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Do you take a lot of photos? Perhaps you’re the next Peter Jackson, and want to share your videos with the world? Picasa from Google is a web-based photo storage and sharing system, allowing you to keep all of your photos and videos in a safe place, accessible from anywhere.
The biggest change to Picasa in recent years is probably the amount of storage space you can use. Previously, free members had 1GB of photo storage space, and 10GB cost about $20. Now, all free members receive 15GB of storage, and your $20 will go a long way to providing you with around 100GB of storage space. That’s a massive upgrade, meaning you can upload a lot more photos, or increase the quality significantly.
That’s not the only thing which has changed. Members can now upload videos of up to 1GB each, meaning you can make a substantially long or high quality piece of footage and upload it.
This online storage is a real blessing when it comes to saving your own hard disc space. It means that you can download all the best bits, but not have to worry about deleting others which you might look back on some day.
When it comes to organizing your photos, Picasa from Google does a good job. You can create albums, tag photos and even keep a map of where they were taken. This makes it so much easier to locate a specific photo or album in the far future.
Editing photos is easy, although perhaps a little less developed than we’ve seen elsewhere. Still, the tools will suit most people, but, if you’re a professional photographer who likes to tinker with images, then you may wish to use a separate piece of software. That said, the site has introduced 24 new effects to help you transform your snaps, which are worth taking a look at. Each is very easy to apply.
Google’s Picasa is tied in quite tightly with Google+, allowing you to share your photos with your Google+ friends easily. Picasa 3.9 is the most recent version at the time of this review, and it works with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.
Your original photos are always preserved, meaning that, if you go edit-crazy, you’ll never lose that first version. However, when you make changes to a photo, those changes are synchronized through various folders which contain the photo. Subsequently, if you make edits to a photo in one folder, they can appear in another.
Generally, we felt that the free membership option would offer most people enough storage and tools. If you want to take really high quality photos and videos, or you have a need to upload thousands of pictures, you may wish to upgrade. Prices are very reasonable, and we don’t envisage you’d need the most expensive packages unless you’re part of a large company or group of professional photographers. However, you can download some of the photos online for free, so it can be easy to build up a large catalogue of images you enjoy or aim to use in the future.
Picasa from Google offers plenty of free online storage for your videos and photos. Whilst they offer nothing in the way of printing and gift options, and their editing tools might be a little limited for some people, we were generally impressed by what they had to offer. Sharing options may be limited in comparison to some other online photo sharing sites, but if you’re a fan of Google+ then this should be too much of a problem.
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