Paradigm X

Vision quests of a soulhacker

Europe Summer 2012 and 500px

I spent my summer vacation with my family in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s the first time I visit Europe. Had bunch of photos, most of which are taken by my Fujifilm Finepix X100 with its wide conversion lens WCL-X100. After one and half months I finally picked up ~150 photos and uploaded them to 500px.

X100 is a really amazing camera. Its top-of-the-line APS-C sized CMOS sensor provides great resolution and SNR. Its prime lens (with field of view equivalent to 35mm and 28mm lens on full frame) are especially suitable for landscape and cultural photography. iPhone 4S is a great backup, provide fairly good photos even in some typically difficult scenarios for compact DCs. Remember all these are very lightweight. Farewell my big DSLRs. The best cameras are the ones you always take with you.

As for the digital darkroom, Aperture is a perfect tool both on organising and editing. And the 500px Uploader developed by iKenndac significantly simplifies the process of uploading photos to 500px. But I have some serious suggestions for 500px. Yep, this is the real reason I wrote this blog.

First of all, please provide full support to all high DPI displays, i.e. iPhone 4/4S/5, the latest iPad and the MBP with Retina Display. You are a professional photography site and you have to support the best display devices in this planet, don’t you? It feels very bad when I see those low resolution photos in the shiny Retina Display MBP, especially when I’ve uploaded all the full resolution(12MP) images.

Second, re-design your site navigation please. Think about it, user has profile, sets and stories. When I dig into some photo I want clear path to get out (e.g. back to a set or story). And I’d like some shortcut to quickly navigate between my sets and stories. The site’s navigation design does not exist, for now.

Third, the Organizer should be designed for batch operation. We can only drag one photo at a time. I uploaded several hundreds photos and had to drag several hundreds times to move them to specific sets. How could it work sir?

The last but not least. Why add some grey corner to the photo thumb in the set view? Just to put the shopping cart icon there? Do you know that the grey corners are most common flaws of photos? The grey corners make my photos look flawed and it’s not cool.

If I have time I can list more issues on 500px’s function and interaction design. But I think the ones listed are more than enough.

Actually 500px has some very good sense and idea on high quality photo sharing and exchanging. But the bad user experience (although the UI is beautiful and fairly responsive) and slow development may kill it. I’m a Plus member for a while but I highly doubt that I will upgrade to Awesome without seeing some significant changes on the site.