Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photoshop Express First Impressions

Adobe launched Photoshop Express this past week. When they announced this effort about a year ago (March 2007), I was thinking it would be a web-based version of Photoshop. So today I signed up for an account. It's still in beta but there are already more than 17,000 galleries online including my lame attempt for a gallery I just put up a few minutes ago.

So what's the verdict? Disappointing!

This is not so much a web-based version of Photoshop but really more of an online gallery with some editing features. If you're looking for a web-based version of Photoshop, go to Their web-based software features tools and layers that photoshop users will recognize.

If Adobe's focus for Photoshop Express is the online gallery, they need to do more than just offer a splashy way to show-off your pictures. Two things come to mind when I consider using an online photo gallery. Ease of use and the size and quality of the pictures on the slideshow. I first started using online photo galleries through Ofoto (now called Kodak Gallery) and Shutterfly. Although they were easy to use, their slideshow limited the display size of your photo. This has since changed with Shutterfly now allowing you to view your photos in full-screen mode, but Kodak Gallery still resizes your photo down in their slideshow. The full-screen slideshow was what prompted me to switch to using Picasa Web Albums then and today I'm still using it because it's easy to use and their slideshow looks great.

The slideshow on Photoshop Express has some layout options that Picasa doesn't offer. You can choose a single, strip, grid or ring layout and also choose between 2D or 3D effect. Although these features looked clever when I tried them out, I would probably just stick with the single layout mode. Plus the 3D effect gave me a headache after a few minutes of watching these pictures fly into the edges of my screen.

The one advantage that Photoshop Express gives you is the 2 Gig of free space. Picasa only gives you 1 Gig, but expect Google to bump that up as our pictures get larger and larger.

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