Managing digital photo overload

April 19, 2011 8:39:51 PM PDT
Whether you have them on your computer, on your cell phone, or in your digital camera, chances are you don't know what to do with all of your photos.

It's time to get organized! Consumer Reports ShopSmart says there are more online photo sites than ever and just checked out 10 of them.

ShopSmart looked at how much storage space you get, how much you'll pay, print prices, and other special features, so that you can figure out which site is right for you.

If you simply want some storage space, Shutterfly and Snapfish offer unlimited photo storage no matter what. Some sites, such as the Walmart Photo Center and Kodak Gallery, require one purchase per year for that free unlimited storage.

For beginners, Snapfish offers easy-to-use photo-editing options such as cropping and "fixes" such as removing red eye.

At Photobucket, a click of a button shares your pictures on sites such as Facebook. Keep in mind that with Photobucket, if you need more than 500 megabytes of storage (about 150 photos at the highest resolution), you'll pay about $25 a year.

As far as making prints, you have plenty of options. A plus at Shutterfly: If you need prints fast, you can pick them up in an hour at several locations, including Target. ShopSmart didn't test for print quality, but as far as costs go, most 4x6-inch prints will run you anywhere from 9 to 15 cents apiece.

And ShopSmart says that if you can tolerate the e-mail, sign up for special offers because you can get great deals and coupons for photo books and lots of other picture projects.

Another plus: ShopSmart says that all of the 10 photo sites it checked out guarantee that your photos will be stored securely and can only be viewed with a password.