500px: When Did Viewing Pictures Get This Good?

The world we live in is beautiful. Photographs allow you to see far more of it than you could ever dream. Occasionally, I come across one or two fantastic pictures of great scenes that amaze and astounding me. Till now, it’s been hard to find a tool which compiles all of these into one database – but 500px could be it. Transferring the quality and class over from the popular webpage, this new Android app has a promising future.

500px gives you an enormous variety of images, all high quality and superb. Taken from an enormous amount of photographers you can easily pick out the best.

An Introduction to 500px

500px is a service that started in 2009 and now has over 7 million visits a month – a huge growth! It prides itself on “Encouraging aspiring and professional photographers”, and this is hugely apparent as the amount of publicity small photographers can receive is amazing. The service does a great job of motivating beginners to get into the world of photography.

The 500px Webpage

The first application for 500px was introduced onto the iPad, quickly gaining 100,000 downloads in its first week. (Jacob Penderworth “>reviewed the app over at iPad.AppStorm.) In April 2012, Retina display compatibility and the ability to purchase copies of photos were added – along with Android tablet and smartphone versions of the app.

Unfortunately, the Android app is less functional than the iPad app, and is unable to access some of the most desirable features!


The interface is sleek and stylish. From the start screen you’ll notice a simple black and white colour scheme, which helps to pull the layout together, accompanied by a mosaic of pictures, providing an easy way to view the images.

The Mosaic Layout of Pictures

Along the sidebar you have five different selection options: Popular, Editors, Upcoming, Fresh and Search. These allow you to get some variation in the images you view. All of these categories help you to distinguish between different styles and photographers – an excellent feature for sorting through your favourite pictures.


Selecting a picture from the mosaic gives you the ability to view the picture at a higher resolution and with far more detail. Tapping the picture again gives you some extra information, too, like the name of the image and the photographer, and the rating other users gave the style. This feature encourages a community spirit on 500px.

A Sample Picture of a Field

Allowing you to view friends’ photos by logging in is something I really enjoyed, and again this encourages more users to join the service.

Features I Loved

Aside from the extra information I mentioned above, for each image you can also view the the upload date, description, and (my favourite) the camera used to snap the photo. The latter facility allows you to view all the specifications of the camera, from shutter speed to focal length! Turns out, the most popular camera used on 500px is the Canon 5D Mark II.

Being able to set up a slideshow to circulate images is also great. This allowed me to turn my tablet into my own interactive photo frame, and easily set the timings on the pictures – a perfect addition to any room.

You have the ability to view all of these pictures and features for free, which is very impressive considering the quality. Admittedly, though, this app doesn’t possess some features of the iPad version or web version, which both come with payment options. Most notably, the Android app lacks the ability to upload your own images.

The ability to comment on pictures is awesome!

Adverts are normally scattered everywhere to gain extra revenue with free apps. However, 500px have created this app only to promote the main website, giving users a small sneak peak into the full capacity of their service, so it is ad-free.

500px is full of ways to share images and interact with other users. My favourite is to send pictures directly to Facebook and Twitter.


Possessing many fascinating features which will appeal to many users, this app is a must for anyone who adores great photography. The amazing styles and angles will surely brighten up your day.

For a free application which contains no adverts and still runs to a high standard it’s admirable; as a quick service to satisfy your needs, I don’t see much fault. The only criticism I could give would be to see features transferred over from the iPad version, but I’m sure these will be added over time.


As a high quality and all round inspiring photo viewing service, 500px allows you to navigate through millions of the best images on earth. Taken by a range of different photographers the variation in shots is great!