Worthwhile alternative to Flickr???

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by digitalandfilm, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I clipped a blurb about it from a blog.. but unfortunately navigated away, but here is the website:

    500px is Photography

    If you’re an active photographer on social network, you likely would have heard about 500px by now – a photo sharing site that’s been gaining momentum in the past few weeks. With so many social sites, is this just another one of many that will be popular for a few weeks and be quickly forgotten? Or are we finally seeing a worthy competition to Flickr?

    I’ve played with the site for the past few days, and I love what I’m seeing so far.

    First, what is 500px? The site is based out of Toronto, Canada and actually have been in existence before Flickr, as it started back as a community on Livejournal eight years ago. The site was founded by Ian Sobolev and Oleg Gutsol with an an idea to gather the best photographs in one place. The site remained this way for years, but recently the founders decided to redesign it and release a new version of it. Instead of curating it, they’ve opened it up for the public to select “popular” photos. You can read an interview with the founder Ian here about the site history and the vision the founders have for it.

    Today the site’s main focus is photographers and photography. It’s not a place to upload and store archives (although uploads are unlimited for $50/year). It’s also not a good place to post family and travel snap shots – although that’s of course allowed. These images just won’t be popular. But today 500px is a place for photographers to show their work and also saw the work of other photographers. To read more about the site’s history and purpose, jump here.

    I’ve noticed that some of the better known photographers I’ve followed online are making the jump to 500px. You’ll see many familiar faces you’ll already know from Flickr, Instagram and other popular sites. This of course caught my attention, and I joined too. You can find me here.

    Here are some of the things I am liking about the web-site so far.

    The founders of 500px are photographers themselves. You can see their work here and here. When photography is driving their desire to improve the site, we all win. They post photos to their streams, and they comment on other photos.
    Customer service is great. 500px is quickly responding in their Help forum, or via Twitter. This part gives 500px a startup feel – which they still kind of are, with the recent change in site’s purpose and new growth.
    Interface of the web-site is great. I love the grey background, and the size of the photos. Photos are shown big! This is 2011, after all. If you enjoy web-sites like The Big Picture, you’ll love seeing the way your work is displayed on 500px. Here is one example – click here. Photos just look better this way.
    Want to promote your photography business? No problem. No need to hide any links in the profile where they’re limited to one link. Want to mention selling prints? Go head. The mission of 500px is to bring the exposure to the photographers – whatever it takes.
    The selection of photos so far is very diverse. It’s different from Flickr where it’s dominated largely by such things as flowers, HDR, and cute bokehs. When you look through the selection of Popular photos, it’s quite different in content than Flickr’s Explore.
    The site also presents an option of showing off a portfolio of work. Here is one example – link.
    The views and interactions on the photographs uploaded happened right away for me. I remember it took me at least a month of being active on Flickr to start getting noticed. Here I got one of images to show up on the 2nd page of “Popular” right off the bat.
    There’s a new audience here. In the beginning, the focus of 500px was on the Russian photographers. They’re still there – but they are not on Flickr. It’s a whole new community – and a whole new audience to present my work to.
    There’s also commercial element to the web-site. The work is not only shown, but can also be sold through the 500px (and they only take 5% commission). Haven’t explored that element yet, but it’s there.
    So far I’ve enjoyed the web-site, and will continue to be active there. But with that, here are some of the things that I hope 500px can fix soon.

    Metadata is still not being read in full when the image is uploaded. Sometimes it’s not being read at all – other times, basic information shows up, but not such items as keywords and titles. The founders said this is a high priority item for them, and will soon be fixed.
    There is a good amount of artistic nudes on the site when one is browsing through the “Popular” section. That’s of course a big part of photography, but it would be useful to have an option to hide it. I was told it’s also in the works. The nudes do not show up when one is browsing the selection without being logged in, so I would think it’s an easy fix. Otherwise, the site is not always safe for work place, or for kids.
    An iPad/iPhone app would be great to have too, as this is where I spend a good chunk of my leisure time online. I had no problem browsing 500px in Safari on an iPad – it’s fast and not glitchy. But a native app may make this experience easier and more pleasant.
    If you joined the site, leave the link to your site in comments and I’ll follow you back. You can find my profile here – 500px / Ivan Makarov

    I hope the site continues to grow and improve, because nothing improves service like a good competition – and we’ve been looking for one for Flickr for years now.
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  2. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I think 500px has a long way to go before I use it, but it looks like a great alternative. flickr had so much potential, and then it just stopped innovating it seems.

    My issues w/ 500px are pricing for what it offers, navigation, and how busy it seems trying to accomplish all those things it wants to do.
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    You can read some opinions on 500px here.

    I think the price of an 'Awesome' account is double that of a flickr 'pro' account. Also keep in mind that 500px is not a new site. It was started in 2003 and the current format was adopted in 2009, so whatever format and interface they have now is mature enough that I don't expect any sweeping changes anytime soon (if you want it to be different to what it already is). Some of the extra features that it offers over flickr (like a customisable profile) are not available in the free accounts. You also don't seem to be able to create more than one set (to use flickr terminology) unless you upgrade. What is nice about it is that the default image view is larger than flickr and the basic exif data is displayed without having to click through to find it.
  4. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I haven't tried 500px but have been quite happy with SmugMug. Unfortunately they don't seem to have much of a "community" - but hey, that's what this forum is for! :thumbup:

    I agree though that flickr has really gotten behind in the times. Their website seems like it's still designed in 1998 for pages 640 pixels in width... :rolleyes:
  5. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks digitalandfilm for the heads up on this. I've signed up and uploaded a few pictures already. I love the layout and it certainly is more up to date than Flickr. Easy to navigate around and intuitive.

    For those that sign up or are already on 500px my username is iconindustries. So add me as a friend.

    The photos on this site are simply stunning. It speaks of quality.
  6. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    +1 for SmugMug. There is no sense of community there, but if want great hosting for your pics and videos I can't think of another site that offers such a great balance of price, features and convenience.
  7. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yeah I'm not really into the nude thing and I just noticed they have a little check box where you can select or deselect the option of having nudes show up in the searches.

    They're on the ball!
  8. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    I kind of looks like a hipster version of flickr.
  9. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What does that mean?
  10. PSimmons

    PSimmons Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 24, 2010
    Central Florida
    I love 500px for the way it displays photos but for my money nothing replcates the community feel of flickr or specialized forums like mu-43. There is nowhere on 500px to discuss or share ideas/tips/tricks etc. Its more like a really beautiful group portfolio and there's nothing wrong with that. Some of the works displayed there are absolutely jaw dropping and inspiring
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I looked through many of their samples. It seems very, very commercial, and there is a LOT of nudes. Not quite the community aesthetic I am looking for, as an amateur/hobbyist. But Flickr is terrible.
  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    I dig the community feel of flickr, but they REALLY need to work on presentation. 500mpx looks nice for displaying a portofolio. Neither one really gets the balance that I want, so I'll stick with flickr. It should be easier to improve the layout than to build a community.
  13. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    Flickr is trying to be more of an interactive online community. Which I think is why it looks the was it does (not so great image presentation)
  14. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I have a lot of gripes about Flickr, especially the tiny thumbnails and outdated format.

    There are lots of, for lack of a better word, miserable folks on Flickr who use critique's and curation to crap all over other peoples work.

    This is especially true in SmugMugs forums, where moderators and a "select" few tear apart amateurs and those who disagree with them.

    I will probably move away from Flickr and I already set up a 500px "Awesome" account.

    Use the coupon code "friends" and get $10 off signing up.
  15. andrewteee

    andrewteee Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 14, 2009
    There is still nothing like Flickr. Yes, it seems to have slowed to a snail crawl innovation-wise (is that really a bad thing, though?), but has content and it has the largest community. I use Zenfolio for sharing family photos. I use Flickr (and my blog) for sharing more artistic work.

    I learned about 500px a few weeks ago. It looks interesting, but it is not (yet) a replacement for Flickr.
  16. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    really? in the dgrin forums? I've never looked at the pictures, just float around in support and customizations. But that's sad given how much I like their service.
  17. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Real Name:
    Daniele Frizzi
    I like deviantART, but it's a more wider community for all arts.
    Nevertheless, great photographers are there.
  18. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    I use Smugmug and I'm happy with it, but I simply never browse the Smugmug forum(s). No issues with Smugmug so far, it's convenient, flexible and nice IMHO.
  19. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    After one day, I'm very happy with 500px.com!

    Loaded up some select street shots, and I have one in the pack for "upcoming" photo.

    The voting part is very interesting, and the international flavor of the clientele is a godsend.

    With Flickr, there is a great amount of images- that's for certain. But my take is that it is like Army Food- It sucks and they give you as much as you want.

    Really- how many overcooked HDR's, Model Mayhem pigs, worthless "street shots", cell phone pictures, and grainy garbage do you actually want to see?

    As to the nude thing.. I guess Russia and Eastern Europe is having some sort of sexual revolution.. I enjoy the female form as much as the next guy- but (like landscapes) it is not on my "A" list.

    The stuff that is on 500px is lightyears better than *any* other service available now.. only Zenfolio is in the same league (IMHO).
  20. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    If I want nudes I will shoot pictures of my dogs without their collars.
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