Flickr vs. Picasa

bad touch

In an earlier post I had mentioned that I was switching my photos over to Flickr versus Picasa. There were quite a few things I enjoyed about Picasa. I think the biggest benefit was having so many different of my online tools running through my Google Account, (gmail, documents, calendar, etc.), that it made a lot of sense to use Picasa. Most of my other friends have a google account, so sharing and commenting on photos was easy enough.

Now, a decent deal of my photos are hosted on UrbanOhio‘s servers, then hotlinked elsewhere. Picasa was good for non-UO photos and quick uploads without having to meander through FTP world. So for the random image, or the random post, I’d throw the image up on Picasa, then hot-link it here. However, during my last post, I was seeing a lot of loss with image quality. When I upload photos, I generally upload at a high resolution, generally around 3000×2300 because that how my camera shoots (and unless storage size is an issue, I’m not going to bother with resizing). Picasa and Flickr both take it upon themselves to resize the image, while keeping the original in tact. Unfortunately, Picasa does a piss poor job of this. I don’t know if its some weird algorithm or whatever, but its clearly a case of everything Google touches does not turn to gold. Below are two exhibits.

First A Picasa Image:

Now a Flickr Image

I guess what was really bothering me was the pixelation around the crane, in the Picasa one, its so much more obvious.



I mean, just look around the quality of the image around the Bridge in the background. That’s horrible Picasa. All things are equal here. It was a full upload to Picasa (not the “recommended” setting), and a full upload on Flickr. If one wanted to bother with looking at the full-size images, without resizing, the pixelation is still very present. I’m not sure what’s going on at Picasa’s servers or whatever, but they suck.

All in all, Picasa and Flickr have the same functionality, mapping, commenting, galleries, but the size of the community, the pooling of images and groups is far more robust on Flickr. But as bemoaned above, when it comes to online photography, what’s the number one issue? Image Quality.

Flickr 1, Picasa 0


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16 responses to “Flickr vs. Picasa”

  1. Ben says :

    I can’t think of anything funny to comment…I mean, this post is actually full of practical advice to someone who is into digital photography.


    Caww caww!

  2. Mark says :

    Wow. That’s a pretty big difference. I was actually considering using Picassa for some stuff. Not now. Thanks.

  3. jimsey says :


    The only thing to watch for is flickr isn’t 100% free. The standard free membership gives you 100MBs of uploads per month. So depending on how photo crazy you get, that may or may not meet your needs.

    However, I think the yearly “you just blew my megabyte load” subscription is around $25USD.

  4. alex says :

    Thanks for sharing this. Confirms my impressions.

  5. Evan says :

    Never noticed it before, but can definitely see the pixely blur you are talking about. I think a lot of photo sites reduce quality and try not telling the user. Webshots was doing this for a while, I think they still are. Pixamo is one of the only ones I have found that doesn’t alter the size or resolution of my photos.

  6. biq says :

    Well, it seems to me, that flickr runs an sharpen filter after the resizing. But for me, when looking at those pictures, the Picasa images seems more natural.

  7. kostka says :

    biq is exactly right. There’s a sharpen filter on Flickr and none on Picasa. Therefore, most image enthusiasts are going to side with the Picasa resizing as being the more realistic and accurate representation. Beauty is truth and all that…

  8. Jesse from Tulsa says :

    Why is the Picasa image 36K and the Flickr image 144K?

    While I agree that the Flickr image looks much better, adding 100+K to the image file would probably do that. Not sure if there is a setting difference or what. But I see the difference and I note the image size difference. Very odd.

    (off on the web trying to decide between Flickr and Picasa)

  9. zedlafor says :

    As for me I actually don’t have any experience with picasa. Its true that flickr isnt 100% free but my upload is smooth under the 100mb (i dnt have any problems so far) and quality its the same.

    See my flickr account:

  10. Matias says :

    Picasa shows a lower quality JPG to save bandwidth, while Flickr uses a higher quality AND sharpens the images.

  11. Xurhit says :

    I wanna know one thing about image hosting website. Does anyone know any free site that hosts image without altering image size or resolution. I want to preserve my image as it is in full resolution, but I dont know where to do that. Problem in picasa and flickr is that they alter the picture’s resolution.


  12. Peter says :

    Flickr does host the original image size. You won’t be able to see it unless you pay them $25/year, but it’s there.

    They only alter the resolution for display purposes.

    I don’t know what Picasa does, but I’m pretty sure there is no way to get your original image size back from Facebook, Snapfish, Shutterfly, or most other photo-hosting services.

  13. bluebell_rose says :

    Seems hotmail is also offering free image hosting with their services. Has like 25 gb storage space. >_> google doesn’t even offer that much. Problem is, you share that 25 gb with your skydrive service.

  14. Akshay Arabolu says :

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