You should read this Fotor review before using this photo editor instead of Adobe Lightroom. Can Fotor, one of the most popular websites and online photo editors, fully replace Lightroom? Due to the latest updates of Lightroom CC and the transition of Adobe to the full subscription model, many users are looking for a similar, but free analog to this photo editor software. In this article, we will make a full Fotor photo editor review - the most popular Lightroom competitor.
Fotor is a chain of programs for editing photos. This company started out as a web-based software for Flash Player. Now they have three web-based programs on HTML5, an application on iOS and Android, as well as free professional photo editing software on Windows and Mac. Fotor has functions for editing photos, creating collages, graphic design, HDR, and image retouching. I’ve reviewed many best online photo editors, the way they are designed and work..
As you can see from the rating, Fotor photo editor has pre-installed filters and onefold photo editing tools, which perfectly handle cropping, simple color corrections, etc. You also are offered to make a collage, perform a basic photo retouching or implement simple design ideas. Fotor photo editor contains many features that are paid so you cannot unleash the full potential of the program. For instance, you cannot rotate crop sizes or change the opacity of the filter. Also, the text adding is rather limited and looks pretty lame. But worst of all in the free version is an excessive amount of advertising - more than 30% of the page is filled with it! For a more detailed review, read below.
You will enjoy using the Desktop and Mobile versions of Fotor photo editor which are made qualitatively and reveal the full potential of the program. This photo editor supports all the most popular image file formats and even provides RAW file editing - a feature that you might not have expected from a free photo maker since it's a quite rare option. Unlike the powerful GIMP photo editing program, Fotor cannot compete with Photoshop tools, brushes and plug-ins. However, Fotor’s main advantage is the simple and convenient photo editing process with one click. I know that I will continue using the mobile version as it's the best free photo editor online for using on mobile devices.
Fotor is a chain of programs and applications. The developers created versions for any platform. Unlike GIMP photo editing software with the terrible mobile application, each Fotor’s photo editor is made qualitatively and is great for work.
Fotor Pro (Web)
$39.99/year or $8.99/month
Fotor Pro (Desktop)
$19.99/year or $4.99/month
Fotor Classical can be used for free online, as a mobile application or you can download it to a computer. Upgrading to the Fotor Pro full web version can cost either $8.99/month or $39.99/year depending on what type of payment you choose; $4.99/month or $19.99/year for the desktop version of the program. The main difference between the basic version and the pro version is the absence of advertising, exclusive photo effects and advanced HDR technology, otherwise, they are both similar. Fotor photo editor free versions are more suitable for basic editing or simple design tasks, including cropping and resizing photos, creating collages and slight image retouching.
Fotor Online Editing and Design:
The professional version has different templates, as well as an extensive library of useful stuff that is constantly updated. Another advantage of the pro version is the weekly updates, which allow you to expand the variants of possible designs. Also, the pro version offers templates for the most popular social networks, so you no longer need to configure everything manually.
Despite the fact that the web version does not require a powerful computer, the desktop version still requires a bit of power for using it to its fullest. We recommend having a computer with the following minimum requirements:
After installing and running the program, you will be asked to choose what task you want to solve - ‘Edit’, ‘Collage’ or ‘Design’. The web version of photo editor consists of three separate modules that work independently. Editing, obviously, allows you to edit and retouch photos. As I mentioned earlier, this program is very good for basic editing. No less interesting is the second module of the program – “Fotor collage maker”. You can choose the template you need and the aspect ratio, then you will only have to open the photos, arrange them and adjust the display settings. The third module is focused on the design and its components. It is great for the creation of personal or school projects.
To open an image, click 'Edit' or ‘Add Photo First’, if you are running the photo editor Fotor for the first time. Next, choose the source of your photo and perform the uploading. I noticed a quite weird advert on the bottom that Fotor works fine only with Google Chrome. I don’t understand, what is the problem with other browsers?
The first running upset me greatly, as there is advertising everywhere. It would be nice if it were invisible, like this button in the lower right corner. Moreover, all the ads are of bright colors! I thought that I could hide this advertisement with a simple click on a cross, but unfortunately, I saw this:
It means that you won't be able to hide advertising anyway, at least for free. Trying to open a RAW file in this version you will fail, but this is normal for web editors. If you upload a photo for the first time, you will receive a small instruction on how to use Fotor photo editor.
Such a small Fotor photo editor tutorial is a very rare case among web editors, so you can quickly learn how to work with standard tools.
Having opened a photo in JPEG format, I was dumbfounded by how much the original image differs from what the photo editor shows me. The whole photo acquired a lot of noise. It is especially visible on the skin near the neck and the background. The photo did not look monotone anymore, and I was very upset seeing it. I changed the browser from Safari to Google Chrome, but this did not fix the problem. The most interesting is that while saving a photo you get a normal image without noise, however, making any changes to the photos to save them is simply impossible. I tried 5 photos, and only one of them opened with a normal quality. By the way, you cannot upload a photo larger than 15MB.
After uploading your photo, on the left side, you will see six sets of tools: Basic, Effect, Beauty, Frames, Sticker, and Text.
As the name implies, you can do the main editing in the ‘Basic’ set. Here you have everything you need: image cropping, color correction, exposure and so on. The most interesting button among all is "1-Tap Enhance", which is also free. You can click on it, and your image will instantly get better. This function really improves the image, rather than merely increasing its saturation and contrast.
Here are the before and after automatic editing results. Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised.
The only set of tools in this list is the Magic Clipper. I didn't try it in a trial mode because the watermark of Fotor online photo editor on the entire photo is very bothersome. The rest of the tools are really useful and allow to make an excellent color correction of any photo literally in a minute.
Opening the Effect tab, you will find 38 sets of effects. Among them 17 are paid and 21 are free, almost equally. Honestly, I do not understand why they cannot make the separation of sets into paid and free ones. In this case, people won't need to filter every time the entire list of effects.
These effects are really amazing since they do not contain sharp and oversaturated versions. Most of them are classic effects that only slightly change your photo. But actually, this is the best I've seen after the Lightroom presets. However, I found a couple of drawbacks - after applying some effects, your program can completely freeze while loading, and therefore you can no longer make any changes. In the end, the loading does not work, and you have to reload the page, but unlike in BeFunky, your changes will not be saved.
In the "Beauty" section you will find several tools for retouching. Half of them are free, but testing them, I did not find anything special. Having tried to use "Blemish Fix" and "Wrinkle Remover" to eliminate small skin imperfections, I still not understand how they work, because the first tool does not change anything, and the second one only blurs the skin making it soapy.
The "Frames", "Sticker" and "Text" sections are made the same way as everywhere, so I did not notice anything unusual in their work, besides the Fotor photo editor app again froze while loading. There is also an HDR function, for which you need to have an image with high and low exposure, as well as a standard picture. However, the installation stopped at 99% so I had to repeat it all over again.
In fact, the Collage section is a standard set of options for collages that don’t differ from the rest of the similar programs. The only difference is probably that you can choose the type of collage. You can make some Fotor classic collages with photos without faces, but most of all I like the "Artistic" field for collages.
You are offered a huge number of templates to realize any of your ideas. The best part is that most of them are completely free. I spent about 10 minutes in Fotor collage maker and was able to create a really attractive collage.
"Design" section has several ready-made formats for posts in the most popular social networks. Now you don't need to find formats on the Internet or pick them yourself. You merely choose the right format, and the photo editor will cut your photo to the desired look. It shouldn't be called "Design" since you cannot design from scratch, but only edit finished photos.
All Fotor reviews are wrong, it’s not a free app. The problem of online version is despite the fact it is called FREE, 70% of all functions is closed. You can only make the basic photo editing changes that work here as well as everywhere. The main advantage is auto color correction, which works fine. There is much advertising that does not disappear when you open a full-screen mode. I stayed unsatisfied after using this photo editing app.
Desktop photo editor is just the same as the web version, but more convenient. In the list, you will also find a new "Batch" tab using which you can easily sort dozens of photos into different categories.
Running the free online photo editor Fotor, I noticed that there is almost no advertising, except for a small inscription “Fotor Pro” in the upper right part and a small square with the advertisement of art filters; the rest is completely free from advertising. The first thing I tried to do was to open a RAW photo that I couldn't do in the web version.
Nevertheless, I did it. It's just awesome, as there are not so many free professional photo editing software for reading RAW format. No noise or damage, everything was opened with the best quality.
For editing, you are offered to use eight tools. It isn't done in the standard form of color correction. Though such a function is available in the Adjust tab, but it is done in the form of actions, as in Photoshop.
I started with the most interesting tab - 'Scenes', which allows you to simulate different types of lighting like the way the effects do. This is quite a peculiar auto-color correction. There are different 14 types, only one of which is paid.
I tried the paid "Auto" function, but to be honest, it's the worst thing in this list. All the colors are oversaturated, and the noise on the background is too obvious, but it is still possible that someone will like it. The worst thing here is that you cannot somehow regulate the changes made, they either work or not.
I chose the "Portrait" mode, and the photo became slightly fresher. You can open the photo editor in the full screen mode for more convenient editing without being distracted. You also can view all the information about your photo by clicking EXIF in the lower left corner, as well as watching "Before" and "After" by clicking Compare.
The Adjust set contains all the standard tools that we are used to applying in Lightroom photo editor. They work the same way – with the help of levers that you need to drag in different directions, you can regulate the effect.
I've done some basic adjustments, and it significantly improved my photo.
The "Effects" tab has 19 sets of effects among which 12 options will be completely free for you. Virtually all the effects aren’t useless and too sharp, which happens often in the most popular editors. All the effects really help making your photo a little more pleasant to look at. Another interesting feature is Focus where you can change the focus point and blur the background.
An image can be saved in four formats - JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF. It is quite a serious set, especially comparing to the Lightroom photo editor. The saving takes too much time - about 30 seconds for one photo, which is quite a lot.
I decided to look at how much the awful and useless Touch Up in the web program and the Touch Up in the desktop version differs. I noticed a big mistake of Fotor photo editor creators - you cannot switch between the modes until you finish working in one of them. Therefore, to try out the Touch Up, I had to save the photo to the hard disk and re-upload it. Unfortunately, 50% of all tools are paid, and the free-to-use half is not good enough.
Fotor photo editor tries to copy Lightroom photo editing software. There are many basic functions that are available at Lightroom connected with color correction, BUT a large number of tools are blocked here. What is very frustrating, Fotor does not know how to open .raw format and doesn’t have a good auto color correction function as in the online version. Have mixed feelings.
Introduce Fotor's Android App:
The first time you run the Fotor Mobile you get access to a huge number of functions. You can even use the camera, which is now most often eliminated in similar programs for an unknown reason. You can open Edit or Collage to do basic editing actions, but firstly I decided to explore the buttons below.
The Home button didn't contain anything interesting, and I switched to a button that reminds me of the Safari browser sign. Here you can find all the photos that people shared using Fotor social network. You can even comment or “like” any photo. It's something like Instagram, but less popular.
However, the most exciting thing lurks behind the sign of the cup. Here it is called "Missions". You will see a huge number of competitions for the best photo from Fotor which also offer a reward of $50-100 or jewelry. There are more than 50 contests for all kinds of photography, so there is a place for everyone - photos of smiles, food, birds, children, phones and even cats! I believe that this is a great way to motivate people to create beautiful images using Fotor photo editor.
Also in the top, you can find the "Hotseat" button and see the most popular photos ever exhibited in Fotor - more than 50 different genres that you can watch for hours. Fotor Mobile did a great job, concerning the content.
Now we can go to the main actions using "Edit". I was pleasantly surprised by the Fotor design, as well as its diverse possibilities - 13 tools among which only "Scenes" is paid. However, the price is only $0.99, which won't be significant expenses even for the beginner photographers.
In general, the mobile photo editor has an extensive range of settings, among which there are the chances to adjust or delete effects, arrange them in the right order or even purchase new ones by clicking the Store button in the effects tab.
The store is worth additional mentioning. It is an excellent place where you can either refill your stock of effects, fonts, frames or collages for free. Most of the effects will be with the Free sign, and therefore, like in Lightroom photo editor, you can get only those that you really like. However, in Fotor this is easier since you don't need to go through a long procedure of exporting presets from the computer to the phone; you already have everything.
In a nutshell, Fotor Mobile is currently the best program for editing photos on the phone; I haven't seen anything simpler and better. It's a worthy competitor of Lightroom CC Mobile, and in some cases, it is even better.
Fotor Mobile is the best app for color correction on the phone. Here, 90% of all functions are absolutely free and with the help of them you can do color correction as good as on a computer. This app is better than a Lightroom mobile.
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.