I've used a few easy to use packages like gallery2, EE, jalbum but I found these lacking in that they did not allow me to create multi-level galleries. In other words, I was restricted to one category with any number of albums. NOT good enough to organize photographs for easy viewing once you went beyond a couple of hundred pictures. Furthermore, they created HTML pages for each which ate up too much space on my server.
One not mentioned is Lightbox. A commercial product that is almost identical to CPG. It uses a feature called "lightbox" which is the same as CPG's "my favorites".
The more expensive packages like photostore have one thing that CPG lacks and that is (forgive me Joachim and Tranz) a customizable, theme consistent, entry page with a whole lot of built in options (the most of which the average user has little use for). I like the idea of an entry page that is consistent with the selected theme, I just don't want it to be hard coded with difficult to modify frames and tables. The very expensive commercial packages I tried, look like sterile business sites, much like a standard page from Microsoft's site, with limited themes that are more often just color changes. Usually menus are on the left either drop down or fixed (a more sophisticated menu system than CPG's 'fruity' theme. One could accomplish the same thing with CPG-nUke -- now called dragonfly -- which uses CPG as it's core gallery engine. Dragonfly, however, has a more customizable entry page than photostore and most other commercial packages.
Most seem to have built in commerce plug-ins. But the one's I've tried are no better than Casper's various MODs. With most, you have to set prices to individual pictures.
The greatest advantage that CPG has over these commerical packages, in my opinion, is this support forum. You folks are great. Replies are fast and everyone is helpful. I'm impressed and I do recommend Coppermine to all my artist friends. Commerical programs won't help you if you want to change the hardcoded look of their programs - but Not Coppermine. And what artist doesn't want to change the look of their page?
Customizable, big plus! It makes it interesting to work with, and you really feel like you OWN your gallery. You really can't say that for most other packages.
I've been at HTML and PHP for seven weeks, just over four weeks with coppermine and I've accomplished much more than I had ever envisioned was possible - thanks to these boards and all of your great help.
And now that you have a fast server - previously Coppermine's biggest drawback, I couldn't be happier.
Thanks again for all that you people do,
using heavily modified CPG 1.4 with Singapore theme.