Photography is an art and passion for many. And photography demands the requirement of some technical tools to bring into perfection. Similarly, editing and publishing of images are also a form of creative art, which is performed by many, around the globe. As mentioned before, the perfection of all these creative jobs can be fulfilled only with the help of some basic software tools, which we are going to discuss here.
Though photography is an art, it is a hobby for some, and it is a way of revenue for some, and it is a part of the job for some. Put together all these sections, those tools are a necessity. Irrespective of which brand or tool they are using. And therefore, it is also essential for us to bring on to this platform, all those available around us. They may differ in features, pricing, usage, and accessibility, but doesn’t matter, you will get a clear picture of most of them when you scroll down here.
This article is definitely a guide for those who are searching for such best photo and image editor tools, we will be bringing to you, some of the best available in the market, both FREE and PAID. You would also find links for Photo Editor Download along with the details of the respective software while scrolling down.
1. Adobe Photoshop (Paid)
The only leader in the industry from years. Adobe brought the best out of its box, Photoshop – a raster graphic editor tool, dominated the creative designing market like anything for many years and gained such confidence and popularity among the designers. Photoshop has been an inevitable part, of their day to day life when it comes to photo/image editing and designing. Photoshop has succeeded up to that level, where there was a term in the market, like, ‘photoshopped’ or ‘photoshop an image’ etc. ; just look at the influence of this software, among the public.
From small to medium level workers to high-end users, Photoshop has been performing various tasks worldwide. Photoshop has covered almost all essential tools for photo editing, in this masterpiece. The software has completed many phases of reformation during its journey till today. They have renamed versions calling from just version numbers to CS (Creative Suite) to CC (Creative Cloud) to project the transformations. Now with CS and CC, Photoshop is now available along with other Adobe products and also as a standalone unit to buy.
Key features offered by Adobe Photoshop, up to the latest version (Version 21) of 2020, is furnished below:
- Automatic Photo Effects – Powered by Adobe Sensei
- Single Click Object Selection
- Automatic colorization of the image – powered by Adobe Sensei
- Make the skin smooth Automatically – Powered by Adobe Sensei
- Remove unwanted objects or distractions from the background using background remover feature
- Add extra patterns on an image for a sparkle effect
- Create Multi-photo Text
- Convert your photos into Fun Memes
- Turn part of your photo into a sketch
- Replace backgrounds of your images in just seconds
- Photo remixes and mashes are now easy
- Create a single photo from multiple, by removing distortions and backgrounds
- Artistic Overlay Effects
- Turn photo into a water-colored one ….. and many more along with pre-existing familiar features.
For more details on Features, visit https://www.adobe.com/in/products/photoshop-elements/features.html
For Purchasing a copy of Photoshop, you may visit the link: https://www.adobe.com/in/creativecloud/plans.html?plan=individual&filter=all
*Note: Ensure that you are buying from a Genuine Dealer and using the right version and license for your region. Best of Best Software.com is not responsible for any loss or damages, due to the purchase of any unauthorized/fake software.
2. CorelDRAW Photo-Paint (Paid)
CorelDraw bringing touch competition with Adobe Photoshop by introducing stunning tools and effects in their raster graphics editor software, Photo-Paint. The application is launched somewhere in 1992 and now became popular, basically among CorelDraw users. Photo-Paint is also succeeded in getting several users outside its network, and that’s the success of this amazing tool.
Corel has launched its latest version Photo-Paint 2020, recently with all latest professional editing tools and support for PSD files, along with extensive support for more than 300 types of cameras. Photo-Paint will be available with CorelDRAW Graphic Suite.
Corel Photo-Paint has improved its tools and features, by introducing AI-powered enhancements for images, which is truly amazing. Along with, Lens manipulation, Destructive effects, extended Font properties, etc will create a new dimension in editing. Doubtless, that new Photo-paint will be a thrilling experience for designers.
Photo-paint offers a bundle of new features, that will be furnished below, and along with that, you will also get all existing features when you purchase the new version.
- Image improvements powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- New effects powered by AI
- Lens Effect – Manipulation of lens brings a change in the appearance of the objects below it
- Non-destructive Effects
- Interactive and Flexible Font properties
- Align, Distribute and Replace Color feature, and use of Smart Selection Tool to create masks
- Crop, Straighten, Stitch and Scale
- Distortion Correction
- Retouch tool to remove unwanted areas
- Tone and Color Adjustments
- Edit objects without disturbing objects in a background image
- Cutout Lab – Cut out images using Smart Selection Tool
- Apply special effects to images like transforming the image to Paint, etc. using AI, … and many more
Visit https://www.coreldraw.com/en/pages/photo-paint/ to know more.
To know the pricing and purchasing a copy of CorelDraw Graphics Suite, visit here: https://www.coreldraw.com/en/product/coreldraw/
3. GIMP (FREE)
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a Free-to-Use Open Source Image Editor launched a long way back in 1995, by Peter Mattis, with initial name as General Image Manipulator Program. They have released the next version GIMP 0.54 in 1996 and released many versions thereafter till the present GIMP 2.10, which is running now.
GIMP is available for Unix/Linux and Windows at free of cost, and you are permitted to change its source code and redistribute the changes (Ref: gimp.org). Be it a Photographer, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, this application is the most appropriate for your use.
GIMP, is part of the GNU project and has a huge number of contributors around the world, where they used to offer programs or features developed by them. You can also be a contributor and part of the development of the application if you have the recommended skills. You may visit https://www.gimp.org/develop/ to know more.
Well, now let’s look at the key features offered by GIMP to the world:
- High-Quality Photo Manipulation
- Original Artwork Creation
- Graphic Design Elements
- Programming Algorithms
- Desktop Publishing Workflow with the help of Inkspace, Scribus and Swatchbooker (All free applications)
- Good extensibility by integrating with programs like Python, Scheme, Perl and more
GIMP is absolutely FREE to use. You are also allowed to download source code and redistribute changes.
4. Paint.Net (Free & Paid)
Paint.NET was started as an undergraduate project by Microsoft initially, and now it is maintained and developed by Rick Brewster. Though it was intended as a replacement for the Microsoft Paint tool, originally, then it grew later as a strong image and photo editor tool.
Paint.NET has grown now to such a level, to compare with any popular image editor applications like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint and GIMP, etc.
Paint.NET application is featuring an innovative user interface with support for layers, special effects for images/photos, unlimited undo actions, and loads of other tools. Moreover, to ease your worries about the support, there is a strong online community to assist with help, tutorials, and plugins, etc. Paint.Net is a ‘Windows’ based application.
Features of Paint.NET:
- Simple, Intuitive and Innovative User Interface
- Ensuring quick start-up and smooth performance irrespective of the configuration of the device you use
- Layers, the one feature usually found in advanced software, are introduced here
- Active Online Community, who are regularly contributing towards the development
- Updates are Free and done automatically
- Many special effects are available for the perfection of your editing
- Powerful tools like Drawing Shapes, Gradient Tool, Clone Stamp and Magic Wand added to the panel
- Unlimited History for Undo action.
Paint.NET ‘Classic’ version is totally FREE and does not even cost a penny. ‘Classic’ is available for download here: Download Now!. But if you are planning to get the version called ‘Store’ from Microsoft Store, then you may have to pay for it. View License information: https://www.getpaint.net/license.html
5. Adobe Lightroom (Paid)
Another product from Adobe house, Lightroom offers you easy photo editing tools for some quick editing and manipulation works. This application will be best suitable for photographers, family, and other small-time designers.
Lightroom is available for Windows and Mac. There is mobile app available for Android and iOS. Like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom is also part of Creative Cloud and available to use anywhere from Web, Mobile, or Desktop and your edited images can be stored in Cloud to reuse later.
Though Lightroom is basically a Photo Editing Application, Adobe has integrated some of the tools in it, that Photoshop has, to make editing a new experience.
Let’s go through some of the key features of Lightroom:
- Edit Anywhere – Web, Mobile, and Desktop
- Part of Creative Cloud – Starting from 1 TB space
- Manage any number of photos and Capture, Edit and Share them from anywhere
- Inspirational Contents from Expert Photographers and Educators along with other Tutorials
- Use Adobe Sensei to find themes and people while creating Album
- Panorama edge filling for the perfection of the image.
- Hue Adjustment Locally
- Create edited versions of images instead of creating multiple copies
- Text Watermarks for photos … and many more.
Please check for more details on features: https://helpx.adobe.com/in/lightroom-cc/using/whats-new.html
Lightroom (1TB)is available for Rs. 676 ($9) / month. Plans like Photography (20 GB) and Photography (1TB) available to buy.
6. Capture One (Paid)
A wonderful photo editor professionally made for Photographers, developed to match the camera technologies or device they use to capture their favorite shots. Capture One will be an awesome experience for designers with its special effect tools, including Amazing Noise Reduction feature, Easy Removal of Objects, Style Tool, etc.
Capture One is a tight competitor for Adobe Lightroom. It has more similar features that of Lightroom, including Layers, Noise reduction, Photo Sharing, etc. Moreover, Capture One is standing ahead with its peculiar packages for photographers to choose, based on the Camera device and method, they use to shoot pictures. E.g.: Sony, Fuji, Nikon, etc.
As mentioned before, Capture One is a tight competitor and rival for Lightroom and they welcome those who are ready to move away from Lightroom to Capture One. They assist with steps mentioned on their portal, on how to import Lightroom catalog without any hassles, for a smooth transfer.
Significant features offered by Capture One are:
- Heal Brush – To remove unwanted elements from a photo
- Clone Brush – Automatically create a clone layer
- Before/After Tool to review your edits
- Lightroom Importer tool
- Nikon Profiles – to match colors in your camera
- Color Control – Basic Color Editor
- True-to-life Colors
- Color Balance Tool
- Skin Tone Editing
- Black and White Tool
- Sharpening and Noise Reduction
- Output Proofing and Simulated Film Grain
- Custom Lens Corrections – to fix distortions and chromatic aberrations
- Keystone Tool
- Image Editing with Contrast, Saturation, Curves & Levels, Film Curves, etc.
- Radial Masks – Create and shape round masks with soft edges.
- Luminosity Masking
- Feather Mask, Refine Mask and Grey Scale Mask
- Organize images using folder and catalog method
- Workflow and Performance ….. and many more
Pricing: Capture One has different packs available in Single User, Multi-User & Enterprise, and Styles.
Single User starts from Rs.584/- to Rs.1170/- (Depending upon the Camera brand)
Multiuser ranges from Rs.1911/- to Rs.3081/- and Styles from Rs.5811/- (Offer Price) to Rs.11017/- (Offer Price). For more details visit: https://www.captureone.com/en/products-plans/single-user
7. Affinity Photo (Paid)
Affinity Photo, the real alternative to Adobe Photoshop on features and options, when it comes to photo editing. The only difference may be the pricing and subscription. Affinity Photo offers it for One Time fee, whereas Photoshop is on subscription. Moreover, the pricing tag of Affinity is too low compared to that of Photoshop.
A complete photo editing software, Affinity Photo will redefine image editing. Some of its features, like HDR Merge, Panorama Stitching, and PSD Editing, will be surely enjoyed by the professionals. The software also supports multi-platform like Windows, macOS, and iOS.
Affinity Photo is winners of many awards and appreciations like Best Software by Photography News | Best Imaging Software by TIPA | Apple App of the Year | Editor’s Choice | App of the Year by Stuff, etc.
Main Features of Affinity Photo:
- Real-time Editing
- Huge Image Support (100+ Mega Pixels)
- Smooth PAN and Zoom at 60 fps
- Open, Import and Edit PSD files
- Set of Retouching tools
- Dodge, Burn, Clone, Patch tools
- Unwanted Objects removal
- Single Layer and Layer Stack
- Mask and Filter Effects
- Professional Lens Corrections
- Histograms view, Shadows, Highlights, and Tones
- Noise Reduction and Hot Pixel Removal
- Import and Edit XMP Files and Metadata
- Vector and Text Tools
- A large number of brushes included for advanced usage of brush works
- Faultless Photo Stitching
- Advanced Selection Refinement Algorithms
- Amazing HDR Algorithms to create natural-looking images … and many more
For details of features visit: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/full-feature-list/
Affinity Photo is available from Rs.1599/- for iPad, Rs.3999/- for Mac, and Rs.3999/- for Windows. A Free Trial version is also available for you to check before buying. Details of pricing is available here: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/#buy
8. Exposure X5 (Paid)
‘Exposure’ for creative Photographers! Yes, Exposure X5 is for photographers who wish to create lively images. This software actually, is a bunch of unique creative tools, which makes Exposure X5 a superior one. You can stand tall if you create with Exposure.
Give life to all your images, using Exposure’s Film Presets. Your images will get effects beyond film simulation and also clean modern look. The unique tools such as, realistic film grain, lens focus and creative overlays etc will take your works into a different dimension altogether. Brushing and masking tools adding to it.
Purchasing and using a copy of Exposure X5 will never go in-vein, as the developers offer amazing customer support and quality of the product. They have been press mentioned by some of the prominent market leaders, like DP Review, Shutterbug, RF (Rangefinder), Life After Photoshop etc.
Let’s go through the key features of Exposure X5:
- 3D Color Masking with masking presets, combinations of luminance, hue and saturation
- Non-destructive Layers with Layer effects, unlimited layers, blend adjustments etc.
- Brush Tools for quick touch-ups like Softening skin, Enhancing iris, Teeth Whitening, Red Eye Removal etc.
- Gradient Tools with Radial and Linear Effects, along with gradient opacity adjustment.
- Heal or Clone Tool
- Use Focus Tool (Bokeh tool) to adjust focus attention and also displays exact center of image using Vignette Location Tool
- Overlay effects with Borders, textures, blend, light etc
- Grain and Infrared tools
- Photo Editing Tools
- Presets for creating cinema appearance, modern portrait films etc
- Photo Manager with Lightroom Migration Tool, and Photoshop plugin support
- Virtual Copies ….and many more
For more details on features, visit: https://exposure.software/exposure/features/
Exposure X5 is available at $119 whereas Exposure X5 Bundle is for $149. For more details and purchase, visit: https://store.exposure.software/
9. DXO PhotoLab (Paid)
DxO Photolab was in news for the Best Imaging Software 2020 by TIPA World Awards, and also for the release of their new versions 3.1 and 3.2 with added features. PhotoLab, owned by DxO, a French initiative, an 18 years old firm that has tremendous experience in digital photography and image processing. When they bring out a product like PhotoLab, be sure that it will be filled with all essentials for professional photo editing.
PhotoLab 3 mainly focussed on color management and adjustment with the new HSL Tool, which means Hue, Saturation, and Luminance adjustment with just one simple tool. Along with, DxO’s ColorWheel is an amazing tool for adjusting color from 8 separate channels.
They have also taken care to match with 60+ cameras available in the market to ensure that photographers are not going to suffer with the rendering process while connecting. There is a list of cameras supports available on the DxO portal, which a great job. Visit: https://www.dxo.com/dxo-photolab/supported-cameras/ to know. Also up to 40 one-click presets make life easy for professionals while adjusting the effects.
Below are the main features of DxO PhotoLab:
- DxO HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance)
- DxO ColorWheel (Color Adjustment)
- Up to 40 One-Click Preset Effects
- Supports over 60 Cameras
- DxO ClearView Optimization
- Denoising with DxO Prime
- Optical corrections according to Lenses
- U Point Technology for Local Adjustments
- Repair Tool with Clone mode
- DxO SmartLighting …. and many more
For more details on Features, check this link: https://www.dxo.com/dxo-photolab/
DxO PhotoLab 3 is available with two editions: Essential Edition $129 and Elite Edition at $199. You may get it from > https://shop.dxo.com/en/photo-software/dxo-photolab
10. Luminar (Paid)
You, as a photographer or creative designer, would love the revolutionary tools and AI Technologies, of Luminar 4. The way you edit a photo is going to change entirely with Luminar. Bring in any image, and the output from Luminar will be a different experience.
Luminar offers support for Adobe and Mac with plug-ins. Also, it has a standalone photo editor and browser with RAW support, Enjoy your creativity with more creative tools.
Luminar was also mentioned by many Press, like Fstoppers, SLR Lounge, PhotographyTalk etc. The software has been awarded by TIPA Awards 2017, The Lucie Technical Awards 2017, Digital Photo, EISA Award Best Product 2019-2020, Editor’s Picks by Outdoor Photographer etc.
Luminar offers the below features:
- Sky Replacement Tool with the help of AI Technology
- Skin and Portrait Enhancer with AI
- AI Augmented Sky Tool to insert new objects into your images
- Add sunrays to your picture
- AI Structure Slider to being rich and enhanced feeling to your image
- Smarter Contrast Tool
- Unwanted object Removal Tool
- Landscape Enhancer
- 70+ instant looks to create instant Artworks
- Noise remover tool
- Details Enhancement …and more
Visit https://skylum.com/luminar to know more.
Luminar 4 is priced at Rs.5100/- and you can choose other plugins to add with. Check here: https://skylum.com/l/luminar-checkout