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Top 10 Photo Editors

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  • 8 min read

A perfect picture takes some work to achieve before it’s taken and uploaded for the world to see. Now, while most modern smartphone cameras can take 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 alongwith 1TB of cloud storage at $9.99/month. 

You can get Lightroom here

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.

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, you only 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

Skylum Luminar

Developer: Skylum | Price: $69

Luminar is one of the top photo editing software for professional photographers worldwide. 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, Luminar is 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

Perhaps the best-known photo editing software worldwide, 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 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 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

Also read: 10 Essential Apps for every Photographer


DxO PhotoLab 4

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

Dxo Photolab 4 is an alternative software to 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 many features such as multiple optical corrections, customised profiles, U Point local adjustment technology and even an automatic mode.

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

You can get DxO PhotoLab 4 here

GIMP

Developer: GIMP | Price: Free

GIMP, or 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 quite easy. If you are coming from software like Photoshop or Lightroom, it will be a bit of an uphill battle to get to know this one.

GIMP is also available for Windows and works the same way on Linux. Web developers also use it while coding websites in Linux when they need to quickly change 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?


Canva

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

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

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

Moreover, 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 making 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 more templates, stock images and graphics assets.

You can get Canva here

Pixlr Editor

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

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

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

You can get Pixlr Editor here

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


Snappa

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

Like Canva, Snappa is also an online graphics designing software with many of the same features as Canva does. The platform has a simple user interface aims to present its users with no learning curve. Almost all the features are either in the form of a slider or 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, which 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 such as cropping and straightening. The main focus here, though, is 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 leave the window, and the editor is quite good if you’re 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: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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