Best Photo Editing Software for Mac/PC: 15+ Photo Editors

How would you rate yourself as a photographer, and would you like to improve your skills? Does your method of photography include snapping from your smartphone and sharing right away or including a bit of tweaking, choosing and editing particular pictures for any certain use? Or besides all that, are you a dead serious photographer who takes photography very seriously and edits only their finest pictures?  If you fall in the second or third category then this article is just for you.

Whatever you choose to do with photographs, there’s a huge pile of editing programs to choose from. To assist you in selecting the best software out there, we have tested many popular photo-editing applications within a different budget. Choose your best option!


Luminar

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – AI Filers: AI Sky Enhancer, Accent AI

Luminar is popular color photo editor. It has rivalled Lightroom and other top dogs for some time and the latest version features even more improvements. One of the major improvements is the inclusion of an automatic lens distortion correction tool – the program detects your lens and can remove distortion.

The actual editing tools are superb and detailed. The edits are known as filters and come in the form of sliders. You can edit all basic functions such as contrast, hue, saturation, highlights, and shadows. Furthermore, you can crop and rotate your image with a few clicks. Luminar is also an excellent tool for removing background noise without compromising the quality and clarity of an image, even at ISO levels of 6400.

This really is a superb photo editing software program and one of our top picks. It has everything you need to make quick and detailed edits to your photos.


Aurora HDR

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – LUT Mapping

Aurora HDR is one of the best HDR photo editors, but it works great for usual photo editing tasks as w . This program is renowned for its exceptional quality and ability to deliver high-end HDR photos with minimal effort and maximum customization.

You can easily perform tone mapping on either bracketed images or single files too. Moreover, it contains a myriad of HDR pre-sets that emulate particular artist styles. Renowned photographers and artists such as Trey Ratcliff and Serge Ramelli have categories you can use for example. To add extra depth to your HDR images, Aurora also has extensive color grading options – you can really transform your images into exceptional end products. Finally, Aurora offers adjustment layers for both targeted and global edits which give you even greater control over the end-look of your photos.


Photolemur

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – One-click AI Editor

Photolemur is an excellent piece of photo editing software. It has a multitude of automatic tools that make editing easy. If you are a professional and have completed a large photo shoot, or been out on the road, you can make use of the auto features to quickly edit groups of photos. For example you can use tools such as color recovery, sky enhancement, exposure compensation, natural light correction, noise reduction and smart dehaze. Basically you can improve your photos in a few clicks.

The main pain is split into a before and after display therefore you can see the effect that is being applied to your photo. Furthermore, there is also basic editing tools such as crop and rotate so that you can improve the composition of your pics. Finally, the processing power of the program appears to be fine and can cope with large images files easily. Photolemur is certainly a good photo editing software with a great deal to offer.


Corel Paintshop Pro

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Choice of layouts for beginners or pros

PaintShop Pro is Corel’s flagship product. This has long been one of the best photography editing software programs and a main rival of Photoshop. It is one of the most powerful photo editors on the market. If you are a beginner, you can choose to use a simplified interface that is easier to use. On the other hand, if you are a veteran, you can use the advanced layout which gives the full set of editing tools.

Once you get into the actual editing, you can see that PaintShop Pro has advanced capabilities. For example, there is a warp brush tool – this allows you to correct lens distortion. Moreover, there are other standard photo editing tools such as clone, red-eye and eraser – these all allow for simple and quick adjustments to be made.

The general editing is superb too. The tools can all be found in the top menu or in the left-hand tool bar. It also features a myriad of preset color pallets which are useful if you want to edit your photo in a certain tone or vibe. Corel really have created a useful program – PaintShop Pro remains an excellent photo editing software program.


Capture One

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows
Notable Feature – Lens Profiles

Capture One is created by the Danish company Phase One. These guys specialize in DSLR cameras and have branched out with this fantastic product. As photo editing software, Capture One has many similarities to Lightroom. It offers full RAW editing functionality. Moreover, you can organize your photos with ease once you have edited them.

It can support a wide range of file types aside from RAW include JPEG, TIFF and PSD. Furthermore, you can make both blanket and local adjustments. The blanket adjustments as easy to apply, as are the local adjustments. The editing tools are logically ordered and split into categories such as “levels”, “curves” and “contrast”. The local adjustments are actually automatically applied to new layers – this makes editing easy and the whole process a doddle.

Capture One is a pleasure to use due to its simplicity and control. It is one of the best photo editing programs and is certainly up there with the big names.


GIMP

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Clone and Airbrush tools for instant error correction

GIMP is a good photo editing software program. It has long been considered the best free editor available. It is open source and has a powerful engine that rivals some of the other best photo editors. It can be used as a simple program to create images, but it also has advanced editing functionality for photos. It has fantastic support and receives regular updates.

You can edit basic parameters such as the crop and angle of a photo – this means you can easily straighten horizons and correct any angle errors. Moreover, GIMP also has a whole section dedicated to photo color and balance – you can edit levels, curves, saturation and brightness with a few simple clicks. In addition to this, you can also edit other useful parameters such as contrast, white balance and temperature.

As one of the best photo retouching programs GIMP certainly has a lot to offer. One of the tool we like is the healing tool – you can use this to remove unwanted items in your photos. As a free program, GIMP is great if you are on a tight budget.


Affinity

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – 360-degree image editing

Affinity is renowned for its ease of use and simplicity as one of the best easy to use photo editing software programs. It has an intuitive interface that has toolbars and features in logical places. The only downside we found is that it doesn’t have any file management capabilities which is quite a let-down.

Using this software you can make seamless and smooth edits to your photos. If you want to improve the basic qualities such as clarity and contrast, you can do so using sliders. You can edit RAW photos, and you can also create HDR composites and beautiful panoramas. Moreover, it offers a batch editing process that makes editing large groups of similar photos a dream.

We also liked the 360-degree image editing tool. If you have taken a 360 image stitched together from various shots, Affinity will automatically allow you to seamlessly edit the whole photo. The program is powerful, and the UI really is easy to use. We feel this is not one of the best photo editing software for professional photographers however due to the lack of file management. It is a superb tool for hobbyists however.


ON1

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Automatic HDR creation tool

ON1 is another program that is one of the most popular photo editing software pieces available. ON1 2018 is a fantastic program and ON1 2019 is set to be an even bigger improvement. This program has a fantastic array of features for editing photos – it is often compared to Lightroom and PaintShop Pro. The one thing we will point out about ON1 is that it is quite processor hungry – you do need a powerful computer to make the most of its features.

This is a top photography editing software as it gives you complete control. You can edit various sliders to change basic parameters such as clarity, hue, saturation and core temperature. Moreover, you can apply simple photo filters such as vignette and noise reduction. In addition to this, the program has a plethora of pre-set filters you can apply to the photos – these are high quality and can emulate a range of photo styles. The editing process is smooth and fast, and it works in a non-destructible environment too – any changes can be undone. The combination of control, pre-sets and features make ON1 top rated photo editing software.


DxO

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Local adjustment editing

DXO is actually a successor of DXO Optics Pro. First launched in 2017, this is predominantly a RAW photo editor. It is one of the best photo editing software for photographers who want control over their RAW images. The RAW processing engine is extremely powerful and you can edit your photos quickly and efficiently. The noise reduction and tonal range of the RAW editor is simply fantastic – you really can clean up your photos and improve their basic quality.

Aside from the simple editing functionality, DXO PhotoLab also includes a local adjustment feature. If you want to make edits to certain areas of a photo such as a person or an object, you can use the local adjustment tool. You don’t have to create new layers or save the image – everything is non-destructible.

Finally, DXO can also detect your camera lens. It offers full compatibility with a variety of different lenses – you can easily make auto adjustments and overcome such issues as chromatic aberration, lens flare and lens correction. DXO PhotoLab is definitely an improvement on the previous version and is an excellent beginner photo editing software program.



Apple Photos

Format – Pre-installed program available with MAC devices
Available Platforms – MAC
Notable Feature – Auto Enhancing

Apple Photos is a piece of top photography editing software. It is a long standing program that has been available for many years with Apple devices such as MAC computers. With each new version of Apple Photos, a new feature is seemingly added and improvements are made. The program has an easy to use interface that makes photo editing a breeze.

In terms of photo editing, Apple Photos has some neat tool. To start with, you can rotate and auto enhance photos in batches – this greatly speeds up the process. The editing functions are split into several categories and a quick-edit toolbar too. All the tools are easy to use and give you great image control. All of the standard editing parameters are present that you would expect from the best photo editing programs – black point, shadows, highlights and exposure for example. You can also reduce noise and sharpen the photo too.

There is a couple of other interesting features too namely the auto-enhance tool and the curves tool. The auto enhance basically improves the basic parameters of your photo to create a more balance end look. The curves tool on the other hand allows you to easily edit color balance and create some interesting effects. Combine these features and we can see why Apple Photos is one of the best photo editors for MAC devices.


Adobe Lightroom

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Automatic lens detection and error correction

Lightroom has long been hailed as the king of photo editing. Adobe have created a magnificent product that is one of the best on the market. Lightroom is one of the best photo editor software programs you can buy. It is available as either a one-off purchase, or as a subscription as part of the creative suite.

To start with, Lightroom has excellent photo management features. You can easily categorize and tag your photos. If you have a huge array of work, you can use such things as star ratings, colors and keywords. This makes organization as cinch which is essential if you are a professional dealing with thousands of pics.

Furthermore, Lightroom has top photo editing software qualities. You have complete control over every aspect of a photo – especially if it is a RAW file. The basic editing functions are extensive – you can change contrast, clarity, exposure, highlights and saturation for example using sliders. Moreover, Lightroom can auto-detect the lens type used and auto-correct any anomalies such as distortion and chromatic aberration. It is even possible to save your editing pre-sets so that you can batch-edit photos in a couple of clicks. These features really make Lightroom top editing software for photographers.


Pixelmator

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – MAC devices only
Notable Feature – Advanced quick selection tool

Pixelmator is a brilliant program for MAC devices and a great competitor to Apple Photos. Many people class it as the best photography editing software for MAC devices. The latest version has received an overhaul – basic performance and functionality has improved ten-fold. You ca navigate the program with ease and access the basic photo editing tools instantly.

For basic functionality, Pixelmator has a myriad of useful features. You can make basic adjustments such as changes to contrast, clarity, saturation and brightness. You can easily transform photos from your camera into vivid end products.

Furthermore, the core of the program has some awesome automatic features such as automatic horizon detection, quick-selection, and context-sensitive object removal. You can easily remove unwanted objects from your photos and level out any irregular horizons. As you would expect from one of the best basic photo editing software programs, you can also save your editing pre-sets. We were impressed with the usability of Pixelmator and the changes made – it remains an easy to use photo editing software program.


Raw Therapee

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows
Notable Feature – Automatic noise reduction tool

This is one of the best program for editing photos and it is also free – what could be better? RAW Therapee is currently in version 5.0 – this has brought a plethora of changes and new features. To start with, this program contains a myriad of basic editing tools. If you want to make simple edits to the core photo parameters then you can do so easily.

Version 5.0 also brings a host of advanced editing features too. For example, you can remove chromatic aberration, reduce luminance and also reduce noise using a trio of simple sliders. Moreover, you can use the curve pipette feature for greater control over colors etc. Finally, the color picker and navigator can now show RGB, HSV and L*A8B values which gives you greater flexibility in color selections.

Top top all of this off, the developers at RAW Therapee have worked hard in the last two years to improve processing speeds and fix a host of problem bugs. You can count RAW Therapee among the top photography editing software programs.


Zoner Photo Studio

Format – Monthly subscriber plan
Available Platforms – Windows computers only
Notable Feature – Six groups of auto-enhancements for photos

Zoner Inc. have worked hard on Zoner Photo Studio over the last few years. The latest version is dubbed as an easy to use photo editing software program and a great improvement over previous editions. The menu arrangement has been improved and everything is easily accessible. Moreover the adjustment sliders and toolbars have had an overhaul.

You can easily edit your photos using this photo editing software. It is possible to edit both RAW files and normal JPEGS too. Moreover, Zoner helps identify what lens and camera was used and make any corrections such as auto alignment and balance. Any changes that you have made can be saved as a user pre-set – this really speeds up the process and means you can create editing pre-sets for certain types of photos such as portraits or landscapes. The improvements made to this version are superb. It is certainly a step in the right direction and a reason why this is an excellent photo editor software program.


Cyber Link

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC
Notable Feature – Ai Style Transfer to copy other photo styles

Cyber Link PhotoDirector 10 is a superb program – it is one of the best photo editing programs. As with most modern editors, Cyber Link makes use of AI technology to improve the editing process. Like ON1, it requires a decent spec computer to run at its full potential. One main improvement to this program is the capacity to edit layers – you can add layers on top of your photo to make selection edits form example – this gives you much greater control.

Moreover, the program contains a plethora of simple photo editing features – the type that a quality photo editor must have. It also contains a couple of useful automatic tools – skin-smoothing and body-shaping. These are excellent for improving portraits and photos with humans present. The AI Transfer tool is also hugely advance – this uses AI tech to mimic and learn other photo styles and copy them onto your own snaps. Cyber Link is an easy photo editing software program to use and offers great control.



BeFunky

Format – Web based photo editor
Available Platforms – Windows & MAC with a browser
Notable Feature – Auto-enhance tool

BeFunky is actually a fantastic photo editor despite being a browser based application. The interface runs smoothly and it operates on popular browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox. It is certainly a good free photo editing software package.

The edit toolbar contains most of the features you will need. Here you can find sliders to change exposure, vibrancy, sharpness, clarity and other common parameters. Furthermore, there is also an Auto Enhance feature, and an option to add a vignette and glow.

We also found the touch up panel to be useful – this area gives you tools to edit portraits such as blemish fix and perfect skin. Overall application is easy to use and creates superb end results. Whilst this may not be suitable for professionals, it is certainly a brilliant photo editor software.


Photoscape X

Format – Downloadable Software
Available Platforms – Windows
Notable Feature – Pre-set edits and images to overlay onto your photos

Photoscape X is a simple but effective photo editor software. It is undeniably basic in its look and design, but it still has a myriad of powerful features for editing. The basic editor gives a great degree of control – you can easily adjust photo levels such as contrast and color curves. Moreover, you can also use pre-sets too for quick editing.

Using this program you can edit RAW files and convert them to other formats such as JPEG. Additionally, you can use batch editing – this allows you to edit simple features of multiple photos in an instance. Finally, Photoscape X also has a plethora of auto-editing tools such as red-eye reduction and mole tools. For hobbyists this is a superb program, and it is free which is a huge plus!