Which is the best lightbox clone for jQuery?

We are ethical swinger javascript coders. That means - we are people who practice the swinging lifestyle and support/advocate it. 10% of our time we support swingers related websites - swingers clubs directories, social networks, events lists and do it for free. If you didn't get into our 10% window and you are representing any alternative relationship/sex lifestyle (polyamory, swing, kink, BDSM, casual sex) - we would be glad to serve you by 50% of market prices. Also, we doing an effort to spread the information about lifestyle and anything related to it. At this blog, we would make posts sometimes about our swingers related projects.

Lightbox is a script made by Lokesh Dhakar which is one of the most popular way for showing images or image galleries. The original lightbox script was written using prototype and script aculous javascript libraries. So the main problem is, we need to include these two libraries (almost 100 KB) again even if we’re using jQuery. Certainly, this is not the best way. Thank fully, some programmers realized the situation and made the clones using jQuery. The effects and functionality are almost similar to lightbox but the only difference is, it uses jQuery library instead of prototype. The size of a compressed jQuery library is only 25KB.

Here, I am reviewing three of the lightbox clones.

jQuery Lightbox Plugin (balupton edition)

Specifications

DEPENDENCIESjQuery
SIZELess than 13KB (compressed)
GROUPING OF IMAGESSupported
KEYBOARD NAVIGATIONSupported (Arrow keys & Esc)
TRANSITION EFFECTSYes
DESCRIPTION FOR IMAGESSupported
IMAGE RESIZEYes, automatically resizes to fit in browser
DESCRIPTION FOR IMAGESSupported
SUPPORTED BROWSERSFirefox 2+3, IE6+7, Safari 3, Opera 9.5
RESTRICTIONSNo (GPL license)
DEMOOpen | Open in new window
INFO & DOWNLOADOpen in new window

This plugin is easy to use and supports automatic resizing of images(But no option to show unresized image). It is slightly heavier than the other two.

jQuery Lightbox by Leandro Vieira Pinho

DEPENDENCIESjQuery
SIZELess than 7KB (compressed)
GROUPING OF IMAGESSupported
KEYBOARD NAVIGATIONSupported (Arrow keys & Esc)
TRANSITION EFFECTSYes
DESCRIPTION FOR IMAGESSupported
IMAGE RESIZENo
DESCRIPTION FOR IMAGESSupported
SUPPORTED BROWSERSFirefox 2+3, IE6+7, Safari 3, Opera 9.5
RESTRICTIONSNo
DEMO & DOWNLOADOpen | Open in new window

One problem I noticed with this script is, the images are not centered correctly in some cases (Try with an image that almost fits the browser client area). Also it doesnot support image resize. So if a large image is used, one needs to scroll the window to see the whole image. The good side is, it is very light and configurable. Unlike the others, the lightbox should be invoked for the required elements. So you need to use a simple jquery statement to invoke the lightbox (Very simple and fully documented)

Pretty Photo by Stephane Caron

DEPENDENCIESjQuery
SIZELess than 9KB (compressed)
GROUPING OF IMAGESSupported
KEYBOARD NAVIGATIONSupported (Arrow keys & Esc)
TRANSITION EFFECTSYes
DESCRIPTION FOR IMAGESSupported
IMAGE RESIZEYes
FLASH SUPPORTYes
SUPPORTED BROWSERSFirefox 2+3, IE6+7, Safari 3, Opera 9.5
RESTRICTIONSNo
DEMO & DOWNLOADOpen | Open in new window

It looks very good. The animations, centering and resizing of images, are perfectly done. The default styles are also fine. One thing I like is, it automatically resizes the image and an icon is shown in the image to expand it to original size (Very good feature, just like Highslide). Also, it is always centered even if the window is scrolled. But here I suggest to use the jQuery easing plugin for better effects.

Conclusion

As we can see, Pretty Photo is the best considering the features. It also supports flash. The default styles are also nice. So in my opinion, it is the best lightbox clone for jQuery. What do you think? Please let me know your thoughts.