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New Versions of Elements and Picasa
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posted on Sep 23, 2009 at 3:00PM

New Versions of Elements and Picasa

By Emily Raymond
  • $99 Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
  • Free Google Picasa 3.5
  • Improved organization on both
  • Face recognition and tagging on both
  • Picasa synced with Google Maps

Two photo editing software programs have been upgraded to the marketplace in the form of Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and Google Picasa version 3.5. Both programs offer improved organization and tagging, but Picasa is available as a free download while Elements costs $99.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 comes with improved organization so consumers can find their pictures and videos faster. The program can sync media across several computers and the tagging has been updated to automatically recognize faces and group them together. This face recognition tagging is a feature also available in the freshest version of Picasa.

Tagging isn’t the only improvement that Adobe made: the software can merge multiple exposures into one and automated tools have been added to recompose and to view “quick fix previews.” Photoshop Elements 8 also adds an online element; online templates show photos and videos together. For an extra $49 per year, Adobe will provide 20GB of online storage space – accessible from any computer - for automatic file backup. The Windows version of Elements 8 is available now, and the Mac version will be available next month.

“We’ve simplified the editing process, without taking away any power, and incorporated smart tools with built-in intelligence to bring once difficult tasks, within reach of everyone,” said Doug Mack, vice president and general manager of Consumer and Hosted Solutions at Adobe, in the Sept. 23 press release.

Google released its popular image editing software on Sept. 22 and is available as a free download from Version 3.5 of Picasa also offers improved organization with the automated face recognition and better bulk and quick tagging. Name tags can be added with the same technology that powers the function in Picasa’s web albums.

Another big improvement in Picasa is the enhanced geo-tagging capability that syncs with Google Maps. Photos can be quickly geo-tagged with a “places” button. Images and videos can also be more easily imported. There are now options to upload to the computer, import to the web album, and share files with contacts all in one step. Minor changes have also been tweaked: consumers can adjust the date and time on files and have “improved reliability” when burning CDs. 


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