10 Best Photo Editing Software for 2022

With smartphones and cameras, anyone can take pictures, but what separates a good shot from a great image is the editing. A good photo editing software can modify your photographs in many ways, from filters that make them pop to effects that can amplify or hide certain areas. Photo-editors are just as important as cameras are. 

Best Photo Editing Software

We’ve compiled a list of the ten best photo editing software you can use to achieve the best results. Each entry on our list provides the best experience in terms of performance, ease of use, and much more. However, some are ideal for specific uses, so be sure to read the details to find what works best for you. 

1. Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop is so well-known that the word “photoshopped” is often used to refer to an edited picture. Photoshop was created in 1988 and has been an industry giant ever since, constantly evolving and improving to stay on top.

The latest 2021 update is equipped with Sensei’s AI that offers a plethora of features such as Sky replacement and new refine edge selections. Photoshop comes with a vast array of options, effects, filters, etc. 

You can repair damaged pictures, adjust exposure and shadows, restore old photos, clean up faces, remove dust and scratches, and even colorize black and white images.

It’s not the most accessible software to use, but it opens many doors once its controls are mastered.

Photoshop is a subscription-only product. Adobe Photoshop CC comes as a packaged deal (Creative Cloud Package) which includes other Adobe products such as Dreamweaver, Premier Pro, Plus fonts, InDesign, Illustrator, and 100GB of cloud storage. 

You could also opt for the Photography plan, which includes Lightroom and Lightroom CC.

2. Adobe Lightroom Classic

Most of the points above about Adobe Photoshop also apply to Lightroom. It was created to complement Photoshop, filling up all the holes and doing the work Photoshop wasn’t designed for.

If you’re looking to make easy and quick edits to a batch of photos, then Lightroom is ideal for you. It’s easier to use than Photoshop, and it comes with a mobile version, allowing you to work anywhere and anytime. Lightroom automatically syncs across all devices, so changes made on one device will reflect on others.

One stand-out feature is Profiles, which allows for a more efficient edit by providing a fast way to sample the available styles. Lightroom can efficiently work in other programs, including non-Adobe programs, and it allows you to return to Lightroom for finishing touches. Other features include profile-based lens corrections, a healing brush, and adjusters for noise and chromatics.

3. DxO PhotoLab 4

DxO PhotoLab’s best feature is its incredible RAW conversion, followed by its sharpening tools, lens correction, and DeepPrime for noise reduction. Its workspace interface is customizable, and it also comes with many useful presets and has several export formats.

Its Raw conversion comes with a render matching feature that lets you match the rendering of more than 60 cameras, making your RAWs look more like the JPEG previews shown on your camera screen.

DxO PhotoLab 4’s new Hue, Saturation, and Luminance tool (HSL tool) can help you make more natural-looking pictures. Some of its other features include customized profiles, automatic and manual mode, U Point local adjustment technology, and several optical corrections.

DxO PhotoLab 4 can run on Windows and Mac OS.

4. GIMP

A free photo editing software, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open-source editor that works on both Windows and Mac. GIMP comes with a set of tools and features that rival paid alternatives.

Because it is open-source, people have created many different plugins to solve the problems they’ve encountered and make it more effective. If you have a complaint, chances are someone else did too and has already created a plugin to solve it, or is at least you are working on one. If that’s not enough, you can even install Photoshop plugins.

Some of GIMP’s best features include special effect filters, the ability to create and edit layers, exposure controls, a built-in file manager, and over 40 export formats. It still possesses traditional tools such as cloning, color correction, and enhancement.

Lastly, GIMP has a user-friendly interface but learning to use it isn’t easy as there’s almost no guidance.

5. Affinity Photo

Affinity is one of the cheapest photo editing software out there; it is available at a one-off fee. Affinity is somewhat a combination of both Photoshop and Lightroom. It has a similar interface to Photoshop and does a lot of the same stuff at a similar quality and significantly less money.

Some of its best features include focus stacking, HDR merge, RAW editing, advanced retouching tools, Panorama image stitching, high-end frequency separation, color correction, and enhancement tools.

Affinity also has a dedicated iPad app that made it the first professional editing tool to do so. The app was named Apple App of the year in 2017.

6. Fotor

Fotor is a free photo editing software with over 300 million users. It’s a cross-platform software that can be used on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, making it possible to edit on the go as projects are saved on the cloud. It also comes with a simple, beginner-friendly interface.

Fotor is ideal for quick touches; to that effect, it has a one-tap enhance button. It still allows for more hands-on editing as it comes with many tools that help with this. Its best feature is batch image processing – this lets you enter and filter many images at once.

Unlike GIMP, it doesn’t have support plugins, and its export formats are limited to JPG, PNG, and PDF. It has HDR effects, premium-level filters, Portrait retouching, design templates, and high-res export options.

7. Skylum Luminar AI

Luminar AI’s simple interface is perfect for beginners. Import your picture, and the AI suggests templates for your edits; this is dependent on the contents of your image. From there, with the help of the AI, you can enhance photos in a variety of styles, or you can use manual tools.

The AI editor is its best feature. It’s like having a guide every step of the way, and it makes the photo editing software fast and easy to use. The AI also has a massive collection of built-in tools and accessories that can easily edit accents, skies, skin, etc.

Luminar isn’t subscription-based; it has a one-off price. Luminar can also be used as a plugin with Lightroom or Photoshop. It also uses the same keyboard shortcuts as Lightroom, a plus if you’re already familiar with Lightroom.

8. Corel Paintshop Pro

With a very straightforward interface, Corel PSP is perhaps the best photo editing software for beginners. It comes with a one-off fee and is exclusive to Windows.

Paintshop Pro has been the best photoshop alternative for a long time, but it has become more than just an option. It has many features such as AI Denoise, which cleans up high ISO images, HDR studio, and AI Artifact removal, which restores fine detail and original colors in JPEGs. 

If you need more tools, you can pay a little extra for Paintshop Pro 2021 Ultimate, which has upgrades such as a dedicated photography workspace.

Some of its other features include AI-enhanced presets, layers and masks, learning tutorials, 360-degree photo editing, graphic design tools, templates, and RAW image processing.

9. Pixlr X

Pixlr X, Pixlr Editor’s successor, is quick and straightforward. It works on both web and mobile browsers. You can use it to edit colors or saturation, sharpen images, filters, and generally all the usual tools you’d expect in a photo editing software. 

Pixlr X design and interface are stylish, letting you choose between light and dark color schemes. Layers and editing history can be viewed on panels on the right of the workspace, and a variety of editing tools can be chosen from a vertical toolbar on the left.

You can also use it directly from Dropbox. Its export formats are JPG and PNG, and the maximum image size is 3,840 pixels.

Pixlr X is an excellent choice for simple or advanced editing tasks.

10. Canva

Canva is a versatile editor that works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Canva is on this list because it has over 8,000 templates, image cropping and straightening, stickers and badges, photo enhancer, image transparency tool, brightness and saturation adjuster, speech bubble maker, vignette effects, design grids, photo frames, and more.

Canva has a simple interface design that groups elements together, making it easier to find what you need. It also has a search button on the left side of the screen where you can browse through frames, shapes, grids, and illustrations to use on your photo.

Canva is free, but it also has a paid version with some added perks. The free version comes with 1GB of cloud storage and is perfect for casual users. 

If you’re more interested in editing videos than pictures, let us help you choose from the best video editing software.

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