Jul 17, 2020 However, according to many users, this Mac photo editing software falls short in ease of use. Overall, GIMP is one of the best free photo editing software for Mac, and presents a good alternative to those users looking for a sophisticated tool that is free, and are capable of overcoming its complications.
There are many RAW photo editors available, and they get better every year. It can be hard and time-consuming to try all of them, so we’ve tried them for you and come up with a list of the best RAW photo editors you should consider right now.
Professional photographers shoot in RAW to preserve as much detail as possible. They want high-resolution images with a wide dynamic range, natural-looking colors, and sharp details. RAW files are large files that need powerful editors. A good RAW photo editor is able to edit RAW files while preserving image quality and color accuracy.
The first criterion in choosing a RAW photo editor is how good the RAW processor is and how well it renders the RAW data. But there are also other criteria to consider, such as support for batch processing, digital asset management, preset libraries, layers and masks, and local editing tools. Practicality is also important. Consider system requirements, processing speed, the user interface and workflow, and, of course, the price.
Because RAW editors are sophisticated software that require a long time to develop, you’ll hardly find free RAW photo editors. The only free editors on our list are darktable and RawTherapee, cross-platform image processing programs with enthusiastic communities around them. Nevertheless, all paid RAW photo editors on this list offer free trials that allow you to test them before buying.
Released at the end of 2019, Luminar 4 is a RAW photo editor that includes AI-based technology. Yes, it provides support for most RAW file formats and all the basic adjustments you need, but it also provides content-aware automatic adjustments. Its smart features and friendly interface have already convinced many professional photographers to become Skylum Ambassadors.
Luminar’s AI-based features analyze your images and make decisions based on their contents. Luminar 4 recognizes objects and people and applies custom adjustments for different types of pictures. It includes AI-based features for sky replacement, skin and portrait enhancement, structure enhancement, general image enhancement, and adding sun rays.
Moreover, Luminar 4 comes with more than 70 built-in presets, called Looks, that provide easy access to the most popular artistic styles. You can also create your own presets and download Signature Looks designed by renowned photographers from the Luminar Marketplace.
Luminar 4 allows you to fine-tune every aspect of an image, which is great because in RAW editing, every detail counts. Luminar works with layers and masks and provides easy tools for controlling opacity and blending modes. The workflow is fluid and easy to learn, and you’ll find features such as batch processing, adjustment synchronization, digital asset management, and image rating and labeling.
Luminar 4 works as standalone software, a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and an extension for Apple Photos. It’s available for Mac and Windows and costs $89.
Aurora HDR was the first Skylum solution for RAW photo editing and is one of the most appreciated HDR photo editors. It’s the perfect choice if you want to create images with a wide dynamic range. Aurora provides tools for bracket merging that create high-quality images without halos, chromatic aberrations, or artifacts. It also includes basic tools such as color toning, a polarizer filter, detail enhancer, and LUT mapping.
Like Luminar 4, Aurora HDR makes use of AI technology to separate noise from detail and deliver exquisite denoising and detail enhancing tools. As Aurora is a RAW photo editor, its support for layers and masks is especially useful. Also useful are the presets designed in collaboration with professional photographers, which deliver amazing effects in seconds.
In terms of practical features, Aurora HDR offers batch processing, support for most popular cameras, and the ability to run as standalone software or a plugin for Adobe and Apple products. Aurora HDR is available for Windows and Mac and costs $110.
Due to its prestigious producer, Adobe Lightroom has been the standard in RAW photo editing for a long time. But it has lost many fans since Adobe introduced the monthly subscription plan. Yes, Lightroom is a RAW photo editor that gives you access to cloud space and synchronizes your edits across all your devices. But it’s expensive, and people have started to look for cheaper alternatives. Adobe Lightroom costs $9.99 per month, which means almost $120 per year. That’s more than other software costs for a lifetime license.
For this money, Adobe Lightroom offers endless sharing capabilities, image synchronization, exquisite image management tools, and easy-to-use image editing tools. It also has many presets, and you can find more in the large Adobe community, which also offers books, tutorials, and video materials.
Adobe Lightroom is available for Windows and Mac, but check the system requirements before you buy it because it requires relatively new operating system versions.
ACDsee is known for its image organizing software, but its latest products show that it has become a powerful competitor on the photo editor market. Photo Studio is a complete editing solution that includes RAW processing, image editing tools, and the amazing ACDSee digital asset management.
ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2020 supports more than 500 camera models and offers RAW editing tools such as LUTs, non-destructive color grading, lens corrections, noise and haze removal, contrast and brightness adjustments, layers and masks, selection tools, and local adjustments. It’s fast and supports many file formats, offers batch processing, and has a lot of tools for zooming, previewing, and reviewing images. In terms of the interface and image management, it’s one of the best RAW photo editors.
ACDSee Photo Studio Professional 2020 is available only for Windows. There’s also a separate ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac 6. You can choose between a monthly subscription at $8.90 and a lifetime license for $99.95.
With PhotoDirector Ultra, Cyberlink aims to deliver a photo editor that accumulates the functionalities of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom at a better price. PhotoDirector Ultra supports many RAW file formats and provides AI-based tools for image retouching, layer editing, and presets.
This software is aimed at a wide variety of users, from professional photographers to the general public. It mixes powerful content-aware image adjustments with tools for making videos out of images, frame templates, and 360-degree photo editing. Delivering a wide variety of features isn’t always the best idea, however. Professional photographers are more interested in color accuracy, noise reduction, and detail preservation than in applying brushstrokes that simulate painting styles.
But despite the features unrelated to RAW editing, PhotoDirector Ultra is very good at recovering blurred images, eliminating haze and fog, and retouching portraits. It also provides image management tools, cloud storage, and additional products such as special effects and dedicated plugins.
PhotoDirector Ultra is available for Windows and Mac and costs $74.99.
6. Capture One Pro 2020
Capture One develops a RAW photo editor that supports many RAW file formats and has dedicated versions for Fuji and Sony camera users. Capture One Pro 2020 is a complete photo editing solution for all cameras, and it provides tools for image editing and management.
While Capture One Pro 2020 isn’t very easy to learn and use, once you get to know it, you’ll have full control over every aspect of your images. This software’s features range from tools for basic image adjustments (fixing exposure, color, and contrast) to HDR tools, advanced color adjustments, and presets. Essential for a RAW editor, Capture One Pro 2020 works with layers and masks and provides non-destructive editing.
Capture One Pro 2020 is a powerful photo editor even if its workflow isn’t for beginners. It provides lens and camera profiles, lens correction, high color accuracy, and tools for printing and creative artwork. All these features come with a price, however: Capture One Pro 2020 costs $27 per month. It’s available for Windows and Mac.
Like Capture One Pro, DxO PhotoLab is a complex RAW photo editor for professional photographers. It focuses on color accuracy and camera compatibility. DxO PhotoLab matches the rendering of over 60 camera models and provides optical corrections and custom lens profiles.
Among its best features are exquisite color tools such as ICC profiles, Moiré removal, and the new HSL tool, more than 40 presets, haze removal based on colorimetric component analysis, noise removal that’s been optimized to process RAW files at high speed, and local adjustments. DxO PhotoLab is an editor for color perfectionists and aims to satisfy the most demanding professionals.
DxO PhotoLab provides digital asset management with all you need for organizing images in a neat interface. It’s available for Windows and Mac and costs $140.
PaintShop Pro is one of Corel’s solutions for photo editing that includes RAW functionalities. Keeping to Corel’s long tradition in graphic design, PaintShop Pro provides not only photo editing tools but also graphic design tools. So if you want tools for creating artistic compositions, drawing, and painting onto images, PaintShop Pro is the best editor for you.
In terms of RAW photo editing, PaintShop Pro offers a powerful RAW processor, lens correction, HDR editing, geometric transformations, basic adjustments for image retouching, and layers and masks. It doesn’t have too many filters and presets, but it offers support for third-party plugins such as the NiK Collection from DxO and Topaz Labs plugins. This may cover the need for extra features, but these plugins come with an additional cost.
PaintShop Pro is available only for Windows and costs $79.
Another RAW photo editing solution from Corel is AfterShot Pro. Designed to compete with Adobe Lightroom, AfterShot Pro focuses on increasing processing speed while delivering high-quality images.
Unlike PaintShop Pro, however, AfterShot Pro is dedicated to photography. This means is has RAW camera profiles, lens corrections, a large library of presets, and highlight recovery for images with a wide dynamic range. It also provides efficient digital asset management and integrates with other editors. In exchange, it doesn’t have graphic design tools.
In terms of RAW photo editing, we’re more interested in color accuracy, noise reduction, and HDR tools than in drawing tools. Still, the advanced selection tools provided by Corel’s programs are always welcome for local adjustments and subtle image retouching.
AfterShot Pro is a better option than PaintShop Pro for RAW editing. It’s also more expensive, as it costs $99.99. But if you compare it with Adobe Lightroom, you’ll see that it’s worth the money.
Darktable is an open-source, free RAW photo editor available for Linux, Mac / macports, BSD, Windows, and Solaris 11 / GNOME. It’s designed to be a virtual darkroom and allows you to view negatives through a zoomable lighttable.
Aiming to be more than a RAW convertor, darktable provides tools for image enhancement, batch processing, and tethered shooting. It also allows you to develop your own image processing modules and add them to the program.
For a free editor, darktable offers exquisite tools, from an optimized RAW processor that can manage large files to non-destructive edits and professional color management. It has ICC profiles, several demosaicing methods, base and tone curves, lens corrections, and tools for dithering, haze, fringing, noise removal, color, contrast, and white balance adjustments. It also offers a few filters for creative effects.
However, darktable has minimal image organizing functionalities. It does allow you to search for images by tags, stars, and labels, and it works with metadata.
Gentlemen Coders offers a RAW photo editor for Mac and iOS called RAW Power that can run as standalone software or a Photos extension.
RAW Power uses Apple’s RAW decoder to provide high-quality images. Among its best features are support for hundreds of camera models, precise curve adjustments, white balance recovery, lots of presets, and perspective and chromatic aberration corrections.
RAW Power also provides digital asset management, batch processing, synchronization between devices via iCloud Photo Library, multiple editing windows, and batch export. It comes as an extension to Apple Photos and costs $29.99
RawTherapee is a free RAW photo editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It provides high-quality images with high dynamic range and uses state-of-the-art demosaicing algorithms. Although it’s open-source software, RawTherapee supports most common RAW file formats, including those from Pentax and Sony.
Among its best features are RAW histograms, adjustments for fixing exposure, contrast, detail, and color, color profiles, and advanced controls. RawTherapee also lets you save your current editing profile for later use or batch editing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support layers, and you have to apply all adjustments to the same layer, which may be confusing.
RawTherapee has a neat workspace that allows you to find all you need in seconds. It’s intuitive, well-labeled, and has shortcuts for everything. It also provides file browsing, ratings, and color labeling, and it supports metadata. For those who want to see how printed images will look, RawTherapee runs a simulation with a specific printer profile.
Affinity Photo provides powerful photo editing and graphic design tools. Alongside RAW editing, it provides HDR editing and focus stacking, panorama stitching, support for editing Adobe Photoshop files, and painting tools.
In terms of RAW photo editing, Affinity Photo’s big advantage is its ability to process very large files (more than 100 Megapixels) and to offer smooth zoom at 60 frames per second. It gives you full control over the smallest details of your images and provides editing tools such as levels, curves, HSL, and exposure and white balance adjustments. All edits are non-destructive because Affinity Photo works with layers and masks. You can perform local adjustments using advanced selection tools, analyze histograms, and edit EXIF information.
Affinity Photo provides lens corrections, noise reduction, and hot pixel removal, which is essential for RAW editing. It also provides presets and effects, including brush libraries and text and vector tools. It’s one of the best RAW photo editors for creating artistic compositions and collages.
Affinity Photo is available for Windows, Mac, and iPad and costs $49.99 respectively $19.99.
We’ve tested the most powerful RAW photo editors on the market, but the final decision is yours. Choose the best editor for your needs. Consider your budget, frequency of use, skills, and artistic preferences. For example, you shouldn’t buy an editor with graphic design functionalities if you don’t do abstract photography and strong editing. If you work with large amounts of similar images, batch processing is a must. So is digital asset management when you have lots of albums and catalogs. Keep in mind that trying before buying is the wisest thing you can do.
In an era when people like selfies and adding filters and stickers, in addition to photo recovery, there comes another ravishing feature i.e. photo editing. Luckily, there are a number of free photo editing software for laptop and desktop, which can optimize an ordinary picture into a breath-taking panorama, and help people out with more photo editing phenomena, including restoring old image.
With best photo editing software free application, one can easily covert their simple images into Instagram styled stills. Resizing, cropping, filter application and reconstructing the images are some of the features that a photo editing tool holds, but you can expect more from the following best 17 free photo editing software for Windows & Mac.
GIMP is an open source free software that is compatible with Windows 10. It is incredible in functioning and gives you flawless results. Adorned with power pack photo editing tools, it has an interface similar to Photoshop. Healing tools, custom brushes, clone stamps are ravishing tools in the toolbar. Selection of isolated areas and editing them to become perfect is what the application offers further. One can eliminate the flaws and makes it up to a picture-perfect standard.
The functionality of Paint.net makes it easy to use and simplicity becomes a main selling point (It is actually free). The application carries fine manual control along with accessible interface. Used for trivial tasks, it is there to turn your picture into something wonderful. The toolbar carries the options of layers, undo history, filters, plugins and 3D rotate/zoom function.
With an interface more accessible than GIMP, Photo Pos Pro carries two modes. For experts, it plays as a role close to Photoshop. For beginners, it provides a lot of preset templates, filter effects and auto fix function. Accompanied with advanced photo editing tools, there is an optional “novice” layout. While the advanced layout carries both i.e. layers and layer masks. It can remove the flaws with brushes to eliminate blemishes and carry scripts to save time and refine the photo to maximum.
Packed with advanced tools, PhotoScape is absolutely free and compatible with Windows 10. A beginner can easily use it to reform the images and feel the change. The filters incorporated in the app are outstanding. The features include raw conversion, photo splitting and merging, animated GIF creation. The images are going to get a new and outlook with this amazing application.
Fotor is getting limelight with a ravishing feature of online accessing and fashion elements. Users can easily upload and save images from/to cloud, like Dropbox, Facebook and its own cloud database, as well as Windows 10 computer. The images can be redesigned with ravishing filters and healing tools. You can feed a pile of images at once and the software is going to edit them simultaneously. At the end you are going to get a candid still that is worth saving.
Pixlr is a world-class photo editor with a lot of newly optimized features to provide excellent finishing to the edited photos and videos. It is available for Android, iOS, and computer browsers for the users. If you want to do simple editing with the photos and videos on your device, then the basic free version of Pixlr is enough to meet your demands. And if you want to edit the photos professionally, then the Pro version of this app is available for you. The simple to use interface of this software is pretty much appealing for the users. That’s why Pixlr is having a lot of fans without any doubt. The total installation size of this software is also not so big, which is indeed the best part of it. So, definitely, we would suggest you Pixlr software for your PC to accomplish your task of editing photos and videos hassle-free.
Picasa is yet another very brilliant choice for the users which is certainly having one of the fascinating editing tools for the users. Picasa software is compatible both with Windows and Mac OS. This free online editing tool was launched by tech giant Google way back in the year 2002. That’s why Picasa is having a lot of popularity among the PC users because tech giant Google itself certifies this software. Picasa is having one of the finest photo and video editing tools in it, which are very useful for the users. Additionally, you can also add customized features in this software online which you can use to edit your photos and videos hassle-free. Users can also add some of the latest launched video and photo effects like Super MO video mode, Live Focus mode, Ultra-wide-angle mode, Hyper lapse mode, Panorama, etc. Because this editing software is Google certified software, that’s why there is no doubt that it will deliver the best possible stuff to its users. The edited videos and photos can be shared directly from Picasa using the Google Plus file sharing feature. So, definitely, Picasa is a great choice for the users as an excellent photo editing tool.
Pic Monkey is another trendy choice for the users as an excellent photo editing software. You will get all the editing tools and features in a single editing window, which is an excellent feature for sure. The output edited file can be downloaded in a variety of different file formats. Some new and latest themes and effects are also added in this software by its developers, making it look more attractive. Overall, Pic Monkey software is a fantastic option for the users, which is delivering the quality stuff in the way it was meant to be. The quick-to-learn feature of this software will help you out to learn about the basics and working of the Pic Monkey software.
The only positive about this photo editing software, which makes it unique from other online photo editing software packages, is its intuitive graphic user-interface. The easy to use interface of BeFunky software is very well developed and maintained by the developers and due to this compatibility feature, BeFunky software become a great choice of all time for the users. Users will get all the basic photo editing features right on the first launch window of this software. The advanced and newly released photo editing features can be browsed in the Pro version of this software, which is not very costly like other software packages are. The graphic user-interface of BeFunky software is very well developed by the developers of this photo editing software. Moreover, this software is also compatible with almost all devices without any restrictions. So definitely, BeFunky is a good option as an excellent photo editor tool for sure. You can use this software on your PC according to our recommendation, and we hope that you will get satisfactory results for sure.
Another very decent kind of Photo editing software for the users developed with a lot of optimized photo editing tools. Inside the preview window in this software, you can apply as many filters and themes on the photos to make a preview of them. Moreover, several other basic editing features like photo cropping, exposure, composure, and insertion of the text can be experienced in this software as well. The graphic user-interface of this software is also pretty much decent, which is easy to use and understand as well. Some newly launched and optimized photo editing tools can be used experience in the Pro version of this photo editing software. There are a lot of different insertion tools available in PhotoCat software, which can be very handy for the users. Most of the reviews regarding this software are positive, and we too hope that you will like the features and functioning of this software after installing it on your PC. Though it is not so easy to use, once you learn about its functioning, then you will surely get satisfactory results.
Basically, SumoPaint is not a typical online photo editor. There are very few basic photo editing tools available on this software that can be accessed offline as well. The overall interface of the website is pretty much decent. Once you click on the URL of the SumoPaint website, the website will launch in a fraction of seconds, which shows the optimization power of the SumoPaint website. Furthermore, if you want to experience some more editing features/tools apart from basic features, then you may switch to the premium version of this software. To purchase the premium subscription, you have to spend 4USD per month. You will get login credentials which you can use to login to this website for an excellent editing experience like a professional.
DarkTable is another absolute stunner performer of this list, which is certainly one of the best photo editing software for the users. The main reason why this software is so popular is that this software is compatible with all three major Operating systems of PC, which are Windows, Mac, and Linux OS. Furthermore, this software is open-source software, which means that any user can use this software hassle-free without any charges. DarkTable software is pretty much similar to Lightroom photo editing software, which is another trendy choice for the users. However, DarkTable is having the edge over the Lightroom software because the overall features provided by DarkTable is more than Lightroom. The graphic user-interface of DarkTable is also more attractive than Lightroom, and that’s why majority of the users uses the former in their PC’s. The editing tools available on this software are excellent in their respective fields.
If you want a photo editing software which is only compatible with Mac OS, then there is no other choice better than Picktorial software. The enhanced features with which this software was developed are just magnificent for the users. Picktorial has a decent rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, which is a very awesome part. Picktorial is very much popular among users from all around the world. The main downside of this software is that it is a bit more expensive than other premium photo editing tools of this segment. The annual premium subscription of PickTorial software will cost you around 60$. Picktorial software is a good choice for users with a lot of incredible features and editing tools in it.
InPixio photo editor is another incredible choice for the users, which is having impeccable features to attract the users in large numbers. There are more than 100 different themes and photo effects available on this software which users can use to edit photos and videos hassle-free. As per our thinking, InPixio is a beginner level photo editor which is ideal for all the beginners in this photo editing industry. The graphic user-interface of InPixio is also pretty much enhanced and developed. The overall layout and texture of this software justify that InPixio is an excellent choice for the users whatsoever the reviews and ratings are. If you seriously want to learn most of the basic photo editing techniques, then you must get switched to InPixio free Photo Editor tool. You will surely observe that you are making the most out of this software.
Capture One is another big name in the industry, which is having some excellent stuff for the users. This editing software is not having too much popularity, probably due to the professionalism for digital camera users. There are separate editions for Sony and Fujifilm cameras.
Another very advanced and optimized photo editing tool available for both iOS and Android users. Snapseed is one of the most significant kinds of photo editing software that can provide some excellent results to the users for free. Moreover, any user can use this software for editing purposes. It does not matter whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert. You can use this software to accomplish editing purposes hassle-free without any problem. There is a wide array of filters and themes present in this software which makes edited photos and videos to look more attractive, composed and beautiful as well. Snapseed is going to be your next sure shot choice for sure.
Last but not the least, Photoshop Express Mix becomes our last choice to end this great list of top photo editor software packages for PC users. This excellent photo editing software offers a lot of exciting photo editing features to its users who are adorable for many reasons. The customizable settings of this software will surely let you feel that you are editing photos and videos like a professional. The main advantage of installing and using this software on your PC is that you will get to experience a great kind of graphic user-interface with a brilliant layout and graphics as well. However, to use this software, you need to login to this software using any of your social media apps like Facebook or Twitter, etc. So, it is up to you whether you are going to use this software on your PC or not because it requires a login process to be done.
So, what are you waiting for? The list is out for you to enjoy best free photo editing software for Windows & Mac computer. Now you can modify your images on your desktop and give a new life to the stills, then convert images to video.