10 Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners and Pros Alike

Digital cameras have become an integral part of our everyday life. Everyone has the opportunity to take an unlimited number of images and capture any moment of their lives.

Modern cameras and smartphones are equipped with tools that allow them to improve pictures using effects and artificial intelligence. But the final result often depends on you. Today's amateur photographer can fully process the picture, remove flaws, adjust the brightness, and much more. You can do all these edits and more using photo editing apps.

These tools can solve many problems – enliven black-and-white images and remove red-eye effects on photos, retouch portraits, and remove unwanted objects within the frame. All of them contain a whole set of effects, tools for scaling, resizing, cropping, instant contrast changing, eliminating flaws, and just improving the photo.

In this review, I will share the ten best photo editors that will help you to dramatically improve your photography.

5 Best Photo Editors for Desktop Use

Desktop photo editors have advanced functionality allowing the finest individual settings as well as a decent selection of various effects and tools for processing. Each editor is different. So our review of the best editing software will help you learn the capabilities of each product, evaluate the features, and make the right choice.

Skylum Luminar

It is a full-featured photo editor. The Luminar 3 version helps you to save your editing time for each photo. With this program, beginners will be able to quickly and efficiently edit images, while professionals will have the opportunity to improve and speed up their workflow.

It has features such as an advanced RAW file processor, various photo filters, and powerful AI. Skylum Luminar can be fairly called one of the most innovative photo editors on the market these days.

Features:

  • Accent AI-based filter embedded in all working areas;
  • Quick and awesome workplace for fast editing;
  • Fast processor RAW Develop Engine;
  • 3 unique settings: Smart Tone, Sun Rays and Matte Look filters;
  • A selection of image aware filters;
  • Photo library panel.

Pros and cons. The application has a lot of improved presets and filter effects. It supports layering and provides non-destructive editing. But there are not enough library features and updates.

Available for Mac and Windows.

Price: $67.

Movavi Photo Editor

Movavi Photo Editor is a fast, simple, and functional enough editing program. It is like a mixture of Photoshop, Lightroom, and Pixelmator at one place.

At the same time, this editor has impressive capabilities, user-friendly interface, and simple algorithm of work that makes it an ideal tool for both beginners and amateurs.

It works with almost all popular formats, including JPG, PNG, BMP, and even RAW. It is not a professional tool but it will allow you to edit your photos with no effort.

Features:

  • Manual and automatic photo enhancement;
  • Portraits retouching;
  • Smart option "Remove objects";
  • Noise Elimination with presets for different shooting options;
  • Background replacement and other images insertion.

Pros and cons. The program supports all popular graphic formats. You will have access to many options of portrait editing or just use automatic photo correction. But professionals may lack some of the advanced features. Note, that photos processed in a free version will have a watermark.

Available for Mac and Windows.

Price: from $20, a free trial version is available.

PortraitPro

It is professional software for quick retouching of portraits. Unique technology enables you to swiftly eradicate the main facial imperfections in a photo with only a few clicks of the mouse, in a semi-automatic mode.

The program removes wrinkles and skin imperfections, reshapes the face, transforming round or slim faces into thinner ones and vice versa, enhances facial contours, making them more regular and attractive.

The program interface is not overloaded and is supplemented with pop-up tips. Full potential is revealed in the process of fine manual adjustment of the parameters you need. Professionals will like Studio and Studio Max versions.

Features:

  • Available as a plug-in in Photoshop;
  • A whole range of editing options: face sculpting, skin coloring, retouching of eyes, mouth and nose, hair recolor;
  • Layering is supported;
  • Built-in presets with the possibility to create your own one.

Pros and cons. The application has a very easy-to-use interface and supports all popular formats. It allows you to edit several faces on the photo and a child face mode is available. But the free version does not save images at full size and leaves watermarks.

Available for Mac and Windows.

Price: $44.95, a trial is offered.

PicMonkey

It is a popular image editor similar to Photoshop, but it is more appropriate for manipulating images in collages, cleaning up images, and adding frames.

This tool is good for creating unique covers, logos, business cards, postcards, and social media posts. It will be especially appreciated by people who regularly upload images to social media like Instagram and YouTube.

You don't have to be a tech-savvy person to work out exclusive designs. You can study the app during the seven-day trial period. There is a large library of frames, backgrounds, and templates, with more than a thousand elements, there is a wonderful gallery of effects, filters, and other decorations.

Features:

  • Basic operations from color correction to resizing;
  • Possibility to apply effects, textures, frames, and stickers;
  • Advanced tools for portrait retouching;
  • Touch Up for creating virtual makeup;
  • Ready-made formats for social networks.

Pros and cons. The application is very easy to use. You can find a description of all tools in the resource centre or tutorials available on the site. Many features are free of charge but photos cannot be downloaded without a paid subscription. A mobile application is available.

Available for Mac, Windows, iOS

Price: from $7.99, a 7-day free trial.

Photoscape X

It is multi-functional editing software. Besides photo processing, PhotoScape X will allow you to take screenshots, create GIFs, combine images into collages, remove backgrounds, and also use labels and stickers from a rich library.

The interface of the application is quite convenient. PhotoScape X is available in paid and free versions. The free version can cope with simple processing tasks.

Features:

  • Editing with a wide range of functions;
  • Batch processing of images;
  • Creating collages;
  • Combining images.

Pros and cons. The application offers a wide selection of tools and settings. It supports a large number of file formats. You can process a batch of photos and directly post images to Facebook and Twitter. There is no support for Windows 7, 8, 8.1.

Available for Mac and Windows 10.

Price: Free; sticker sets and Pro tools cost $29.99

Online Free Photo Editing Software

Photo editing applications are developing so rapidly that soon they can completely replace traditional tools. However, choosing among all this diversity, it is important to analyze what features you need. Here are five applications for Android and iOS that will be handy for all photo amateurs.

Fotor

It is a powerful graphic editor. Despite its limited functionality, Fotor contains several interesting options that will be useful when editing single or group portraits. Available tools allow you to retouch stains, smooth out wrinkles, adjust the shapes, add inscriptions, stickers, photo frames.

Fotor provides a good set of smart filters and effects, as well as the ability to create whimsical photo collages and process multiple files at once. With this online tool, it is easy to implement your design ideas for business cards, avatars for social networks, posters, banners and flyers. Edited images are uploaded to cloud storage.

Pros and cons. The program offers a great choice of pre-made design templates and a good selection of filters. The results can be quickly shared on social networks. It is a free application with some paid tools. A free version can contain advertising.

Features:

  • Basic features (you can crop and rotate an image, adjust contrast and sharpness, change the brightness of a photo online, etc.);
  • Additional functions (photo effects, frames, stickers, etc.);
  • Retouching tool kit.

Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Price: free; a package with additional tools is from $8.99 per month.

BeFunky

The program was created as a photo editor and collage maker. But the service also allows you to create infographics online for free. BeFunky has a huge collection of colorful images, artistic fonts, and raster vectors for free use. The tool offers a rich collection of frames, stickers, and other decorative elements.

Paid features are marked with PLUS and are available as part of a subscription. If you are developing banner ads, creating layouts for brochures, or just love to share colorful images with friends, then you will like this online editor.

Features:

  • A wide range of effects for various types of photos;
  • Adding frames to photos, clipart, adding text;
  • Placement of texture on top of the photo with support for various layer blending modes;
  • Separate modules for creating collages and graphic design;

Pros and cons.You can use this service without registration.The application allows you to upload several photos in one go and share the results after editing. The software provides dozens of free collage layouts. Though, not all features are free.

Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Price: free and paid versions. From $6.99 per month.

Picverse

It is a free online photo editor. This application can easily improve any photo in a few clicks of a mouse.

The main advantage of the editor is that it is free and without ads. With its help you can adjust colours, crop photos, flip,  resize, and rotate images. Using Picverse you can add amazing photo effects that will improve even a boring photo.

Features:

  • Image parameter amendment (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.);
  • Adjusting a photo for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook;
  • Over 100 of various photo filters;
  • The ability to do photo retouching.

Pros and cons. The tool has a good selection of various effects for editing. Users like intuitive interface and instant sharing option. It cannot be used on tablets.

Available for Android and iOS.

Price: free.

LunaPic

LunaPic is a completely free online editor that has an excellent collection of backgrounds, art, static and animation filters. The navigation menu is a bit old-fashioned.

This software has a large quantity of various effects and filters. It is possible to add animation effects. You can process photos uploaded from a computer using a URL, from Facebook, Picasa, Instagram, Dropbox. After editing and saving the file, you can share it on all social media channels.

Features:

  • Painting tools, effects, adjustments and animation;
  • Support of animated GIFs and short AVI, MPG or MP4 videos;

Pros and cons. The service offers a variety of unique features and effects, including many tools for working with animation and colours. There is also an option allowing you to see the history of the editing process. The interface of the program is a bit outdated.

Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Price: Free

Pixlr

Pixlr is another powerful service for online photo editing. The service has all the basic tools for image transformation and supports work with all known formats, including PSD, export to JPG, PNG, BMP, as well as its own multilayer PXD format.

Features:

  • Simple and efficient image processing;
  • Layering is supported, including text usage over the image;
  • Color and contrast correction tools.

Pros and cons. The application has a rich set of editing tools. It integrates well with social networks.You can choose a semi-professional editor or a free version for beginners.

Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Price: Free, premium version starts from $ 4.90 per month.

Conclusion

Millions of pictures are being shared every day on social networks. With a smartphone, photography became available to everyone. And photo editing software can significantly improve the results. 

In this article, we have reviewed only ten applications. Of course, the list of photo editors existing today is much longer. A beginner will surely find a good solution among the described editors. Professional photographers may need more advanced features, and they will probably opt for paid options. But any program offers an excellent set of the tools to master contemporary art of photography.

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