Google Picasa for the Mac

First published on: Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Here’s my review of the version of Google Picasa that was released for the Mac platform on January 5th, 2009.

Download the beta version here, and read the related blog post, Announcing Picasa for Mac.

I had Picasa scan only my media folder that I created on my MacBook Pro, not the default Pictures and iPhoto folders. Picasa takes a while to perform the scan.

The Bad

My Nikon D90 RAW files aren’t rendered very well in Picasa. The color and exposure is all wrong. Here’s what D90 NEF thumbnails look like in Picasa, vs. in Nikon ViewNX.

Picasa:
Nikon D90 RAW / NEF thumbnails in Picasa

ViewNX:
Nikon D90 RAW / NEF thumbnails in ViewNX

I notice the same effect when viewing JPEG images in Picasa vs Preview. The following is a screen capture of a Nikon D3X image showing how much more muted colors are in Picasa compared to Preview (click to view a larger version).
JPEG color rendition, Preview vs Picasa

Here’s a color rendition comparison between iPhoto and Picasa. A set of four Nikon D90 RAW files is displayed:
Color rendition: iPhoto vs Picasa 3 for the Mac

And finally, Adobe Bridge CS3 and Picasa:
Color rendition: Adobe Bridge CS3 vs Picasa

Again, I’m not sure why images seem to have less color and appear muddier in Picasa.

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