5 Best Photography Editing Tools Ranked

by McKenna Hogan, on Aug 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM

When starting as a photographer, there’s a lot to learn.

Between cameras, settings, and best practices, learning to become a professional may be overwhelming—even with post-production procedures.

To ease the transition, below we gathered some of the best photo editing tools on the market in 2020 for you to decide which would best suit your photography needs.

1. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe products are known for being top-notch photography editing software. However, Lightroom sits at the top compared to some of its other interfaces for numerous reasons.

One of Adobe Lightroom’s most significant advantages is that it's incredibly user-friendly. The actual workspace makes it easy for users to navigate and sort through various features, unlike some other Adobe software.

In addition, Lightroom allows users to keep images stored inside the software for organizational purposes as well as being easily accessible.

Notable features:

  • Step-by-step tutorials
  • Able to apply preset edits to multiple photos at once
  • Tracks change to images/can be reversed easily
  • Gathers metadata for better precision

2. Adobe Photoshop

Similar to Lightroom but also much, much different. Adobe Photoshop is considered a “heavy-duty” photo editing app, most notably used by professional photographers and graphic designers.

While Adobe Lightroom focuses more on workflow, photoshop provides advanced graphic and 3D design features. The main difference, however, is that Photoshop is a pixel-level editor, which means users have much more control over the look of images.

The main reason Photoshop is ranked number two on this list, however, is because of the time and experience that goes into actually learning about these advanced features and mastering them. It may not be worth the hassle for beginners, although the results are extraordinary.

Notable features:

  • Tutorials on various features
  • The ability to edit by layers
  • Compositing or replacing parts within an image
  • Plugins to boost features

3. Skylum Luminar

Also similar to Adobe Lightroom, Skylum Luminar allows editing and organizing images within a library for a more productive workflow. In addition, Luminar will enable users to save presets and create their workspace for the ultimate personalized experience.

Providing more editing features than Lightroom but less Photoshop— ease of use lies in the middle of the two.

Lastly, the cost of Skylum Luminar is a one-time payment of $67, making it super budget-friendly.

Notable features:

  • Preset workspaces
  • AI slider for automatic fixes
  • Layer editing
  • Specialized drone editing presets

4. Corel PaintShop Pro

Looking for a 360-degree photo editor? Corel PaintShop Pro is definitely for you. Noted as having an extremely straightforward and user-friendly interface, this photo editing software has everything you need for post-production with no complicated add-ons.

Lastly, PaintShop Pro provides an organized workspace that seamlessly streamlines the photo editing workflow for a hassle-free experience.

Notable features:

  • Layer editing
  • 360-degree photo editing
  • Tutorials
  • AI-enhanced presets

5. Capture One

Developed by Phase One, Capture One is a photo editing software with a customizable interface that allows users to edit many different types of raw files and the benefit of using almost any camera and receiving the same high-quality results.

Similar to the above editors, the ability to organize your workflow is available but a little more advanced. Users can collect images by sessions and collections, making it easy to separate shoots for different clients.

Notable features:

  • Automated before and after touch-ups
  • Advanced masks and layer editing
  • Seamless organization and customizing tools
  • Instant live review

Finish strong with the right photo editing software

Regardless of your photography expertise, deciding on the right editing software could make a world of difference regarding post-production.

Be sure to take the time to research and test out various platforms to find what works best for you—and never be afraid of taking advantage of free trials when they’re offered!