Sharpcast will store as many photos as you can throw at them for free and let you share them with other members, so what's the catch?
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Sharpcast Photo is an interesting find for me at PMA. The service offers to be your permanent, secure, remote store for all your photos and you don't even need to pay for the service, though an inexpensive premium service looks very attractive. It's been on beta trial for several months and it's now launched as a commercial service.
Think of an instant messaging service that takes care of all your photos, on a secure remote storage system, for a nominal sum per month and you have a very rough idea of what Sharpcast is all about. You can share your photos with other Sharpcast members easily and quickly using Sharpcast's image synchronisation system.
Free and premium services
There is a free service and a $5.99 (just over £3, or EU€5) per month premium service. Using a free Sharpcast client application on your computer you can upload as many JPEG images, including full resolution camera originals and, for up to a month. After a month, if you haven't upgraded to the premium service, your pictures will be resized to 1600 pixels wide, but they will continue to be stored securely for you, indefinitely, and you can continue to share them with other Sharpcast members for free.
The $5.99 monthly charge, which is discounted to $64.99 per year, prevents your photos from being resized after the first month is up. Once signed up to the premium service, you can upload as many JPEG images to the service as your broadband connection can handle.
Just like an instant messaging service, you can form groups of other Sharpcast members and let them have access to some or all of your photos. If you would like a particular member or group of members to see a particular photo, you simply drag its icon onto the member or group icon in the Sharpcast software and they instantly see the thumbnail image of that photo. You can even rearrange the order of the photos and these changes will be updated in real time.
As the service is internet-based, photo viewing, uploading and sharing is only limited by the availability of a reasonably fast internet connection, anywhere in the world.
There is a library of additional services available, including photo chats, iPod syncing, photo printing and support for mobile phone imaging.
Although the service is basically limited to JPEG still images, I was told that RAW file images will be catered for in the future.
The Sharpcast offer does seem compelling and although we've been racking our brains, we can't think of an obvious catch, apart from the need to place a lot of trust in Sharpcast to look after your photos for ever, if you decided to depend on them as your only storage centre.
Discuss this story:
Sharpcast sophisticated and affordable remote image storage and sharing
DPNow Sharpcast sophisticated and affordable remote image storage and sharing
Sharpcast Photos has been available as a free beta service for some months, but the remote image sto... (more)
turbinca Re: Sharpcast sophisticated and affordable remote image storage and sharing
Pixilive is a free image hosting service. Upload your pictures, images or videos and share them easi... (more)
Ian Re: Sharpcast sophisticated and affordable remote image storage and sharing
But is it as smart as SharpCast - the online storage aspect is one thing, but the real time sharing ... (more)
Stephen Re: Sharpcast sophisticated and affordable remote image storage and sharing
Totally different style of product so far as I can see... (more)