There’s a newly updated version of Google’s popular Picasa photo app for the Mac which makes quick work of organizing, editing, and sharing photos online. Through the years I’ve used Picasa and like it, but more of my photos go to Flickr instead. It’s not a Google vs. Yahoo bias, either. Both services take a different approach to managing photos.
Picasa makes it easy to share Google+ circles and cokes with a number of photo editing effects (including RAW support). The Mac version of the app does not have an automatic update function. Google seems to go out of its way on its own website to disguise what Picasa can do.
On the other hand, Flickr seems rejuvenated under new CEO Marissa Mayer (a former Google executive), and the online storage site now features a full terabyte of photo storage, photo books, and full resolution photo displays.
That makes Flickr great for photographers who want an online presence without the social stigma associated with Google+ or Google’s services.
Flickr’s one terabyte of storage is free. The same amount on Picasa is $256 a year. One gigabyte is free.
Flickr lets you upload an image up to 10MB for free (20MB for the pro version) and a couple of 150MB videos. Picasa doesn’t have a specific limit other than the total storage under your plan. Flickr automatically resizes your photos while Picasa offers display only on the size of the uploaded photo.
Google and Yahoo differ on how their respective products act socially. Picasa makes it easy to share photos with family and friends (Google+, of course). Flickr prefers a community based approach with others of similar interests with easy ways to comment and share. Likewise, but not a major issue, Flickr has options for licensing photos for commercial use or as creative commons, while Picasa offers just the original version as copyrighted material.
In short, if you have Gmail you have a Google account, and that means you’re already in bed with Google+, so Picasa makes for a nicely integrated option for photo storage, but with severe limits. Flickr’s one terabyte of storage is attractive but online photo enhancement tools are modest. Flickr comes with advertising but you can pay to remove them, which also gets large upload sizes and larger videos. Both allow for embedded photo sharing, geotagging photos, but Picasa handles more video file formats.
Picasa on the Mac makes online photo management relatively straightforward, but there are a few Flickr apps which make it easier to use than a browser window and many Mac photo enhancement apps, including iPhoto, make it a breeze to upload photos and albums to Flickr.
My dislike of Google makes Flickr an easier choice, but, as they say, ‘your mileage may vary.’