This third version of Google Picasa is earning enthusiastic reviews for its improved image management and editing features, along with a basic movie editor and a lot of web synchronization. It even has a face-recognition feature that helps you find photos with people in them. The Mac version has now been released, joining versions for Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Linux. Older versions of Picasa run on earlier Windows operating systems. Reviews now give Picasa 3 the edge over other free photo software and say it may well be all you need -- unless your collection gets too big. If you take lots of photos and want more extensive editing tools, consider Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 (*Est. $275).
We found excellent single-product reviews of Picasa 3 at PCMag.com, Download.com and ArsTechnica.com. About.com also rates and reviews Picasa 3. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.) The review at ConsumerReports.org addresses an earlier version; because of the many improvements in the current version of Picasa, it is of minimal value.
This enthusiastic review covers Picasa 3 before the Mac version became available, but still praises its image management and editing capabilities. An earlier version of Picasa wins an Editors' Choice award for 2007.
Review: Picasa 3 (beta), Michael Muchmore, Nov. 7, 2008
Editors give Picasa 3 a perfect 5-star rating on all counts: organizing, editing and sharing photos. The brief review notes several improvements and new features, including movie editing -- and finds the service simple to use. A handful of readers add comments, not all of them positive.
Review: Picasa 3, Editors of Download.com
This review praises Picasa 3 for its synchronization with Google Albums, improved image editing and special features such as face recognition (to help sort photos) and basic movie editing for YouTube. A later (January 2009) article covers the release of Picasa 3 for Mac users.
Review: Test Drive: Picasa 3 Gets Off-, Online Photo Sharing Right, David Chartier, Sept. 3, 2008
About.com's guide to graphics software gives Picasa 3 a near-perfect rating, highlighting its many advantages (including its price) but noting that its image-management system isn't robust enough for huge photo collections. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Picasa Digital Photo Software from Google, Sue Chastain
This rather dated report compares an earlier version of Google Picasa with two other free photo-editing programs, five software titles available for purchase, and the software that came with digital cameras available at the time. Picasa is ranked in relation to all these programs based on ratings for five different features plus five factors: editing, ease of use, sharing, printing and versatility.
Review: Photo Software Review, Editors of Consumer Reports, July 2007