Free Lightroom Alternatives

Are there a free Lightroom alternative that can completely replace Lightroom in terms of photo color correction, batch processing, photo management and RAW photo editing?

Top 21 Best Free Lightroom Alternatives

But what if I told you about the following 21 FREE Lightroom alternatives that offer practically the same functions?

TOP 3 LR Alternatives:

Undoubtedly, Adobe Lightroom is the best photo editing software for professional photographers, who need to edit RAW files and for beginning shooters who need fast photo editing with Lightroom presets.

Also Reviewed:

1. RawTherapee

RawTherapee is one of the best Lightroom alternatives that has similar functions and features. But it is an open source photo editor, which makes it absolutely free for Windows and MacOS users.

1/4
  • rawtherapee photo editor interface
  • rawtherapee photo editor interface
  • rawtherapee photo editor interface rawtherapee photo editor interface
    Pros+
    • Fast catalog management
    • Suitable for professional color correction
    • Open source
    • Batch image processing
    Cons-
    • It isn’t convenient to work with masks and layers
    • Doesn’t support the latest cameras

    Main RawTherapee Features:

    • Open-source, cross-platform
    • It is possible to manage colors using a special LittleCMS system
    • Supports film negatives and monochrome cameras
    • Ability to rate pictures from 0 to 5 stars
    • Lossless picture editing - all the changes are located in PP3 sidecar files

    An interesting peculiarity of this program is that RawTherapee uses non-destructive picture editing, so you can return to the source file any time you wish. As well as in Lightroom, you can use ready-made presets, or create your own, expanding the library.

    The photo editor has a wide range of tools for color correction, noise reduction, rotation, exposure control, shadows and light regulating, tone settings, vignetting and much more. However, this photo editor has poorly developed tools for working with masks and layers (the working process is simply very inconvenient).

    2. Darktable

    It's also a free, open source software that combines many tools for image editing, convenient cataloging and RAW file processing. The photo editor has a simple and quite pleasant user interface with convenient controls.

    1/4
    • darktable photo editor interface
    • darktable photo editor interface
    • darktable photo editor interface darktable photo editor interface
      Pros+
      • Well-developed cataloger
      • Powerful RAW converter
      • Open source
      Cons-
      • Isn’t for professional color correction

      Main Darktable Features:

      • Non-destructive picture editing during the entire workflow.
      • GPU accelerated picture post-production
      • Possibility to import various basic, RAW and HDR picture formats.
      • Zero-latency, zoomable UI
      • Supports instrumentation of the user’s camera with live view for certain camera brands.

      I can’t help but mention that Darkrable is also available for the Linux platform, and if you have this OS, this is the best free Lightroom alternative for you. As for shortcomings, I will note that Darktable Lightroom equivalent is not suitable for professional picture editing and some tools require improvement.

      3. Picktorial

      Picktorial is a non-destructive RAW photo editor that makes it easy to organize and enhance your photos.

      1/4
      • picktorial photo editor interface
      • picktorial photo editor interface
      • picktorial photo editor interface picktorial photo editor interface
        Pros+
        • Professional instruments
        • Supports batch editing
        • User-friendly interface
        Cons-
        • No layers
        • Only for Mac OS

        Main Picktorial Features:

        • Billing & Invoicing
        • Ability to tweak colors
        • Elimination of objects
        • Panorama montage
        • High-resolution picture output

        This Lightroom alternative is designed exclusively for Mac OS and is seen as a replacement for Apple's photo editors. It includes all the basic settings and tools that you expect: from adjusting tones, colors, white balance, clarity, curves and saturation.

        You can adjust tones, remove stains or dust, smooth skin, remove noise or add blur using the “Defocus” tool. Unfortunately, Picktorial does not offer layers editing, each photo editing tool can have several editing points that have their own settings.

        4. Skylum Luminar

        The latest version of Skylum Luminar has an integrated image control library. There are versions for Mac and Windows and also a free trial version.

        1/4
        • skylum luminar photo editor interface
        • skylum luminar photo editor interface
        • skylum luminar photo editor interface skylum luminar photo editor interface
          Pros+
          • RAW files support
          • Convenient image control system
          • Suitable for professional photo correction
          •  
          Cons-
          • Weakly developed batch image editing

          Main Skylum Luminar Features:

          • UI can be adapted to fit into the user’s workflow.
          • One-click presets for quick picture edits
          • Robust object elimination, clone & stamp tools.
          • Ability to crop and transform pictures
          • It is possible to reduce noise

          A simple and intuitive interface includes tools similar to those in Lightroom, a customizable workspace and a powerful RAW converter. In addition, Luminar boasts built-in layers and the ability to perform masking for accurate color correction. Luminar supports all currently existing RAW formats. This is why many professionals believe that Luminar is a combination of these two Adobe programs.

          As for the drawbacks, I should mention that the photo editor processes several pictures rather slowly. Perhaps, it will be improved in the future because this function is comparatively new.

          5. Digikam

          DigiKam is a powerful photo manager, organizer and image editor created for Linux, but also available for Windows and Mac.

          1/4
          • digikam photo editor interface
          • digikam photo editor interface
          • digikam photo editor interface digikam photo editor interface
            Pros+
            • Powerful photo manager and organizer
            • Compatible with all operating systems
            • Open source
            Cons-
            • You can’t use it for professional color correction

            Main Digikam Features:

            • Possibility to set up collections
            • Imports pictures, raw files and videos
            • Users may organize their collections
            • Browse, compare and view items in collections
            • Picture sharing capabilities

            You can import images in various ways, organize them into albums, view and search in your collection by location, time, tags and people. Though Digikam is mainly designed to manage your pictures rather than to edit them, in some cases, it has more useful functions than specialized programs.

            6. Lightzone

            If you are looking for a free Lightroom alternative that is an excellent RAW converter, LightZone can be a great choice for you. The photo editor has a large collection of tools for RAW image processing.

            1/4
            • lightzone photo editor interface
            • lightzone photo editor interface
            • lightzone photo editor interface lightzone photo editor interface
              Pros+
              • Open source Suitable for professional image editing
              • Powerful RAW converter
              • Has basic tools for color correction
              Cons-
              • Lacks functions for professional color correction
              • Difficult for inexperienced users

              Main Lightzone Features:

              • The Relight tool
              • Support for RAW files
              • Unlimited layers

              Using LightZone Lightroom replacement, you can easily enhance photos, eliminate defects, perform basic color correction, adjust white balance, blur certain areas, increase sharpness, remove traces of dust on the lens and reduce the noise that often appears when shooting with high ISO. This program is not suitable for professional color correction, as many tools are poorly developed.

              7. Polarr

              Polarr is free photo editing software has a fairly simple interface and tools that do not require many hours of training.

              1/4
              • polarr photo editor interface
              • polarr photo editor interface
              • polarr photo editor interface polarr photo editor interface
                Pros+
                • Suitable for professional color correction
                • Intuitive interface
                • A lot of tools for digital drawing and design
                Cons-
                • Expensive compared to alternatives
                • Doesn’t support RAW files

                Main Polarr Features:

                • Support for layers
                • Incredible masking tools
                • Ability to retouch skin like a pro
                • Text toolset
                • Remarkable brushes

                The tools are mainly aimed at color correction: exposure, shadows, curves, brushes, masks, layers, work with light, details, presets, etc.

                In addition, the Polarr offers a separate tab for drawing, creating logos and banners. This Lightroom free alternative supports GIF files. As for the minuses, I would like to point out that it does not support RAW files. Therefore, it is not suitable for professional photographers.

                8. PhotoScape

                This free alternative to Lightroom performs professional photo editing, creates design projects, logos, banners, etc.

                1/4
                • photoscape photo editor interface
                • photoscape photo editor interface
                • photoscape photo editor interface photoscape photo editor interface
                  Pros+
                  • Wide range of options
                  • Supports RAW format
                  • Low system requirements
                  Cons-
                  • A lot of functions are limited in free access

                  Main PhotoScape Features:

                  • Printing capabilities
                  • Impressive specialized filters
                  • Advanced toolset

                  One of the main advantages of PhotoScape is that it has several separate services for photo editing, image management, GIF and video processing, RAW file conversion and many others. Each tab offers relatively powerful tools and a simple interface that is understandable for a beginner.

                  It should be mentioned that it is suitable not only for Windows and Mac OS platforms but also for Linux. Unfortunately, some functions are limited in the free version.

                  9. Paint Net

                  PaintNet is a free Lightroom alternative for beginners who are not interested in software stuffed with lots of functions.

                  1/4
                  • paint net photo editor interface
                  • paint net photo editor interface
                  • paint net photo editor interface paint net photo editor interface
                    Pros+
                    • Easy to use Suitable for basic image edit and color correction
                    • Great number of drawing tools
                    Cons-
                    • Doesn’t support Linux or Mac OS platforms

                    Main Paint Net Features:

                    • Straightforward UI
                    • Ability to import and edited a number of pictures
                    • Unlimited history
                    • Performance is adapted for modern hardware
                    • Support for numerous languages

                    The program has a simple interface and useful tools. The pleasant feature is that it does not require a powerful PC configuration.

                    Speaking about drawbacks, I should point out that PaintNet is only Windows-compatible. Moreover, the interface is a little old-fashioned and does not fully correspond to modern standards.

                    10. Inkscape

                    Inkscape is a free Lightroom alternative suitable for creating artistic and technical images. Inkscape is used primarily for basic photo post processing, designing logos and banners and to cope with any task related to vector images.

                    1/4
                    • inkscape photo editor interface
                    • inkscape photo editor interface
                    • inkscape photo editor interface inkscape photo editor interface
                      Pros+
                      • Advanced tools for work with vector images
                      • Supported by all platform types
                      • Optimized for weak PCs
                      Cons-
                      • Not suitable for professional image editing
                      • Weakly-developed tools for work with layers and masks

                      Main Inkscape Features:

                      • Command-line interface, format conversion options and fully-functional GUI scripting
                      • 60+ UI languages
                      • Ability to expand to new file formats, effects and other options
                      • Support for scripting is in the experimental phase

                      Inkscape supports the Scalable Vector Graphics standard and the full kit of tools for conversion, complex tasks and rendering with high resolution. An obvious drawback is a small number of tools for image editing and color correction.

                      11. IrfanView

                      IrfanView is a powerful image editor and organizer with excellent support for RAW and compressed file formats. This free alternative to Lightroom has a rather outdated graphical interface, but it still remains intuitive.

                      1/4
                      • irfanview photo editor interface
                      • irfanview photo editor interface
                      • irfanview photo editor interface irfanview photo editor interface
                        Pros+
                        • Excellent RAW format support
                        • Batch photo editing tools
                        Cons-
                        • Quite an outdated graphic interface

                        Main IrfanView Features:

                        • Compatible with plenty of file formats
                        • Unicode support
                        • Lossless JPG rotation, crop and EXIF date change
                        • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
                        • Batch conversion (with comprehensive picture post-production of all files)

                        The biggest advantages of IrfanView are convenient batch image editing, so you can process several hundred photos within an hour, and one of the best tools for image cataloging. The photo editor gives you absolute control over your photos – you can edit metadata, rename files in batches and add tags.

                        If you choose this free alternative to Adobe Lightroom, you get a lot of tools for color correction and basic picture editing – shadow adjustment, balancing tones, curves, elimination of small defects with the help of brushes and other useful features.

                        IrfanView is suitable for both beginners and professional photographers. The most noticeable shortcoming is that some tools have a slow response time and have to be improved.

                        12. Chasys Draw IES

                        Draw IES is a complete package for image editing, designed for professional use. In addition to basic photo editing functions, you can also use it to capture still images or video from your desktop.

                        1/4
                        • chasys draw ies photo editor interface
                        • chasys draw ies photo editor interface
                        • chasys draw ies photo editor interface chasys draw ies photo editor interface
                          Pros+
                          • Excellent RAW format support
                          • Suitable for professional color correction
                          • Convenient catalog
                          Cons-
                          • Outdated interface

                          Main Chasys Draw IES Features:

                          • Borderless fullscreen with fade out in Viewer
                          • Object animation is rendered smoothly
                          • Sprite-sheet manipulation options
                          • Rotates EXIF in Viewer automatically
                          • Loads and manages fonts without delays

                          You can adjust red, blue and green curves, as well as adjust white balance, sharpness, contrast, create icons and cursors, make time-lapse animation, convert images in a batch mode and design your own illustrations from scratch. Chasys Draw IES supports unprocessed files from all popular camera manufacturers.

                          Chasys Draw IES Lightroom equivalent has only one disadvantage – a trivial outdated interface, which has not been redesigned for a long time. But you will be focused on image editing, not viewing its design.

                          13. Capture One Pro

                          If you are a Lightroom and Photoshop lover, Capture One Pro combines all strong points of these two image editing applications.

                          1/4
                          • capture one pro photo editor interface
                          • capture one pro photo editor interface
                          • capture one pro photo editor interface capture one pro photo editor interface
                            Pros+
                            • Many functions and tools
                            • Fully customizable interface
                            • Quick import and export
                            • Well-developed layer and masks
                            Cons-
                            • Requires good PC configuration
                            • Rather complicated for amateurs

                            Main Capture One Pro Features:

                            • Layers opacity
                            • Styles and presets for layers
                            • Grayscale mask preview
                            • Export with assets
                            • LAB readouts

                            Capture One Pro is powerful among alternatives to Lightroom in that it allows for professional image editing and deep color correction, for example, working with layers and masks, brushes and more. Likewise, it should be mentioned that it is integrated into Phase ONE cameras, and if you are a lucky owner of such a device, you may use it completely free of charge.

                            As for the drawbacks, this photo editing application requires many resources and a good PC configuration. Capture One Pro has an interface that is rather complex for beginners, but it is fully customizable.

                            14. Affinity Photo

                            It may be a handy alternative to Lightroom offering really useful functions. The image editor has a lot of options for color correction and image editing.

                            1/4
                            • affinity photo editor interface
                            • affinity photo editor interface
                            • affinity photo editor interface affinity photo editor interface
                              Pros+
                              • Many tools for image editing
                              • Simple interface
                              • Advanced brushes
                              Cons-
                              • Expensive in comparison with competitors
                              • Some tools should be improved
                              • No image organizer

                              Main Affinity Photo Features:

                              • Tools to adjust, correct and retouch pictures
                              • Macros and Saveable undo history and Brush
                              • Designated RAW workplace
                              • Cross-platform and mobile
                              • PSD import/export and shared resources

                              Apart from a number of image editing modules, you may use Affinity Photo as a drawing tool. Furthermore, it features a real-time display function that allows for previewing the results before the tool is applied. The editor offers a lot of advanced brushes that may be modified. The only thing that this software is missing is an image organizer.

                              15. AlienSkin Exposure

                              AlienSkin Exposure has integrated image control functions as well as photo enhancing ones, though its control system is a hybrid of a browser and a catalog.

                              1/4
                              • alienskin exposure photo editor interface
                              • alienskin exposure photo editor interface
                              • alienskin exposure photo editor interface alienskin exposure photo editor interface
                                Pros+
                                • Handy cataloger
                                • Supports various presets
                                • Suitable for professional color correction and photo editing
                                Cons-
                                • Slow import speed compared to Lightroom

                                Main AlienSkin Exposure Features:

                                • 3D color masking
                                • Nondestructive layers
                                • Picture post-production toolset
                                • 500+ presets

                                AlienSkin Exposure interface and working process are common for Lightroom users. On the one hand, this Lightroom equivalent does not use the catalog approach, so it is quick and simple. But on the other hand, it lacks complex organization control provided by a catalog.

                                The AlienSkin team has been working on effects and plug-ins for quite a while. Today, they introduced Exposure X3, along with an extensive collection of presets and film emulations as a result of their work. Finally, you should know that work with RAW files is limited by the rather slow import of such files.

                                16. DxO PhotoLab

                                1/4
                                • dxo photolab photo editor interface
                                • dxo photolab photo editor interface
                                • dxo photolab photo editor interface dxo photolab photo editor interface
                                  Pros+
                                  • Suitable for professional color correction
                                  • Simple interface
                                  • RAW files support
                                  Cons-
                                  • Weakly-developed brushes

                                  Main DxO PhotoLab Features:

                                  • Capable of producing truly sharp pictures
                                  • Decent automatic lens correction
                                  • Helpful and remarkable Denoise feature
                                  • Incredible toolset for local adjustments

                                  In case you are looking for a worthy alternative to Lightroom offering analogous tools, DxO OpticsPro is a good option. It has a range of functions, also similar to Capture One, and provides considerable support for quick settings. The photo editor has a simple customizable interface. Tools are similar to Lightroom and focused primarily on color correction: shadows, exposure, layer masks, brushes, various presets, effects and filters.

                                  Due to its control simplicity, it is suitable both for professionals and enthusiasts. As for its drawbacks, it should be mentioned that OpticsPro has a weakly-developed catalog system and brushes don’t offer much customization.

                                  17. ON1 Photo RAW

                                  ON1 Photo RAW is the best software for image editing that combines Lightroom simplicity and Capture One PRO tools.

                                  1/4
                                  • on1 photo raw editor interface
                                  • on1 photo raw editor interface
                                  • on1 photo raw editor interface on1 photo raw editor interface
                                    Pros+
                                    • Low price, one-time payment
                                    • Monthly free trial version without long log-ins and subscriptions
                                    • Combines the Lightroom simplicity and Capture One diversity
                                    • Absolutely new approach to previewing photos on PC
                                    Cons-
                                    • Export in background mode is too slow
                                    • Small number of original presets
                                    • Can’t compete with Photoshop

                                    Main ON1 Photo RAW Features:

                                    • Non-destructive picture editing
                                    • Compare mode
                                    • AI-based toolset
                                    • The most sought-after presets
                                    • Integration with SmugMug

                                    ON1 Photo RAW features relatively powerful tools that allow for correcting image defects, performing color editing and photo retouching. The interface seems to be rather complicated but it is really simple and clear, even for beginners since it offers a smart support system. Like all Lightroom alternatives presented here, ON1 Photo RAW has some disadvantages. Unfortunately, the photo preview and export in background mode are not very fast.

                                    18. ACDSee Photo Studio Professional

                                    ACDSee Photo Studio is positioned as a semi-professional application for image preview, picture editing and publication of digital pictures.

                                    1/4
                                    • acdsee photo studio professional interface
                                    • acdsee photo studio professional interface
                                    • acdsee photo studio professional interface acdsee photo studio professional interface
                                      Pros+
                                      • Professional tools
                                      • Great number of functions
                                      • User-friendly interface
                                      Cons-
                                      • Rather expensive compared to competitors

                                      Main ACDSee Photo Studio Professional Features:

                                      • Facial recognition & face detection
                                      • Keyword management
                                      • Ability to find duplicates
                                      • Numerous picture baskets
                                      • Access to the cloud

                                      ACDSee is a good Lightroom equivalent for basic picture editing developed by ACD Systems. It is targeted at displaying and controlling big image collections. Moreover, this application offers direct access to files and folders with an option to update content in real-time mode. The biggest drawback is the price. Despite the number of functions and tools for image editing, the cost puts a lot of users off.

                                      19. Pixlr

                                      If your computer or laptop has a weak configuration and you need a powerful graphics editor comparable to Adobe Lightroom, the Pixlr app will be an excellent alternative for you.

                                      1/4
                                      • pixlr photo editor interface
                                      • pixlr photo editor interface
                                      • pixlr photo editor interface pixlr photo editor interface
                                        Pros+
                                        • You can save your work and continue later
                                        • Many useful tools for effective photo editing
                                        • Convenient work with brushes
                                        • Masks and layers
                                        Cons-
                                        • 40% of functions are not available for free
                                        • The interface may seem confusing

                                        Main Pixlr Features:

                                        • Ability to replace colors
                                        • Picture retouching
                                        • Transforms objects
                                        • Picture collage capabilities
                                        • Digital painting

                                        Upload your photos, and you will get access to the interface, that slightly resembles Photoshop: masks and layers, clone stamps, brushes, text editing, photo defect removal, filters, effects and many others.

                                        Besides, Pixlr supports the RAW file format. However, you must remember that if the file size is more than 20 MB, the image editor can work with some delays. Unfortunately, the Pixlr Mac photo editor does not support batch image processing.

                                        20. Ribbet

                                        Ribbet is an online Lightroom alternative with a fairly simple graphic interface and powerful tools. You can use this program for both basic image editing and color correction.

                                        1/4
                                        • ribbet photo editor interface
                                        • ribbet photo editor interface
                                        • ribbet photo editor interface ribbet photo editor interface
                                          Pros+
                                          • Modern, user-friendly interface
                                          • Well-designed and conveniently located tools
                                          • Possibility to organize, create, and share libraries with other users
                                          • Suitable for basic color correction
                                          Cons-
                                          • Doesn’t support RAW files

                                          Main Ribbet Features:

                                          • Presence of professional picture effects and filters
                                          • Ability to enhance skin, hair, eyes and body in one click
                                          • Overlay textures
                                          • Can apply watermarks and custom overlays

                                          This is one of the best online Lightroom alternatives that allows you to fix minor flaws, work with text, brushes, curves, masks and layers. In addition, Ribbet has a fairly powerful function for organizing and managing libraries and files. Despite its strong points, you may be disappointed as it doesn’t support RAW files and many tools are limited in the free version.

                                          21. PicMonkey

                                          PicMonkey is one of the best online photo editors that can be used as an alternative to Canva or Lightroom. The photo editor has all necessary functions for work with photos: photo editing, storage, organization of files in the repository, the design of various projects, banners and logos.

                                          1/4
                                          • picmonkey photo editor interface
                                          • picmonkey photo editor interface
                                          • picmonkey photo editor interface picmonkey photo editor interface
                                            Pros+
                                            • Many tools for picture editing, creating banners and logos
                                            • Perfect tool to edit text
                                            • HUB Cloud Storage
                                            • Suitable for basic color correction
                                            • Well-developed masks and layers
                                            Cons-
                                            • No RAW files support

                                            Main PicMonkey Features:

                                            • Picture retouching toolset
                                            • Design templates
                                            • Presence of effects and filters
                                            • Works with layers
                                            • Collaboration capabilities

                                            I really like the integration of the HUB tab, which includes Cloud storage and a convenient catalog. You can’t perform professional color correction using this free Lightroom alternative, but its functionality and capabilities are quite enough for the basic tasks: exposure, shadows, brushes, masks and layers, curves, color balance and much more. But PicMonkey also has several minuses. This program does not support RAW files, and many tools are limited in free access.


                                            Ann Young

                                            Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

                                            creative cloud all special offers creative cloud all special offers