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Best Amazing Photo Editing Softwares 2020


Today's smartphones are more powerful than the point-and-shoots of just a few years ago, and pro-level cameras have passed the 100-megapixel mark. Photo editing software is keeping up, with ever-more-powerful features.

This list includes both free and paid Versions

  • Pros: Slick interface. Loads of design tools for mobile and Web. The ultimate in photo correction and manipulation. Content-aware move and patch. Fast. Video editing. 3D design capability. Synced Libraries. Integrated stock library. Complementary mobile apps.
    Cons: No perpetual-license option. Interface can be overwhelming. Some tools don't show progress bars.
    Bottom Line: Adobe Photoshop remains the gold standard in image editing software. Its rich environment for both design and photo manipulation remains unrivalled.
    Read Review
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
    Pros: Excellent workflow. Clear, attractive interface design. Best photo management/organization. Camera and lens-based corrections. Easy online sharing. Map integration. Brush adjustments. Integrated book creation. Connected mobile apps. Face detection and tagging.
    Cons: Slow import. Raw conversion less detailed than that of Capture One.
    Bottom Line: Adobe's Lightroom remains the gold standard in pro photo workflow software, now with mobile integration, face recognition, panorama creation, and HDR.
    Read Review
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 13
    Pros: Lots of powerful image-manipulation tools. Strong face- and geo-tagging, with integrated maps. Excellent output options. Solid help for advanced edits.
    Cons: Separate organizer app is less integrated than that of other photo apps. Slow import. Large disk footprint.
    Bottom Line: Adobe Photoshop Elements just keeps adding cool photo-manipulation tools and features, while making them easier to use. The latest version improves the selection tool and adds fun new Guided Edits.
    Read Review
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector 5
    Pros: Friendly yet powerful interface. 64-bit operation for speed and memory use. Effective noise reduction. Cool faux HDR effect. "Body shaper" and other nifty editing tools. Exports directly to Facebook and Flickr.
    Cons: Slow photo import. Not enough lens-profile corrections. Chromatic aberration correction inadequate. No geo-tag maps. No easy image emailing. No tethering.
    Bottom Line: This Lightroom competitor from CyberLink offers a smooth interface, along with powerful editing and image effect tools.
    Read Review
  • DxO PhotoLab
    Pros: Clear interface. Best-in-class noise reduction. Excellent autocorrection based on camera and lens characteristics. Haze remover. Geometry corrections. Powerful local adjustments.
    Cons: Few workflow tools. Highest noise-reduction setting can require long waits.
    Bottom Line: Though it's still not a complete photo workflow solution, DxO PhotoLab can deliver image results beyond what's possible in other photo software.
    Read Review
  • Phase One Capture One Pro 8
    Pros: Tops in initial raw-camera-file conversion. Pleasing interface. Fast import. Deep photo-adjustment toolset, including chromatic aberration and noise reduction.
    Cons: Weak organization tools. Some usability quirks. No online sharing features.
    Bottom Line: Capture One, from the makers of top-end pro digital photo equipment, is tough to beat when it comes to raw camera file conversion. But the software lacks workflow, organization, and output options found in Lightroom.
    Read Review
  • Alien Skin Exposure
    Pros: Pleasing interface. Lots of nifty effects and filters. Fast image transfer. Layers and local adjustments. Good printing options.
    Cons: No auto-correction tools. Weak lens-profile corrections. No chromatic aberration correction. No face or geo-tagging.
    Bottom Line: Exposure, the photo-workflow software from Alien Skin, does a lot of what you get in Adobe's Lightroom, but it's missing some key capabilities, such as auto-correct tools.
  • Apple Photos (for macOS)
    Pros: Free. Intuitive interface. Face recognition. Good auto-correction. Plugin support. Good sharing options.
    Cons: Auto-album feature is weak. Filters aren't adjustable. Some instability. Encourages you to pay for iCloud storage.
    Bottom Line: Apple's preinstalled photo editor can't quite compete with the best in the space, but it's a solid starter app that offers good editing, organizing, and sharing capabilities, and it's free.
    Read Review
  • Corel PaintShop Pro X7
    Pros: Photoshop-like features at a lower price. Powerful effects and editing tools. Face recognition. Geo-tagging with maps. Tutorials. Good assortment of vector drawing tools. 64-bit operation.
    Cons: Some operations still slow. Interface can get cluttered. Ineffective chromatic aberration removal.
    Bottom Line: Corel continues to build on its low-cost Photoshop competitor, adding some fun new tools and improving the speed of some operations.
    Read Review
  • DxO Nik Collection 2
    Pros: Includes color, black-and-white, HDR, and sharpening tools. Silver Efex is fantastic. Integrates with Adobe and Capture One workflow. Supports latest operating systems and displays.
    Cons: Destructive workflow. Used to be free. Some film looks now available via nondestructive editing presets.
    Bottom Line: The Nik Collection is an iconic name in photo editing. DxO has revived the software, updating it for 64-bit operating systems, and offering other improvements.
    Read Review


Best Photo Editing Softwares Paid Versions:

  • Adobe Photoshop
    Pros: Multitude of photo correction and manipulation tools. Slick interface with lots of help. Tools for mobile and web design. Rich set of drawing and typography tools. 3D design capability. Synced Libraries and Cloud Documents.
    Cons: No perpetual-license option. Premium assets aren't cheap. Interface can be overwhelming at times.
    Bottom Line: The world's best image-editing software adds Cloud Documents for syncing to Photoshop on iPad, AI-powered Objects Selection and Content-Aware Fill, along with improved gradients, patterns, and more.
    Read Review
  • Adobe Lightroom Classic
    Pros: Excellent photo management and organization. Camera and lens-based corrections. Brush and gradient adjustments with color and luminance masking. Face detection and tagging. Plug-in support. Connected mobile apps.
    Cons: Although improved, import speed still trails competitors. Initial raw conversion is slightly more detailed in some competing products.
    Bottom Line: Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom remains the gold standard in pro photo workflow software. It's a complete package, with top-notch organization tools, state of-the-art adjustments, and all the output and printing options you'd want.
    Read Review
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
    Pros: Many powerful image-manipulation tools. Strong face- and geo-tagging capabilities. Excellent output options. Auto-tagging and powerful search options. Helpful guidance for advanced techniques.
    Cons: Large disk footprint. No chromatic aberration correction or lens geometry profiles. Lacks many social sharing outputs. No local help system. Doesn't integrate with Photoshop cloud documents.
    Bottom Line: Adobe Photoshop Elements is an excellent option for photo hobbyists who don't want to pay a subscription. You get many of Photoshop's best features with more ease of use.
    Read Review
  • DxO PhotoLab
    Pros: Clear interface. Best-in-class noise reduction. Excellent autocorrection based on camera and lens characteristics. Haze remover. Geometry corrections. Powerful local adjustments.
    Cons: Few workflow tools. Highest noise-reduction setting can require long waits.
    Bottom Line: Though it's still not a complete photo workflow solution, DxO PhotoLab can deliver image results beyond what's possible in other photo software.
    Read Review
  • Corel PaintShop Pro
    Pros: Photoshop-like features at a lower price. Powerful effects and editing tools. Tutorials. Good assortment of vector drawing tools.
    Cons: Interface can get cluttered. Ineffective chromatic aberration removal. No face or object recognition. No Mac version.
    Bottom Line: Corel continues to add new photo editing possibilities to its PaintShop Pro software, making it a worthy Photoshop alternative at a budget-conscious, one-time price.
    Read Review
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector
    Pros: Friendly yet powerful interface. Effective noise reduction. Multiple-exposure and faux HDR effects. Body shaper and other powerful editing tools. Layer support. Painterly AI styles. Tethered shooting support.
    Cons: Not enough lens-profile corrections. Inadequate chromatic aberration correction. No geotag maps.
    Bottom Line: Photo workflow and editing program CyberLink PhotoDirector offers a smooth interface and powerful capabilities. New in this version are a de-blur tool, improved color replacement, more layer options, and new text effects.
    Read Review
  • Phase One Capture One Pro
    Pros: Excellent raw file conversion. Pleasing, improved interface. Fast import. Good photo-adjustment toolset. Superior noise reduction. Keyword tagging tool.
    Cons: No online sharing features. Interface can get complex, especially with layers. No face recognition. No panorama or HDR merging capabilities.
    Bottom Line: Phase One Capture One offers pro and prosumer digital photographers excellent detail from raw camera files, as well as local adjustment, advanced color, and layer tools, but it still trails in photo-organizing features.
    Read Review
  • ACDSee Photo Studio Professional
    Pros: Full set of image editing tools. Good performance. Lens-profile-based geometry correction. Face recognition and geotagging. Good skin-improvement tools. Responsive performance. Cloud storage integration.
    Cons: Interface not as polished as others. Lens-profile-based image correction tools less effective than the competition's. Weak noise and chromatic aberration tools.
    Bottom Line: ACDSee's pro-level tool offers many powerful photo organizing and editing tools, but it falls short of competitors in raw camera file conversion and usability.
    Read Review
  • Exposure
    Pros: Pleasing interface. Lots of nifty effects and filters. Fast image transfer. Layers and local adjustments. Good printing options.
    Cons: No auto-correction tools. Weak lens-profile corrections. No chromatic aberration correction. No face or geo-tagging.
    Bottom Line: Photo-workflow application Exposure is similar to Adobe's Lightroom. It boasts lots of filter effects, but it's missing some key capabilities, such as automatic image correction.
    Read Review
  • Skylum Luminar
    Pros: Pleasing interface. Good automatic photo fixes. Lots of filters. Local adjustments with brush and gradients. Curves. Multiple workspaces and catalogs.
    Cons: Some speed and reliability issues on Windows. No Library search. Some standard controls are buried. No face recognition or keyword tagging.
    Bottom Line: Skylum Luminar offers effective automatic photo enhancement, a modern interface, and some unique filters and adjustment tools. Its organization capabilities, however, fall short of the competition's.
    Read Review

Comments

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