Kodak Gallery photo sharing and printing service review

The Kodak Gallery, Kodak's online photo sharing site has been around for some time now, however with the launch of the company's new range of digital photo frames, the service has been pushed to the forefront.

With this in mind, we tested the service to see whether this really is the way to look after your images.

While digital photography gives you that instant gratification, bar looking at what you've taken on the back of a camera screen normally seconds after you've taken it, most of us don't do much with our digital images after that.

Stored deep in a folder on your hard drive you could say the state of photography is worst today than it was when you stored all your photos in a shoebox in the cupboard.

So what are we supposed to do about it? Well Kodak wants you to share them. Launched 2 years ago, Kodak Gallery is a free online photo sharing service that offers storage, sharing and printing services all at the click of a couple of buttons.

The service is very easy to use. You create albums, upload the images from your computer, or in some cases camera or mobile phone and then organise accordingly.

Where Kodak wins over other online photo sharing services like Photobox isn't on price (Photobox is cheaper), but in use with devices like the new digital photo frames, and the company's EasyShare One digital camera that allows you, Wi-Fi connection willing, to instantly upload your images with the click of a button on the camera.

Like other systems you don't just need a PC either. Camera phone users can MMS their images into the service and then share them with the world.

The benefits of such a service as you can imagine is not having to worry about storage space on your own machine or the worry that you will lose them to a virus.

While your account is password protected, you can opt to make some of your albums accessible to friends and family (password protected or not) and in doing so they can order prints and gifts if they wish without bothering you.

As you might have guessed the Kodak Gallery isn't just about viewing images online but also getting prints of them. The service offers regular prints in a number of sizes from your images as well as the usual array of gifts like aprons, mugs, coasters, canvases and photo books.

The canvases and photo books are the most impressive of the lot and as long as your upload image quality is good, the results are too (we wouldn't recommend trying to get a mobile phone image printed at 24" x 20" though).

Verdict

Whether you've got or planning to get one of the company's new digital photo frames, the Kodak Gallery is very easy to use.

The ability to wireless stream images from the service to your digital photo frame anywhere in the house is the services key strength over cheaper alternatives.

While the printing quality is good and the overall price of the service not bad it is more expensive than Photobox.com.

Furthermore the drawback is that you have to be online to do anything and those looking for an offline solution might prefer to do all there arranging in software applications like Apple's iPhoto or Adobe's Photoshop Elements 5.

If you're not fussed about the digital photo frame feature then we would recommend Photobox as it is virtually identical to use, but the printing costs are fractionally cheaper for regular prints. However if you are thinking of getting one of the new frames or perhaps opting for the company's EasyShare One digital camera, then this is a great service that ties in nicely with both.