Online Photo Editor: Picnik Reviewed
Today I am reviewing a website called Picnik. Picnik is an online photo editing site, and it offers a variety of really useful tools. And it’s free.
Right from the get-go these guys did it right. Without even logging in or signing up you can immediately upload a photo, run a variety of both basic and advanced effects on your photo, and then download the edited picture back to yoursef. The site is all done in Adobe Flash, and it is both fast and responsive.
A whole host of cool features are available, from basic (crop, red-eye, and rotation) to advanced (soften, sepia tone, vignette, rounded edges, etc.) Everything works rapidly and smoothly. Once you finish your edits, you can save a high quality version of your finished photo back to your computer. Here is a picture I started with, and then cropped, turned sepia-toned and whose edges I rounded. The process took me approximately 1 1/2 minutes.
This company has done simple online photo editing right. Many web applications, though interesting or useful, are frustrating because they are slow or inefficient. But Picnik offers a free, useful and effective product. They do offer a registered account, though since they are still in Beta that registration does not yet offer many extra benefits. Look for paid subscription services in the near future (storage and advanced editing features will probably be included.)
Currently it does not store photos online, though a registered user’s most recent picture will persist; additional features like storage may come with paid upgrade accounts in the near future. Picnik does not offer advanced, layered photo editing (like Adobe Photoshop) – nor to my knowledge do any other free web apps currently. Adobe does plan to unveil an online version of Photoshop in the next 6 months or so.
Another great aspect to Picnik is its general connectedness to the world of web 2.0. You can pull images (your own or general content) off of Flickr, edit them, and post them back out to Flickr. Picnik also integrates with Picassa web albums. (Picassa is a Google built downloadable photo application.) Picnik also integrates emailing and printing features for a number of popular sites like Photobucket, ImageShack, Wal-Mart, Costco, Flickr, and others.)
There are a number of players in this space, including:
to name just a few. Techcrunch has a great article outlining these and other players, including Picnik – find that article here. Thus far however, Picnik offers a significantly better interface, feature set, and overall package. Picnik is based in Seattle, Washington; I’m not sure what they’re funding situation is like at this point. Great 8.