Best Photo Editing App of 2020

The best photo editing app: Almost from the very invention of photography as such, almost from the first “serial” images, there was a conscious need for editing photos – to eliminate defects, increase expressiveness, improve quality, add graphic artifacts and inscriptions. Throughout the evolutionary process of photography, photo-editing tools have evolved in exactly the same way.

Best Photo Editing App

Today it is already a huge industry and a severe separate genre of art. The photo almost entirely flowed into the “digital,” and the software market was filled with a variety of applications for working with raster images. The best of them will be discussed in today’s issue. Editorial Expertology has prepared for you a special rating of the best apps for photo editing.

Best Photo Editing App

Photo Editing App

Best Paid Photo Editing app

The first nomination presents applications that are mostly used in the environment of Windows operating systems. Some of them are multi-platform, that is, they can also work under macOS or Linux, and we will specify this option. Still, our experts have allotted applications for Apple computers in a separate nomination.

Adobe Photoshop

Let’s start with the legendary application, which spawned whole folklore and a kind of subculture. The term “photoshop” has long been in popular culture not only and not so much as a software product for editing raster graphics, but as a result itself – a processed photo or collage.

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular and advanced image and best photo editing app available today. The software can satisfy both the needs of professional photographers and the needs of amateurs. A wide range of palettes, textures, and special effects is provided for you. The editing of high-quality photographs is guaranteed.

The very first version of Photoshop was released back in 1990, and since then has developed rapidly, quickly gaining leadership in the photo editing industry. Over time, the distance between Photoshop and its closest competitors only increased. As of March 2019, the most current version of the application for the Windows OS environment is CC 2019. There is also a full version for macOS and all sorts of variations for mobile platforms.

Photoshop has the richest feature set when compared to any other best photo editing app. Everything that was invented in this industry is almost 100% likely implemented by Adobe developers. Either already in the base package or as part of numerous plugins and add-ons.

The program provides an exhaustive set of tools and tools for changing basic image properties (brightness, contrast, saturation, color balance, etc.), applying a variety of effects and filters, improving the quality and correcting flaws, adding all kinds of graphic artifacts and inscriptions.

Using the convenient “proprietary” toolbar, you can manually color the photo, cut out individual sections, arbitrarily transform the image. For the manufacture of collages, the application implements a convenient and intuitive layer system with simple and obvious controls. Typical repetitive actions can be “recorded” in a script format and then batch process a large number of photos in just a couple of mouse clicks.

One of the most important characteristics of Photoshop is the best implementation to date to meet the requirements of the modern printing industry. It is Photoshop and a number of other specialized Adobe software products (Illustrator, InDesign, and others) that are the de facto industry standard in the field of prepress printing products.

Adobe, for licensed distribution of Photoshop, uses several business models at once, including subscription access, which makes this outstanding application accessible to almost anyone who professionally edited photos and wants to work in a single environment without restrictions.

Advantage
  • unlimited possibilities;
  • industry-standard;
  • universality;
  • convenient, intuitive and well-recognizable interface;
  • comprehensive compatibility with third-party applications;
  • large community;
  • low-cost subscription access.
Disadvantage
  • high system requirements.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a modern image and photo editing program that can give you enhanced comfort when viewing the content in a nice interface. It can extract data from cameras and send pictures to network storage.

It is worth noting the presence of the possibility of adding light, as well as leveling the horizon. Integration with the official website will allow you to create your own albums directly online. This is a professional best photo editing app in demand among photographers and designers.

Key features of Lightroom :

  • Options for improving the quality of digital photos, alignment, and noise reduction;
  • Creation and launch of a slide show;
  • The presence of a regenerating brush and a radial gradient;  
  • Formation of your personal albums in a photo editing program;
  • Built-in templates with a variety of color options for the implementation of the background and shades;
  • Advanced filters are available to control saturation and contrast;
  • You can add as well as reduce light.

ACDSee

Continues the rating of the best photo editing app according to Expertology, the super-popular ACDSee program from an almost-named Canadian developer. Initially, the program appeared as shareware, fast and extremely convenient application for viewing photos, organizing albums, and minimal editing. Having instantly gained popularity among users all over the world, ACDSee just as quickly and consistently evolved into a full-fledged and a quite powerful photo editor, while simultaneously switching to a fully commercial basis.

Powerful best photo editing app ACDSee is a classic and time-tested complex with which you can view, modify, and convert your pictures. The developers were able to implement a large number of functions. At the same time, the utility is quite demanding on PC resources, adapted for Windows 7, and more innovative modifications of the platform from Microsoft.

Currently, the application comes in several options for filling – the basic version, professional, maximum with some variations. The primary assembly, in many respects, remains an excellent organizer of image storage and a tool for convenient viewing of photo albums. Starting from the Pro version, the application has been expanded with a huge set of various effects, tools for improving the expressiveness of images, eliminating defects, versatile photo conversion in both manual and batch modes.

The application supports many formats of raster graphics, including RAW, which not all photo editing programs can boast of. There is also support for a fairly wide range of vector graphics formats. Another great feature is the ability to recognize faces in a photo.

Using ACDSee, you can browse photo archives on the fly, create presentations and animated objects, HTML albums, process photos according to a given template in batch mode.

A slightly unpleasant moment in this application is faulty optimization. As the program evolved, it became overgrown with new additions and add-ons, and the development team could not keep up with their own actions. Therefore, cases of rather a slow operation of one or another tool or module are not rare here. However, this affects the general recognition and popularity of the application quite slightly.

Advantage
  • ease of use;
  • rich functionality;
  • wide range of filters and special effects;
  • support for many formats, including RAW;
  • face recognition;
  • officially Russified interface.
Disadvantage
  • Faulty optimization affecting the speed of work.

Movavi photo editor

Now consider an exciting software solution of domestic production. This is a simple, fast, original, and at the same time, unusually stylish and pleasant editor for editing photos – Movavi Photo Editor. The application is a fantastic combination of simplicity, functionality, convenience, and the successful implementation of truly original approaches to photo editing.

Despite all the real advantages of Photoshop over its analogs, it remains a purely professional tool with excellent functionality, but complex management. To verify this, Just look at the tens of thousands of courses on dealing with the editor. Available on the Internet. If you are not eager to spend days on end, studying entertaining video blogs of “Photoshop,” we recommend that you pay attention to programs more comfortable.

Movavi Photo Editor is not inferior to the brainchild of Adobe in features, but it has a simple, user-friendly interface, adapted for non-professionals. Animated prompts accompany complex actions (deleting objects, replacing the background, etc.). Otherwise, the photo editing program does not require training. Color correction, cropping, blending effects, and other fine-tuning are carried out in just a few clicks.

Movavi is positioned by the developers themselves as a “family” photo editor, not claiming professional ambitions. This is its charm and noticeable advantage – working in the Movavi environment is easy and pleasant while getting far from a trivial result. The application, for all its simplicity and accessibility, has a fairly rich arsenal of powerful photo editing and retouching portrait photos, applying various effects and filters (a huge selection sorted into 13 categories), manually adjusting the color gamut, eliminating flaws, etc.

A notable advantage of Movavi is the ability to unusually effectively improve the quality of not quite successful photos in automatic mode. This is the merit of the talented programmers of the development company, who managed to introduce surprisingly “smart” artificial intelligence into the application, able to guess with amazing accuracy what exactly needs to be changed during photo editing.

What is not within the power of the AI ​​built into the application is easy to complete independently with minimal effort. So, Movavi allows literally a couple of steps to remove unwanted objects from the photo, without leaving the slightest trace of their former presence.

To get acquainted with the features of the application, you can use the free trial period. The cost of a one-time license is available to almost everyone – the pricing policy of the creators is extremely democratic.

Advantage
  • elegant, clear and pleasant interface;
  • deeply worked out optimization;
  • low system requirements;
  • support for many formats;
  • wide range of filters and effects;
  • highly intelligent and effective subsystem for improving photo quality;
  • successful implementation of original approaches to photo editing;
  • affordable price.
Disadvantage
  • Real minuses were not identified.

Coreldraw

 CorelDRAW is another popular vector graphics editor that provides high-quality functions for viewing, editing, and generating content with its subsequent export to any extension you need. It is positioned as a professional utility, respectively, demanding on the computer system resources. Includes convenient drawing and design tools.

Key features of CorelDRAW :

  • Ability to create animated GIFs;
  • Fast editing of high-quality RAW extension;
  • Sending projects for printing or saving in any format on the PC hard drive;
  • Drawing vector graphic objects for design;
  • Thoughtful interface with customizable menu items;
  • Creation of illustrations, company logos, caps for websites and more;
  • An impressive number of filters and special effects.

Photo Master

PhotoMASTER is an excellent alternative to multifunctional editors for professionals and an ideal user interface and full support for all the necessary tools for transforming pictures. The program allows you to crop, photographs, change the background, adjust sharpness, brightness, contrast, colors, retouch images, apply effects, labels, etc. In it, you will do everything that is necessary for the correction process, and, in a couple of clicks.

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Experts will figure it out easily, and for beginners, instructions are provided in the format of video and articles explaining all the nuances of image editing and conversion. The only functional limitation is, perhaps, only the lack of an online version of the application. All actions are performed exclusively with the help of the desktop client. In general, the Photo master leaves a positive impression due to the ease of use, functionality, and cost of the full version.

Application Features:

  • Allows you to edit photos, create postcards;
  • Optimized for ordinary users with no experience;
  • Easy cropping of images, background replacement;
  • Removing glare, defects, red-eye;
  • An abundance of filters, fonts, and templates;
  • One-click auto-enhance options.

Pixlr

Further in our rating follows a new application for editing photos with no less exciting implementation. The developers did everything to ensure that from a technical point of view, Pixlr could be used by anyone. So, there are versions of the application for different platforms, paid and free builds, and even a web application that works directly in the browser online.

In addition to a comprehensive multi-platform, Pixlr provides the user with very rich functionality, user-friendly interface, and pleases with perfect optimization. The interface is well designed, so anyone who has already dealt with at least some other best photo editing apps will instantly understand it.

In addition to the standard functions and a wide range of filters and effects, this application qualitatively implements an automated algorithm for changing the focus point. The developers emphasize the fact that the total number of filters and results in the full range of combinations give about two million (!) Unique combinations.

The lion’s share of real Pixlr users has enough functionality for free builds. Those who need all the tools of the Pro version can purchase a monthly subscription, which costs a few dollars.

In general, this photo editing editor is good for everyone, as, at its level, the only not quite pleasant moment is that it does not understand the RAW format. But the project is actively developing, and perhaps this gap will be eliminated very soon.

Advantage
  • many options for implementing the application;
  • a huge number of filters and effects;
  • Intelligent function to change the focus point;
  • optimization;
  • speed of work;
  • accessibility to use and ease of use;
  • extremely affordable monthly subscription price.
Disadvantage
  • does not support a RAW format.

PhotoInstrument

Now, as part of our rating, we will make a conscious transition from multifunctional best photo editing app for editing photos to one of the most elementary – PhotoInstrument. Our experts specifically included this exciting program in the review to satisfy the request of users who have minimal knowledge in editing bitmap images, or who do not have them at all.

There are many simple best photo editing apps for editing photos, but few can give a precious basic experience from scratch, and PhotoInstrument is one of them. The interface is intentionally designed with a certain margin of accessibility – large buttons, clear labels, tooltips everywhere.

With all the external limitations, the application has everything necessary for more or less high-quality editing of raster images, in a form accessible to beginners and even older people. Using PhotoInstrument, you can change key image parameters (brightness, contrast, saturation, color balance, etc.), apply filters, add effects, scale and make geometric changes, draw using virtual tools and devices.

The application also implements comprehensive tools with elements of intelligent recognition in the form factor of template filters. With their help, you can quickly get rid of the red-eye effect, take a perfect selfie (cleanse your skin, bring “glamor”), eliminate defects, get rid of unwanted objects, etc.

What is noteworthy, this simple application is not bad at working with layers; in some places, no worse than much more advanced programs. It is also possible to install third-party plugins.

Advantage
  • convenient and extremely accessible interface;
  • hints and help at every step;
  • speed of work;
  • the relatively rich toolkit, as for this class of application;
  • convenient work with layers;
  • the ability to install third-party plugins;
  • multilingualism (there is Russian localization).
Disadvantage
  • No integration with social networks.

Open Canvas

A special program completes the selection of the rating of the best-paid applications for video editing. Which, against the background of the above solutions, is a bit different. The thing is that this program is more focused on digital painting. But at the same time, she correctly perceives the PSD format, native to Adobe Photoshop, has complete tools for thin work with layers, has a set of filters, due to which it is applicable for the detailed study of individual areas in the photo.

Open Canvas is one of the most popular applications among artists painting in the style of anime, and this is natural because the Japanese created the program. The creators managed to achieve a fantastic combination of compatibility with raster formats, a set of vector tools, built-in stylistic techniques, and schemes. So, taking as a basis a photo of a beautiful landscape or interior, using a rich set of virtual art devices, fans of the genre create real works of art.

It is also noteworthy that the application has a built-in recorder that captures every step of the user. Upon completion of the best photo editing app photo editing and drawing, you can literally watch a “documentary” with a detailed reproduction of the entire process.

Open Canvas is distributed under a one-time license, which is quite inexpensive. Also, a record-breaking 120-day free trial period will allow even the most meticulous and skeptical user to make an informed decision.

Advantage
  • rich set of virtual devices for digital painting;
  • built-in recorder recording all the actions performed with the image;
  • compatibility with PSD format (Adobe Photoshop);
  • full work with layers;
  • pleasant style;
  • large community;
  • long trial period;
  • relative affordability.
Disadvantage
  • No objective flaws were noticed.

Best Free Photo Editing App

The second nomination in our rating includes the best, according to Expertology experts, photo editing applications from among the free ones. The experts identified six of the most notable solutions from a variety of software studios. These applications maintain their free status for a long time, and this gives reason to believe that they will not suddenly become paid, as is often the case with new applications promoted by young startups.

Photoscape

The nomination opens with a free best photo editing apps, which may seem very simple at a quick glance, but this is a misleading impression due to the concise interface. In fact, Photoscape has a rather impressive arsenal of tools and tools for working with raster graphics.

The application contains a very voluminous set of effects and filters, a convenient collage editor, has a friendly intuitive interface and decent Russian localization. The functionality includes all the basic functions for adjusting image parameters, means for creating GIF animations from a set of photos with many settings, convenient layout tools, screen capture, and more. The entire arsenal of tools can be expanded by installing add-ons.

Auxiliary and service tools allow you to process photos in a semi-automatic batch mode. The application understands all popular formats, including RAW. A separate module is responsible for tight integration with well-known social networks, so you can publish photos after editing in streaming mode, almost without distraction. Photoscape intelligently implements full-fledged work with layers, like professional high-level photo editing applications.

Photoscape application was created to work in the environment of the Windows family of OS, and up to the “seven” new versions were released on the old time-tested engine. With the release of Windows, the program had problems with optimization for a fresh OS, and the developers practically rewrote it again. That’s how Photoscape X came about for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10 systems, as well as for macOS.

Advantage
  • rich functionality;
  • concise, but bright and convenient interface;
  • batch editing;
  • support for RAW format;
  • there is a version for Mac.
Disadvantage
  • The “good old” Photoscape does not work well in Windows 10, and Photoscape X does not suit some conservative users.

Gimp

This selection of ratings continues with an interesting and rather powerful in terms of functionality photo editing application – GIMP. The abbreviation stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and this phrase clearly emphasizes the conformity of the application with the ideology of open source and free distribution. The first versions began to be released in the mid-90s, and the idea was to create a decent free alternative to the very expensive Adobe Photoshop at that time. The project was successful and continues to develop actively.

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The GIMP, a free graphic editor, is considered an analog of the more popular Photoshop, the utility contains all the necessary functions for editing digital images and has a Russian-language interface that can be customized to suit your preferences. It is widespread in the field of content retouching and in the formation of a variety of logos, as well as amateur-level designer elements for websites.

The application is very, very multifunctional, regardless of its free status. It supports all popular formats, supports full-fledged work with layers, there is a rich set of virtual tools for retouching, adding objects, color grading, various manipulations and transformations of raster graphics. Convenient tools for batch photo editing have been implemented.

In addition to internal tools for a simple drawing, GIMP can also work correctly with graphic tablets and other input devices applicable to working with graphics.

More advanced users and even professionals will be pleasantly surprised by the presence in GIMP of tools for beautiful and flexible settings for working with layers and masks, as well as the ability to change RGB channels for more sophisticated photo editing. Even the application interface lends itself to flexible configuration – its elements can be adapted to individual needs. The program correctly opens the source in PSD format, previously created in Adobe Photoshop, with all the attributes.

All of these features are already included in the basic configuration of the application. GIMP’s photo editing capabilities are greatly enhanced by installing any of the many free plugins.

The application is localized in dozens of languages, including Russian. Both an installation package and a portable version that does not require installation are supplied.

Advantage
  • open source
  • rich functionality even in comparison with paid analogs;
  • batch editing support;
  • correct recognition of sources from Photoshop in PSD format;
  • the flexibility of settings;
  • serious claims to the professional level as a whole;
  • multilingualism;
  • There are versions for Linux and other nix systems.
Disadvantage
  • some users encounter difficulties in mastering and understanding the interface logic – it is recommended to undergo preliminary training.

Picasa

The rating continues with the well-known and widespread Picasa best photo editing apps  from Google. The program was first published in 2002 – then Lifescape studio was engaged in its development. The startup was so successful that two years later, Picasa bought the search giant, and the project was actively developed for 12 years. Unfortunately, in 2016, the development of the project was discontinued, but Picasa is still one of the most popular free best photo editing apps.

Initially, Picasa was created as a convenient and fast means of viewing photos, organizing, sorting, and minimal editing. During the development of the project, more and more new functions appeared in the application: special effects, tools for retouching and removing typical defects, improving quality, and color correction. The program can record geodata in the processed image, allows you to easily and quickly create slide shows and screensavers.

Picasa has placed severe emphasis on tight integration with photo and video hosting services and popular social networks. The application also closely interacts with its own photo hosting of the same name.

The application weighs a little, works quickly and stably, is well developed in terms of interface logic, and is excellently localized for a Russian-speaking audience.

Advantage
  • convenient interface;
  • speed of work;
  • close integration with social networks, photo, and video hosting;
  • convenient automatic backup tools;
  • high-quality Russian localization.
Disadvantage
  • the project is closed, there will be no more updates;
  • You cannot view GIFs and multi-page TIFFs.

PixBuilder Studio

Further in our rating follows a simple best photo editing app for editing photos without the pretense of professionalism, but with rich enough functionality to cover most of the conditions of the amateur level. Its microscopic dimensions and excellent optimization allow you to comfortably work with raster graphics on computers with the most modest hardware.

The application has a built-in set of basic and advanced photo editing tools by juggling with key parameters (brightness, contrast, saturation, color balance, etc.), using simple filters, means of correcting individual sections, retouching. There is a standard set of hand-drawing tools.

Advanced photo editing tools pleasantly surprise against the background of the microscopic scale of the application as a whole. So, here we have implemented full-fledged work with layers, full-fledged use of gradient masks, flexible selection, the various transformation of objects, and selected raster areas. The application remembers absolutely all user actions from the very beginning of working with photos. If desired, all changes can be rolled back to the original state of the image.

The program has well-implemented support for hotkeys, and high-quality optimization allows you to process high-resolution images with high speed. The interface has been translated into several languages, including Russian. The standard installation package has a portable version.

The application supports many popular formats, including even PSD, but upsets the lack of compatibility with the RAW format. This prevents the program from fully interacting with modern digital cameras and wearable gadgets.

Advantage
  • minimum sizes and system requirements;
  • speed of work in general and with high resolution in particular;
  • full work with layers and other tools of an advanced level;
  • interface in Russian;
  • there is a portable assembly in a standard package;
  • multilevel rollback;
  • hotkey support.
Disadvantage
  • Does not read RAW format

Paint.net

The free Paint.NET editor will be a good helper for beginners and amateurs, and it has in stock many tools and filters for photo editing. It has a small installation file and works within any modern Windows operating system, assuming all kinds of additions in the form of plugins.

Key Features of Paint.NET :

  • Work with any popular image formats;
  • The convenient main menu interface with customizable elements;
  • Cancellation of incorrectly performed actions;
  • Ability to quickly scale and crop;
  • Compatibility with scanners and printers, as well as various cameras;
  • U-turn your photo, layering layers on it;
  • Removing red eyes, eliminating the background, simulating a picture;
  • The official site periodically updates software;
  • Moderate system requirements;
  • A wide range of artistic effects, adding saturation, shades, etc.

Artweaver

Now we will give in our ranking a place for a program that has a pronounced bias in digital painting, in addition to editing photos. This is actually the author’s work of the German developer Boris Erich. Made, without exaggeration, with love, for which she earned a lot of fans.

The application has an exhaustive set of tools for adjusting the essential characteristics of a raster image, as well as a set of the most popular types of filters, effects, and tools: blurry, masking, mosaic, stain, etc. Full-fledged work with layers and transparency is implemented. The program is compatible with the most popular formats, including PSD, and also has its own working format – AWD. Unfortunately, like the previous solution, Artweaver does not understand the RAW format.

One of the most exciting features of Artweaver is the emulation of specialized effects that create a characteristic natural appearance for artwork: imitation of oil painting, acrylic paint, airbrushing, pastel drawing, and many other styles of fine art.

Standard tools make it easy and simple to correct individual portions of the photo, remove flaws, defects, and unwanted objects that fell into the frame. The application supports third-party plugins. To Russify the interface, you must add the appropriate language file, while the translation may be faulty, but not critical.

Advantage
  • high-quality emulation of art styles;
  • speed of work;
  • compatibility with the most important formats;
  • full work with layers;
  • the ability to use plugins.
Disadvantage
  • no support for the RAW format.

Krita

And at the end of the selection of the ranking of the best free photo editing applications according to Expertology, we will consider another raster image editor with digital painting as a second specialization. In terms of drawing, this program is much more powerful than the previous one and in photo editing too. But Artweaver has its own charm and advantages. So these solutions do not overlap with each other in terms of competition.

The idea of ​​the developers was to create an application for drawing on a digital canvas with unlimited sizes. This was done, but over time, Krita developed, acquired new features and extensions, and eventually became a full-fledged editor for editing photos with artistic specialization.

The application recognizes a wide range of raster graphics file formats, and not only – unlike the two previous solutions, Krita understands the RAW format. As standard, there are many tools for editing photos in different color spaces, retouching, applying dynamic filters, simulating canvas materials, hand-drawing with many virtual tools, each of which can be individually configured.

Krita supports interaction with graphic tablets, without problems and delays it mirrors and rotates a conditionally infinite canvas, correctly uses different color models. Fresh versions of the application are well optimized for working in the Windows 10 environment – both 32-bit and 64-bit. The interface is in many ways similar to the well-recognized layout of windows and tools in Photoshop. And it has been translated into many languages.

Advantage
  • costly tools for drawing;
  • full work with layers;
  • graphics tablet support;
  • compatible with the RAW format;
  • conditionally endless canvas;
  • optimization;
  • convenient and intuitive interface;
  • Russian localization.
Disadvantage
  • There are compatibility problems for users with video cards of the IntelHD Graphics family – probably the problem will be solved with one of the updates.

Top Photo Editing Apps for macOS

The third nomination in the ranking of the best photo editing applications, according to the Expertology version, includes a selection of three photo editors explicitly designed for macOS. We remind you that some of the above software products have versions adapted for Apple computers. Still, here we will focus on applications that were initially designed for these systems, and which are more organically associated with them.

Pixelmator

Let’s start with a bright and ambitious in a good sense project, which was originally conceived as a worthy competitor to Adobe Photoshop, which at that time already had a version for macOS and was actively winning the preferences of Mac users. For the most part, Lithuanian developers managed to realize their plans and take the high bar.

best photo editing apps

The updated, advanced version of Pixelmator with the prefix Pro appeared paradoxically with a radically simplified interface, and this bold step of the developers played into the project’s good. If the “regular” Pixelmator was distinguished by a scattering of windows, window sills, and other large and small workspaces, then in the Pro version, everything is assembled strictly in a single window and does not frighten novice users anymore.

As for the functionality, the application is definitely pleasing with features. The basic configuration contains everything that may be needed for full-fledged photo editing: color correction, effects, filters, color models, transformation tools, drawing tools, working with layers and masks, and much more.

About the implementation of work with layers in Pixelmator Pro, it is worth saying a few words separately. This toolkit is controlled by a first neural network, which, in the case of adding content from external files, automatically classifies the layer and gives it a name. Also, the concept of neural networks has found a successful application for selection tools – the app with fantastic accuracy and thoroughness finds the real boundaries of objects, thereby guaranteeing impeccable editing quality. “Smart selection” works with full clarity – any movement of the mouse in the image highlights areas that this tool recognizes as “candidates” for selection.

Typical settings to be applied without changes to many photos can be saved as so-called recipes and then applied with one click. Each of them, when hovering, shows a preview of the photo, how it will look after applying the formula.

In general, the toolkit, design approaches, and innovations of Pixelmator, namely the Pro version, are a real breakthrough in the field of photo editing. The application supports 64-bit architecture now and continues to develop actively. You can get acquainted with its capabilities for free during a 30-day trial period.

Advantage
  • rich toolkit;
  • optimization;
  • innovative approaches;
  • “Smart” tools that use neural networks for an ideal quality result;
  • relatively affordable prices amid opportunities.
Disadvantage
  • some users complain not of the fundamental impossibility of using third-party plugins.

Luminar

The second number in this rating category, we will consider another powerful application for editing photos in the MacOS environment manufactured by the famous company Macphun (later renamed to Skylum), which specializes in developing software for working with digital photos and other bitmap images. If the above solution is seen by many as a replacement for Photoshop. Many professionals have called Luminar a worthy replacement for another Adobe product – Lightroom.

In the newest configuration, as of the spring of 2019, Luminar is a powerful photo editor and multifunctional digital asset manager. The necessary photo editing tools are here in their fullest form, and we will not dwell on it in detail because of the obviousness. Much more interesting is innovation and original solutions.

best photo editing apps

So, in Luminar, a set of the latest filters is introduced, which use powerful algorithms of built-in artificial intelligence, a deeply worked out optimization allows you to process even heavyweight high-resolution graphics with fantastic speed.

Of great interest to users are such innovations as the elimination of noise in real-time, support for LUT (Lookup Table), intelligent filtering of sunlight. Achievements in the field of artificial intelligence are used in Luminar even in the matter of organizing the workspace – the application automatically adapts the space taking into account the shooting style, instantly creating the most comfortable working environment for the user.

Advantage
  • rich functionality;
  • the density of innovations and original solutions in one software product;
  • high adaptability of the workspace;
  • highly efficient use of AI algorithms;
  • There is a version for Windows.
Disadvantage
  • a significant percentage of cases of “thoughtfulness” in complex actions, the developers promise in the near future to bring optimization to the proper level.

Fotor

And at the end of the rating, consider an excellent software solution for editing photos, which is optimal for those who do not want to pay real money for software. Due to the free nature of this application, one should not expect professional-level capabilities, but Fotor was created, in fact, not for this.

best photo editing apps

Fotor has initially been a web-based photo-editing application. Over time, the creators decided to release a separate stand-alone product – an app for Mac. For the most part, the solution was very enthusiastic about feedback from users, and soon the program was scaled to the Windows platform.

The application consists of two separate modules. One is specialized in editing photos, and the other is in creating collages. When the program starts, the user is prompted to choose what exactly he will do with the image. This, by the way, is the most controversial moment in the program, causing an extreme reaction of users.

In terms of photo editing, Fotor has a very good automatic correction function. You can get rid of most of the flaws and unwanted artifacts in the photo in just a couple of clicks. Here, intelligent algorithms and automatic correction scenarios manifest themselves in the best way, which changes the photo parameters depending on the shooting conditions – sunny day, night, beach, flash, landscape, etc.

There is a rich set of filters for artistic photo editing in the application. With their help, you can artificially age a photo, apply fashionable “hipster” effects, and transform the image in every way.

The processed image can be saved in any of the popular formats or immediately published to any popular social network or photo hosting.

Advantage
  • simplicity in development;
  • speed of work;
  • many filters and effects;
  • multi-platform.
Disadvantage
  • a rigid division into two functional modules (editing and collage) causes a polar relationship among users.

When choosing the optimal program for working with images from our selection, we advise you to determine the level of your needs and the main purpose of the potentially used software.

  • Movavi Photo Editor does not bother you to study videos on working with the editor but provides access to all the features you need. Now, to remove an extra element from the photo, change the background, adjust colors, apply an effect or remake makeup, the color of the character’s hair, you don’t have to turn to the “initiates” for help. Intuitive and straightforward Movavi photo editor will do everything in two clicks. Give it a try. This is the best photo editing program designed to solve semi-professional tasks. In fact, it is a home photo studio in a convenient design.
  • The photo master does not differ in the same advanced tools like Photoshop CC, Paintshop Pro, and other famous analogs. Still, it works faster and has all the necessary functions for high-quality photo editing at home. The program is designed for beginners, and advanced users contain detailed instructions on all the nuances of editing.
  • Home Photo Studio is a symbiosis of Photomaster and FS Lightroom. It supports layers, knows how to save projects, works with Photoshop files, contains built-in tools for editing, cropping, correction, a wizard for printing, and creating collages. The program will be the right choice for photographers who are not ready to pay for a professional editor, but who want to learn how to work with high-quality images.
  • The GIMP will be an excellent free image editing tool. Still, the utility does not contain the most accessible interface in terms of simplicity, so if you are a beginner, we recommend staying at the identical and more understandable Paint.NET or PixBuilder Studio, or be patient and learn how to process images in Gimp.
  • Picasa will appeal to fans of the implementation of content for its further publication on social networks. If you are interested in a photo-editing application that can translate amateur-level animations into reality, try Photoscape.
  • Krita will allow you to embody your creative ideas; however, for its comfortable operation, you will need at least minimal knowledge of similar software. The free version of the image editor is especially popular among artists and illustrators, along with another well-known Paint tool Sai product and commercial Corel Painter.
  • ACDSee will provide you with a professional set of tools, and the developer distributes these products for a fee with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the trial version. If you are only interested in red-eye correction, applying filters, effects, and other primitive retouching methods, it’s best to download a simpler photo-editing program. No less advanced tool for advanced users will be CorelDRAW. Both photo editing programs are demanding on computer resources. Still, at the same time, they will endow you with extensive functionality with which it is impossible to compete with free analogs.
  • Lightroom will appeal to lovers of forming albums from original images and viewing rich slides. It works both within the PC and online to speed up the upload of your projects to various web resources.
  • Adobe Photoshop is the most popular software in its category. Probably there are no professional photographers in the world who would not use Photoshop. Here you can not only quickly improve the landscapes themselves but also realize a complete change of photos: eliminate face defects, background errors, and much more.

Attention! This rating is subjective, is not an advertisement, and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.