With 10+ megapixel digital camera becoming a norm these days, the photo file sizes can be very large depending on format and compression. The large size create significant problems for sharing or sending even with today’s broadband networks. Another complication is the RAW photo files. Each camera manufacturer has its own RAW format. Almost no photo sharing or social networking site will take those type of RAW photos. So what are the options for sharing or sending large photo files or RAW photos when a downsized small JPEG photo is not enough?
Photo sharing sites
If JPEG format is not a problem for you, photo sharing site such as Yahoo Flickr and Google Picasa Web Albums are good choices. Google Picasa Web Album and Flickr Pro accounts allow individual photos up to 20MB in size. If you are a free Flickr account user the limit is unfortunately 10MB. To share on Flickr, the recipient has to have a Pro account to be able to download the original photos. Google Picasa Web Album does not seem to have this restriction.
If you are a Nikon shooter, you may want to consider Nikon’s My Picturetown photo sharing site. It gives you 2GB free storage and supports various format including RAW photos! You can even share original NEF photos.
Your own website
If you have a website so you can upload your photos there. Just let people with whom you want to share the photos know where they are. By putting the files in a unique folder that only the selected people know, you can control access without complicated access control system.
For occasional use, it works out ok. You may want to know the attachment size limits of both your email account and the recipients. For example, a free Yahoo! account can only send emails with <10M size but the paid Yahoo! Plus and Google email (including free account) allows 20M emails.
Use file sharing and sending service
Services such as mediafire, yousendit, or rapidshare allow you to send or share large files easily. You can also consider Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which allows 25GB storage and files up to 50MB in size. There are more services like these, just google “large file hosting”. When you choose the services, pay attention to the file size and traffic limits. Some services ask you to pay for a “pro” account in order to overcome the limits of the free account.
What else can help?
Compress your photo using file compression utility. The open source free software 7-zip supports multiple formats and can achieve high compression ratio.