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What is the Best Photo Editing App

January 01

9 min. to read

Choosing an optimal photo editor for your personal level can be pretty difficult for a newcomer.

Photo editing software allows photographers to customize shots according to their preferences so as to make them look more eye-pleasing. Today, there is a plethora of photo-editing software available for editing photos and making them stand out in unbelievable ways.

We’ve shortlisted nothing but 5 of the best ones here. Of course, Photoshop and Lightroom are on this list, along with Luminar Neo, a simple yet very productive photo editor.

Let’s get started: 

Luminar by Skylum – A Powerful and Smarter Way to Edit Photos Like a Pro

Skylum has undoubtedly produced a very powerful yet very simple photo-editing software that rivals Photoshop and Lightroom.

It features creative single-click functionality that allows you to make adjustments to your photos like a professional. Matt Granger, a world renowned photographer, along with many other photographers, have praised and admired the use of Luminar.

You can buy it under $60 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than other photo-editing apps we have in this article. Luminar can be used as a standalone app, which is what we recommend, but if you want to up your game then it is advisable to use it as a plug-in for Photoshop or Lightroom. It can also be used for Apple Photos.

Its simple to use, clever and adaptive interface, advanced controls and professional features make it one of the best photo-editing apps there is. However, the downside is that it’s only available for Mac users. Who knows, a Windows version might be in the works. 

Adobe Photoshop CC – The Most Advanced Photo-Editor There is

Whether you’re a beginner photographer or one who has spent a great deal of time taking masterful shots, this app is for everyone. Adobe is a highly prestigious firm that has helped millions of creative minds create more appealing visuals. Its products are used extensively by photography and editing professionals all around the world.

Even though Adobe’s products got really pricey after moving to a subscription-based system, it is still being used by top photographers today. Luckily, Adobe has now reduced prices to a fraction. You can now use Photoshop, along with Lightroom for as low as $10/month.

While Photoshop is the most powerful photo-editing software you’ll ever use, it’s also very sophisticated and beginners might find it difficult to effectively utilize its power. This is why we recommend photographers to opt for Lightroom or Luminar which is a lot easier to use. However, if you’re familiar with retouching, layering, masking, making selections and processing multi-step images, then there is no alternative to Photoshop.

Photoshop is a remarkable software that offers a clean interface and powerful features, though it doesn’t offer the convenience of single-click photo effects other software applications do. After all, at the end of the day almost every photographer expects an easy-to-use and simple photo-editing software. But if you’re a pro at editing, this is a must-have app.

We can confidently say that Photoshop has every tool to unleash your creative juices, though unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you how. For that, you need to either spend some time on tutorials or just buy a more simple software like Lightroom. 

Lightroom CC – A Photo-editing Software Perfect for Regular Photographers

Lightroom offers what Photoshop doesn’t and doesn’t really care! Photoshop is created solely for more advanced photographers while Lightroom was made for novice ones. This is why you’ll find the image cataloguing feature along with a really slick, non-destructive way to edit RAW images. This tool is known as ACR or Adobe Camera Raw Tool.

There is another thing that really makes Lightroom more appealing to photographers. This software allows you to make proper adjustments to your photos while keeping the original ones, well, original. This is what many photographers really want, a non-destructive way to edit their photos so they can later utilize it if need be.

However, you should know that Lightroom simply cannot compete with Photoshop as it doesn’t have the killer tools that Photoshop has to offer. Still, it would more than suffice if you’re just starting out. 

Photoshop Elements 15 – A Novice Version of Photoshop

If you want an amateur version of Photoshop then there is no better app than Photoshop Elements. It doesn’t have the advanced features that Photoshop has but it’s a lot better than Lightroom. It’s also more friendly to novice users.

If you’re a photographer who is just starting out this app is perfect. This is your very basic photo editing software as it doesn’t have proper curve adjustment tools. The, ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) tool, for example, is nothing compared to the one that’s on Photoshop or Lightroom. So if you really don’t know anything about photo-editing, go for this one. 

Corel PaintShop Pro X8 – A Unique Alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC

Aiming to compete with Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro X8 is completely worthy of being on this list. It’s comparatively cheaper than Photoshop yet has almost every useful tool that Photoshop has to offer. Although it might take a long time to adapts to its interface, since it’s a lot different than Photoshop, Lightroom or other similar apps. However, the learning curve is fairly decent, especially when you’re taking help from the Learning Center. PaintShop Pro is perfect for photographers who want to stick with one photo-editing software only, and are looking for an intermediate usability level. 

Final Verdict

There you have it: 5 photo-editing apps that are considered one of the best in the photography world today. We recommend you opt for Luminar first, then buy Photoshop and use it as a plug-in. However, it’s up to you to choose one which best suits your preferences.

What is the Best Photo Editing App | Skylum How-to(2)

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Team Skylum


Our team of passionate photography enthusiasts at Skylum has been committed to assisting you in discovering the world through your lens for over a decade. We're dedicated to providing photographers like you with easy-to-use tools and valuable resources to help you capture your vision and produce beautiful photos. Our articles are filled with friendly tips, industry insights, and inspiring stories from other creative individuals in photography. Together, we can help you grow your photography skills to new heights. Join us on this exciting journey of exploration, creativity, and growth.

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What is the Best Photo Editing App | Skylum How-to(14)