If you're a photographer and you're online you've probably heard about the new photo sharing/social media service 500px. It's touted as the new photo sharing site for professionals and I have to agree. I've been using 500px for a few months now and I have to tell you that I'm hooked. Not only is the quality of the photography better than sites like Flickr and Image bucket, but there is constantly a fresh supply of quality photos on every genre which keeps me inspired. My buddy Scott Kelby did a write up on the site, and how it works a month or so ago which you can find here. I'm not going to repeat Scott's write up and explain how the super advance algorithm keeps the photos fresh and of good quality but if you're interested you should head over and read how it works, it's worth the click. The initial iPad App offering from 500px is a really good one, albeit lacking a few key features that I would like to see added. If you're not already on 500px you can go here to sign up for a free account. Once you do, don't forget to see some of my stuff and follow me here.
This App is made for Viewing
The first thing that you notice when you launch the 500px App is the beautiful way it handles viewing photos from the 500px site. The App presents a beautiful grid layout of the "popular images" (which is selected by default). Other sections to view include Editors picks (these are the images that the editors have chosen as favorites), Upcoming images (this is pretty self explanatory, these are the images that are moving up in the rankings quickly), Fresh images (these are images that have recently been uploaded), You (these are your images, Friends (again, self explanatory these are your friends images), and favorites (your favorite images). Each of these sections brings up the images contained within in a grid view both horizontally or vertically (depending on iPad orientation). Double tapping an image brings it full sized on the screen. It also brings up the photographer's name, the image title, and it's rating. It also brings up the number of views, votes, and faves. Also on the full screen view is the ability to favorite, to vote for, and to leave comments on the image.
From the full screen view of any image in any section within the 500px App lies the ability to play a slideshow of every image contained within that collection. You can choose the transition type between images, the slide duration, as well as music for the slideshow.
There are 5 options for sharing images from the 500px App. Natively it supports Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, and email. The 500px App also allows you to open an image in Safari which in turn allows you to copy the direct link to the photo for use anywhere.
What I'd like to see
Just like any App, there are things that need to be improved upon. 500px is a photo sharing website, however the option to upload images directly from your iPad is curiously missing. This App is designed for image viewing only. The only thing I can guess is that they are trying to restrict the images to better quality and they feel that to keep that quality they need to restrict people to uploading images from their computer instead of their mobile device. I don't know that for sure, but it's just my guess. Hopefully one of their developers will read this review and fill us in on the thought process in the comment section. The other glaring omission that I see in this App is the ability to see the profile of your friend's or all other user's profiles for that matter. On the site each member is given room to tell about themselves, where they're from, what gear they use etc. No where on this App is there the ability to see those things. I would venture to say that it will be added in future updates since this is the first version, but only time will tell.
The Bottom Line
If you love 500px as much as I do, then you have to get this App for your iPad. The ability to view your images on the go, on what many consider to be the best image viewing device in the world makes it well worth the 30 seconds that it takes to download, and the small amount of space that it occupies on your iPad.