Best Photo Editing Software Reviews of 2020
Everyone will find they have some use for photo editing software at some point in their life. From the professional creating sharp images for the company’s social media to the inexperienced grandma wanting to make the best of her snaps before storing them in a photo book, there are tools available to suit the whole range of users. With Best Reviews you’ll find out exactly what they are, alongside exclusive discounts, coupons, and all the details on free trials.
The Best Photo Editing Software of 2020
How to Choose the Right Photo Editing Software
Even before you start looking into photo editing software, you’re likely already aware of the extent of your own skills. If you’re an absolute beginner, then you may expect a potential hardship when learning such tools. Professionals will already have an idea of what they want from an image editing suite, though, and in this sense it’s good to weigh up your own level of skill. Going in with a grounded understanding of your own abilities will guide you towards the right tools.
Try having an understanding of what you want to use photo editing software for. Are you just uploading your pictures to Facebook or want to share them in a photo book? Or does your business need better social media imagery? Or are you a professional photographer – budding or otherwise – in need of complex tools to perfect your shots? Again, the answers to these questions will point you towards the level of software you need.
Where to Find the Necessary Info?
We approach our reviews with this in mind, not favoring one particular need but instead understanding the ways in which certain features might be helpful to each potential user. We also make an effort to explore the various platforms that a particular product is supported on, revealing if the devices you have access to will even be able to operate the software – which is important considering photo editing can be a CPU-intensive task.
Luckily most photo editing service providers have details of their software on a website, and through this they highlight certain functions. This will give you a great idea of what the developers themselves are trying to emphasize, and through that you’ll get a good sense of whether it’ll be a fit for you.
Photo Editing Software 101
Alternatives to Photoshop
While Adobe’s suite of image editing tools are fairly dominant in the market, that’s not to say there aren’t other equally capable solutions out there. And in fact these alternatives can compete in any number of ways.
Some developers take just one aspect of Photoshop and make that their focus to really excel at one specific function, while others look to create a complete package that can go toe-to-toe with Adobe. Others try to make image editing simpler than Photoshop or push easy-to-create effects and social media sharing to the forefront for quick and simple enhancements. Editing on mobile or over the cloud are also ways in which some services distinguish themselves.
And then there’s the cost. With an annual plan of $240, Photoshop is prohibitively expensive for the average user. Even Lightroom strictly for photo editing is $120 per year. However, for as impressive as much of the competition is when it comes to their feature sets, it’s the prices that stand out the most. Almost all of them are cheaper than Adobe’s offerings, can match Photoshop in functionality and can often be used entirely for free with certain restrictions.
Cloud Photo Editing Apps vs Downloadable Programs
When most people think of photo editing software, they think of installed software that is opened up in a separate window on your computer. That’s still a very common practice, but these days there’s an increasing influx of cloud-based solutions that operate through web browsers.
These are beneficial because they don’t take up space on your computer’s storage, they often aren’t as CPU intensive as downloaded programs, and can even allow you to continue your work across platforms. This makes it much easier to collaborate with others, while many of these services come with their own cloud storage.
But there are downsides. Typically cloud photo editing solutions don’t come with quite as many features and the interface can take some getting used to if you’re not experienced with such layouts. They’re usually simpler to use and therefore often for amateurs rather than professionals.
In most cases the pricing structures of cloud software are subscription based, too, which means you’ll be paying regularly to access the service. While it might seem to make sense to pay for a license outright for downloadable software, it’s worth remembering that you’ll often stop receiving updates to that program after a year and you’ll need to pay again to reinstate any new features.
Free Photo Editing Software
There are actually a surprising number of ways to make use of photo editing software for free, but when it comes to not having to ever pay there are often some limitations. Open-source software like GIMP will provide no restrictions on your creativity, but they are harder to get to grips with and for many that can be off-putting.
Mercifully many photo editing software developers create completely free versions of these suites, provided alongside restrictions. While this is more common for cloud-based software, in the majority of cases these enforced limitations prevent the exporting of an image or apply watermarks to the final image. Oftentimes certain effects or features are blocked until you pay.
However, with the right version it’s quite possible to make use of solid photo editing suites without having to pay, especially since there is almost never a restriction on the basic tools and functions that all image editing software must rely on. Other providers fund development through advertisements, too, which often means full access to the service with only the minor nuisance of dealing with banner ads.
Those that offer such versions also provide a free trial, too, typically allowing potential customers to test the full, unrestricted version of the software for a month before it reverts back to a limited, free forever version.
As with any similar industry, photo editing software is constantly evolving and growing. Keep up to date with the latest news and interesting tidbits with our blog covering the world of image editing.
From getting to grips with basic tools to understanding how to recreate popular yet complicated visual effects, our how-to guides will give you the helping hand you need to make the most of your new photo editing software.