With the gaining momentum of Instagram filters and high-end smartphones, everyone can call themselves a photographer. However, it can’t be denied at the same time at only the real photographers understand the value and importance of editing raw images in order to bring out the photo’s best potential.
The Best Photo Editing Software for 2020
A raw image, as is seen by a photographer, is an unprocessed film seen by the senor of your DSLR. Editing images means rectifying lots of things like noise reduction, exposure, focus and highlighting the main objects to turn it into a stunning image. Here are the best 19 photo editing software programs used by photographers.
In any article on photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop is sure to take the first place. This is one of the best tools in the market and hence has legions of fans over the globe. Key features of this editing software.
- Its selection and masking tools are the best in the market.
- Exclusive retouching and cloning capabilities.
- Even with large sized images, Photoshop works fast.
- Supports all the main file formats like PNG, JPG, GIF and raw files.
- It uses adjustment layers to improve the quality of the image.
Corel PaintShop Pro 2020
Second on our list is the Corel PaintShop Pro 2020, one of the cheapest photo editing software in the market. In fact, due to its amazing features, there are photographers who call this the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
However, it lacks the flagship features like 3D modeling, Camera Shake Reduction, detailed typography and Faces Liquefy. Key features are.
- Ideal for beginner photographers.
- User-experience is smooth and crisp.
- Has 360-degree editing capabilities.
- Designers may begin to work from the in-built graphic design templates.
- Wide range of gradients, colors, picture tubes, pallets among others.
The third on the list is Skylum Luminar, which is deemed to be a great alternative to Adobe Lightroom. This is one of the pivotal reasons behind its gaining momentum among photographers. It comes at an affordable price with strong editing features. Its key features are.
- Has adjustment masks and layers.
- Swift editing controls and lesser lag time.
- 24X7 sales and technical support.
- Amazingly useful shortcuts for automated handling of images.
- Folders are always updated with content on the hard disk.
- AI-enhanced sky enhancer and accidental AI and sun rays.
Adobe is a company that needs no introduction in the photo editing software. This is yet another strong editing software by Adobe that is ideal for photographers who want a straightforward but capable tool for image editing.
Lightroom has a user-friendly interface too. Though its editing options are limited, yet it is a hit among photographers. Key features include.
- Customizable sliders.
- Is able to sync with several devices.
- Offers fixing and blurring tools.
- Brush and gradient adjustment tools.
- Corrections based on camera and lens.
- Has professional filters with multiple presets.
- Face detection capability helps you organize pictures effectively.
Skylum Aurora HDR
Skylum Aurora HDR improves the effective amalgamation of imagery to design final shots that book stunning and natural at the same time.
This software runs as a standalone app and it can be plugged in with other tools like Adobe Photoshop. Besides the conventional methods of creating HDR images, it also lets photographers create HDR images from one file. Few of its key features include.
- Has more than 20 tools through which you can create HDR images.
- Cleans noise and improves details and depth.
- The HDR clarity feature optimizes clarity and improves contrast for enhanced results.
- You can use 80 unique presets.
The sixth on the list is Canva and it is one of the most famous photo editing software to let you design some of the best photo templates.
The user-interface of this software is simplistic and it has allowed millions to edit graphics without proper technical knowledge. Here are the key features.
- Mobile app can be downloaded to edit photos and make designs.
- Has more than 8000 templates, icons, photos and cards for creation of visual content.
- Provides speech bubble maker.
- Has image-cropping and straightening features.
- Gives access to a library of images.
This is recommended for the starters who want to brush up their photo editing skills. PicMonkey offers a wide range of photo editing tools that include collages, touch-up, crop and more.
Before choosing its paid version, you can test the features through its free trial version. Its user-interface is one of its bests. The key features include.
- Extensive range of templates.
- Advanced touch-up tools.
- Tools and features get constant updates.
- Smartphone app is rich in features.
- Sophisticated tools for graphic designing to create images.
- You don’t require editing wizard to use this editing software.
Capture One is created by a camera company named Phase One. At a glance, the RAW image editor of this tool will seem to be like any other editing software but it offers some unique features. If you focus on improving RAW images, this is a great option. The key features include.
- Masking capabilities are unique.
- Performance is slick and faster with bigger files.
- Has Advanced Color Editing feature that lets you adjust white balance and colors.
- Interface can be customized as your preference.
- Lets you make multiple adjustments to each layer without hurting its speed.
DesignWizard is a tool that has several in-built design templates ideal for everything from YouTube Channel Art and social media posts. You can use this tool to design gift certificates and also birthday cards. Key features of this tool are.
- Has a library of more than 1 million images, several high quality videos, illustrations and graphics.
- All videos and images are licensed for commercial purposes.
- Content can be instantly shared on social media.
- Marketing templates include LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads templates.
ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
ACDSee Photo Studio has been in the market for a really long time but many photographers aren’t aware of its existence. This is an all-purpose photo editing software that offers amazing features making it an ideal alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
This comes in handy to the beginners too, thanks to the user-friendly interface. Few of the key features of this tool are.
- Facial recognition feature that helps handle photographs in a better way.
- The Black and White tool can be used in ‘develop and edit modes.
- No need to import files.
- Liquify tool helps distort objects in the image.
On1 Photo RAW
Photo RAW is one of the most popular options among the photographers due to its cutting edge editing capabilities.
This tool has a free trial version for 30 days and you can upgrade it after completing that term. This is ideal for photographers who want to edit photos quickly. Key features include.
- Dual mode is a boon.
- All editing steps can be viewed in History feature.
- Is combined with Apple Photos to support RAW data for best results.
- Can be downloaded on any device.
This is a sturdy photo editor that is much more feature-rich than other desktop photo editing apps. It is a full-fledged photo editing app that provides interesting customization abilities with an easy-to-use interface.
This is a browser-based application and you can make simple changes to its images. Key features include.
- Can be used from anywhere.
- Supports layers and masks.
- Gives you 2 million effects to choose from.
- Mobile app and desktop editing software can be downloaded.
- User interface is customizable as per your needs.
- Lets you open pictures from the desktop.
Gimp actually stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is an open-source and free image editing software that is loaded with professional-based features. You can create stunning images with this tool. Developers can alter the source code and disburse the updated version. The company keeps releasing updates. Key features include.
- Premium quality photo manipulation capabilities.
- Lets you create amazing original artwork.
- Lets you create pro-level graphic design elements.
- It can be integrated with programming languages including Perl, Python, Scheme and more.
- Offers high level customization through integration with plugins.
Alien Skin Exposure X4
Alien Skin Exposure is armed with an interesting range of tools for professional photo editing. It is touted to have a great combination of Lightroom CC and Photoshop. From its support to masks and layers to one-click presets, it offers you lots to choose from. Few of its key features include.
- User-interface is clean and user-friendly.
- Replete with single-click filters and presets.
- Facilitates the speed of image transfer.
- Has an effective printing option.
- Improved light effects for better image exposure.
- Provides Smart Collection features to organize library effectively.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
In case you’re a non-pro or a rookie who wishes to test the editing periphery of Adobe, the Elements is a great option.
Adobe Photoshop Elements is designed especially for beginners and comes with user-friendly UI and photo editing features. You can execute expert level photoshop effects with Elements without having pro skills. Key features include.
- Auto-Curate feature leverages the power of AI to categorize images in your gallery.
- The ‘Open Closed Eyes’ feature is capable of fixing closed eye, which is common in photography.
- It can replace the background, shape overlay, double exposure, watercolour and more.
- Editing tasks are driven by Artificial Intelligence.
Snappa is a photo-editing tool that is cloud-based and that meets the needs of the professionals who require images and designs for marketing, social media postings and other personal reasons.
Thanks to its user-friendly interface that photographers can change their usual images into works of art. Key features include.
- Powerful drag and drop editor.
- Edits quickly on image dimension templates.
- Uses several free stock photos for creating stunning images.
- Shares the pictures directly on the social media.
- Fast and crisp editing.
- Numerous custom fonts.
This is undoubtedly one of the best photo editing software on this list. This is tailor-made for professionals who are experts in portrait photography.
It is equipped with everything that you may need to design some of the most stunning portraits. It lets you rectify skin tone, eliminate wrinkles and fix blemishes. The key features include.
- It is equipped with advanced features.
- Allows manual adjustment to fix any facial issues.
- Has advanced layering option.
- Advanced make up tools to change a face.
- Wrinkle removing and skin smoothening features.
- Adjustments done real time and fast.
This is a perfect option for the photo-editing enthusiasts and also the beginners who edit images for personal uses. This photo-editing tool also has a desktop application and it supports conversion of RAW photo.
The software is loaded with tools for enhancing images like numerous filters for creating the best images. Key features include.
- Has stunning filters, including landscape, theatre and sunset.
- Lets you add borders or frames and apply special effects to boost image quality.
- Offers a collage tool to create unique collages really fast.
- Supports RAW formats and offers tilt-shift algorithm.
This photo editing tool is mainly created for vector illustration and it is free. This is ideal for budding illustrators and designers who don’t prefer investing in costly software at the beginning of their careers.
This is also an open-source software through which coders can develop it and upgrade the services. Key features include.
- Converts bitmap images to vectors through several ways.
- Available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
- Has multiple formats of text and color picker.
- Offers a vast extension eco-system that is bent on constant development.
- The path tools and placement tools function like a pro software.
- You’re allowed to remove or choose tools as per your need.