It would seem that there are enough programs for ordering photos on the market, both paid and free. But despite the huge selection of applications for working with images, finding a full replacement for Picasa is not so easy. Mainly because, for all its simplicity, this program is multifunctional: with its help, it was possible to organize photos by albums, and to take pictures by various criteria, and perform basic editing operations, and quickly upload albums to the cloud.
To create a backup copy of the photo archive in the cloud, you can hardly find a better solution than the successor to Picasa – “Google Photos”.
First, all web albums uploaded using Picasa are automatically migrated to a new service from Google. Secondly, users of the new service get unlimited storage space for photos, the size of which doesn’t exceed 16 megapixels. For most people using their smartphones for shooting, this means the possibility of free downloading the entire photo archive.
To upload photos to the cloud from your computer, you need to use the Google Photo Backup application. Like Picasa, it allows you to automatically download all photos from memory cards, from the desktop, and from standard Windows folders to store pictures. In addition, you can add any number of additional folders in which the photos are stored.
If the downloading of images online is more or less clear, many other Picasa features in “Google Photos” haven’t migrated. In the online service, there are modest image editing capabilities, there are no familiar tags for users of Picasa, signatures, and comments to the photographs.
BonAView is not the most well-known program for working with the photo archive, but it’s in vain. By functionality, it is close to Picasa, and in some cases even exceeds the program.
Viewing images is possible by catalogs, albums or in Picasa’s favorite Timeline mode when photos are automatically sorted by the program according to the shooting time.
To sort images, you can use the rating, as well as create custom albums. BonAView is suitable for working with photo collections of any size since it supports an unlimited number of albums (including any number of nested albums). The number of photos in each album is also not limited.
There are many functions for improving the photos in BonAView. There are options for color adjustment, level correction and red-eye removal, tools for automatic tuning, tools for sharpening and blurring, about a dozen effects, a good set of frames for different occasions. It’s interesting that, like in “large” photo editors, it is possible to apply editing tools not to the entire image, but to its part, having previously selected the required fragment.
BonAView can search for photos by specified folders, by user albums, by certain properties (size, resolution or file type, date of last modification, rating).
To quickly select photos stored in different folders and albums, it’s convenient to use the ImageBoard tool (similar to Photo Tray in Picasa). When pictures are placed in ImageBoard, they can be added to albums and perform other operations as a group. But there are no full-fledged tools for batch processing in BonAView – for this, the same developer offers a separate program ImBatch.
JetPhoto Studio combines the capabilities of a cataloguer, viewer, graphics editor, and also contains tools for publishing photo albums on the Internet.
To start working with the program, you need to create an album. Then photos from different sources are added to the album. Sorting images in an album, the user can mark them with an asterisk, add keywords and notes. It is also possible to edit information in EXIF. All these data can be used when searching for the desired images.
JetPhoto Studio offers an interesting opportunity to display images on the map. The program perfectly understands geotagging and allows you to assign them both manually and based on the downloaded GPS track. There is also an integration with Google Earth, the creation of KML and KMZ files. If the data about where the photo was taken is not available automatically, it can easily be added simply by specifying the location on the map. This can be done for a group of photographs, pre-highlighting them.
But the possibilities of editing images are more than modest. There are only a couple of the simplest effects, the means for basic correction of pictures and trimming.
Like Picasa, this program allows you not only to work with photos locally but also publish them on the Internet. There are two main ways to do this: using the Flickr service and the JetPhoto Server. The second method involves creating your own website with web albums based on the proposed templates. The user needs to purchase hosting, deploy JetPhoto Server on it, and then upload web albums from the program to the site.
As for the drawbacks of JetPhoto Studio is worth noting that it has not a very responsive interface. The program often “becomes thoughtful” when performing some operations, and importing photos with settings by default generally paralyzes the computer. True, if you switch to import in the background, you can work with other applications.
Windows Photo Gallery
Perhaps someone will find the application from Microsoft not the best alternative to the Google product, but Windows Photo Gallery is very close to Picasa in functionality. The application can be downloaded for free as part of the Windows Essentials package (“Windows Core Components”). In addition to the component of interest to us, the package also includes a blog editor, a mail application, OneDrive and a program for working with video files. When installing, you can select only those applications that need to be installed.
Immediately after the launch, Photo Gallery picks up all photos stored in the image library (the default is My Pictures and Public Pictures folders). To add more images, you just need to show the program where they are stored by changing the library settings.
If you want to rewrite photos from the memory card, just connect the drive – the program will immediately prompt you to import the pictures.
In the Photo Gallery window, photos are sorted by shooting time. In this case, as in Picasa, there may be photos nearby stored in different folders. If you want, you can choose one of many other sorting options: by folder, by rating, by drive type, by people shown in the photos, by name, by geotagging.
All the information about the photos added to the Photo Gallery can be used later in the search. For example, you can search for pictures taken in certain months and marked with a particular tag.
In Windows Photo Gallery, you can find some tools for editing images. There are several filters with a convenient preview function, tools for color correction and noise removal, exposure adjustment and photo alignment. In addition, directly from the program, you can rename the files, change the resolution, and edit the information on the shooting date. It is convenient, that all the made changes can be canceled by pressing one button.
Unfortunately, the support for Photo Gallery for Windows 7 will soon be discontinued. This is due to the fact that in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 there is an embedded Photos application for viewing, organizing and publishing photos on the Web.
Zoner Photo Studio Free
Zoner Photo Studio Free can work as a simple tool for viewing photos stored on a disk or on any media, and as a cataloger. In order to create a database of photos, you need to import them into the program from any folder, from a memory card, etc. Photos stored in the database can be displayed as a calendar, folders or by keywords.
Zoner Photo Studio Free doesn’t work with third-party cloud services but offers unlimited storage space for photos on Zonerama’s own photo hosting. After creating an account and a gallery, Zonerama appears in the navigation panel with two folders: “Public albums” and “Hidden albums”. It’s easy to guess that all the photos sent to the first folder become public, and the pictures uploaded to the second folder can be viewed only by the owner. To upload photos, simply select them and move them to the desired album with the mouse.
Despite the fact that the editing capabilities are limited in comparison to the professional version of Zoner Photo Studio, for a free program, their set is quite impressive. You can not only change the image resolution and canvas size but also add text, put one image on another, add some effects, perform color correction, sharpen, work with shutter speed and white balance.