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SmugMug Reviews

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Editor's Overall Rating:
Average User Rating:
(based on 8 reviews)

Category: Photo Sharing Websites (AKA Online Photo Album Sites)
Website: http://www.smugmug.com

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Not perfect, but one of the best.
30 November 2012
Reviewer: Channel Steve from Saigon, Vietnam

221 of 412 people found this review helpful

Quality of Sharing Features:
Range/Quality of Prints and Gifts:
Other Features:
Ease of Use / Navigation:
Ease of Joining / Registration:
Customer Support:
Value for Money:
Overall Star Rating:

Before you get too excited by all the Smugmug hype, be careful to check under the hood.

It's clear once you get into the nitty gritty details that this is a labor of love created and maintained by enthusiastic amateurs. This would be fine if the service wasn't being marketed to industry professionals.

Regular engagement of the Support team is necessary because things tend to disappear, change, stop working regularly etc. Response is rapid, but the personnel tend to consider you to be pretty dumb and assume from the beginning that you've done something stupid, without reading your ticket in any depth or doing any preliminary checking. Given most of the users are semi-pro or pro photographers, that attitude can be insulting.

A nice aspect is that you can make up for the lack of useful social engagement on the service by exporting full galleries to Facebook (at a functional low-rez), along with a supporting link to the full-size photo on Smugmug. Although that still limits your gallery's social life to your closed Facebook friend list, which has nothing on Flickr's built-in userbase, it's better than offering only a link to your gallery as Flickr does.

The galleries themselves are able to presented in a more attractive fashion than Flickr, and navigation seems faster. Storing the full-size photos is important and welcome, but of course that comes with a massive upload time overhead. I tend to run an upload of 50-200 images out of Lightroom overnight.

In summary, the product has great potential, but needs to get a lot more robust before it can truly be considered a Flickr-killer.

Important note to those who consider geo-tagging and mapping important - The included mapping function is quite poorly implemented and only supports a total of 150 pins. Yes, you read that right - only your latest 150 uploads can be viewed on a single map, whether that be a gallery map, or overall site map on the front page. Also, the maps they use are rubbish. If it ain't Google, I ain't interested.

Nowhere on the site is this information provided, and I am flabbergasted that the limitation exists at all.

In summary, I would recommend SmugMug to a friend.

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