Earlier this year, after researching photo editing tools, I shared a list of 104 photo editing tools you should know about. After receiving a great deal of interest and feedback from the photography community, I’ve created one final ultimate list of 148 photo editing tools and photography apps.
Table of contents
- Photo enhancers (1-8)
- Online editors (9-26)
- Free desktop editors (27-33)
- Paid desktop editors (34-51)
- HDR photo editors (52-65)
- Cross-platform image editors (66-69)
- Photo filters (70-79)
- Photo editing mobile apps (80-105)
- RAW processors (106-122)
- Photo viewers and managers (123-127)
- Other (128-145)
1. Photolemur: The world's first fully automated photo enhancement solution. It is powered by a special AI algorithm that fixes imperfections on images without human involvement (free beta).
2. Photosense: Quick and easy batch photo enhancement software for Mac & iOS ($18.97)
3. Perfectly Clear: Photo editor with a set of automatic correction presets for Windows&Mac ($149)
4. Akvis Enhancer: The program offers a fast method to fix a dark picture, improve detail on an image, increase contrast and brightness, and adjust tones (from $69).
5. Enhance Pho.to: Online photo enhancer. The service is easy to use and lets to fix the most such problems of digital pictures: fix dull colors and bad color balance; remove digital noise; fix poor sharpness / blurriness; remove red-eye in photos of people.
6. Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 6: Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 6 for Windows revitalizes photos at the click of a button. Optimize colors and contrasts, adjust the sharpness, remove scratches and noise and realign photos – fast, simple, no prior knowledge required ($19.99)
7. PhotoEQ: SoftColor PhotoEQ makes digital image improvement simpler on your PC. PhotoEQ works with a variety of photo formats, including RAW files. It does a good job of combining an extremely easy interface with the most helpful tools for fixing common problems and providing just enough flexibility for users to make their own fixes. In addition to correcting individual photos, you can batch resize and batch save more than one photo at a time ($69)
8. Algorithmia: Use Deep Learning to Automatically Colorize Black and White Photos. Paid packages start at $20
9. Pixlr: High-end photo editing and quick filtering – in your browser (free).
10. Fotor: Overall photo enhancement in an easy-to-use package (free).
11. Sumopaint: The most versatile photo editor and painting application that works in a browser (free).
12. Preloadr is a Flickr-specific tool that uses the Flickr API, even for account sign-in. The service includes basic cropping, sharpening, color correction and other tools to enhance images.
13. Lunapic: Just simple free online editor.
14. Photos: Photo viewing and editing app for OS X and comes free with the Yosemite operating system (free).
15. Picture2life is an Ajax based photo editor. It’s focused on grabbing and editing images that are already online. The tool selection is average, and the user interface is poor.
16. Pics.io: Very simple online photo editor (free).
17. Ribbet: Ribbet lets you edit all your photos online, and love every second of it (free).
18. PicMonkey: One of the most popular free online picture editors.
19. Befunky: Online photo editor and collage maker (free).
20. pho.to: Simple online photo editor with pre-set photo effects for an instant photo fix (free).
21. pizap: Online photo editor and collage maker ($29.99/year).
22. Fotostars: Edit your photos using stylish photo effects (free).
23. Avatan: Free online photo editor & collage maker.
24. FotoFlexer: Photo editor and advanced photo effects for free.
Free desktop editors
25. G’MIC: Full featured framework for image processing with different user interfaces, including a GIMP plugin to convert, manipulate, filter, and visualize image data. Available for Windows and OS.
26. Pinta: Pinta is a free, open source program for drawing and image editing.
27. Photoscape: A simple, unusual editor that can handle more than just photos.
28. Paint.net: Free image and photo editing software for PC.
29. Krita: Digital painting and illustration application with CMYK support, HDR painting, G’MIC integration and more
30. Imagemagick: A software suite to create, edit, compose or convert images on the command line.
31. Picture.st: Edit, crop and share your photos. Free.
Paid desktop editors
32. Photoshop: Mother of all photo editors ($9.99/month)
33. Lightroom: A photo processor and image organizer developed by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X ($9.99/month)
34. Capture One: is a professional raw converter and image editing software designed for professional photographers who need to process large volumes of high quality images in a fast and efficient workflow (279 EUR).
35. Radlab: Combines intuitive browsing, gorgeous effects and a lightning-fast processing engine for image editing ($149).
36. Affinity: Professional photo editing software for Mac ($49.99).
37. DxO Photo Suite: Powerful photo editing software for ($189).
38. Pixelmator: Pixelmator for Mac is a powerful, fast, and easy-to-use image editor ($29.99).
39. On Photo 10: Professional photo editor with easy-to-use interface ($89.99).
40. Corel AfterShot Pro 3: Professional photo editor with the world's fastest RAW photo processor ($79.99)
41. Zoner: Everything from downloading onto your computer to editing and sharing, all in one place. For Windows only ($99)
42. Acorn 5: An image editor for macOS 10.10 and later ($29.99)
43. Photo Plus: Easy-to-use professional photo editor for PC ($99.99)
44. Pictorial: Picktorial presents an impressive array of powerful professional tools, such as nondestructive RAW editing, highquality retouching and features like local adjustments, rivaling the leading players in the field. At the same time, Picktorial prides itself on an easy and intuitive user experience. ($24.99)
45. Photomizer: Optimize and repair digital photos (from $34.99)
46. Picture Window Pro: Powerful photo editing tool for Windows, designed for serious photographers with demanding creative and quality standards. Its comprehensive set of photo manipulation and retouching tools allow you to control and shape every aspect of your images ($89.95).
47. PhotoLine: PhotoLine is a raster and vector graphics editor for Windows and Mac OS X. Its features include 16 bits of color depth, full color management, support of RGB, CMYK and Lab color models, layer support, and non-destructive image manipulation. It can also be used for desktop publishing. 59.00 EUR
HDR photo editors
48. Aurora HDR: The easiest and the most advanced HDR photo editor for Mac ($39)
49. Photomatix: One of the first HDR photo editors in the world for Windows and Mac. The Photomatix Essentials app is particularly easy to use and costs $39. The Photomatix Pro app includes advanced HDR features and costs $99. Both apps run on Windows and Mac.
50. HDR Darkroom: Fast and easy-to-use software for Mac and Windows for creating impressive landscape images ($89.99)
51. Photo-kako: The free online photo editor, a photo-like composite can be processed into HDR images.
52. Light Compressor: Simple post processing app that lets you combine multiple exposures into a high dynamic range image for Mac ($3.99)
53. Hydra: Hydra lets you create beautiful high-dynamic-range (HDR) images by merging multiple exposures, effectively capturing both dark and bright subjects to make it more natural or to enhance scene drama. ($59.99)
54. Oloneo: Professional HDR Imaging, RAW Processing & Dynamic Relighting. Application to offer digital photographers full control over light and exposure in real-time, as if they were still behind the lens. €124.50
55. EasyHDR: HDR image processing software for Windows and Mac ($39)
56. HDRExpress: Easy to use HDR processing software for Mac and Windows ($79)
57. Fotor HDR: Free online HDR photo editor
58. Dynamic Photo HDR: A next generation High Dynamic Range Photo Software with Anti-Ghosting, HDR Fusion and Unlimited Effects for Windows ($65)
59. LuminanceHDR: Free application to provide a workflow for HDR imaging, creation, and tone mapping.
60. HDRMerge: Free software, that combines two or more raw images into a single raw with an extended dynamic range.
61. EnfuseGUI: Enfuse is an Open Source command-line application for creating images with a better dynamic range by blending images with different exposures (free)
Cross-platform image editors
62. polarr: Pro photo editor designed for everyone (pro version – $19.99)
63. Pixlr: High-end photo editing and quick filtering.
64. Fotor Pro: Cross-platform editor and designer, available on every major mobile device, desktop computer and online with One-Tap Enhance’ tool and RAW file processing
65. GIMP: A cross-platform image editor. Free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.
66. Creative Kit 2016: 6 powerful photography apps and over 500 creative tools inside a single, easy-to-use pack. For Mac only ($129.99)
67. On1 Effects: Selective filtering for advanced photo effects (free)
68. Rollip: High quality photo effects. 80+ effects (free).
69. Vintager: Vintager is fun, creative and easy-to-use software that provides you with a number of special effects that can be applied to your photos to give them a retro/vintage style
70. TheNick Collection: A professional-level filter selection, now made free (by Google)
71. Noiseware: Award-winning plugin and standalone for photo noise reduction ($79.95).
72. Topazlabs: A lot of photo editing plug-ins that works with software that you already own. Including Photoshop, Lightroom, and many others (from $29.99)
73. Focus Magic: Focus Magic uses advanced forensic strength deconvolution technology to literally "undo" blur. It can repair both out-of-focus blur and motion blur (camera shake) in an image ($65).
74. Eye Candy: Eye Candy renders realistic effects that are difficult to achieve in Photoshop alone, such as Fire, Chrome, Animal Fur, Smoke, and Reptile Skin($129).
75. BlowUp: Blow Up keeps photos crystal clear during enlargement. Especially in large prints hung on a wall, the difference between Blow Up and Photoshop is astounding. Version 3 makes pictures even sharper without computer artifacts ($99).
Photo editing mobile apps
76. Instagram: Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. One of the most popular mobile photo apps (free)
77. Lifecake: Save and organise pictures of your children growing up with Lifecake. In a timeline free from the adverts and noise that clutter most social media channels, you can easily look back over fond memories and share them with family and friends (free)
78. Qwik: Edit your images in seconds with straightforward hands-on tools, and share them with Qwik's online community. With new filters and features being added every week, Qwik is constantly keeping itself fresh and exciting (free).
79. VSCO: VSCO comes packed with top performance features, including high-resolution imports, and before and after comparisons to show how you built up your edit. Free (with paid filters $0.99/each)
80. 99 Filters: All types of filters and overlays for Instagram and Facebook ($0.99)
81. Photo Lab Picture Editor: Effects superimpose, pic collage blender & prisma insta frames for photos (free)
82. Avatan: Photo Editor, Effects, Stickers and Touch Up (free)
83. Retrica: Camera app to record and share your experience with over 100 filters (free).
84. Aviary: Photo editing app (bought by Adobe) Make photos beautiful in seconds with stunning filters, frames, stickers, touch-up tools and more. Provide SDK for app developers (free)
85. Snapseed: A photo-editing application produced by Nik Software, a subsidiary of Google, for iOS and Android that enables users to enhance photos and apply digital filters (free).
86. LightX: Advanced photo editor for making cut outs, changing backgrounds and blending photos ($1.99)
87. Afterlight: The perfect image editing app for quick and straight forward editing ($0.99)
88. File New: The Ultimate Photo Editor ($0.99)
89. Pixomatic: Blur, remove background, add color splash effects on pictures ($4.99)
90. Camera MX: The Android exclusive photo app Camera MX combines powerful enhancement tools with a beautifully simple user interface. Thanks to intelligent image processing you can take visibly sharper snaps, as well as cutting and trimming them to perfection in the edit. (free)
91. Lensical: Lensical makes creating face effects as simple as adding photo filters. Lensical is designed for larger displays and utilises one-handed gesture-based controls making it the perfect complement to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus's cameras (free).
92. Camera+: The Camera app that comes on the iPhone by default is not brilliant: yes, you can use it to take some decent shots, but it doesn't offer you much creative control. This is where Camera+ excels. The app has two parts: a camera and a photo editor, and it truly excels at the latter, with a huge range of advanced features($2.99).
93. PhotoWonder: Excellent user interface makes Photo Wonder one of the speediest smartphone photo apps to use. It also has a good collage feature with multiple layouts and photo booth effects. The filter selection isn’t huge, but many are so well-designed that you’ll find them far more valuable than sheer quantity from a lesser app. The 'Vintage' filter works magic on photos of buildings or scenery. (free)
94. Photoshop Express: As you would expect from Adobe, the interface and user experience of the Photoshop Express photo app for Apple and Android devices is faultless. It fulfils all the functions you need for picture editing and will probably be the one you turn to for sheer convenience. 'Straighten' and 'Flip' are two useful functions not included in many other apps (free).
95. layrs: Multi-layer photo editing on the go. It enables quick separation of a photo into layers on the exact boundary of objects. ($1.99)
96. Pixtr: Mobile app for making selfies perfect. Pixtr understands content of photos and automatically perfects them. ($3)
97. Filestorm: Filterstorm has been designed from the ground up to meet your iPad and iPhone photo editing needs. Using a uniquely crafted touch interface, Filterstorm allows for more intuitive editing than its desktop counterparts with a tool set designed for serious photography. A favorite of Photojournalists, Filterstorm is at home in a professional workflow, or for anyone who simply wants to get the most out of their pictures while on the road. ($5.99)
98. Camera360: Camera360 auto detects photographic scenes and incorporates dynamic effect application to your images. Free
99. InstaSize: InstaSize is an Instagram companion app and a seamless method to transfer photos to Instagram without cropping. Free
100. Photo Editor: Photo Editor is a robust photo manipulation tool that includes gamma correction, auto contrast, blur, sharpen, and more! Free
101. Photo Studio: Photo Studio is used by both amateurs and professionals alike who need simple, yet efficient photo editing tools on the go. Free
102. RAW Pics.io: The most popular in-browser RAW files viewer and converter. Support the most DSLR RAW camera formats. ($1.99/month with free trial).
103. Rawtherapee is a cross-platform raw image processing program, released under the GNU General Public License Version 3 (free)
104. Darktable: An open source photography workflow application and RAW developer
105. UFRaw: A utility to read and manipulate raw images from digital cameras. It can be used on its own or as a GIMP plug-in.
106. Photivo: Handles your raw files, as well as your bitmap files, in a non-destructive 16 bit processing pipeline.
107. Filmulator: Streamlined raw management and editing application centered around a film-simulating tone mapping algorithm.
108. PhotoFlow: Raw and raster image processor featuring non-destructive adjustment layers and 32-bit floating-point accuracy.
109. LightZone: Open-source digital darkroom software for Windows/Mac/Linux
110. RAW Photo Processor: A Raw converter for Mac OS X (10.4-10.11), supporting almost all available digital Raw formats
111. Iridient Developer: A powerful RAW image conversion application designed and optimized specifically for Mac OS X. Iridient Developer supports RAW image formats from over 620 digital camera models ($99)
112. Photoninja: A professional-grade RAW converter that delivers exceptional detail, outstanding image quality, and a distinctive, natural look ($129)
113. RawDigger: Raw Image Analyzer ($19.99)
114. Fastrawviewer: WYSIWYG RAW viewer that allows to see RAW exactly as a converter will "see" it, and provides RAW-based tools to estimate what a converter will be able to squeeze from the shot. (from $19.99)
115. Silkypix: RAW development software for professionals to enable a partial color correction by circular / gradual filter, or equips with completely new sharpness from superior outline detection algorithm. ($213.90)
116. Exposure: Exposure X2 is an advanced creative photo editor and organizer that improves every step in your editing workflow. ($149)
117. Canon Digital Photo Professional: Digital Photo Professional (DPP) is a high-performance RAW image processing, viewing and editing software for EOS digital cameras and PowerShot models with RAW capability. Free
118. Hasselblad Phocus: Free image processing software, which delivers the best quality RAW file processing, has been updated and expanded with new features that work seamlessly with the Hasselblad cameras.
Photo viewers and managers
119. Digicam: Advanced digital photo management application for importing and organizing photos (free)
120. gThumb: An image viewer and browser. It also includes an importer tool for transferring photos from cameras (free)
121. nomacs: nomacs is a free, open source image viewer, which supports multiple platforms. You can use it for viewing all common image formats including raw and PSD images.
122. Google Photos: All your photos are backed up safely, organized and labeled automatically, so you can find them fast, and share them how you like. Free
123. FastStone: Fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. Free for Home Users ($34.95 for commercial use)
124. Acdsee: Photo manager, editor and RAW processor with non destructive layer adjustments all in one. Quick straighten /rotate, rename, dup finders, batch tools etc ($49.95)
125. Clarifai: B2B solution. Image recognition API for automated organization of the images. From $19/month
126. Auslogics: Software for finding exact duplicate images. Free
127. Fastone: Fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. provided as freeware for personal and educational use.
128. Irfanview: An image-viewer with added batch editing and conversion. rename a huge number of files in seconds, as well as resize them. Freeware (for non-commercial use)
129. PortraitPro: PortraitPro is the world’s best-selling retouching software, that intelligently enhances every aspect of a portrait for beautiful results ($79.90)
130. Photo Mechanic: Photo Mechanic, from Camera Bits, is a speed processing platform, rendering previews and working with metadata. Used as a culling platform for sports shooters, or anyone trying to take thousands of photos and finding the perfect. ($150.00)
131. Portraiture: Professional skin retouching software. A Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture plugin that eliminates the tedious manual labor of selective masking and pixel-by-pixel treatments to help you achieve excellence in portrait retouching. It intelligently smoothens and removes imperfections while preserving skin texture and other important portrait details such as hair, eyebrows, eyelashes etc. ($199.95)
132. Lucid: Stand-alone desktop software that makes it easy for lifestyle photography enthusiasts to improve pictures ($49)
133. StarStaX: Fast multi-platform image stacking and blending software, which is developed primarily for Star Trail Photography. It allows to merge a series of photos into a single image, where the relative motion of the stars creates structures looking like star trails. Free
134. BatchPhoto: BatchPhoto is designed to make batch editing simple and efficient. It allows you to automate editing for your massive photo collections. If you need time/date stamps, image type conversion, size changes, basic touch-up, or watermarks applied to your photographs, BatchPhoto will allow you to do this simply ($34.95).
135. Hugin: Panorama photo stitcher. With Hugin you can assemble a mosaic of photographs into a complete immersive panorama, stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more (free).
136. Image Composite Editor: An advanced panoramic image stitcher created by the Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group. Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, the app creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images. For Windows only. Free
137. Svenstork: Adobe Photoshop extension for creating luminosity in a more efficient and user-friendly way. Free
138. LRTimelapse: LRTimelapse provides the most comprehensive solution for time-lapse editing, keyframing, grading and rendering. No matter if on Windows or Mac, or which Camera you use: LRTimelapse will take your time-lapse results to the next level. (99.00 €)
139. Pixinsight: An image processing platform specialized in astrophotography, available natively for FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. PixInsight is both an image processing environment and a development framework. It is the result of a dynamic collaboration between like-minded astrophotographers and software developers, who are constantly pushing the boundaries of astronomical image processing with the most powerful tool set available. Commercial license – 230.00 EUR
140. DeepSkyStacker: DeepSkyStacker is a freeware for astrophotographers that simplifies all the pre-processing steps of deep sky pictures.
141. PixaFlux: PixaFlux is a powerful PBR Texture Composer. A node-based image editor that allows you to create and edit images in a non destructive way, using a node graph to organize the workflow without restrictions of size, position or color mode. PixaFlux offers native support for Normal Maps and 3D Texturing. PixaFlux Image Editing Evolved (PixaFlux is currently in Beta testing)
142. Gigapan: Software for creating huge panoramas.
143. Autopano: Autopano is the most advanced image-stitching application. It includes many extra features that make the creation of panoramas simpler, more efficient and so pleasant to use. 199.00 EUR
144. RNI Films: A film app. Simple but powerful one. With it’s streamlined workflow and state of the art filters born from real film, RNI Films is designed to do what only film can do just in a few taps. Free
145. StereoPhoto Maker: StereoPhoto Maker(SPM) functions as a versatile stereo image editor\viewer and can automatically batch-align hundreds of images and mount them to the ‘window'. Free
146. Imagej is a public domain, Java-based image processing program developed at the National Institutes of Health. ImageJ was designed with an open architecture that provides extensibility via Java plugins and recordable macros. Free
147. Zerene Stacker: Zerene Stacker is “focus stacking” software designed specifically for challenging macro subjects and discerning photographers (starts from $39).
148. Helicon Focus: Helicon Focus is designed to blend the focused areas of several partially focused digital photographs to increase the depth of field (DOF) in an image (from $30/year license).
About the author: Nazar Begen is a photography enthusiast based in Ukraine and one of the people behind Photolemur, an AI-powered auto-enhancement tool for photos that’s currently in beta. You can connect with Begen through Twitter and Facebook.