If you’re looking for the best photo editing software for PC that can easily help you edit photos, don’t miss my review of these 10 professional photo editing softwares that are user-friendly for beginners but still show professional photo retouching results.
Photo editing software is a special program that photographers and photo retouchers use to work with images, starting from simple photo cropping and image management to complex photo retouching and old image restoration. These photo editing programs have special tools and interfaces that help users cope with diverse tasks such as image retouching, color correction and photo restoration. For example, Photoshop may have all the necessary tools and great capabilities for any work, while Lightroom is good only for cropping and deep color correction. Before you start looking for the best photo editing software for PC, you should clarify your requirements for the program.
The majority of photo editors have similar functions, though if we talk about the best photo editing software, you should take into account several parameters including a convenient interface, well-developed tools, technical support, active forums, tutorials on photo retouching and different plug-ins and filters.
Website: Adobe PhotoshopDeveloper: Adobe
Adobe Photoshop is the best photo editing software for professional photographers and designers. It has all the necessary tools for image retouching, color correction, image restoration, design, and digital drawing.
Photoshop has a huge number of functions, tools and unlimited possibilities, allowing users to create unique logos and banner designs, draw digital elements for websites, and much more. Photoshop has stable monthly updates, new photo enhancement functions, and bugs correction. In 1989 Adobe presented the product for the first time, thereby taking the photo industry by storm and offering a huge number of possibilities for professional and amateur photographers to capture the bright moments. The product remains a standard for many alternative photo programs.
As for the disadvantages of this program, it is necessary to point out that Photoshop has a large number of complicated functions and features, so beginners may have some problems and need some time to learn how to work here. However, this photo editing software is one of the most popular and you can easily find the answer to any of your questions in forums and YouTube tutorials.
Website: Adobe Lightroom Classic CCDeveloper: Adobe
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a graphics editor from Adobe for work with color correction and batch basic photo editing in one click.
Lightroom is another product from Adobe that has become a very important and popular tool for professional photographers. Adobe has admitted that Photoshop is quite weak for color correction, and so they created the best photo software from scratch, which wasn’t designed to have a huge number of tools, like Photoshop, but is aimed at one function – image color correction, which is very important for wedding and event shooters.
Lightroom, unlike Photoshop, has an easy-to-learn and user-friendly interface, which makes it the best among its alternatives. The photo editor is the best one for color correction thanks to a huge number of well-developed tools and the possibility to work with Lightroom presets and enhance the photo in just one click.
In addition, Lightroom allows users to perform basic image retouching and work with a large number of photos at the same time. As for the disadvantages, Lightroom has an inconvenient system to work with catalogs.
Website: Capture One ProDeveloper: Phase One
Capture One Pro is a photo editing software for professional image retouching and color correction. Capture One Pro, previously known as Lightphase Capture, was developed and released in 2011 by Phase One. The software isn't an attempt to create something similar to well-known Photoshop. Rather, it is a powerful and unique tool in its own way, allowing users to work with images on a professional level, perform color correction, do photo retouching, etc. It is equipped with a large number of tools that enable users perform the work much better than in Photoshop. Moreover, similar with Lightroom, Capture One Pro allows the use of presets, which significantly speeds up the color correction process. As for peculiarities, it is necessary to point out that the photo editor is the best choice for photographers who shoot with Phase One cameras.
As for disadvantages, the photo editor is resource-consuming and requires good PC configuration similar to Photoshop. Capture One Pro has a quite complex user interface for beginners and few tutorials exist on YouTube.
Website: ON1 Photo RAWAlternatives: Lightroom, Affinity, Polarr
ON1 Photo RAW is one of the top photo editing softwares, combining Lightroom’s simplicity and some tools from Capture One PRO. The photo editor is equipped with quite powerful tools, allowing users to correct photo defects, to perform color correction, and do photo retouching. The interface looks confusing, but in fact, it is simple and easy to understand, even for beginners, as it offers an elaborate help system. Speaking about ON1 Photo RAW, keep in mind that the photo editor isn’t designed as a Photoshop alternative, as it doesn't have that number of tools, but rather it has only the most important features.
As for the disadvantages, the software operates slowly and has lags. Compared to Lightroom, ON1 Photo RAW has slower images viewing and slower export in the background mode.
Affinity Photo is a raster graphics editor which has a large number of image editing and color-correction tools and options. You can use it to perform color correction and image retouching.
Affinity Photo is a tool for photo editing, defects correction, and painting. The photo editor offers a wide set of functions and capabilities: advanced tools for image editing, color correction, and picture retouching. The photography software contains 60 configurable effects, filters, a lot of brushes, and more. In addition, the editor is equipped with a real-time display function, which allows users to preview the result before the tool is applied. As for peculiarities, Affinity Photo is one of the best photo editors if you need to combine several images, including layers correction, masks, effects and tools for a group of layers. In addition, Affinity Photo has a full set of image retouching tools, which includes Liquefy, over 120 brushes, and macros tools. The only thing this software lacks is an images organizer.
Website: GimpDeveloper: GNOME Foundation
Gimp is the program for photo editing based on an open source code. Everybody like it because it’s absolutely FREE. This photo editing software was developed by the student community in 1977. It is universal and free software that allow users to perform basic image retouching, do color correction, work with masks and layers, create design projects from scratch and also to draw small elements for gift cards or other marketing templates. Gimp photo editor has become popular as it was developed on the base of open source code, which allows anyone to make changes, correct bugs, and also to increase and to supplement the software with new necessary functions manually without updates.
The main disadvantage is the weak optimization. It becomes apparent while using some tools, for example, effect or filter overlapping. If you use a PC or laptop of weak configuration you will notice a lag before the effect is applied.
Website: Paint.NetDeveloper: dotPDN LLC
Paint.NET is a free raster graphics editor for Windows. It is positioned as a semi-professional photo editor allowing its users to perform not only basic image retouching and color correction but also create logos and banners. In addition, Paint.NET has many tools for painting. However, in comparison to Gimp, it has one important disadvantage. This photo software is developed on the base of a closed source code, so you can’t change the program code, correct mistakes or add any functions manually. In general, considering that the photo editor is absolutely free, it performs all basic image editing functions: you can work with masks, layers, brushes and many other tools.
The minor flaw is that it was designed only for the Windows platform, so not all users are able to take advantage of this program.
Website: PolarrAlternatives: Photoshop CC 2019, Lightroom Classic CC
Polarr is a professional photo editing software which stands out with many unique filters, though it also offers a large number of basic image editing tools. It allows you to save the photo editing history, perform color correction on a professional level, work with light and photo details, add watermarks, etc. It’s not good for professional photo retouching, but it’s quite good for basic changes.
This is a Lightroom alternative. You can even use Polarr to work with .gif files. As for peculiarities, the photo editing software has a simple, user-friendly interface, so it is the best photo editing software for beginners. There is one important disadvantage, though. In comparison to Photoshop and Lightroom, Polarr has a high price, twice as high alternative programs offer.
Photo Pos Pro is a full-fledged software that will satisfy your demands related to basic photo editing, optimization and special effects. Photo Pos Pro has a quite simple interface with many icons. It is rather confusing the first time you open the program, but the number of tools and functions is impressive. With Photo Pos Pro you can not only edit images and optimize the shots but also add special filters and effects in order to create masterpieces. Besides photo editing, you will be able to create new graphics compositions, logos, banners, and website templates from scratch. It works with layers, masks, gradients and textures, and it is also compatible with a wide range of scanners and digital cameras. The program interface allows you to open and improve several photos simultaneously. The main disadvantage is the interface, which is overloaded with tools, placed in the separated tabs.
ACDSee is good photo editing software from ACD Systems to display and manage big collections of images. It consists of many photo editing tools, including batch image editing as well. ACDSee Photo Studio is positioned as a semi-professional app to preview, edit and post digital images. In addition, the photo editor offers direct access to files and folders with the possibility to update their content in real time. Thus, it saves time spent on the images import in a separate library.
The biggest weakness is the price. Despite the number of photo editing functions and tools, the cost frightens users. It’s better to download Photoshop or Lightroom for a cheaper price.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.