Kodak Gallery is a poor choice for online photo storage. As of this month, they’ve changed their storage policy so that now you must spend a minimum amount—$4.99 or $19.99, depending on whether you’re under or over 2GB of storage—every 12 months or your pics will be deleted. By comparison, Shutterfly has no minimum spending requirement and unlimited storage.
Update: Kodak Gallery has modified its storage policy. The minimum purchase requirement remains in effect, but now the service won’t charge for downloading high-rez copies of the stored images (something no other photo product service that we know of currently offers).
Both sites charge 15 cents per print, so there’s no savings from Kodak Gallery when it comes to printing.
Threatening to delete your photos is bad enough, but Kodak Gallery also overcharges for archive CDs. We’re not big fans of the one-way storage solutions offered by most photo storage sites, and Shutterfly is as guilty as Kodak in this regard—you can upload all you want, but will have to pay to get those photos back should you lose your own copy some day. But compare these prices from the two companies (current as of March 23, 2009) for 2,000 photos on an archive CD:
Kodak Gallery: $55
We’re just comparing Shutterfly to Kodak, but there are other services you may want to check out as well. Snapfish, another popular site, falls somewhere between the two: 4×6 prints are only 9 cents and there are no explicit spending requirements to keep your account active, but retrieving your images from them is ridiculously expensive.
If you’re going to be downloading lots of your stored images frequently, consider a $25 annual Flickr membership (unlimited storage, free access to high-rez versions of your photos). Otherwise, Shutterfly is far and away a cheaper alternative to Kodak Gallery.
(Thanks to Edward!)