Editing your photos before uploading them is essential. The best photo editing software can help bring focus to it, highlight the key subjects, and totally transform an average photo into something incredible.
The question for most of the photographers is: “How do we choose the right editing software that will supplement our skills?”. There are numerous options to choose from, from ‘old & gold’ and better-known Photoshop and Adobe Elements to simple but effective choices. Some of them are even free.
So, to find the top-rated photo editing software, we pitted the already established giants in this field Adobe (Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements) against other highly praised and popular competitors to find out which one was user-friendly and powerful enough.
The Best Photo Editing Software
Searching for the top-rated photo editing software, everyone is familiar with Adobe Photoshop, and its reputation is well deserved.
1 – Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Systems has been a pioneer in this field since the early ‘80s and is continuously improving since 1989 when it released its first product. Now it offers multiple options, from Adobe Elements to Lightroom and Photoshop combined.
Still, many questions might arise to the people who are new to photo editing, and tricky to find which version would be best: what’s the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop? Between Photoshop and Adobe Elements? etc.
All the programs let you make hundreds of photo adjustments, with an easy lookup for right tools and navigation. All of them met the standards, allowing collapse of unnecessary editing modules so that they don’t take up space. They all have an added guided search feature, which navigates you to the function searched for.
Digging into how much we can customize the software according to our needs, rearranging tools, move individual modules, background painting, color wheel, texture modules open and close at hand. Most of the programs allow easy customization.
The best photo editors should also include guiding modules and resources which guide users through new or unfamiliar functions. Even if someone is a pro at photo editing, these programs constantly update and add to new tools and functions, and also expands the older ones. So, it’s necessary to have a strong and user-friendly guiding tool.
Photoshop Elements offers 47 guided walkthroughs to adjust and edit photos, many of which are single click or even auto.
Although it is not possible to test out every function of every software, we can gauge the technical performance by testing the basic and simple healing brush, which allows retouch or repair photos, and is used by almost any user from beginner to pro.
Extra points to those programs with organizational capabilities like arranging, sorting, and organizing photos. This entailed Folder management, a ranking system for photos (best shot), informational tagging via keywords, location, face recognition, etc.
Of the above software-only Serif Affinity lacked few organizational capabilities.
After these, the three best Photo Editing Software Programs are:
1)Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan: Most Powerful
2)Serif Affinity Photo: Easiest to Dive-in
3)Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018: For One-Click editing
Now coming to the points, we chose these 3 softwares over others and what made them stand out.
Adobe creative cloud photography plan: Most Powerful
Access to Lightroom and Photoshop software at once, in a bundle
Lightroom being a dedicated photography software, provides organizational systems, a ranking of photos, tagging, editing information, and location.
On the other hand, Photoshop provides advanced tools like layers, masks, customizable toolbars, etc
- Customizable image editing tools: Photoshop has over 60 basic tool and customizations, in addition to advanced color, filter, lighting, and 3D tools.
More advanced tools, from saturation and contrast to lens correction, liquefy, RAW photo processing, all are customizable. These tools are very fast and allow quick assessment of work.
- Easy to learn: We found Adobe surprisingly easy to learn and use. It’s an extremely hands-on program, but it supports you at every step. Has numerous online resources and guide tools.
- Serif Affinity Photo: Easiest to Dive-In
- Easy to use: It has a customizable control panel with initially 22 adjustment options and are neatly packaged so its easy to use and quickly find and open relevant functions.
- Helpful pre-sets: It provides a number of intermediate preset option on all effects, and also allows manual adjustment for better control. They offer a nice introduction to beginners.
- One Time purchase: The best edge Serif has over Adobe is its one-time purchase of $50, rather than a monthly subscription of $10 or $20 in Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop: One Click Editing
- One Click Editing: Photoshop provides high-quality photos without much technical know-how, with just a couple of sliders and some mouse clicks, as long as we are okay with some of the predefined adjustments
- Settings for different skill levels: The software molds itself according to the user’s skill levels. It provides Quick, Guided, and Expert tier settings for different operating. The Quick provides with few auto adjustments, Guided takes on a step by step process for editing the photos, and expertly lays out all the adjustments and settings for skilled users.
Being discussed so much, now it finally comes onto us, which software best suits us, and meets our needs and expectations.
So, how to decide The Right Photo Editing Software for you?
Here Are Some Points to Consider
- Decide what tools you need: Different types of editing require different tools. Knowing the type of editing will help narrow down the essential tools.
- Test drive the several options: There’s a lot of good editing tools available, and what matters is what suits you the most, so one should always test drive the softwares before choosing.
- Determine how much you’re willing to spend: Prices for these softwares vary a lot and depending on what we use it for, we may not need to pay the premium. Like Adobe Photography plan runs at $10-$20 a month subscription, whereas Serif costs just $50 for a lifetime.
I hope you like this review of Adobe Photoshop. In case you like to add us more points then you can mention it in the comment section.