What can we expect from this Google photo editing software? They promise us a solution to organize, edit, share, print, backup and create our pictures. Well, judge yourself.
First of all, you must note that the application is available in Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English (US and UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. It works only under Microsoft® Windows 2000, or Microsoft® Windows XP and supports jpg, bmp, gif, png, psd and tif images; avi, mpg, wmv, asf and mov movies; and RAW data files, including cameras from Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Minolta and Pentax.
After a quick installation, we are ready to review Picasa. It organizes your entire collection of pictures and automatically sorts them by date, which can be useful depending on the user's needs. It allows you to move and rename pictures from inside the application, taking a few seconds to rename a group of images. Picasa also provides a way to make albums, tagging your photos into quick groupings. One of its advantages is that you can keep one picture in several albums without taking more space on your hard drive. You can also add a star rating to each picture, reducing your entire photo collection to the best of the best in less than a second thanks to its "star search". Finally, you can protect your collections with a password.
Concerning image editing, Picasa offers 3 levels: Basic fixes, Tuning and Effects. Picasa's Basic Fixes include cropping images, removing red eye, fixing the contrast and colour, and enhancement. Among the 12 effects we've got sharpen, sepia, B&W, warmify, film grain, tint, saturation, soft focus, glow, filtered B&w, focal B&W and graduated tint. It is possible to write captions using the IPTC standard and they are fully editable. If you look further, you will find the EXIF display, which is extremely useful. Professionals will understand what I'm talking about. It has a real-time RGB histogram.
Now it's time to see how we can share images. Sending photos via email (the app resizes and attaches pictures to email) is very easy, and publishing the pictures on your own site with Picasa Web Album is easier. "Blogger" users will fall in love with Picasa's "BlogThis!" button, which transfers selected photos directly to Blogger. If you are looking for traditional ways to share your images, slide shows and device transfers are still there.
Printing images with Picasa is great. It is possible to print more than one picture on a page and the program will automatically resize the images, so you won't have to waste your money on expensive photographic paper. And if you don't want to fight with your printer, then export your pictures to a photo processing website.
There's nothing special to say about the backup feature, besides the ability to burn images to CD or DVD, prepare gift CDs with slide shows or the network backup.
Creating movies? Sure, but there's nothing special in the movie creation capability (a different word to say SLIDESHOW). With Picasa, you can configure the desktop picture or the screensaver, create posters, and make picture collages.
To conclude, Picasa is enough for me. I recommend you to try this software if you are interested in photo editing.
- Very intuitive application
- No rendering delays while applying effects
- Only for Windows
- Not the most powerful image manager
- Slight performance drag on older computers