As I ran across a gallery plugin, when I downloaded a theme, and was unsatisfied with this gallery, I thought it could be a good idea to test some galleries.
Test of a Modula gallery, free version
Test of a NextGEN gallery, free version
Test of a Foo Gallery, free version
Test of a photo gallery by WD, free version
Test of a photo gallery by Supsystic, free version
The gallery plugin that disappointed me was Envira Gallery Lite (presumably a free version), which I have replaced by now.
In general, these gallery plugins get the job done, and they are not too shabby. Honestly I don't want to go into details about them on this occasion, because they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and their paid versions are reasonably priced. The paid versions may fix some issues, so it's just a very complicated situation. I suppose you pick a gallery plugin which seems to be updated fairly often and get to know it, and if a special need arises, you can then study the others.
As I suspected, the gallery plugins don't handle GIFs with transparent backgrounds in the same way. If I want some of those on a web page, I need to be cautious. Even Windows has a hard time with this. I have had a problem with image file types on a Prestashop as well. I had to go with a .png to solve that.
The gallery plugins make responsive galleries, and so they depend on the layout of the theme. This makes the study of galleries even more complicated. The paid versions of the gallery plugins in my test have plenty of configuration options, some even allows CSS to be written, so they are all usable with many aesthetic choices. It definitely counts as a plus that aesthetic choices don't have to fit to one of a limited number of gallery layouts.