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Picasa 2 Review

Since installing the Picasa 2 upgrade I’ve had a little bit of time to play around with it and am quite impressed with the changes. I posted some of my thoughts on the last version of Picasa last July, and thought I’d follow up with some comments on the new version 2.0 upgrade (and it’s free!).

Here’s my thoughts:

Better File Organization and Management. Picasa 2 works with your files and doesn’t create a “database” which means when you rename a photo, or move it to a different folder, it actually moves the photo file. This is huge and makes managing photos that much easier.

Image Editing Features. Picasa 2 has some very good, yet simple, image editing capabilities. What’s better is that it doesn’t modify your actual images when you make adjustments, instead, it saves the changes to (I think) the ini files and only commits changes when you use the export function. So you can’t mess up your pictures!

RAW Support. Now this is cool! I think I might start taking more photos in RAW mode since Picasa 2 has functions for controlling and optimizing RAW photos. Plus it shows them in the previews. Picasa 1.6 didn’t have this.

Faster. Picasa 2 is actually faster than the previous version. I have no idea how they did that.

Order Prints. Now if you order prints from within the program itself you can choose to have them printed at your local Wal-Mart for pick up in under an hour. How cool is that? Plus the price is only 24 cents (I’m guessing for 4x6s).

Full Zoom. The previous version did not have the capabilities to zoom in on a photo. This version includes zoom to 400%.

Captions. Picasa 2 includes full captions/keywords support. Add a keyword to any photo and it will stay with the photo forever.

Over all, a very solid upgrade and it does solve a number of the problems I commented on in July. I suppose the Hello program solves the networking problem if only I had the time to use it. And yes, I know nobody cares what I think but if you have a PC I recommend the upgrade.

Update: Here’s an interview with the founder of Picasa about the new version.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

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