What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (2023)

Table of Contents
Best photography editing software comparison chart (top 10 highest rated) What are the different types of photo editing software? What is the best photo editing software? Here’s our top 20 list: 1. Adobe Photoshop CC (Best photo editing software overall) 2. Adobe Lightroom (Top photo editing software for Beginners) 3. Skylum Luminar AI(Best Photo editing software for Beginners) 4. Canva (Best Free Photo Editing Software for Absolute Novices) 5. Adobe Photoshop Elements (Top Photo editing software for hobbyists ) 6. Serif Affinity Photo (Top Photo Editing Software for Mac users ) 7. Corel Paintshop Pro (Top Photo editing software for PC) 8. Capture One Pro (Top Paid Photo Editing Software for Professionals) 9. GIMP (Best Open-Source Photo Editing Software for Professionals) 10. PIXLR Editor(Top Free Cross-Platform Photo Editing Software ) 11. ACDsee Ultimate (Best photo editing software for RAW files) 12. DxO PhotoLab (Top Photo Editing Software for RAW files) 13. ON1 Photo RAW (Good Paid Photo Editing Software for RAW files) 14. Stencil (Top Free Photo Editing Software for Graphic Designers) 15. PicMonkey (Good Free Photo Editing Software for Social Media Posts) 16. Design Wizard (Good Online Photo Editing Software for Beginners) 17. Snappa (Best Online Photo Editing Software for Teams) 18. Fotor(Good Alternative to GIMP) 19. Inkscape (Good Open-Source Photo Editing Software) 20. Portrait Pro (Best Photo Editing Software for Portrait Images) What photo editing software should I use? Our conclusion FAQs What is photo editing software used for? What photo editing software do professionals use? What software is used to edit digital photos and digital video? What apps do photographers use aside from their main editor? FAQs Videos

Over the last decade, the world of photography has boomed and has quickly become loaded with all sorts of photo editing software. The internet is so densely populated with these software, it's hard to know which one is the best photo editing software to use.

Fun fact, did you know that today, there are well over 100 photo editing software products on the internet? That’s a lot!

To save you the trouble of having to look through over 100 different photo editing software, In this article, we will be listing our top 20, and we’ll be comparing all of them, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, comparing their prices, and going through their nuance to help you decide with one is appropriate for you.

Best photography editing software comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)

Here’s an outline of our top rated photo editing software available right now on the internet. In the next section, we’ll list and compare photo editing software.

Product

Platform

Best for

Pricing*

Site

Adobe Photoshop CC

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Best photo editing software overall

$9.99 /month

Visit

Adobe Lightroom

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Top paid photo editing software for beginners

$9.99 /month

Visit

Luminar AI

Windows, Mac

Best photo editing software for beginners

$99/lifetime license

Visit

Canva

Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Great photo editing software for absolute novices

Free

Visit

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2022

Windows

Top photo editing software for hobbyists

$99.99/lifetimelicense

Visit

Serif Affinity Photo

Windows, Mac, iPadOS

Best photo editing software for mac users

$54.99/lifetimelicense

Visit

Corel PaintShop Pro

Windows

Top photo editing software for Windows users

$79.99/lifetime license

Visit

Capture One Pro

Windows, Mac

Top paid photo editing software for studio photographers

$299/lifetime license

Visit

GIMP

Windows, Mac, Linux

Best open-source photo editing software for professionals

Free

Visit

Pixlr editor

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Top free photo editing software

Free

Visit

*Prices start at

What are the different types of photo editing software?

  • Photo processing software

  • Photo special effects software

  • Photo retouching software

  • Photo blending software

  • Photo special effects software

  • Digital photography editor

  • Raw image editor

  • Software for photographers

  • Software for editing photos

What is the best photo editing software? Here’s our top 20 list:

With the wide array of photo editing software that are available now, the process of choosing the perfect photo editing software for yourself has never been more tricky. To save you the hassle, we have come up with our list of top photography image editors and applications, and equally good ones that are worth checking out.

1. Adobe Photoshop CC (Best photo editing software overall)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (1)

Adobe Photoshop CC is a photo editing software that was developed in 1987 and has been distributed by Adobe Systems since 1988. Now, with its borderline occultic following, Adobe Photoshop CC is so popular, the word “photoshop” is slang for image editing. It contains almost everything you need to edit, modify, or enhance your photos and images. Adobe Photoshop CC has many basic tools and functionalities like cropping, painting, filling, blurring, sharpening, erasing, and dodging, and this will satisfy most casual users. However, it can also cater to power users with its options to edit multiple layers, masks, channels, sky replacements, pattern previews, the all-encompassing Adobe Sensei, and a whole lot more

Available on Windows PC, Android smartphones, iOS devices, and Mac devices, Adobe Photoshop CC allows you to easily replace the entire background in pictures, create mirror images, edit 3D images and 360-degree images. You can also write texts on photos, add vector graphics, and stitch images together.

By installing customized plug-ins, you can push the functionalities of Adobe Photoshop CC to even greater heights. Its overall features, cross-platform availability, history as the best photo editing software around, and relative value for the price, earn it our number spot as the best overall photo editing app available right now.

Pros:

Adobe Photoshop CC gives you access to a plethora of advanced features, it has a large online community that’s dedicated to offering support whenever you get stuck, and there are thousands of tutorial videos and documentation online that will help you master its complex interface.

Cons:

Files edited on Adobe Photoshop are stored in PSD (Photoshop Document) and PSB (Photoshop Big) file format unlike the more popular JPG or PNG.

Pricing:

  • Individual plan costs $9.99 per month, billed monthly

  • Available with the Adobe Creative Cloud at $52.99 per month.

Adobe Photoshop CC

2. Adobe Lightroom (Top photo editing software for Beginners)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (2)

Adobe Lightroom, not to be confused with Adobe Lightroom Classic, is a non-destructive cloud-based photo editing software that is specifically designed to make your photos look better by removing extra features and blemishes, so you can focus on the details of your photo enhancements. While it is limited in functionality, Lightroom works seamlessly with Photoshop to allow for a wider range of functionality. In addition to basic adjustable contrast, brightness, saturation, and other photo manipulation options, it has more advanced techniques like dehazing and lens aberration adjustment.

Adobe Lightroom is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Apple’s tvOS, and it is compatible with TIFF, JPEG, PSD, PNG, and RAW file formats

For beginners, there is an auto-enhance option that adjusts all levels according to Adobe's algorithm. When you apply this, you can further refine everything further auto-edited image. It also can crop, zoom, skew, distort, and tweak photo sizes and shapes in different ways, and it's a great collage-making tool.

Pros:

Adobe Lightroom’s features are more suited towards photo enhancement than overall photo editing, and it does a very good job at it.

Cons:

It is not a full-fledged photo editor like other software on this list, and it’s not very suitable for professional photographers.

Pricing:

  • Individual plan costs $9.99 per month, billed monthly

  • Available with the Adobe Creative Cloud at $52.99 per month.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

3. Skylum Luminar AI(Best Photo editing software for Beginners)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (3)

Skylum Luminar AI is an incredibly powerful, yet easy-to-use photo editing software that makes use of an industry-leading artificial intelligence algorithm that automatically looks at your photos to find people or things. Based on the results, Skylum Luminar AI suggests one or more templates that you can try on your photos. The available templates are a combination of advanced AI and traditional image adjustments. Once you have selected a template, you can manually adjust it and further enhance your image.

Available on Windows, and Mac, Skylum Luminar is targeted more towards beginners, and its interface is quite intuitive. It also has a unique smart AI sky exchange function that allows you to instantly replace the sky in your photos, and it can automatically adjust the lighting of the entire image so that the previous image matches the newly added sky. It supports HDR content, a variety of Adobe plugins, and it's fun to use.

(Video) Best Photo Editing Software For Photographers - Mac & Windows - 2022

Pros:

Luminar AI has a simplified and easy to use interface that makes it ideal for a beginner’s workflow, and it simplifies complex editing tasks using its great AI capability

Cons:

The preinstalled templates aren’t diverse enough, and some of its very advanced features are difficult to locate without guidance.

Pricing:

  • $79 per user lifetime license

  • $99 for a 2 user lifetime license.

Skylum Luminar AI

4. Canva (Best Free Photo Editing Software for Absolute Novices)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (4)

Canva, unlike most photo editing software on this list, is a web-based photo editing platform that’s known for its ease of use and tailored to suit the needs of absolute novices. It is a beginner’s best friend, with an intuitive interface, lots of free Canva stickers, elements, photos, and fully customizable templates.

Available on basically any device that can access the internet, Canva supports JPG, JPEF, GIF, PNG, and SVG file formats. It also has an inbuilt video editor for video editing that supports MOV and MP4 file formats.

Canva has a mobile app version for Android phones and iPhones. And with over 8,000 free templates for over 100 design types ranging from social media posts to business cards, Canva is mostly used to create quick graphic designs, and photo collages.

Pro:

Canva is beginner-friendly. With no knowledge, you can head over to the website on your smartphone or computer, and have a design ready in minutes!

Cons:

Because Canva is an online-based photo editor app, it does not support local file storage. So if for some reason the Canva website is down, you won’t be able to access your edits. It also pales in capabilities when compared to other full-fledged photo editing software.

Pricing:

  • Free

  • There is a paid version of Canva that costs $12.95 per month

Canva

5. Adobe Photoshop Elements (Top Photo editing software for hobbyists )

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (5)

Take the Adobe Photoshop CC, strip away some of its features, take away the subscription model by offering a lifetime license, make it more beginner-friendly, and you have the Adobe Photoshop Elements. You could say the main purpose of Adobe Photoshop Elements is to help you transition into a full-blown expert at using the main Adobe Photoshop CC.

That said, it is still a very capable photo editing software with standard geotagging and face tagging capabilities that's available on macOS and Windows. Unlike other Adobe programs, it is not a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud of apps and would have to be purchased as a stand-alone app.

Pros:

Adobe Photoshop element is quite intuitive and helps you master the functions of Adobe Photoshop CC in a simplified and easy-to-navigate interface.

Cons:

It is quite expensive for what it is, especially since it lacks some advanced features

Pricing:

  • There’s a free trial of this software that is available for 30 days.

  • $99.99 per lifetime license

Adobe Photoshop Element 2022

6. Serif Affinity Photo (Top Photo Editing Software for Mac users )

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (6)

Often referred to as the Adobe Photoshop CC alternative, Serif Affinity Photo, began as a photo editing software that was tailored specifically towards the needs of a Mac user. Over the years, it has been released across Windows, and iPadOS devices, but it remains hands down one of the best photo editors for macOS devices. Affinity photo is also available on Apple iPads although it's a stripped-back version of it.

Affinity Photo comes with all the basic editing tools you'd expect from a great photo editing software, like red-eye removal, blemish removal, cropping, selection, and vector shape tools, but it also includes more advanced tools like cloning stamp, RAW files processing, image stitching, batch processing, and lens distortion correction.

It has virtually all the features of Adobe Photoshop CC, is very compatible with other Adobe photo editing software, and can even work with Adobe’s unique PSD format! And at $54.99 for a lifetime license, it’s a steal!

Pros:

What sets the Serif Affinity Photo apart is its value. For the price, it is a great buy, and it works extremely well on macOS devices and has better integration with Apple Photos than other photo editing software

Cons:

Like the Adobe Photoshop CC, it is also not intuitive and could prove very difficult to grasp.

Pricing:

  • $9.99 per lifetime license for the iPadOS version

  • $54.99 per lifetime license for the Windows and Mac versions

Serif Affinity Photo

7. Corel Paintshop Pro (Top Photo editing software for PC)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (7)

Originally known as just PaintShop, Corel PaintShop Pro started its journey back in 2004 as a simple image converter but has developed into a full-blown photo editing software. Like Luminar AI, Corel PaintShop Pros uses artificial intelligence for editing and has many features similar to Adobe Photoshop CC. However, there are two main differences. Corel PaintShop Pro offers a lifetime license instead of the subscription model and is only available on Windows.

Corel PaintShop Pro supports layers and can edit both raster and vector image formats. This is something you would usually need two Adobe Creative Cloud apps to do. It was initially created for Windows to act as an image converter. However, this tool has evolved over the years and is now on par with Photoshop. Its user interface is easier to navigate than most of its competitors and is packed with powerful tools as well.

Pros:

One-time payment fee, and advanced features, combined with artificial intelligence (AI) makes the Corel PhotoShop Pro another great alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC

Cons:

It is only available to Windows users, and it does not support cloud storage. Meaning all image files are stored locally on your PC.

Pricing:

$79.99 per lifetime license

Corel PaintShop Pro

8. Capture One Pro (Top Paid Photo Editing Software for Professionals)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (8)

Capture One Pro is a full-fledged professional photo editor designed for experienced photographers and enthusiasts. Originally developed for tethered shootings, Capture One Pro is the fastest and most flexible tethering tool for photographers of all genres. It also has top-notch RAW photo editing tools, smart photo organizing tools, layer support, powerful adjustment tools, and many other features required by professional photo software. In this respect, it's similar to Adobe's Lightroom.

(Video) 10 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers📸💻🖨 2020

However, unlike Adobe Lightroom, the Capture one Pro user interface doesn’t offer different workspaces for different functions and could sometimes feel overly clunky.

Available on both Windows and macOS, Capture one Pro can work with JPEG, PSD, and RAW file formats, and it has a host of functionality like; keystone correction, noise reduction, high dynamic range tools, and sharpening tools.

Pros:

Capture one Pro has great photo enhancement capabilities, and most studio photographers would find it to be a very important part of their workflow.

Cons:

At $299, it is not cheap. This consequently makes the Adobe Lightroom a better-valued alternative.

Pricing:

  • There’s a free trial of this software that is available for 30 days.

  • $299 per lifetime license

Capture One Pro

9. GIMP (Best Open-Source Photo Editing Software for Professionals)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (9)

GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open-source photo editing software that is used by professional photographers, hobbyists, and beginners alike. GIMP is mostly used for image editing, retouching, and it was released under the GPL-3.0 open source license.

Available on Linux, macOS, and Windows, GIMP has a variety of professional features for fine-tuning snapshots and creating your own artwork from scratch. It includes layers, highly customizable brushes, filters, automatic image enhancement tools, and support for a variety of plugins that can be downloaded individually.

The open-source nature of GIMP and Its lively community of contributors means that it is constantly being developed, bugs are constantly being fixed, and new features are always being added to new versions of the software. All of this makes GIMP a truly remarkable free photo editor. GIMP offers impressive selection and montage features, various options for retouching images, white balance adjustments, color adjustment tools, customizable brushes, color gradients and so much more. It also packs a wealth of features for advanced users, like layer masks, Bezier curves, filters, and even animation packs.

Pros:

The first and most noticeable advantage of using GIMP is that it is free! The source code is available online, and it’s constantly being improved! It also has a user-friendly interface.

Cons:

As of now, GIMP does not support HDR content.

Pricing:

  • Free

GIMP

10. PIXLR Editor(Top Free Cross-Platform Photo Editing Software )

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (10)

Pixlr Editor belongs to a niche family of web-based image editing software. Since it was created using Flash, it requires the Flash plugin to work. It is currently free to use and has no corporate pricing fees. There are no hidden charges and users can use it for commercial purposes. This makes it a cost-effective solution, especially for freelance artists and small businesses. Although it can be upgraded to a premium version.

Pixlr is a great choice for editors that need mobility without making too many compromises on functionality. It provides a variety of tools for complex editing processes, as well as tools for quick corrections.

Because it’s online, you can use this editing program wherever you are and on any device with an internet connection. In addition, Pixlr reassures users that photos remain private and they do not save a permanent copy of the image on their systems.

Pros:

It's a great tool for users that aren't used to the complexity of photo editing but want to come up with photos that look professional.

Cons:

Like many free online image editors, it contains ads that can be quite distracting and will only be completely removed when you pay for the premium version. Also, it only supports JPEG file format.

Pricing:

  • Free

  • Pixlr Premium costs $4.90 per month, billed monthly

PIXLR Editor

11. ACDsee Ultimate (Best photo editing software for RAW files)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (11)

Developed by ACD Systems international inc, ACDSee Ultimate is a top photo editing software that is mostly revered for lossless RAW image editing! Available on Windows, macOS, and iOS, this image organizer turn beast of a photo editing software takes the term “fast RAW image decoding” to a whole new level!

ACDSee Pro allows for one-click toggling between 100% and fit screen zoom mode anywhere inside an image that is being edited, and it supports PNG, JPEG, GIF, TGA, WBMP, PIC, ICO, and of course, RAW file formats amongst others.

Asides from its fast RAW image decoding, ACDSee Ultimate has top-notch image batch processing and geotagging functionalities. For a professional photographer or enthusiast that edits a lot of RAW files, ACDSee Pro is the ideal image editing tool to use.

Pros:

Its incredible RAW file editing capabilities are heads and shoulders above the competition.

Cons:

While its user interface is customizable to a certain extent, it is quite complicated. It doesn’t support HDR content, and its correction tools are less effective than in other photo editing software like Lightroom.

Pricing:

  • $99.95 per lifetime license

ACDSee Ultimate

12. DxO PhotoLab (Top Photo Editing Software for RAW files)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (12)

DxO PhotoLab is a powerful RAW processing and image editing program developed by the French company DxO. This professional photo editing software is best known for providing advanced RAW processing technology and high-quality lens correction. With this software, you can make local adjustments to make your images look professional.

If your images are boring or need a little trimming, it offers a selection of 40 carefully tuned presets in different categories. The DxO PhotoLab has its proprietary Deep PRIME tool. The DeepPRIME tool minimizes image retouching and exporting processing time up to 4x faster on Mac devices and up to 1.5x faster on modern Windows PCs. Once you've edited and completed your photo, you can export it directly to your hard drive, or post it as an online photo on Facebook.

DxO PhotoLab is definitely one of the more intuitive photo editing programs available right now. Although it has a sophisticated user interface it’s quite easy to navigate, and similar to Adobe Lightroom. However, Lightroom comes with a monthly subscription while PhotoLab is a more expensive one-time purchase with better RAW editing capabilities.

Pro

DxO PhotLab is relatively beginner-friendly when compared to other photo editors in its class, and its revolutionary Deep PRIME tool makes exporting images that much faster.

Cons

You’d need to purchase the more expensive Elite version to access the DeepPRIME and ClearView Plus tools, and it has no layer function

Pricing

  • There’s a 30-day free trial version.

    (Video) Top 5 Best FREE PHOTO EDITING Software

  • DxO PhotoLab Essential is $129 per lifetime license

  • DxO PhotoLab Elite is $199 per lifetime license

DxO PhotoLab

13. ON1 Photo RAW (Good Paid Photo Editing Software for RAW files)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (13)

ON1 Photo RAW is a powerful image processing software that provides a comprehensive set of RAW editing tools. Available on both Windows and Mac devices. ON1 Photo RAW flat RAW images into vibrant, detailed professional-looking photos with minimal effort.

ON1 Photo RAW also has numerous presets and photo editing tools for portrait editing and landscape expansion. In addition to photo editing, it provides comprehensive photo management tools. If you have a large photo catalog and you need an editor to help you organize it, ON1 Photo RAW is just the right software for you.

ON1 Photo RAW also contains Photoshop-specific pixel manipulation options and editing features that allows you to add solar flares and bokeh effects with just a few clicks. Finally, it supports a few Photoshop Plugins.

Pros:

ON1 Photo RAW is another top powerful photo editing software that’s tailored toward RAW files, and Power users.

Cons:

The program is not the most intuitive and can be quite confusing. The numerous options, buttons, and panels make the ON1 Photo RAW quite difficult to master without tutorials.

Pricing:

  • There’s a 14-day free trial version.

  • Individual plan starts at $99.99 per lifetime license

ON1 Photo RAW

14. Stencil (Top Free Photo Editing Software for Graphic Designers)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (14)

Stencil, like Canva, is a cloud-based graphic design tool. However, Stencil has some unique features that are not available in Canva. Stencil’s unlimited plan allows you to create an infinite number of images with plenty of ready-to-use icons, graphics, and images. It’s an editing software that was designed with graphic designers in mind.

Also available on any device that can access the internet and open a webpage, Stencil provides more than 1.4 million photos, 1 million icons, and other illustrations to use as backgrounds for social media posts. The main benefits of Stencil are its user-friendly features, many royalty-free photos to choose from, a wealth of options for editing visual content, and good customer support.

Pros:

Stencil is easy to use, intuitive, and you can access your designs anytime from any device that can open a webpage.

Cons:

Its oversimplification makes it quite limited in functionality, and not ideal for professionals.

Pricing:

  • There’s a free version of this app!

  • Stencil Pro costs $9 per month, billed annually

  • Stencil Unlimited costs $12 per month, billed annually

Stencil

15. PicMonkey (Good Free Photo Editing Software for Social Media Posts)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (15)

PicMonkey is a free and easy-to-use online photo editor that was recently acquired by the popular global provider of stock photography, stock footage, and stock music, Shutterstock.

Accessible through its webpage or mobile app, PicMonkey is an excellent image editor for bloggers, graphic designers, and Instagram photographers that make a lot of online media content, and it also supports video editing.

PicMonkey allows you to edit images using color filters and effects, create templates for collages, create business cards, add bold graphics and fonts to photos, and also create designs from scratch.

The PicMonkey editor also has an open API for developers to integrate their tools directly into its web pages. It has an online cloud storage called HUB that allows you to store and organize your photos unlimitedly by library. In addition to the numerous templates, fonts, and styles already available, you can also download some more and add them to your library.

Pros:

PicMonkey has a very intuitive and very simple user interface and editing tools are divided into several thematic tabs that you can switch between using the tabs on the left side of your desktop. And of course, it's free!

Cons:

Like other free-to-access online photo editing programs, PicMonkey displays ads throughout the user interface. This interferes with the image editing process. Only premium members can work without ads.

Pricing:

PicMonkey

16. Design Wizard (Good Online Photo Editing Software for Beginners)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (16)Design Wizard is an online image and video creation service that you can use for your online business. It has an interface that is reasonably intuitive, clean to use, and tailor-made for beginners.

Design Wizard comes with about 15,000 Templates and over 1,245,420 images to work with.

The pre-formatted templates also allow you to design in customized photo dimensions to fit the requirements of different social networking services. It also has some basic video editing features.

Pros:

The interface is simple to navigate and with its numerous templates, you can go from an idea to a fully designed picture in minutes.

Cons:

It has very limited features compared to other photo editing software, and although it supports basic video editing, creating or enhancing videos requires a minimum fee of $4.99 per download and up to $16.99 for HD Quality.

Pricing:

  • There’s a free version

    (Video) Which is the BEST Photo EDITOR?

  • Design Wizard Pro costs $9.99 billed monthly, or $89 billed annually(save 25%)

Design Wizard

17. Snappa (Best Online Photo Editing Software for Teams)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (17)

Snappa is one of the fastest ways for non-designers to create graphics online. The software is very intuitive, it supports teamwork and enables groups of people to work together seamlessly. You can add text to your photos and easily share it to social media platforms.

Snappa Editor also allows you to design images in preset image dimensions, and also from over 4 million free hi-res pictures. It supports JPEG, PNG, and RAW file formats.

All images provided by Snappa are royalty-free and can be used for professional purposes. Snappa allows you to add comments and captions to your designs with over 200 fonts to choose from.

Pros:

The user interface is simple and elegant, and if you still find it a bit difficult, there are video and text tutorials to help you if you experience any difficulty.

Cons:

Unlike other online photo editors that allow mobile devices, Snappa only supports PC and Mac web pages.

Pricing:

  • There’s a Free version

  • Snappa Pro costs $10 per month, billed annually.

  • Snappa Team costs $20 per month, billed annually

Snappa

18. Fotor(Good Alternative to GIMP)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (18)

Fotor, often referred to as the GIMP alternative is another photo editing software that is packed with image enhancement tools and filters to make your images look the best. It supports all popular image file formats like PNG, JPEG, and RAW!

Unlike the powerful open-source image editor GIMP, Fotor can't compete with Photoshop's various tools, brushes, and plug-ins, but it has the advantage of being much easier to use. Fotor is equipped with a one-click filter that corrects the image according to the shooting conditions and the subject.

The interface is quite easy to use, and it uses sliders to help you smoothly compare your original image, and what it would look like after you implement any edit.

Fotor is available online, and it has an offline version that can be downloaded to Windows or macOS devices. It also has a mobile version.

Pro:

The slider feature is quite useful, and the one-click filter does a good job and instantly auto-editing images.

Cons:

There are many distracting ads in the free version of the app. You can get rid of them by paying for a professional subscription. That said, even with the paid version, it is still too limited for professional photo editing.

Pricing:

  • Fotor Basic is available for free.
  • Fotor Pro costs $8.99 billed monthly, or $51.99 billed annually.
  • Fotor Pro+ costs $19.99 billed monthly or $107.99 billed annually.

Fotor

19. Inkscape (Good Open-Source Photo Editing Software)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (19)

Inkscape is an Open-source image editing software that's licensed under GPL (General Public License), often referred to as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Inkscape is notoriously known for its ease of use, and by hovering on every single icon or button, it displays a helpful tip.

Although it’s free, Inkscape packs a punch with some very advanced image editing features, and it supports a variety of gradients and provides individual tools for creating complex combinations.

The basic file format of Inkscape is SVG—a cross-platform open file format that is widely used in Adobe products. This format allows you to create relatively compact file sizes without compromising the quality of the original image.

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Inkscape mostly excels more as a vector graphics editor than an image editor.

Pros:

It has very flexible drawing tools, it’s just as good as Adobe Illustrator, and it’s free!

Cons:

All versions of Inkscape software available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux have a fairly old user interface that has not been updated for more than 5 years.

Pricing:

  • Free

Inkscape

20. Portrait Pro (Best Photo Editing Software for Portrait Images)

What Is the Best Photo Editing Software? Top 20 Programs Compared (20)

Portrait Pro is an image editing software that’s renowned for its ability to edit portrait pictures. Developed by Anthropics Technology Ltd, Portrait Pro is aimed at portrait photographers. It can adjust lighting, add pops and make flat light portraits even more interesting. The same applies to its ability to add or enhance make-up.

As you edit, it has sliders that you can move around to easily see the effect of changes you make, and compare them to unmodified photos. PortraitPro is available as a standalone application or as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture.

It also has a great algorithm that can instantly detect faces, and automatically make beauty corrections that oftentimes are more hit than miss.

Pros:

Portrait Pro has best-in-class portrait editing capabilities.

Cons:

Portrait Pro is very good at what it does; image enhancements. But It does terribly at any other photo that isn’t a portrait shot. It can sometimes also over-adjust an image, to the point that it looks less real, and more like a 3d animation.

Pricing:

  • Portrait Pro Standard costs $45 per lifetime license.
  • Portrait Pro Studio costs $70 Per lifetime license.
  • Portrait Pro Studio Max costs $140 per lifetime license.

Portrait Pro

What photo editing software should I use? Our conclusion

Every photo editing software on this list has its strengths and weaknesses, and we can guarantee that they are the top 20 ones available on the market right now. Depending on what you do, we’re sure that there’s a great photo editing software on this list that perfectly suits your needs. However, while we can not actively pick the perfect one for you, we’ll let you in on a little secret; the photo editing software we call the best at anything is the best at it!

FAQs

What is photo editing software used for?

Photo editing software is used to edit, enhance or manipulate digital images. Software in this category includes simple mobile apps that can apply simple effects on images. It also includes industry-standard programs used by professional photographers for advanced photography manipulations.

What photo editing software do professionals use?

Professionals mostly use Adobe Photoshop CC, Serif Affinity Photo, Capture One Pro, and Portrait Pro. From there, specific software is favored by specific professionals. Mac users prefer Affinity Photo. Studio photographers like Capture One Pro, while portrait photographers like Portrait Pro. Photoshop is rounded and well-liked all around.

(Video) Best Photo Editing Software 2022

What software is used to edit digital photos and digital video?

Adobe Photoshop CC, Canva, Design Wizard, and Adobe Lightroom all offer photo and video editing. But because these software are primarily photo editors, their video editing capabilities are quite limited. Dedicated video editing software is definitely the way to go, Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut being 2 popular options.

What apps do photographers use aside from their main editor?

Skylum Luminar AI, ON1 Photo RAW, DxO PhotoLab, and Canva could all serve as secondary editors to photographers. Skylum Luminar AI for its industry-leading AI algorithm, ON1 Photo Raw for its top RAW file processing capabilities, DxO PhotoLab for its fast exporting speed, and Canva for quick social media designs.

FAQs

What photo editing software do most photographers use? ›

Adobe Photoshop is widely considered to be the gold standard when it comes to photo editing software. It's used by professional photographers and graphic designers worldwide, and for good reason. Photoshop is an incredibly powerful program that can be used to create just about anything you can imagine.

Who is the No 1 photo editor? ›

1. PhotoDirector - Best Free Photo Editor App. PhotoDirector is the best photo editing app in the market.

Is there anything better than Photoshop? ›

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a professional, open-source photography powerhouse that works on Linux, Windows, and macOS. So, it's both the best Adobe Photoshop alternative overall, and an excellent free alternative, too.

How do professionals edit photos? ›

  1. Develop a personal style. There is no “right” way of editing photos like a professional. ...
  2. Choose a photo editing program. ...
  3. Use filters and presets. ...
  4. Take advantage of automatic modes. ...
  5. Crop the scene. ...
  6. Straighten lines. ...
  7. Bring colors to life. ...
  8. Adjust the white balance.
1 Apr 2020

Is Lightroom better than Photoshop? ›

A head-to-head comparison.

On a high level, Lightroom is the best tool to manage and process the thousands of photos that live on your devices. Photoshop specializes in greater control to achieve more expansive edits that will help you make a few images look flawless.

What is the easiest photo editing software? ›

The list of the best photo editing software for beginners:
  • Luminar.
  • Adobe Lightroom.
  • Aurora HDR.
  • Photolemur.
  • Snappa.
  • ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate.
  • Adobe Photoshop.
  • AirMagic.

What editing app do photographers use? ›

Adobe Lightroom is one of the best photo editing app for professional photographers as it's the only photography app that can allow viewing, editing, and organizing a large number of images.

What is the easiest photo editor for beginners? ›

So, let's take a look at some of the best free photo editing software for beginners.
  • Capture One Pro.
  • ACDSee.
  • PhotoZoom Pro.
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  • Wondershare Pixstudio.
  • Canva.
  • Pixlr X Photo Editor.
30 Aug 2022

Is Adobe Photoshop still the best? ›

Adobe Photoshop has been the gold standard in image editing almost since it was originally launched, and the latest version continues that tradition with the most powerful image editing tools available.

How much is Lightroom a month? ›

How much does Lightroom cost? You can purchase Lightroom with an annual plan starting at US$9.99/mo or US$119.88/yr. Get the Lightroom plan with 1TB of storage, or purchase a Creative Cloud Photography plan that includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop (20GB or 1TB).

Do photographers edit their photos? ›

Any professional photographer will edit their photos. Although each will have a different style of editing, it's common practice in the photography industry. Photo editing allows photographers to enhance the image and stylize it in ways that would not be possible in-camera.

How much does Photoshop cost UK? ›

How to buy Photoshop
Plan: Photography Plan with 20GB cloudUKUS
Annual plan paid monthly£9.98$9.99
Annual plan paid upfront£119.21$119.88
Monthly plan (cancel at any time)£75.85$79.49
Buy it here
16 Aug 2022

What is replacing Photoshop? ›

We think GIMP offers a wide toolset, similar to Photoshop in many ways, and is a great option if you're looking for a no-cost image editor.

What's as good as Photoshop? ›

The best free Photoshop alternative for photographers is Photopea. The best free Photoshop alternative for artists is Krita. The best all-around Photoshop alternative has to be Pixelmator Pro. While not as strong as Affinity or Luminar at photo editing, Pixelmator's art tools gave it the edge.

How do I edit like a pro? ›

How to Edit Videos Like a Pro: 10 Tips
  1. Maintain a Project Directory. ...
  2. Two Is the Magic Number. ...
  3. Choose Your Weapon Wisely. ...
  4. Trim the Fat. ...
  5. Avoid Jumpcuts. ...
  6. Vary Your Shots. ...
  7. Start Off With High-Quality Footage. ...
  8. Don't Forget Coloring.
3 Aug 2021

How do I shoot photos like a pro? ›

Proper Depth-of-Field
  1. Put on your longest lens.
  2. Set the camera to aperture priority.
  3. Set the aperture as low as it will go.
  4. Step as close to the subject as you can while still allowing the lens to focus.
  5. Place the subject far away from anything in the background.
  6. Put the focus point on the subject.
  7. Take the picture.

How long should it take a photographer to edit photos? ›

“Editing photos can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the degree of editing,” he says. “I use tools like Photoshop to hone quality and make sure I'm getting the right dimensions for each product page. On average, on most days, it takes me roughly 30 minutes per picture.”

Do professional photographers use Lightroom or Photoshop? ›

Photoshop's range of brushes and powerful image manipulation tools make it popular with graphic designers and illustrators. But that doesn't mean it's not for photographers. Many photographers use Lightroom to make their initial edits and then Photoshop for retouching or to remove unwanted objects.

Should I learn Photoshop or Lightroom first? ›

If you are a beginning photographer looking for a relatively intuitive photo editing software, Lightroom is generally best, to begin with. You can always add Photoshop to the mix later, if and when you're in need of advanced photo manipulation techniques.

Do you need both Lightroom and Photoshop? ›

Sometimes, you need to use both especially if you want your work to stand out. Having said that however, I do believe for many photographers, learning Lightroom would be sufficient, it's great for keeping organised, being quick at editing, and has enough tools to turn raw files into something special.

Do beginner photographers need Photoshop? ›

Photoshop is one of the most essential tools for photographers of all levels of ability. However, it can be pretty overwhelming when you first start using it. Photoshop is so crammed with buttons, sliders, and other assorted tools, that it's hard to know where to begin.

How much does it cost to get Photoshop? ›

How much does Photoshop cost? There are multiple Adobe Photoshop plans to choose from. You can get an annual plan that's either billed monthly at US$20.99/mo or billed upfront at US$239.88/yr, or you can get a Creative Cloud All Apps or Photography plan that comes with Photoshop plus additional apps.

How can I edit my photos like a free professional? ›

What is the best free online photo editor?
  1. Taler.
  2. GIMP.
  3. Canva.
  4. Fotor.
  5. Photo POS Pro.
  6. Pixlr X.
  7. Photoshop Express.
17 May 2022

How can I get Adobe Photoshop for free? ›

Yes, you can download a 7-day free trial of Photoshop. The free trial is the official, full version of the app. It includes all the features and updates in the latest version of Photoshop. Your trial will automatically convert to a paid Creative Cloud membership after 7 days, unless you cancel before then.

What app do most photographers use? ›

Best Camera Apps for Photographers
  • Bacon Camera.
  • Camera +2.
  • Camera Zoom FX Premium.
  • Moment Pro Camera.
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera.
  • Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
  • Snapseed.
  • Pixlr.

What is the best free photo editor for beginners? ›

1. GIMP. This fully accessible photo editor has grown in popularity and is now one of the top choices for beginners. Gimp first became accessible to the general public in 1996, and it has developed into a potent photo-editing tool that gives its users almost limitless freedom to change their photographs.

Is there a free photo editor? ›

Here is the list of the popular free photo editors: Canva. GIMP. Fotor.

Which is the No 1 editing app? ›

Be sure to check out all of our picks for the best photo editing apps.
  • PicsArt (Android, iOS) ...
  • Snapseed (Android, iOS) ...
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera (Android, iOS) ...
  • Pixlr (Android, iOS) ...
  • Adobe Lightroom (Android, iOS) ...
  • Instagram (Android, iOS) ...
  • Google Photos (Android, iOS) ...
  • Prisma (Android, iOS)
26 Sept 2022

What editing app do Tiktokers use? ›

Our Favorite Video Editing Apps for TikTok in 2022 are:
  • YouCam Video.
  • TikTok.
  • InShot.
  • Picsart.
  • Canva.
  • Filmora.
  • FaceTune Video.
  • Filto.
1 Sept 2022

What is the best editing app for edits? ›

21 Best Video Editing Apps for Android, iPhone & iPad in 2022
  • Quik.
  • Adobe Premiere Rush.
  • iMovie.
  • WeVideo.
  • Clips.
  • Splice.
  • Vimeo Create.
  • KineMaster.
7 Sept 2022

What are the disadvantages of Adobe Photoshop? ›

Photoshop: Disadvantages
  • Complicated Learning Curve. Together with all its functions, Photoshop is quite a difficult program to master. ...
  • Not Suitable for Batch Work with Photos. ...
  • It Isn't Cheap. ...
  • Incomplete Updates or Untested Beta Versions.

How much is Photoshop monthly? ›

How much does Photoshop cost? There are several Creative Cloud plans that include Photoshop. You can purchase it as a standalone app for US$20.99/month or opt for annual billing at US$239.88/yr. Both options give you access to all the latest Photoshop features and updates and 100GB of cloud storage.

Why is Photoshop the best? ›

Photoshop is great for photo editing, offering photographers a wide array of color, exposure, and contrast adjustments. Unlike other editing software, Photoshop uses a layer-based workflow allowing maximum control over how and where your adjustments occur.

How much does Lightroom cost UK? ›

Photo editing made for everyone. Lightroom makes it easy to get your images just right. Edit from anywhere you are and take your photography to new places. Plans starting at £9.98/mo.

What happens to my photos if I cancel Lightroom? ›

It's under Lightroom Classic Images: "You can continue to access all your photos on your local hard drive through Lightroom for the desktop. You can continue to import and organize photos and output your edited photos through Export, Publish, Print, Web, or Slideshow.

Is Lightroom no longer free? ›

Is Lightroom free on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices? You can use all the capture, organization, and sharing features in Lightroom for mobile for free. You can also use most of the editing features for free. Upgrading gives you premium features and lets you work across any device.

Is it wrong to edit professional photos? ›

So why do photographers state that you must not edit the photographs? The simple reason for this is that it misrepresents what they do. When your business is a visual one, you rely on people booking you based on what they can see of your work. If they like the quality and the style they may book you.

Do photographers give unedited photos? ›

Most professional photographers don't give out their unedited photos.

Is it wrong to edit photos? ›

Editing an image is not a general violation of any rule in photography. It only violates rules when it doesn't meet its specific purpose. People can do what they want, but there are consequences. When the editing is done properly, it should be fine.

Which photo editing software is best for beginners? ›

10 best free photo editing software that is perfect for beginners:
  1. GIMP. This fully accessible photo editor has grown in popularity and is now one of the top choices for beginners. ...
  2. WPS office. ...
  3. Photos app for windows 10. ...
  4. Adobe Lightroom. ...
  5. Fotor. ...
  6. Darktable. ...
  7. Photopea. ...
  8. Coral PaintShop Pro.
11 Aug 2022

What is a photo editing software? ›

An image editing application for digital photos. It is used to crop and touch up photos, as well as organize them into albums and slide shows. Photo editors typically do not have the myriad filters and features of a full-blown image editor such as Adobe's Photoshop or Corel's Paint Shop Pro.

Is Adobe Photoshop still the best? ›

Adobe Photoshop has been the gold standard in image editing almost since it was originally launched, and the latest version continues that tradition with the most powerful image editing tools available.

What is the simplest photo editor? ›

The Best Easy-to-Use Photo Editing Software for Beginners
  • PhotoScape.
  • IrfanView.
  • Snagit.
  • FastStone Image Viewer.
  • Paint.NET.
  • GIMP.
  • Photos for macOS.
  • XnView MP.
1 Mar 2021

What is like Photoshop but free? ›

4. GIMP. Perhaps the most well known free software to edit photos like Photoshop, GIMP has been around for ages and is one of the first programs that comes to mind for many people when they think “free Photoshop”.

Which is the No 1 editing app? ›

Be sure to check out all of our picks for the best photo editing apps.
  • PicsArt (Android, iOS) ...
  • Snapseed (Android, iOS) ...
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera (Android, iOS) ...
  • Pixlr (Android, iOS) ...
  • Adobe Lightroom (Android, iOS) ...
  • Instagram (Android, iOS) ...
  • Google Photos (Android, iOS) ...
  • Prisma (Android, iOS)
26 Sept 2022

What editing app do Tiktokers use? ›

Our Favorite Video Editing Apps for TikTok in 2022 are:
  • YouCam Video.
  • TikTok.
  • InShot.
  • Picsart.
  • Canva.
  • Filmora.
  • FaceTune Video.
  • Filto.
1 Sept 2022

What is the best editing app for edits? ›

21 Best Video Editing Apps for Android, iPhone & iPad in 2022
  • Quik.
  • Adobe Premiere Rush.
  • iMovie.
  • WeVideo.
  • Clips.
  • Splice.
  • Vimeo Create.
  • KineMaster.
7 Sept 2022

Is Lightroom better than Photoshop? ›

A head-to-head comparison.

On a high level, Lightroom is the best tool to manage and process the thousands of photos that live on your devices. Photoshop specializes in greater control to achieve more expansive edits that will help you make a few images look flawless.

Is photo editing hard? ›

Photo editing can be pretty daunting. Open up any post-processing program, and you'll be confronted by a slew of sliders, tools, and options (it's enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed!). Fortunately, basic photography editing isn't nearly as hard as it seems.

How much does Photoshop cost UK? ›

How to buy Photoshop
Plan: Photography Plan with 20GB cloudUKUS
Annual plan paid monthly£9.98$9.99
Annual plan paid upfront£119.21$119.88
Monthly plan (cancel at any time)£75.85$79.49
Buy it here
16 Aug 2022

What are the disadvantages of Adobe Photoshop? ›

Photoshop: Disadvantages
  • Complicated Learning Curve. Together with all its functions, Photoshop is quite a difficult program to master. ...
  • Not Suitable for Batch Work with Photos. ...
  • It Isn't Cheap. ...
  • Incomplete Updates or Untested Beta Versions.

Do professional photographers use Lightroom or Photoshop? ›

Photoshop's range of brushes and powerful image manipulation tools make it popular with graphic designers and illustrators. But that doesn't mean it's not for photographers. Many photographers use Lightroom to make their initial edits and then Photoshop for retouching or to remove unwanted objects.

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