- Very affordable thanks to a one-time purchase
- Advanced tools combined with easy-to-use presets
- Customizable Workspaces to make the interface your own
- Unmatched control over HDR files
- Multiple presets to get you started
- Quick and intuitive interface
- Automated processes do all the work for you
- Perfect solution for new photographers who need help with editing
- Artificial Intelligence engine carefully analyzes photos
There’s no denying that Adobe Lightroom is an all-around excellent photo editor and the go-to solution for countless professional photographers around the world. It offers a plethora of features designed to provide users with all the control they could want over their photos. However, Lightroom does have some downsides that might make you want to try something different. Maybe it’s the interface, the lack of a certain feature, or simply the price. Here are a few Adobe Lightroom alternatives you should take a look at.
If you’re considering making the switch from Lightroom because you don’t like its comparatively unintuitive interface, then Luminar is the best alternative you can find. It’s packed full of advanced editing features and has been built from the ground up in a unique way. Luminar is built around Workspaces, which are sets of tools that you can customize based on the tools you use most for editing different kinds of photos. You can have a Workspace for portraits and a different one for landscapes, for example.
Luminar is also pretty cheap when you consider all that it brings to the table. Lightroom Online does provide a free option, but it’s not as powerful as the desktop version. Lightroom CC comes as a subscription-based service, which adds up to a lot over the years.
Maybe you’re an avid landscape photographer and want to start taking your HDR photography more seriously. In that case, the best Lightroom alternative for you is Aurora HDR. This is by far one of the most capable dedicated HDR processing programs. It brings a simple interface that’s not hard to get used to, coupled with advanced editing tools. The presets are nice-looking as well and provide a solid base to make your adjustments on top of. Just like Lightroom, Aurora HDR comes with a free trial so you can test it extensively before deciding to buy.
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If you’re looking for an HDR processor that can take your landscape or architectural photography to the next level, give Aurora HDR a try.
Whether you’re looking for a Lightroom alternative for Mac or Windows, Photolemur is a program that will make your life easier. Photolemur takes an automated approach to photo editing, analyzing your photos and deciding on the best possible edits to make them look better. Adobe Lightroom for Mac and Windows does have automatic adjustments, but Photolemur takes this much further thanks to its Artificial Intelligence engine. All of this makes Photolemur a great choice for beginner photographers who want to make quick and effortless edits.
Capture One Pro
Lightroom has had competitors for many years, but few have come close to actually giving it a run for its money. Capture One Pro is definitely a program that has. It’s a full-fledged RAW image editor that has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a true Lightroom alternative. From advanced exposure control to color correction, removing objects, and making selective adjustments, Capture One Pro has it all.
However, despite all of its pros, this software still has a rather complicated interface and may be confusing for new users. But if you’re looking for something different and want potentially better image quality, give Capture One Pro a shot.
This Lightroom alternative excels in its noise reduction capabilities. It’s not just noise reduction software though, as it also boasts advanced tools that allow you to edit RAW files quite well. DxO PhotoLab is highly praised by users for its understandable user interface. And as we’ve mentioned, its noise reduction engine is second to none.
If you want something that’s easy to use and can help you fix photos with noise, DxO PhotoLab is worth a look. It doesn’t offer much in the way of library management or advanced features like local adjustments, but it’s a handy alternative to Lightroom CC nonetheless.
ON1 Photo RAW
As the name suggests, ON1 Photo RAW is a photo editor that focuses on editing RAW images, and it does that very well. It’s one of the more well-known Adobe Lightroom alternatives thanks to the many features bundled with the RAW processing engine. ON1 Photo RAW is quick at what it does, too. It boasts many advanced features such as layers and local adjustments. On top of all that, it contains an excellent library management system that adds another feather to its cap as a top Lightroom alternative. The interface is a little cluttered though, so do give the trial version a look before spending any money.
If you want a package that combines features like RAW editing, focus stacking, and layer control with a modern design, Affinity Photo might fit the bill. It’s quite a new entrant into the world of photo editing but it has already made a name for itself as a very capable alternative to Lightroom. The reason is not only its RAW editing capabilities but the fact that it combines features from both Lightroom CC and Photoshop into a low-cost program. Its very low price is one of the biggest reasons why Affinity Photo is considered a good overall package by many enthusiast as well as professional photographers.
Corel Aftershot Pro 3
Lightroom CC may be a great editor, but many users find it a little too slow for their liking. That’s where Corel Aftershot Pro 3 comes in. It may not be as great an editor as Lightroom, but it does make a point about its much-improved speed over Adobe’s giant. Other than the speed, this program from Corel also boasts impressive library management solutions that give all the other editors on this list a run for their money.
While Adobe Photoshop is normally used in tandem with Lightroom, it can also be used as a standalone photo editor. It may not have a very powerful RAW processing engine, but it does come with numerous tools that make it one of the most powerful image editors available today. With Photoshop, you can do everything from simple tasks like adjusting contrast to much more advan ced ones like turning photos into pieces of art.
However, the problems with Photoshop are the same as with Lightroom: it costs too much over the years due to its subscription model and it has a complicated interface that requires a lot of time to really get used to.
As you can see, it’s not very difficult to find a Lightroom alternative to fulfill your needs. Don’t get us wrong: Lightroom is definitely one of the best RAW photo editors, but its interface and high price leave much to be desired. And Lightroom Online isn’t as powerful as the desktop version, of course, so you can’t just get by with it on a regular basis. Whatever your reasons may be for switching, choose the best Lightroom alternative for your needs from the ones in this list and get editing!