Slick online photo editor

Picnik provides a super Internet-based photo editor for amateurs who want a simple way to tweak and share images.

Picnik is a really slick piece of Webware for tweaking and editing photos, and it offers a truly lovely user interface that's refreshingly simple to use. You can pull in photos from any URL or upload them from your home computer. There are a variety of basic photo editing tools like cropping, resizing, red-eye correction, and a handy autofix button to make a picture look better without fussing around with each setting.

When you're done tweaking your photo you've got a few options: you can save it to your hard drive, print it, e-mail it or even publish it if you've authorized Picnik to sync up to your online photo service. Picnik lets you use a number of photo hosting services like Flickr, ImageShack and PhotoBucket. Also cool is the ability to send your photo to Costco Photos, where members can have prints made for cheap.

Picnik is very responsive. Any changes made to a photo are almost instantaneous. This is helpful with the rotation tool, as you don't have to wait for your shot to render on-screen. There's also a special effects menu that features a few instant presets like sepia, black and white, and color boost. These presets let you make quick and dramatic changes to your photos.

Picnik has two levels of service, a free and premium one. The premium service, which costs about $25 per year, is well worth it. It removes ads from the site, and it offers a continually expanding catalog of bonus features, such as extra effects filters and fonts, which will eventually trickle down to free users.

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