A variety of photo editing programs for PC can confound anyone. In order to help you find the right one, we offer a short overview of 23 quality photo editors that meet the most diverse needs of the user. But today the story is completely different: our mobile devices have all acquired a number of cameras, many of which are able to compete with the usual “soap boxes successfully,” and the emergence and active development of social networks dictate the frequent need to share good photos with friends.
Often, a simple user does not need the entire set of tools, which is enclosed in Photoshop, and you need to pay for everything. Therefore, users are increasingly looking for free photoshop replacement. Immediately say, a full-fledged free replacement does not exist, and everything else is a program for working with photos that either simulate Photoshop, or have those functions that are usually needed by an ordinary user in daily work with photos, it can be cropping photos, resizing, overlaying the background, correcting color effects (filters), fills, etc.
In this regard, the user often needs to edit your photos quickly. This can be trivial trimming or relatively serious processing with the use of filters and effects, setting levels and other options. Also, the popularity of photo collages is growing, which perfectly fit into social networks and other services that allow you to exchange photos. Such programs find completely different applications and can be useful in one case, but are useless in the other. Therefore, instead of making a rating of photo editors, we will try to subdivide them for different purposes and share the most interesting features.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Luminar
- 2. Lightroom
- 3. GIMP
- 4. Adobe Photoshop
- 5. Polarr
- 6. Photolemur
- 7. Paint.NET
- 8. Photo Pos Pro
- 9. Affinity Photo
- 10. Darktable
- 11. Zoner
- 12. ON1 Photo RAW
- 13. DxO PhotoLab 3
- 14. InPixio
- 15. Corel AfterShot Pro 3
- 16. Topaz Studio 2
- 17. CyberLink PhotoDirector
- 18. Capture One
- 19. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
- 20. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos
- 21. Movavi
- 22. Photoscape X
- 23. Pixlr
1. Luminar AI
If you’re looking for a Windows 10 photo editor that can do it all from basic photo editing to pro-grade RAW editing, then Luminar is one of the best you can get. It features a highly intuitive and unique interface that is packed with tools that you’d expect from any advanced photo editor.
Luminar 4 is packed with AI features to make quick and automatic adjustments to your photos without masking.
With AI Portrait Enhancer’s you can automatically detect imperfections in your photo and remove blemishes, fix the dark circles and smooth the skin with just one slider.
AI Structure quickly reveals areas that could look richer and enhances only them without ruining the photo. You can simply sharpen the background of your photo without affecting the subject – all of this with simple slider that automatically detects an area that should be improved.
Luminar also gives you a number of presets and looks that you can apply to photos to make them much more attractive in an instant. If you then want, you can tweak these looks to your liking. The software also comes with photo management capabilities to help professional photographers keep control of their ever-increasing libraries. And the best part? The price of just $89 for the newest version 4.0 that you can pre-order at a discounted rate of $79 right now!
Adobe Lightroom is termed by many as the very best photo editing software for Windows 10 when it comes to RAW editing. It has been around for ages now and has developed into a very capable photo editor that can be used by beginners and experts alike. It has a clean, streamlined interface that works quite well on moderate computer setups. You get access to all the latest technologies developed by Adobe when you use Lightroom. All the tools you could want for photo editing are present here and they all do a great job.
The worst thing about Lightroom, however, is its pricing. You can get it as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud for $9.99 per month. If you plan on using the software for many years to come, you can imagine how high the total price would end up being. That’s why it’s very hard to recommend Lightroom these days, especially when equally capable, if not better, Windows 10 photo editors can be found for much cheaper.
GIMP – one of the most advanced free photo editor, which is suitable for easy editing and “deep” photo processing. The arsenal of possibilities is impressive – it supports multi-layered images, the ability to work with RAW-format cameras of almost all manufacturers, batch conversion, retouching, working with individual frames of animated drawings and even integrated vector graphics tools. To apply effects, a wide selection of different templates is offered.
Of the minuses, we note limited support for HDRi and a somewhat complex interface for novice users.
4. Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop – editor, whose name has become a household name in various languages. All the features of the program can be characterized in two words – everything is able. If there is no specialized function out of the box, then if necessary, you can easily find the plug-in and expand the functionality of the application.
With all the features of the editor, it has one significant drawback – the interface for this photo editing program cannot be called simple. Therefore, if you just need to edit the color gamut and apply the effect, then it’s worth looking at the alternative software. You can get Photoshop for $19.99 per month.
Polarr is a shareware photo editing software. This means that the features of the trial version are limited, and the full version must be paid. Features: a large number of filters, including black and white; color correction; skin retouch and noise suppression tools; adjustment of vignettes and channel hue saturation.
In the editor, there are also standard tools, like cropping and rotating images. Working with color, tone, and light is a fairly complex combination of settings, so this photo editing software can also be attributed to applications for professional image processing.
Most advanced photo programs for Windows 10 will give you a whole lot of features which you will then have to get a grip on before you can actually make the most of them. Photolemur does things differently. It is an editor that helps you get the editing done automatically. It’s packed with technologies that can enhance your photos in a single click by carefully and smartly analyzing the photo you’re editing. With Photolemur, you can rely on its AI capabilities to get your work done quickly and with a very little amount of effort. You can also use the various styles at your disposal to give your photos a unique look in no time.
Photolemur can be bought for a low price of $35. With a photo editor for Windows 10 like this, you don’t really have to spend much more money on another program if you want to get work done quickly.
One of the best free photo editing software for Windows 10 comes by the name of Paint.NET. This program has existed for quite a long time and has developed a very strong and loyal following of photographers from around the world. The user interface provided is easy to understand and quick to use. You have support for advanced editing features like layers as well as tools that help you make quick and simple edits. You can even add many plugins to the program to make it much more powerful if you need it to be.
Whether you need to change the exposure, adjust the contrast, or do something much more creative with your photos, Paint.NET has you covered. And to make itself an even better choice, the software has an extensive amount of online tutorials thanks to its strong community.
8. Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pos Pro aims to be one of the photo programs for Windows 10 that have the potential to replace Photoshop. It has two interfaces. One of these is for beginners or those who want to have basic photo editing tools but still want RAW editing support. The other one is the premium version and adds a lot more advanced features like the ability to use layers.
While the software offers a free version, this isn’t that great as compared to some other Windows 10 photo editors. The premium version, however, is pretty good at what it does for $39.90. You get a healthy combination of one-click tools and advanced ones for more control over photos. You also get layer control and many other tools. It must be noted, however, that the software does require you to spend some time learning it if you’re not familiar with advanced editing tools already.
9. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is a $49.99 photo editor that is a very strong competitor to highly advanced editors like Photoshop. It comes with a plethora of tools that allow you to engage not only in photo editing but also in graphic design and digital painting. The software allows for RAW editing, use of presets, selective adjustments, and even the use of digital brushes. All of this combines together to make Affinity Photo one of the best photo editing software for Windows 10 if you’re into creative photo editing and don’t want to get stuck with a program that contains tools only for fixing up photos.
Darktable sits towards the top of the list of best free photo editing software for Windows 10 if you want to edit RAW files. It’s an open-source RAW developer that has been developed by photographers to make the process of editing RAW files easier and free. Darktable has a lot going for it in terms of the control it offers, with many calling it a direct alternative to Lightroom. This is a pretty big statement and is testament to the quality of Darktable.
Darktable lets you do pretty much all you would need from an advanced RAW developer, with the added bonus of having a healthy online community to help you get started with the program. The user interface does need a little time and effort to get used to and lacks some polish, but all in all, this is a very good free RAW developer.
Zoner Photo Studio X promises to be an alternative to both Lightroom and Photoshop. It brings with it a clean and minimalist interface, RAW processing capabilities, and a whole lot of tools to edit your photos just the way you want. It even has photo management capabilities as well as tools for editing videos. Zoner’s batch processing is great for working on multiple images at once. The developers are active in updating the software and making it constantly better.
All of this makes Zoner one of the best photo editing software for Windows 10. However, the one thing that might hold it back is the fact that you have to pay a monthly fee in order to use it. It costs $4.99 a month, which may not seem like a lot but over a year’s time will become a significant amount and will keep increasing even then.
12. ON1 Photo RAW
A very popular photo editor for Windows 10, ON1 Photo RAW focuses on giving you all the control you want over your RAW files. Not only do you get a very clean interface that is easy to get used to but you also get a host of useful editing tools such as the ability to work in layers, use focus stacking to make your images look a lot better, use masking tools for selective adjustments, use HDR for all your landscapes, and much more.
The downside of using ON1 Photo RAW is that some tools aren’t as polished and strong as those found in the heavy hitters from Adobe. But if you can make it work, ON1 Photo RAW can be bought for a price of just $79.99 with no subscriptions to worry about.
13. DxO PhotoLab 3
DxO PhotoLab 3 might not be the absolute best photo editing software for Windows 10 but it sure is a great choice for all kinds of photographers. The Essential Edition of the software with a healthy set of tools can be bought for $99.99. For the money, you will get an editor that operates quickly and easily and gives you access to a vast array of advanced features like selective editing, an excellent denoise tool, and even presets for quick and easy editing needs.
The only things that might put some people off apart from the slightly higher price tag are the software’s lack of a history panel and some other weird ommissions like the ability to edit EXIF data of your photos.
The InPixio suite of applications can be combined together to create a very powerful and capable Windows 10 photo editor. These applications include the likes of Photo Editor, Photo Maximizer, and more. The software gives users the choice to purchase the ones they want based on the features they want to use the most. You can get a lot of quick work done with just the Photo Editor as well, but to get your hands on a truly advanced editor, you really should purchase the other modules as well.
All of that ends up making InPixio a little confusing to use. The Photo Editor itself can be bought for around $20 but adding other applications to your arsenal might become a little too expensive.
15. Corel AfterShot Pro 3
Corel AfterShot Pro 3 is one of those photo programs for Windows 10 that aim to give users a quick and easy way to edit their photos, even if they’re missing a few very advanced editing features. Users can edit RAW files quite well with Corel’s offering and make use of the many tools to give their images a unique look. One of the major features that attract photographers to use this software is the Enhanced Highlight Recovery tool. It’s a great way to balance out the exposure of photos while retaining as much detail as possible.
You can get Corel’s AfterShot Pro 3 for $80. Compare this to other heavy hitters and you have a pretty compelling package if you prefer a program that can get the work done quickly. You will miss out on some advanced controls though, so keep that in mind.
16. Topaz Studio 2
Topaz Studio is for those people who want Photoshop-like capabilities from their photo editors. It brings together photo editing features with design tools to give you a very useful and highly powerful software which you can use for your creative work. The interface is pleasing, the tools are good at what they do, and the mix of features is very good for creative photo editing enthusiasts and professionals.
However, at $99.99, Topaz Studio 2 is not very cheap. The company also offers many other products on their website which can get confusing if you’re not sure what product you should actually be looking for.
17. CyberLink PhotoDirector
CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra 10 is a photo editing tool that combines advanced features with a robust image management system, much like Lightroom. You have the ability to edit any image to your liking using the many editing tools that you’d expect from a good image editing software these days. The real power of the software comes into play when you want to organize your photos in a way that is easy to control. You can find images easily and sort them in different ways.
All of this can be had for just $79.99, which is a good price considering that many other affordable editors don’t have cataloging features at all.
18. Capture One
One of the top Windows 10 photo editors is Capture One Pro 12. This is a professional-grade editor that can do everything you’d want from such a program. You can edit RAW files, apply lens corrections, make selective adjustments using masks, use the Styles to give a unique look to images, change the colors, reduce noise, and much more. Capture One Pro 12 also manages your photo libraries quite well. The results people get from Capture One Pro 12 are excellent, with many claiming that they’re much better than those produced by Lightroom.
Capture One Pro 12 is not a cheap program though. It starts at $349 for a permanent license. Alternatively, you can get a subscription for $24 per month if you want to use it for a shorter time period. One of the best things about this software is that Fujifilm and Sony users can get an Express version of the program for free, and upgrade to the full version for a discount.
19. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
If you want a program that promises blazing fast performance thanks to GPU-acceleration, then ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate deserves your attention. It’s a RAW editor that lets you do much more with your photos like create HDRs, use focus stacking, create customize color adjustments, and much more. It also has photo management capabilities to ensure that you can keep control over your vast photo assets.
You can get ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate for a price of $224.98, which is really high if you compare it to other programs in its league.
20. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos
And last but not least, if you’re looking for the best free photo editing software for Windows 10, look no further than Microsoft Photos that you get pre-installed with Windows 10. This simple-looking program contains quite a good amount of control unless you need to edit RAW files. For simple jpegs, you can edit their exposure, highlights and shadows, and even the colors to a good extent.
Of course, the program cannot compete with more advanced ones but for basic and quick fixes, you really can’t go wrong with it.
Movavi Photo Editor is an easy-to-use program with extensive tools that are perfect for any photographers. Thanks to an intuitive interface and available tips, the program you will learn without difficulty.
Features: color correction and photo enhancement; the overlay of filters, textures and effects; quality retouch and virtual make-up; delete objects and replace the background; add inscriptions and watermarks; crop, rotate, highlight and paste, resize; saving in all popular formats and exporting to Facebook. Movavi can be bought for a one-time price of $39.95.
22. Photoscape X
Photoscape – software that combines a convenient photo editor, a program for batch processing of images, as well as many other modules.
Main features of photo editing program: view photos in a folder; editing with the help of various color correction tools, filters, retouching, contrast brightness contrast, and others; batch image processing; creation of collages and GIF.
It’s worth noting that the color filter settings are not as flexible, but it takes some time to sort out some of the tools. However, Photoscape is a good option for beginners, since it is distributed free of charge.
Pixlr is a paid application for which you must subscribe. Functionality, available in the paid version is quite extensive.
Thus, the functionality of this editor is higher-level editing. In addition, it is available only in English, so we advise you to use it when you already have your hand in other, simpler programs.
And with that, we conclude our list of some of the best photo editors for Windows 10 that you can start using right now. All of these are great at what they do and your decision will rely heavily on what you need to get done with your photos and how much money you’re willing to spend.