Flickr has a great community of photographers who can provide feedback, guidance, and answers to your questions – it’s not just a place to store photos online. Like Picasa, there is also face recognition and geotagging, but Flickr doesn’t limit the amount of space you can store your photos online. However, you can only upload up to 100MB per month for free. Upgrade to a Pro account for $24.95/year if you want to upload more. Unlike Picasa, Flickr has no support for RAW files, but who wants to upload huge RAW files anyways? It would take forever to transfer images over 10 mb each. There are many other benefits and limitations to Flickr to be aware of, which you can read about at PC Magazine and TopTenReviews.
Flickr allows you to edit your photos online with Picnik. Picnik is a pretty simple, easy-to-use online photo editor, with features very similar to Picasa’s (i.e. it’s not Photoshop). There’s nothing to download and install. It has some nice effects that aren’t available in Picasa, such as Vignette and Cross Process. Unfortunately, you have to pay $24.95/year for a premium membership to access all of the features. Another somewhat annoying limitation is that you can only save edits as a new image, so you have to delete the old unedited photo if you don’t want to keep it. If you pay the premium membership, you can save your edits directly. It also appears that if you edit your photos with Picnik within Flickr, you’ll lose your EXIF data. If you load your photos directly to the Picnik website to edit and then upload the new images to Flickr, the EXIF data remains. For some strange reason, when using Picnik within Flickr, some effects (e.g. Lomo-ish and Holga-ish) aren’t available to you, but if you use Picnik directly, the effects are. For more on Picnik, check out TopTenReviews and PC World. CNET has a nice comparison of the different online editors.
As I mentioned in a previous post about Picasa, it appears that most people have accounts on both Flickr and Picasa since they’re both free; I’ll probably do the same.