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Top 10 Photo Editors

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  • 9 min read

A perfect picture takes some work to achieve before it’s taken and before it’s uploaded for the world to see. Now while most modern smartphone cameras are perfectly capable of taking Instagram bangers, you need an editor that’s just as good.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the top ten photo editors you can use right now,

Adobe Lightroom

Developer: Adobe | Price: $9.99/month

Lightroom is by far the best photo editing software out there. It’s extremely easy to use and works seamlessly with the Adobe Cloud and the other Adobe apps, including Photoshop and Illustrator to give you more control over your images.

The software features everything you’ll need to fine-tune your photos, including brushes and masks. Lightroom also doubles up as a photo library software.

It is available as a standalone app or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package. You can get Lightroom along with 1TB cloud storage at $9.99/month. 

You can get Lightroom here

Skylum Luminar

Developer: Skylum | Price: $69

Luminar is one of the top photo editing software for professional photographers around the world. For starters, you only pay a one-time fee of $69 and you get the software for a lifetime.

Also, if you’re not feeling brave enough to ditch Lightroom or Photoshop just yet, Luminar also comes as a plugin for Adobe applications and will work seamlessly inside them.

The software banks itself on being the most intelligent photo editor out there and in its upcoming version, Luminar AI, aims to use AI to edit your pictures.

You can get Luminar here

Also read: Photoshop 101: Five tips and tricks for beginners

Adobe Photoshop

Developer: Adobe | Price: $22/month

How to flip image, merge layer, edit background and more in Photoshop

Perhaps the best-known photo editing software around the world, there’s a lot more to Photoshop than people give it credit. For starters, not only can Photoshop do everything Lightroom does, but it can also do a lot more in terms of artistically manipulating your images.

You can remove objects, add backgrounds, text, layers, various brushes that are available online and just about everything else you can possibly imagine. If you have an idea for an image there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be able to make it in Photoshop.

Photoshop is available as a standalone app or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package. You can get Photoshop at $22/month. 

You can get Adobe Photoshop here

DxO PhotoLab 4

Developer: DxO | Price: Essential Edition – $129, Elite Edition – $199

Dxo Photolab 4 is an alternative software to the likes of Lightroom and Luminar. It works with both Mac and Windows and comes with customisable interface options, presets, colour protection and numerous export formats to get you all the convenience in the world. The software is also pretty handy at converting your RAW files to JPEGs rather smoothly.

It specialises in colour correction and processing and has a host of features such as multiple optical corrections, customised profiles, U Point local adjustment technology and even an automatic mode.

Dxo Photolab 4 has two editions, namely the Essential edition that comes in at $129 and the Elite edition that costs $199. Both editions are one-time purchases 

You can get DxO PhotoLab 4 here

Also read: 10 Essential Apps for every Photographer

Corel PaintShop Pro

Developer: Corel | Price: $87

Corel is also another well-known name when it comes to photo editing or manipulating software. The PaintShop Pro is their answer to lightroom and it’s a pretty good one too.

The software is pretty straightforward to use and puts a lot of power in the hands of beginners who often find it very easy to figure things out given the software’s easy-to-understand interface and intuitive design.

Yes, it’s not the most advanced tool in the market right now but it’s pretty good for the money you pay. Not to mention, the interface is touch-ready, which means you’re going to love it on an iPad or any other tablet.

Also, unlike Adobe apps, all you do is pay a one-time fee of $60 and the software is yours for a lifetime. There’s an ultimate version available as well, which costs $87.

You can get PaintShop Pro here


Developer: GIMP | Price: Free

GIMP, also known as GNU Image Manipulation Program, is the Linux alternative to Photoshop.

Just like everything Linux, it’s free to use and looks quite complicated on the outside. However, once you get used to it, it’s actually quite easy to use. If you are coming from software like Photoshop or Lightroom though, it’s going to be a bit of an uphill battle for you to get to know this one.

GIMP is available for Windows as well and works exactly the same way it does on Linux. Web developers also use it while coding websites in Linux when they need to make a quick change to an image that was going online or needed a background removal.

You can get GIMP here

Also read: How to save photos as PDF in Photoshop?


Developer: Canva | Price: Free, Pro – $12.95/month, Pro – $30/month

Canva is more of a graphics designing platform rather than a photo editing software but if you want to make a quick adjustment to an image without having to wait for a heavy software to open, this one’s got your back.

It has a very simple drag and drop interface that lets you control aspects such as vibrance, saturation and colours. The platform also has filters, and just in case you need to add any text or elements to your image, it’s got those as well.

What’s more is that it’s free to use, and syncs your designs across your devices. So you can start and edit on your PC and finish it off on your phone without ever having to make a file transfer.

The platform is free to use but users can upgrade to Pro or Premium plans with the Pro costing $12.95/month for five people and the latter costing $30/month per person. The upgraded packages offer access to more templates, stock images and graphics assets among other things.

You can get Canva here

Pixlr Editor

Developer: Pixlr | Price: Free, Premium – $7.99/month, Creative Pack – $29.99/month

Pixlr is basically Photoshop, except it’s all online. The software UI is very similar to Photoshop; albeit a bit simpler as it doesn’t have just as many tools as Photoshop. It’s a good starting point for those who are looking to eventually build their way up to Photoshop.

The software has three different plans you can choose from, namely Free, Premium and Professional. The Premium and Creative Pack for $7.99/month $29.99/month and add features like video tutorials, stickers, stock images, graphics, templates and fonts as well as AI Tools.

You can get Pixlr Editor here

Also read: Top 7 Android apps that help you draw on photos


Developer: Snappa | Price: Free, Pro – $10/month, Team – $20/month

Just like Canva, Snappa is also an online graphics designing software that has a lot of the same features that Canva does. The platform has a pretty simple user interface that aims to present its users with no learning curve. Pretty much all the features are either in the form of a slider or are drag and drop.

The platform is free to use, however, you can upgrade to the Pro and Team packages for $10/month or $20/month, respectively, that gives you more features like unlimited downloads, custom fonts and social media sharing.

You can get Snappa here

Microsoft Photos

Developer: Microsoft | Price: Free

Yes, the default Photos app that comes with Windows 10. You might not know it, but it has a pretty decent photo editor built right into it. It has some basic adjustments like saturation, contrast and so on and some basic manipulation as well such as cropping and straightening. The main focus here though is the convenience.

In one click, you go from a photo viewer to a photo editor and then back to a photo viewer. You don’t have to ever leave the window and the editor is actually quite good if you’re just looking to make some basic edits.

Also read: Top 7 video editing apps for iPhone


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: [email protected].