Whether the locations of photos you have hidden in your PC, selfies random you post on social networks, or even wildlife photography you do as a professional, a robust photo editing software is a must have. As such, there are countless such applications available out there, ranging from ultra-advanced base. And this is to choose one (or more) for your needs at the most problematic.
But it need not be that way, and that’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best photo editing software that you can use to make your photos look even more amazing. So without further ado, here they are!
Best Photo Editing Software – 2016
1. Adobe Photoshop CC
Undeniably the standard applications of the image of gold editor, the popular Adobe Photoshop CC is packed with more features than you can possibly think of. From basic tweaks (eg color / Setting the exposure, resize, blur / sharpen) for advanced editing operations (for example, the shape tools, masks, alpha compositing), there is nothing that Photoshop can not do. And from the latest version, there are a ton of new features, including art-boards, a preview of the “design space” mode, with seamless access to libraries creative clouds, and integration with Adobe Stock, for finding more than 50 million royalty free images for use in your projects. And of course, all the standard features such as multi-layer capability, and robust plug-in support are there too. And as Adobe Photoshop CC is a subscription-based product / service, you get updates even faster.
Note: Want to powerful editing and publishing in a slightly lighter package? give Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC a look.
Price: Starts from $9.99/month, Free trial available
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, and 7; Mac OS X 10.9 and above
2. Affinity Photo
Use a Mac and you want an application of professional who can take care of all your image editing needs? Affinity picture is all you need. Have a feature set that rivals the industry leaders like Photoshop, it offers comprehensive functionality for RAW editing with a dedicated workspace, and allows you to granularly adjust any vibrancy and highlights, the aberration and chromatic thumbnails. The latest version 1.4 packs an insane amount of features including panoramic photo stitching, alpha selections, multiple processing engines, filters into perspective, and fully customizable shortcuts. Then there are modes live mix, extensive adaptation of the film, many special effects and things like that. No wonder it was chosen as the best Mac app in 2015 by Apple itself. Includes PSD, Affinity picture supports almost all image formats that you can think of.
Note: If your choice of platform is Windows, you’ll be pleased to know that thefirst beta of the Windows version of Affinity picture is due to be released soon.
Price: $49.99, Free trial available
Platform Availability: Mac OS X 10.8 and above
Often presented as one of the best free alternatives to Photoshop, the cross-platform and open-source GIMP is a fully loaded image editing software. Whether basic editing (eg culture, noise reduction) or advanced features (editing / mixing gradient, layer editing, transformations, etc.) GIMP can handle everything. It has a customizable interface and functions are separated into modules that can be shown / hidden individually shown / hidden as required. extended hardware support (eg, pressure sensitive tablets, USB / MIDI controllers) allows you to easily link the most used actions with the actions of the device as move the cursor from a MIDI controller. Oh, and there are many plug-ins to extend the functionality of GIMP even further.
Platform Availability: Windows; Mac OS X; Linux
If you like (some) features applications like GIMP and Photoshop, but find it too complicated to use, Paint.NET is perhaps the image editing software you need. It is a lightweight application that comes with base (eg, exposure compensation, re-size) multiple semi-Advanced (magic wand, clone, etc.) editing functions. Paint.NET supports almost all popular image formats, and can handle the editing layer based just a question. There are a variety integrated in special effects (eg deformed, emboss, oil paint), and always helpful unlimited undo / redo makes image editing a walk in the park. And if that is not enough, you can use plug-ins for Paint.NET even more useful.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, and 7
5. Corel PaintShop Pro X8 Ultimate
The impressive Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate X8 is loaded with everything you’d expect from an image editor of his prowess. Having a tabbed user interface, batch mode itspowerful allows you to edit multiple images in no time. The new version is loaded with features such as wrapping text, content aware magical movement and full support for 4K displays. You can make precise selections and use the Camera RAW Lab special for the upgraded edition. Then there are things like the progressive effects filter, photo-mapping and full support for raster / vector image formats. In addition, Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate X8 fully supports the Adobe Photoshop plug-ins, in addition to its own. You also get dozens of brushes, textures, free and free media.
Price: $99.99, Free trial available
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, and 7
If your image editing needs are mainly centered around working with RAW images, RawTherapee worth a look. The cross-platform and open-source application comes with a 96 bits image processing engine for non-destructive editing effort and uses algorithms dematrixing. It offers a range of exposure tools and tone control, and can easily take care of everything from purple fringing in noise reduction. It also supports the parallel connection of the images in separate tabs in the editor, and is compatible with a wide range of digital SLR cameras. RawTherapee can send images to other tools such as the GIMP, and can be used via the command line as well.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.6 and above; Linux
A powerful image manipulation applications for the Mac, Pixelmator has a long list of advanced editing functions. His “Move Tool” allows you to easily distort/rotate any image selection or layer effortless and intelligent alignment guides make it easy to distribute objects in the image accurately. The selection, paint retouching, Pixelmator wide range of support tools, he excels in all. Advanced tools such as Vectormator help you multiply the beautiful composite logos, posters, etc. in no time, and nondestructive editing is supported for layers. Pixelmator is built using the latest OS X technologies like Core Image and Grand Central Dispatch, and supports Photoshop images too.
Platform Availability: Mac OS X 10.9 and above
8. CyberLink PhotoDirector 7 Ultra
One of the best photo editing apps out there, CyberLink PhotoDirector 7 Ultra packs in a healthy bunch of features. The latest version comes with support up to 100 layers per image and 14 blending modes and editing options. HDR Bracket advanced functionality comes with the ghost artifact removal media, and blur tools in Pro allows you to create unique effects. CyberLink PhotoDirector 7 Ultra can automatically read the EXIF data for correcting lens distortion, and is compatible with many digital camera manufacturers such as Canon, Hasselblad, Nikon, Leica, and Kodak. And although we really are not big fans of it but there are also some / body facial features “beautification” thrown into the mix.
Price: $99.99, Free trial available
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista
9. FastStone Image Viewer
Powerful image manipulation programs, with their advanced features such as alpha compositing layers are all excellent, but if you just want basic editing features? FastStone Image Viewer is the answer. Extremely lightweight, it can manage entirely all the basic editing (eg re-size) to semi-advanced operations (eg clone, Healing Brush). Not only that, FastStone Image Viewer also comes with image management features, such as labels, and drag-and-drop copy / support moves. You can create slide shows with over 150 transition effects, and even acquiring images from scanners. And if you want to FastStone Image Viewer with you, the portable version has you covered.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Yet another image editor to process RAW images, open-source Darktable packs in a lot, and you can view and manage digital negatives with ease. It supports non-destructive editing, with all the work functions of the 4×32 pixel buffers. You get full support for GPU acceleration, and ICC color profiles are included as well. darktable the functionality is divided into several modules, which can be used to perform basic edits, tonal adjustments, lens corrections / pixel based, and treatment based filter. Overall, for handling RAW image, darktable is just perfect.
Platform Availability: Mac OS X 10.6 and later; Linux
Edit photos with effortless ease!
Although the cameras (if they are autonomous, or stuck in smartphones) got enough power-packed these days, a little editing and post-treatment goes a long way in making digital images perfect. And as we saw above, there are some software applications of the image editor that you can use. So try them all, and tell us your favorite (s) in the comments below.