Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Picasa - First looks

I recently downloaded Picasa's image tool from This is probably one of the best digital imaging tools you will ever get - paid or free. First and foremost, you can set it up to actively search your drives or specific folders for new pictures and albums. Previously, I had stored the images in folders under the "My Pictures folder" within a minute or two, Picasa had automatically picked up all of the images and categorized them into albums. Picasa also has basic photo editing tools that allow you to do the most common tasks such as rotating, cropping and red eye reduction, as well as an automated picture enhancement tool.

It plays automatic slide shows of your images and has a unique timeline feature that allows you to go through your photos chronologically. It has fairly decent print options that will let you print full-page photos on standard-sized photo papers - i.e. 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, etc., as well as the ability to create picture packages on an 8.5x11 photo sheet and contact sheets.

It also has some cool features that a lot of its competition do not:

- It's e-mail tool will let you e-mail pictures not only through your standard e-mail program, but through a 'quick' interface as well.

- It has an HTML export tool that will help you export albums to a website

- It integrates with a tool from picasa called 'Hello' which is an image-sharing IM client (as if we needed another one).

- If you ocassionally use your digital still camera to take short video clips or combine video and stills in your albums the slide show and browser tools will play the video automatically without the need to launch a separate player!!!!.

So far it seems like a cool tool. I haven't tried the 'Order Prints' feature yet, but I am curious which site it takes me to.

I will try to do a more complete review in a couple of weeks including a review of the Hello Client

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