When it comes to taking beautiful photos and videos, the perfect tool is always there. But which software do you use? Which one is right for your needs? And how do you know if it’s the right choice for you? In this article, we’ll teach you all about the best 10 editing software for photos and videos. We’ll compare and contrast them so that you can make an informed decision!
10 Best Image Editing Software
Why Should You Edit Your Photos?
Photo editing is part of the job if you’re a photographer. Through editing, you can make your already stunning photos even more perfect by adjusting metrics like exposure, white balance and color.
Plus, editing your photos helps to reduce the size of your image files. This is especially important if you plan on posting your images online to your photography website or to a social media account. Smaller images will improve your WordPress sites’ loading speed, which will in turn improve your search engine rankings. And, smaller image files post faster and with better quality on your social accounts.
So, photo editing is a win for you all around!
Having an intuitive and easy-to-use photo editing software can help you save time on photo editing while taking your images to the next level.
Let’s take a look at some of the best photo editing software available online today. We’ll be evaluating these software on three core principles:
- Ease of Use
- Opportunities for Expansion
In other words, how intuitive are these programs to learn? What capabilities do they have — and not have — as photo editors? And finally, do they offer opportunities to expand their functionality through additions like plugins or presets?
Best Image Editing Software
1. Adobe Lightroom Classic
Best for Professional Photo Workflow
Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom remains the gold standard in pro photo workflow software. It’s a complete package, with top-notch organization tools, state-of-the-art adjustments, and all the output and printing options you could want.
- Excellent photo management and organization
- Camera and lens-based corrections
- Brush and gradient adjustments with color and luminance masking
- Face detection and tagging
- Plug-in support
- Connected mobile apps
- Initial raw conversion is slightly more detailed in some competing products
- Requires subscription
Why We Picked It
Lightroom Classic is the top workflow software choice of working professional photographers. It shines at letting you import and organize your photo collection, and offers the best tools for correcting and enhancing photos in a raw file process. Lightroom Classic includes features not found in the non-Classic version of Lightroom like printing, soft-proofing, tethered shooting, and plug-in support. It lacks, however, features amateurs and hobbyists can benefit from, like basic video tools and lots of learning content.
Who It’s For
Lightroom Classic is primarily for professional photographers. When pros talk about Lightroom, they invariably mean Lightroom Classic. It’s also only for those willing to pay a recurring subscription fee. People who refuse to pay a subscription can choose alternatives including Capture One and DxO PhotoLab, but that means doing without Adobe’s cutting-edge imaging technology.
$9.99/Month at Adobe
The best photo editing software overall
Platform: Windows, MacOS, iOS (iPad only)
Price: From $9.98/£9.98 per month
There’s a reason that the name Photoshop has because synonymous with digital image editing. It is quite simply the best piece of photo-editing software around, with features and functionality that far exceed any competitors. Adobe has been boosting Photoshop extensively with each iteration, and lately we’ve seen more and more AI-powered tools that make it even more slick and streamlined.
Now, you can smooth over skin, remove artefacts, even edit facial expressions and much more, all with the touch of a button. In our full Photoshop 2022 review, we were hugely impressed with the neural filters and how streamlined they are. We particularly appreciate the Skin Smoothing functionality for portrait shooters, as well as Super Zoom, which lets you crop right into a specific part of an image, then resizes the result with automatically filled-in detail.
Plus Photoshop is about to get even better. Adobe recently previewed a new Photo Restoration Neural Filter, designed to help users bring old or damaged photos back to life by detecting and eliminating scratches and other minor imperfections in seconds. Even better, some aspects of restoration can be turned on and off within the filter. And as with all Creative Cloud tools, subscribers will get this and all other updates for free.
Photoshop can also be further enhanced beyond what’s in the initial interface – check out our guides to the best free Photoshop brushes and free Photoshop actions for more on that. The software also synergises well with other Adobe offerings. For example, photographers will pair it with Lightroom for smooth image management, while a motion designer might pair it with After Effects.
You can only get Photoshop via subscription, which doesn’t come cheap. Hunting for the best Adobe Creative Cloud discounts can be a good way to soften the blow a bit, and you have the option of subscribing to Photoshop alone, a specific bundle for photographers, or the full Creative Cloud.
3. Skylum Luminar AI
For many reasons, Luminar has quickly grown to become one of the the most popular editing tools for professional photographers around the world. For one, you pay a one-time flat fee for the program rather than a monthly subscription like Adobe. And, Luminar offers a ton of built-in tools and accessories!
Luminar is a one-stop shop for photo editing that can be used by itself or as a plugin in with Lightroom, Photoshop and even Apple Photos.
Skylum Luminar Interface
Believe it or not, Skylum Luminar uses the same keyboard shortcuts that Adobe’s Lightroom does. This is especially helpful if you’re already familiar with Lightroom’s interface. If that’s true of you, you’ll find switching to Luminar an easy transition given the consistent keyboard shortcuts between the two software.
And, like Lightroom, you can use Luminar as both a photo editor and a photo organizer. Once again, this means that you can upload your images to your Luminar Library so that all of your photo editing workflow is centralized in one place!
Like Lightroom, you can then sort, tag and categorize your images within the Luminar Library to make them easier to find. Many also find the Luminar Library to be simpler and more intuitive even than Lightroom’s library.
Where Luminar excels over Lightroom is its preset workspace options. Luminar provides preset workspaces each specifically designed with an editing task in mind. For example, Luminar’s preset workspaces include:
- Quick & Awesome
- Aerial Photography
- Black and White
In addition to those presets, you can create your own workspace by saving the tools you use most often to a blank workspace.
If this feature sounds familiar, it’s because Photoshop also provides preset workspaces. But, you’ll note that Luminar’s preset workspace options are much more extensive and cover a greater number of photography-specific needs. Anything to streamline your photo editing!
Skylum’s Luminar also offers more editing tools than Lightroom, but fewer than Photoshop. For example, Layers support is missing, which is crucial in Photoshop. Having more editing tools is both an advantage and a disadvantage — they make the program more challenging to navigate, but they also allow you to do more with your photos.
4. DxO PhotoLab
Best for Noise Reduction and Camera Profile Corrections
Though it’s still not a complete photo workflow solution, DxO PhotoLab can deliver image corrections beyond what’s possible in other software.
- Clear interface
- Best-in-class noise reduction
- Excellent autocorrection based on camera and lens characteristics
- Haze remover
- Geometry corrections
- Powerful local adjustments
- Few workflow tools
- Noise-reduction is a bit slow
Why We Picked It
DxO can automatically make your photos look better, but nevertheless offers a deep quiver of powerful photo correction and editing tools. The software developer, which branched out from the well-known camera equipment testing company, pioneered several technologies that went on to be used by other software products. Lens-profile-based corrections, geometry fixes, and deep, time-consuming noise reduction have all shown up later in competitors. DxO’s DeepPrime noise reduction is unmatched and can make unusable photos usable—PhotoLab is worth it for that alone. It’s also excellent at removing chromatic aberration and automatically fixing lighting with its SmartLighting tool. Finally, its U Point technology offers unmatched control over local adjustments.
Who It’s For
DxO PhotoLab is mostly for professionals who need to get the best out of their raw camera files, but engaged amateurs may find it appealing, too. If you just need the noise reduction and lens corrections, the company’s more limited (and less-expensive) DxO PureRAW product will be of interest. Both can be used as Photoshop and Lightroom plug-ins, as well. PhotoLab is not for those looking for a cheap solution, but its pricing is one-time perpetual, not subscription.
$129.00 at DxO US
5. Affinity Photo
The best photo editing software that’s subscription-free
Platform: Windows, MacOS, iOS (iPad only)
Price: $21.99/£19.49 (iPad) / $54.99/£47.99 (desktop)
Not keen on subscriptions, and prefer to pay a one-off price? Then check out Affinity Photo. It’s the best single-purchase photo-editing program you can get right now.
It’s not just a cheap equivalent to Photoshop, but a viable alternative. It’s got professional-standard editing features, and it can handle RAW editing, HDR Merge, panoramic stitching, focus stacking, batch processing, 360 degree image editing, non-destructive layers-based editing and smart objects. It can also handle PSD files without an issue, so if you’re sick of Photoshop’s running costs and want to jump ship, you’ll still be able to work with all your in-progress files.
As we noted in our review, Affinity Photo doesn’t quite pack in the high-end Photoshop features like its cutting-edge neural filters, but there is still a lot to impress. We particularly rate the Personas, which are essentially customised toolsets for different jobs, designed to put everything you’re going to need for particular tasks at your fingertips.
Affinity Photo is available for Windows, Mac and as a dedicated iPad app. Its maker, Serif, also has a graphic design package (Affinity Designer(opens in new tab)) and a desktop publishing app (Affinity Publisher(opens in new tab)). As with Adobe’s software suite, you can transfer projects between these programs without difficulty, making for a smooth workflow. While it doesn’t include an equivalent to every single feature you’ll find in Photoshop, it’s pretty close, making it exceptional value.
6. ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 Photo RAW is a complete photo editing software that you can try for free. It works wonders on your photographs!
ON1 Photo RAW Interface
Not only is Photo RAW easy to download and install, but it offers a free trial! Simply follow the on-screen instructions to download the software, then use it on any major operating system, including PC and Mac OS X.
After you’ve installed and opened ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll find a selection of getting started video tutorials waiting for you! See, ON1 Photo RAW is so dedicated to saving your time during your photo edits that it even eliminated the need to search for your own tutorial videos.
Once you actually enter into the software’s workspace, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Like most photo editors, ON1’s selection of editing tools can be a bit intimidating if you’re not a practiced photo editor.
Just take your time exploring ON1’s features, and you’ll be set!
Speaking of features, ON1 Photo RAW offers several that are unique to this software! For one, this program doesn’t require you to upload your RAW photos in order to edit them. In fact, all you have to do to edit your RAW images in ON1 Photo RAW is find your images where they’re stored on your device and select them.
Because ON1 doesn’t have to load your RAW images into the software, you’ll find that it works lightning fast — even faster than Photoshop and Lightroom!
Other ON1 Photo RAW features include:
- Stackable filters
- Custom presets
- Textures and borders
- Live adjustments and previews
- Available to download on any device
- Selectively apply effects option
ON1 Photo RAW Extras
With ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll gain access to literally hundreds of presets, stackable filters and other solutions to enhance your pictures in no time. And, of course, you can download even more online from fellow photo editors!
Plus, ON1 Photo RAW offers an addon for Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop! So, if you’re considering pairing photo editing software, this one works with a host of other programs.
7. Corel PaintShop Pro
Best for Budget-Conscious Image Editors
Corel continues to add new photo editing possibilities to its PaintShop Pro software, making it a worthy Photoshop alternative on Windows for a budget-conscious, one-time price.
- Photoshop-like features at a lower price
- Powerful effects and editing tools
- Extensive help and tutorials
- Good assortment of vector drawing tools
- Automatic noise removal
- Inconsistent interface
- No macOS version
- Some operations slow
Why We Picked It
This longtime Photoshop competitor offers enough tools for many designers and photographers who don’t want to make unending subscription payments to Adobe. Corel even updates PaintShop Pro with advanced AI tools like Portrait Mode, Background Replacement, Style Transfer. Designers can work with text, brushes, patterns, and painting tools on both raster and vector images, and hobbyists get a ton of creative effects and filters. Raw camera file support, mask selection, scripts, tone curves, layers, and plug-in support are at your disposal, just like in Photoshop.
Who It’s For
PaintShop Pro is for designers and photographers, both amateur and professional, who need deep image editing capabilities including layers, raw camera file support, masking, brushes, text, and textures. You even get some AI fixes and effects. It’s great for those who don’t want to pay a subscription and don’t need Adobe’s collaboration and other proprietary tools.
$59.99 at Amazon
8. Serif Affinity Photo
Serif Affinity Photo is becoming a strong contender against Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Although, it would be more fair to compare it only to Adobe’s Photoshop given their nearly identical interfaces and similar capabilities. Affinity is a vector graphic design application, with a hybrid of vector and pixel art environments.
Affinity’s features include:
- RAW editing
- HDR merge
- Panorama image stitching
- Digital painting
- Batch processing
- Color correction and enhancement tools
- 360 photo editing
- Advanced retouching tools
- Brush combination capabilities
Certainly, one of Affinity’s primary advantages over other software is its price. One of the cheapest photo editing solutions on the market, you can purchase Serif Affinity Pro now for a one-time fee of $49.99.
9. Luminar NEO
The best photo editing software for beginners
Platform: Windows 10 version 1909 or higher, MacOS 10.14.6 or higher
The new Luminar NEO is ideal for those of you who are used to making the odd tweak in mobile apps like Instagram, but want to want to take your photo editing skills to the next, desktop level. First off, the interface is super easy to use and excels in its intuitive design, and though the more professional photo editors will still be looking at the top three on this list, they may still be interested in the three canny AI tools that Luminar NEO has to offer.
When we tried it out, we were impressed by the best of these AI tools – the Remove powerlines tool. We tried it out on a dozen photos and it smashed it every time. The next AI tool is Sky Replacement, and when we used this, it was as simple as selecting a chosen sky and then a single click later, the finished image is created. Lastly, the AI crop tool automatically isolates the subject of the photo and crops it to create a more friendly composition. Overall, it’s well worth the one-off payment for this fun photo editing software.
Given that Luminar is based in Ukraine, you might expect the software not to have had much attention recently. However, the reverse is true: astonishingly, the team have this month added one-click background removal for portraits. The new tool can manage even complex hair selections, and is claimed to take out as much as 90% of the work.
10. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate
ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is a newer contender in the photo editing arena, so it hasn’t been on most professionals’ radars until recently. It’s an all-in-one photography software solution that can do everything you need within a simplistic interface.
And, ACDSee’s Mobile Sync feature allows you to send your photos to the editing program directly from your mobile device. The Mobile Sync app even keeps track of which photos you’ve sent to your Photo Studio Ultimate program so you don’t have to wonder which images you still need to transport.
ACDSee has some strong noteworthy features worth mentioning over market competitors:
- No Importing – Directly edit source files from your drives and bypass importing the files.
- Facial Recognition – The name says it all. A solid method of organizing and indexing images.
- One time purchase price and monthly options
- Auto align and blend layers
- Parametric color
ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is available both as a subscription plan and as a lifetime license. The subscription plan comes with 4 ACDSee products accessible for up to 5 users for $8.90/month or $89/year and includes 50GB of storage. The Lifetime License costs $79.95 and includes 1 year of free updates and technical support.
How to Use the Best Editing Software for Photos and Videos.
There are a number of different editing software programs available on the market. The most popular and well-known of these is Adobe Photoshop, which can be used to create photos and videos. Other popular editing software programs include Apple iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe After Effects.
To choose the right software for your needs, it’s important to consider what you want to achieve with your photos and videos. will help you create professional lookingphotos and videos that look great on any device or format. Additionally, the software has a wide range of features that can be utilized to improve your workflow, including video stabilization, noise reduction, color correction, and more.
Use the right editing software for photos and videos
One of the most important aspects of using an editing software program effectively is choosing the right one for your specific task at hand. If you need a program that’s easy to use but has powerful features, check out Apple iMovie or Final Cut Pro. If you need a more sophisticated editor with more options, try Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects. And if you just want a simple photo editor with basic capabilities like cropping and resizing images, then go with PhotoShop or CorelDAV tools.
Use the right editing software for photos and videos
When it comes to photos and videos, making sure they get the best possible treatment is key to achieving professional results. To achieve this goal, it’s important to select an editing software that’s compatible with both photo files and video footage (iPad/iPhone users: You can also use Camera+, which is part of Google Photos). Additionally, make sure all your footage is input into the correct editing software so that all clips are treated equally in terms of quality – this includes video footage as well as still images!
Tips for Successfully Editing Photos and Videos.
There are many different editing software programs available on the market today. To choose the best one for your needs, it’s important to consider what you need and want to achieve when editing photos and videos. Here are a few tips to help get started:
1. Choose the right software for the job: There are a variety of software programs available that can be used for various tasks when editing photos and videos. It’s important to make sure that the program you select is appropriate for the task at hand, as well as your own skills and knowledge.
2. Get familiar with the interface: When first starting out, it may be helpful to try out a few different programs in order to get a feel for how they work. Once you have a handle on how they work, it will be easier to edit photos and videos using them.
3. Use common sense: Many times when editing photos and videos, you won’t need all of the features offered by some of the programs available. Instead, use common sense and focus on what will most effectively serve your needs.
4. Be patient: Editing photos and videos takes time; don’t expect it to be an instantaneous process! Take your time while Editing Photos And Videos to ensure that the end result is a high-quality photo and video.
Editing photos and videos can be a great way to improve your product listings, make sales, and increase traffic to your website. However, it’s important to use the right editing software for each type of video and to follow tips for success. By following these steps, you’ll be able to edit videos that are both professional and appealing.