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When I started to work with my first Joomla based project I need a gallery which can show both single pictures in my articles and the whole gallery easy without superfluous features. My friend who helped me to start with Joomla advised me Simple Image Gallery Extended (SIGE) as a variant. So I started to discover SIGE's features to understand are they correspond to my project needs.
Also I wanted to know more about SIGE's alternatives but finally all my investigations on this question had shown SIGE as a best solution for me.
The setup of SIGE was easy for me as a Joomla's newbie. I'd understood its work principles very fast. During configuration and applying SIGE with my images I found it as a very easy-to-use gallery with possibility of setup main features thru Joomla's backend and using a couple of overriding keys for each case in my articles. All I need is just prepare set of my photos, put them to a folder and write the gallery code to the material. I don't need think about generating thumbnails - SIGE does it itself well. Showing pictures in different modes (for ex. Light Box) is great.
I've encountered some problems with reading CP1251 Cyrillic characters from IPTC tag. I just had tags encoded only that way 'cause writing IPTC on Wintel in UTF8 is not so easy. Support was very fast and good - problem had been solved quickly.
SIGE is used on a travel agency site for the moment. And I suppose I will use it in my further projects too.
Many thanks to SIGE's developer!
Owner's reply

Thank you very much for your review!