Double fun for digital photographers with Adobe’s announcement of the latest version of Photoshop Elements for Mac coming at the same time as Google’s introduction of the free and easy-to-use Picasa 3.5 for the platform.

Adobe’s latest offering provides a range of powerful technologies for photographers who don’t need all the bells and whistles of full-fledged Photoshop, while Google’s software delivers useful facial recognition and Google Maps geotagging technologies.

Elements 8 also offers facial recognition, along with new full-screen previews, the capacity to make fast edits, and the ability to sync images held on multiple computers automatically.

Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac (ships in October and costs £65) includes all of the intelligent photo-editing options as the Windows version. In addition to Photomerge Exposure, Recompose and Quick Fix previews, Mac users will have access to the following new tools: – Photomerge Scene Cleaner for brushing away unwanted elements, such as tourists or cars, from a series of photos to create the perfect scene.

– The Smart Brush helps apply incredible effects to a specific area of a photo with a single stroke.

-Touch-Up brushes make common editing tasks quick, such as whitening teeth or making bright blue skies.

It’s an interesting comparison. Google’s software may lack some of the tools inside Elements for Mac, but does have the ability to scan images on your Mac to create groups of similar faces.

The new version of Picasa also features an improved upload process that allows for greater control over which photos get uploaded and shared during importation from a camera. Picasa 3.5 is expected to be made available today.

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