Have any of you tried Picasa for organizing and editing your digital photos?
It may be a little early to say, but for the moment I LOVE this program. As many of you are probably already aware, when it comes to computers, I’m not the quickest hard drive in the cubicle . . . so complicated software programs are a HUGE source of frustration to me. My honey got me a beautiful little HP 735 for Christmas, and I’ve really enjoyed using it. (He actually gave it to me in September — the sale at Radio Shack included the camera, camera dock, and PhotoSmart 145 printer for a steal at $299!)
I’ve been playing with it quite a bit, figuring out what it can and can’t do. At first I got very frustrated with flash capabilities — I kept expecting to point, shoot, and get the same kind of photos I get with my Canon Rebel 2000. But then the local library offered a freebie digital camera class and it helped me to understand the differences between the two critters. I learned that it’s important to have a good photo editing program to make adjustments in order to achieve the kind of final product I’d been looking for.
So I’ve been playing with Microsoft Picture It! Photo 7.0 and HP Image Editor (which came with my computer). I much prefer Picture It! over Image Editor, because there are some “auto” buttons that make adjusting brightness and contrast a breeze. However, I’m not so crazy about the red eye correction, and for some reason I still get a lot of red eye (even using the red eye flash setting on the camera). Until I figure out my user error with the camera, I really like being able to fix those little devil eyes on the computer!
Enter Picasa. I heard about this program on the Kim Komando program a while back. Decided to check it out, and I love it! It doesn’t have a bunch of “extra” stuff that I’m never going to use. It addresses the things that are important to me: organization of my photos in logical files, automatic correction for brightness and contrast, and a MUCH better (IMHO) red eye correction feature than that of Picture It! I took a few pictures yesterday over at the Varner Hogg Plantation and printed one out this morning. It is almost postcard perfect, with a couple of clicks of the mouse.
One thing it doesn’t feature (that I can tell at this point) is special effects. This doesn’t bother me too much, because I’m not into “soft fade” and “sepia” photos. The only option I would like is “black and white,” but if I really need this, I can switch over to Picture It! the every blue moon that I might want it.
I’m going to keep playing with it and see how I like it over the long-term. One thing that was FABULOUS was that upon installation, it scanned my hard drive for all images and organized them in folders automatically. Awesome, awesome, awesome!