking for. I was a little disappointed with their social networking features. They have groups to share photos among smugmug users, but I've never seen much activity being driven out of these groups. It's too early to say if my experience will be any different for 500px so I'll withhold judgment I guess.

You can activate photo sales through a basic account ($ 40 / year). Be sure to read the feature list, however, as many sales features (such as setting your own prices) are only available in the Pro account ($ 150 / year).

Summary

For now, the safe call is likely to be a Smugmug Pro account. They are a tried and tested product and are stable. However, if you're feeling the least bit daring, 500px has a lot to offer, and you can try almost anything for free. Had I known about 500px, I would probably have skipped setting up my own site and just tossed all of my eggs in that basket. The way it is, I'll stay active there for a while and see how well the site matures.

Chrisjlee

I also use smugmug pro. I find it very helpful when you need a simple, quick basket solution to sell and display your photos.

AJ Finch

Thank you for a really complete summary, @ D.Lambert. very appreciated. I'll try the free accounts for both of them. I am sure there will be a new one around the corner too! :) :)

D. Lambert

Unfortunately, the only free option for Smugmug is the trial, but you should be able to see what they are about pretty quickly.

Jaxxon

You cannot currently sell photos at 500px in the portfolio. Only in public 500px.com mode. In other words, if you upgrade to "awesome" and put your domain on your 500px portfolio (your own logo, the white label UI, etc) you know what? You can't sell your photos there! Still, 500px is worth a look. Allegedly they are working on activating the shopping cart in your portfolio as well. Plus, the 500px portfolio isn't very customizable at all - especially when compared to SmugMug, which is almost TOO customizable. GOOD LUCK!

D. Lambert

Too bad - considering the put option is brand new hopefully they are still working on it. I can see where 500px probably isn't as customizable as complacent - this is one area where the added cost brings you something of value.