Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Improving the expressiveness of vacation photos, making an interesting collage for the fun of friends, cutting out or masking unwanted details in the frame – now everyone can do it without any problems. To do this, just use one of the many programs – photo editors. But the choice of applications is too large to quickly figure it out, and the editors of the online magazine offer you a simple solution to the issue. We have prepared for you a thematic overview of the best photo editors for computers that are most in demand in the first half of 2020.
- Rating of the best photo editors for computer
- The best free photo editors for computer
- PixBuilder Studio
- Best Paid Photo Editors for Computer
- Home Photo Studio
- Movavi Photo Editor
- PhotoMASTER �
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
- Best Photo Editors for Computers Apple
- Pixelmator Pro
Rating of the best photo editors for computer
|The best free photo editors for computer||1||Photoscape||5.0|
|Best Paid Photo Editors for Computer||1||Home Photo Studio||5.0|
|2||Movavi Photo Editor||4.9|
|5||Adobe Photoshop Lightroom||4.6|
|Best Photo Editors for Computers Apple||1||Photo||5.0|
The best free photo editors for computer
In the first collection, we'll take a look at free photo editors. They can be both free natively and free-versions of commercial applications. As a rule, such programs have significantly limited functionality compared to paid programs, but it may be more than enough for simple processing of raster images or even more serious tasks.
First, consider the popular Photoscape application, which attracts users with its intuitive simplicity combined with relatively powerful functionality. A minimalistic interface can give a deceiving impression of limited features, but it is not, one has only to get to know Photoscape better.
The software package provides the user with a basic set of tools, as well as a fairly wide selection of more narrowly focused tools – filters, effects, rich auxiliary tools – screen capture, transformation, recomposition, work with palettes, and more. For a photomontage, you can use a convenient and uncomplicated collage editor. There are separate tools specifically for creating animated GIFs.
Photoscape even has some professional features. This is the use of layers, serial processing of photographs using a script created by simple visual means. So you can quickly perform the same type of operations on a large number of photos – renaming files, merging images, combining, etc.
The program also has tools for tight integration with social networks – they allow you to publish materials to your accounts on the fly. Support for all the most popular formats has been implemented, including RAW. Photoscape supports the installation of functional add-ons and plugins that further expand the capabilities of the main software package.
A pleasant, and for many users even a decisive moment in Photoscape is the normal Russian interface language, which can be easily selected from dozens of others.
In general, the user feedback about Photoscape is the most positive, but there is one not very pleasant nuance. The program was initially focused on Windows – systems, and new versions of it were released on the original, well-tested and user-recognized software engine. With the advent of Windows 10, the creators of the program had to change a lot in the engine due to compatibility problems, and sometimes rewrite it anew. This is how Photoscape X appeared, which works fine on the top ten Windows, as well as on the Mac OS X. But in the X-version of Photoscape there are fundamental differences from the classic, which met with a negative reaction from users.
- uncomplicated interface;
- use of layers during installation;
- batch processing of photos;
- GIF animation creation;
- support for add-ins;
- speed of work;
- accepts RAW images.
- “uncertain” compatibility of classic versions with new OS.
The next free app is a simple Pixlr photo and other raster graphics editor. To be precise, this is a whole series of software products, among which there are commercial and free versions, assemblies for different operating systems, and even an online service for processing photos directly in the browser without installing the application itself.
In the version of a separate free application, Pixlr attracts with its lightness, good optimization, which gives high speed of work, and a fairly convenient, understandable interface. The menus and tools are well thought out and logically arranged, so that anyone who has previously worked with any graphic editors will quickly figure out the program without any problems.
The application provides the user with basic mandatory functionality – changing image parameters, transforming, cropping, elementary processing tools, and so on. In addition, Pixlr even in the free version has a large library of ready-made effects and filters. Their combination gives, according to the developers, about 2 million unique combinations. This statement sounds like a marketing gimmick, but it really is. One of the most interesting features in Pixlr is the proprietary focus point change algorithm.
If we talk about the online version of Pixlr, access to which is also provided for free (the only conditional 'fee' is a request from developers to disable the ad blocker in the browser), then it is quite good and functional. It is only based on the use of FlashPlayer, which Google Chrome and, possibly, other browsers will refuse to support in the near future. Most likely, the developers will solve this issue, but so far the situation is exactly like this.
In general, Pixlr is good for almost everyone, and even in the limited free assembly you can find a sufficient and even exhaustive set of tools for versatile photo processing, including using layers. Only two things are upsetting – the lack of official Russian localization and support for the RAW format. And if you can somehow put up with the first one, then the 'misunderstanding' by the RAW photo editor can create not too serious, but inconveniences.
- good optimization and speed of work;
- rich library of ready-made filters and effects;
- work with layers;
- availability, consistency and simplicity of the interface;
- interestingly implemented function of changing the focus point.
- does not read RAW image files.
Yes, exactly, now we will talk about an almost standard software product for the OS Windows from its creators – the company Microsoft. This choice of specialists may seem strange, since such products Microsoft are usually criticized. However, if we discard empty prejudices, it will become clear that Paint.net is a very good solution and often sufficient for many tasks.
To avoid confusion, you should immediately warn readers that Paint.net is strikingly different from the truly standard MS Paint program that comes bundled with any operating system Windows. These are completely different products, since Paint.net was created, although under the leadership of representatives Microsoft, but still completely separately by the intellectual efforts of students at Washington State University.
However, when reviewing Paint.NET, you still have to draw some parallels with 'simple' Paint, and we will immediately say that in terms of functionality Paint.NET is orders of magnitude higher. Some similarities are present in the extremely simple interface, so that even a beginner will have no problems mastering the program.
In addition to the basic tools that any photo editor must contain, Paint.NET offers many convenient tools for creating collages, working with layers, built-in ready-made filters and special effects. With the help of this program, you can literally in a couple of clicks remove the red-eye effect in the photo, mask unwanted objects accidentally caught in the frame, add saturation and expressiveness to colors.
In addition to built-in tools for working with raster graphics, Paint.NET supports the use of third-party plug-ins that extend the already impressive capabilities of the program.
Paint.NET requires the Microsoft .NET Framework package to be installed. If it is not on the user's computer, the installer will automatically offer to download and activate the package in automatic mode.
Starting from version 3.5, the program has an official professional Russian localization. Throughout the history of the development of Paint.NET, it has formed a large Russian-speaking community and a huge base of Russian-language help around itself.
- simple and intuitive interface;
- wide range of tools;
- speed of work;
- support for add-ins;
- professional Russian localization;
- large Russian-speaking community and detailed help.
- some users do not have enough work with animation.
Now let's pay attention to another interesting graphic editor, which is not only distributed free of charge, but also created according to the ideology of open source. This is even reflected in its name – the abbreviation GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Enthusiasts conceived this program as an alternative to the insanely expensive at that time Adobe Photoshop. It was in the 90s of the last century and Photoshop had not yet managed to gain an unattainable gap from other similar software products in terms of functionality. Now GIMP lives its own life and continues to evolve.
The GIMP contains all the basic tools for working with raster graphics: tools for color correction, image transformation, text overlay, retouching, creating collages using layers. Batch processing of a large number of photos is supported.
In addition to the basic set of tools, the program has a rather impressive arsenal of specialized tools. This is working with masks, fine-tuning RGB channels and much more. The user has access to a wide field for customizing even the program interface itself.
The very broad capabilities of the program can be further expanded by installing various add-ons – plugins. They are also developed by enthusiasts for free. The GIMP understands the PSD file format that adobe Photoshop uses and recognizes the structure without problems if there are no obvious incompatibilities in the project file.
Special thanks to the creators of GIMP for supporting graphic tablets and other input devices that are so necessary for designers and photo artists.
Like many other GNU projects, GIMP has been translated into many languages of the world, including Russian. A standard version is available with its own installer and portable, which can be easily run from a USB flash drive on any computer.
With all the good that has been said about GIMP, we must admit that it is still a program from enthusiasts and for enthusiasts. So, for example, the logic of the menu and interface may not be quite obvious to ordinary users, and in some cases, to master all the capabilities of the application, a little prelaunch training may be required.
- open source;
- wide functionality;
- support for 'photoshop' format of PSD projects;
- batch processing of files;
- work with graphic tablets;
- flexible settings, including interface;
- Russian localization.
- may require prior training.
Now let's pay attention to an application that is optimal for owners of old computers with a small amount of memory, an outdated processor and a weak video card. The PixBuilder Studio app itself is small and not demanding on resources, but it is also well optimized, which makes it possible to realize decent potential even on a low-powered workstation.
The functionality of PixBuilder Studio can be conditionally divided into basic and advanced. The basic ones are the well-known tools for managing the settings of the image itself, transformation, using the simplest effects, retouching individual areas, a set of elementary tools for hand drawing.
The expanded feature set makes PixBuilder Studio a much more serious photo editor already. It supports editing using layers, using gradient masks, sequential selection of objects and much more. Hot keys can be assigned to typical actions for convenience and speeding up the process. The application works quickly and clearly with high-resolution images thanks to the same deep and high-quality optimization. All changes can be rolled back up to the original image.
The PixBuilder Studio installation package contains a standard version that requires installation and a portable version that can be run simply from a USB flash drive on any computer. The program has a high-quality Russian localization.
PixBuilder Studio is almost the optimal solution for low-power computers, and even PSD files (Adobe Photoshop projects) can be opened for further processing. The program supports many other graphic formats, with the exception of RAW. This is a clear flaw in the application, preventing it from working with uncompressed images directly from the digital camera.
- small size;
- low system requirements;
- high speed of work;
- good toolkit, as for such a miniature editor;
- Russian menu;
- hotkey support.
- does not understand RAW format.
The selection of the most remarkable free photo editors for the computer according to the version of a special program will complete the selection. Initially, it was created as an application for computer painting, but as it developed, it grew into a full-fledged editor with additional and, in some places, unique functionality.
Krita offers a wide range of tools for comprehensive processing of footage, applying dynamic filters, applying effects, changing parameters, creating collages. The program supports work in different color spaces, recognizes all the most popular raster graphics formats, including RAW. Full use of layers for photomontage is supported.
Much more interesting is the functionality of Krita, from which everything conditionally began, namely, tools for digital painting. So, here the format of an unlimited canvas is supported, there are special filters and effects to simulate different materials of the working surface, a variety of tools for hand drawing, many of which lend themselves to individual customization. Designers and artists will appreciate the easy and affordable implementation of graphics tablet support.
Krita also has a number of frame-by-frame animation tools and supports animation export via FFmpeg. The brush set for painting contains blending and filtering tools, local filtering, volume filling and much more. A large number of blending modes are provided. The program can simulate a wide variety of artistic styles.
Recent versions of Krita are well optimized to work in the OS environment Windows 10, both 32 and 64-bit. The interface is quite simple and logical, in places it resembles the 'proprietary' Photoshop interface. As an open source project, Krita has been translated into many languages, including Russian.
Given the specifics and specialization, in Krita it is difficult to highlight the distinct disadvantages. The only thing is that in recent versions, incorrect work and crashes occur when interacting with video cards Intel HD Graphics. Therefore, it is imperative to install all updates, in one of which the developers promised to solve the problem.
- wide range of tools;
- support for layers;
- recognition of RAW files;
- a set of functions for digital painting;
- input from a drawing tablet;
- Russian language of the menu and help;
- optimization and speed of work.
- crashes when working with some video cards Intel.
Best Paid Photo Editors for Computer
The second collection in our review presents already commercial photo editors for the computer, which are distributed on a paid basis. Here are collected both compact solutions for fast processing of raster images for the most popular functions, as well as more serious complexes. Our specialists did not consider Adobe Photoshop separately due to the obvious leadership of this software package in the modern market.
Home Photo Studio
First, let's look at an interesting but controversial Russian-made photo editor. It is interesting for its functions and general implementation, but it is ambiguous with the developer's strange marketing policy. But first things first.
Home Photo Studio meets the user with a pleasant, convenient, understandable and even to some extent positive interface. The layout of the tools is familiar to those who have already dealt with graphical programs, and intuitive for beginners.
Further acquaintance with the program does not disappoint either. Home Photo Studio allows you to easily and easily change the unsuccessful background in the picture, overlay text, add vector clip art objects, adjust the main image parameters (brightness, contrast, color balance, etc.), change lighting, remove shooting defects and unwanted objects in the frame .
Home Photo Studio also contains a very rich set of ready-made templates, blanks, frames for quickly decorating pictures, creating colorful cards and calendars. A separate toolkit allows you to prepare photos for publication on the Internet in a couple of clicks, optimizing the size and resolution. Batch processing of large sets of photographic material is supported.
In general, Home Photo Studio is a very powerful and functional toolkit for comprehensive processing of raster graphics. With its help, you can quickly and efficiently prepare material for posting in social networks, electronic and print media. Special thanks to the developers for the system of informative tips and detailed instructions.
The only circumstance that causes sharp criticism and negative reactions from users is the marketing policy of the developer studio. Until now, license buyers are faced with the fact that the studio's statements about the perpetual license do not correspond to reality, and after a year of use, they will be asked to buy an upgrade. Moreover, the proposal is made in a non-alternative manner, in fact, qualifying applications for a perpetual license as misleading buyers. It remains to be hoped that the company's management realizes the destructiveness of such a policy.
- convenient and pleasant interface;
- support for batch processing;
- Russian language;
- informative tips and help.
- the developer's aggressive and not entirely legitimate marketing policy.
Movavi Photo Editor
Another domestic product in the 'paid' selection of the best photo editors is Movavi Photo Editor. Simple and 'smart', at the same time very functional, not devoid of original approaches, and even stylish in some way.
The program does not initially claim to be at any professional level, but is made almost literally 'for family use', and this is, in fact, positioned by the developer. Indeed, the program environment is made simple, accessible and extremely understandable for mastering. But at the same time, in no case does the functionality suffer. Movavi has a variety of powerful tools for retouching, adjusting basic image properties, editing, all kinds of manipulations, filtering and applying special effects, and much more. There are so many tools that they are sorted into categories in the menu, and there are more than a dozen such categories (new ones are added).
One characteristic feature of Movavi is worth mentioning and considering separately. It's about the automatic photo correction function. Thus, you can significantly improve the quality and expressiveness of not quite successful pictures. Here, talented programmers used all the power of artificial intelligence technologies available to them to 'teach' the program to correctly guess what is wrong with a particular photograph, and what can be changed in it for beautification in a broad sense.
In addition to AI tools, Movavi has a subsystem that can 'deal with' unwanted objects in a photo. It is enough to simply indicate the area with inappropriate artifact, and the application will figure out how to remove the unnecessary and not even leave traces of interference.
The program was created with increased attention to detail and deep study in terms of optimization. Movavi works quickly and efficiently even when performing highly resource-intensive tasks. Cases of crashes, slowdowns, freezes and crashes are vanishingly rare. Due to this, the program has more than democratic system requirements.
The program is paid, but relatively inexpensive, and a free trial period is provided for the final decision.
- convenient, clear and pleasant interface;
- deep and high-quality optimization;
- functionality sufficient for home use;
- intelligent means of improving the quality of photos;
- original and effective approaches to photo processing;
- affordable cost.
- no obvious flaws were found.
The third number in the list of the best commercial photo editors for the computer according to the version will consider the program, which gained explosive popularity even at the time when it was just a shareware browser for pictures. Over its almost 20-year history, this product of the Canadian company has grown from a simple but very convenient 'viewer' to a full-fledged photo editor with individual benefits and features.
ACDSee is currently offered in several variants at different prices. The simplest version is essentially the same photo organizer, only much more functional than the first editions.
The Pro version already offers the user a rich set of photo editing tools. Here are the means of increasing expressiveness, retouching, masking defects, all kinds of transformation and decoration. Batch mode is supported if you need to subject a large array of files to the same type of processing.
Originally an organizer, ACDSee was supplemented with support for all new graphic formats with each update and with each new version. In the end, this support became one of the most complete when compared with similar software solutions. So, ACDSee easily recognizes and displays RAW files, vector graphics, PostScript, and even TrueType and OpenType fonts.
The program can do much more than just a photo editor. With ACDSee, you can create animations, photo albums in HTML format, create processing templates and then run photos through them in batch mode. ACDSee even knows how to recognize faces in photos, in case someone suddenly needs this opportunity.
Of the shortcomings of ACDSee, in fact, only one deserves special mention – a very weak optimization. Those who remember the 'old school' ACDSee find it difficult to work with new versions purely psychologically – the program can slow down and lag even on powerful hardware when performing far from the most complex operations.
- the broadest support for graphic formats, including RAW and font files;
- ease of use;
- clear interface;
- rich variety of functions;
- face recognition in photos;
- high-quality Russian localization;
- poor optimization, due to which lags and slowdowns.
The next position in our review is another Russian product with the same uncomplicated name as the above-described 'Home Photo Studio'. This is PhotoMASTER – one of the newest full-fledged photo editors for the computer, out of the walls of the AMS Software studio. The most recent version in the first half of 2020 is 8.0.
In PhotoMASTER, great emphasis is placed on the maximum simplification of the operations with photographs most demanded by the mass user. Most often, people need to improve the expressiveness of the landscape, remove minor defects on the face, change the background to a more interesting one, remove 'red eyes' and so on. The most common operations in the program are simplified as much as possible, and what in a professional graphic editor will require a whole sequence of actions, in PhotoMASTER can be done in just a couple of clicks.
The developers have connected artificial intelligence systems to the case for analyzing images, due to which the program can independently figure out what needs to be corrected in the image to make it look better. Things that are less obvious to the AI can be easily suggested to it. So, for example, in order to change the background it is not necessary for a long time and it is difficult to select the main object in the foreground – it is enough to select it schematically, and the PhotoMASTER itself will 'guess' how to correctly select it completely.
The same applies to the removal of small unwanted defects – pimples, moles, poorly positioned strands of hair, objects accidentally caught in the frame. Several special color correction modes are provided for RAW images.
The program also has a database of more than a hundred original filters, with which you can give your photos any style. The lettering editor will help you turn your photo into a stylish postcard or poster.
From the point of view of functionality and other purely user-related issues, it is difficult to make objective claims to PhotoMASTER. But the administration and service here have similar gaps, as in the above-described Home Photo Studio. There are cases of loss of the distribution kit or reinstallation of the system, when, due to a failure, the program becomes trial again and the user is offered to buy it again. With technical support, such issues are resolved with varying degrees of success.
- convenient and easy-to-learn interface;
- maximum simplification of typical operations;
- rich possibilities for easy improvement of expressiveness of photos;
- intelligent automatic analysis of images for possible improvements;
- Russian language of the menu and help;
- more than a hundred original filters;
- special modes of color correction for the RAW format.
- there are misunderstandings with the license renewal after a year of use.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Rounding out the magazine's selection of the magazine's best commercial photo editors for desktop is the truly professional software package Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It differs from the monstrous complete Adobe Photoshop in its focus on photo processing more than on graphic design and digital painting. In addition, despite its professional status, Lightroom is quite accessible for beginners to learn.
Lightroom is primarily a powerful tool for post-processing footage. All the disadvantages of shooting – inaccuracies in dynamic range, white balance, darkening, noise, incorrect automatic exposure – all this and much more in Lightroom can be easily and quickly corrected. The program makes it possible to bring into a more or less reliable form even frankly 'screwed up' frames that other photo editors are unable to cope with.
The package has an impressive set of tools for manual image correction, but a lot can be done in a semi-automatic mode. So, for example, in the Lens Corrections section, you can eliminate the characteristic defects inherent in certain specific models of camera lenses. Just turning on the Profile Corrections option, you can give the initiative to the program itself, and Lightroom, based on the EXIF data, will independently determine the correction profile and apply it to the photo. So you can remove vignetting, chromatic aberration and all kinds of geometric distortions in a couple of clicks. The latter, if the nature of distortion did not depend on the type of lens, but on the shooting point, you can finalize it in the Transform section.
A characteristic feature of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which is especially highly appreciated by many users, is the complete preservation in the program's database of all original images and all stages of editing. It will be useful here to use cloud storage, access to which comes as a bonus to purchasing a license for the program.
- professional level;
- easy to learn even for beginners;
- richest functionality to improve the quality of images;
- storage of original images and the entire sequence of operations;
- cloud storage and online service;
- functional application for mobile gadgets.
- relatively expensive.
Best Photo Editors for Computers Apple
The mini-collection concluding our review presents popular photo editors for MacBook and any computers in general Apple with the Mac operating system OS X. There is not such a stormy variety of offers, but Apple, as always, takes not quantity, but quality.
The corporation Apple, in its quest for minimalism in almost everything in terms of naming, has surpassed even itself, calling the new photo editor simply … 'Photo'. The product is a continuation of the previous software packages for working with raster graphics – iPhoto and Aperture. In June 2014, Apple officially abandoned plans to develop iPhoto and Aperture, and instead suggested switching to a new product – Photo, which was released in April 2015.
The program is a set of fairly convenient and understandable tools for a variety of actions with raster images. Most of them are present in almost any photo editor for a computer: manipulations with brightness / contrast / saturation, white balance, cropping, transformation, retouching of certain areas, etc.
One of the ideas behind the Photo program is to simplify the photo editing process as much as possible, to make it accessible to everyone. I must say, the Cupertino team succeeded, but in combination with the refusal to support previous graphics packages, this decision met with serious criticism. So, developers are charged with a too frivolous approach in terms of simplification to the detriment of functionality. Indeed, in the same Aperture there were quite a few more advanced tools and tools that are no longer supported in Photo.
The program features deep integration with the iCloud media service. There is constant synchronization with those devices Apple where iCloud Media Library is enabled, including even smart watches Apple Watch. According to the standard, the user is given 5GB of cloud space. Additional volumes can be purchased as part of a subscription.
- simplicity and ease of learning;
- convenience and speed of work;
- tight integration with iCloud media library.
- too strong simplifications to the detriment of functionality.
To conclude the review and as an alternative to the official photo editor Apple, let's take a look at another worthy product for editing raster images on Apple computers – the Pixelmator application. The Lithuanian studio conceived this project as an inexpensive alternative to Adobe Photoshop on the Mac. This is not to say that Pixelmator will completely replace Photoshop, but it is really capable of a lot.
The significant difference between the 'just' Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro is worth mentioning right away. In the Pro version, the creators, paradoxically, decided not to complicate, but, on the contrary, to simplify the program interface. Everything that could be grouped and systematized was grouped and systematized. And if the previous Pixelmator could scare off with an abundance of multi-level menus, windows, sub-windows and other objects, then Pixelmator Pro is a kind of functional monolith.
The functionality of the program is noticeably richer than that of the previous official photo processing application from Apple. In addition to basic functions, Pixelmator Pro also offers an advanced set of image editing tools.
Pixelmator Pro takes AI technology to a whole new level. So, the analytical abilities of neural networks serve as a good service for many tools. For example, smart selection – the program with amazing accuracy finds the boundaries of the object to be selected and does it with special care. The function also works with some form of preview – any movement of the cursor will highlight areas that the smart selection function 'considers worthy of selection'.
Working with standard settings is implemented in a very original way in Pixelmator Pro. So, for example, the same settings may need to be applied to a whole set of tens or hundreds of photos. In this case, the set of settings can be saved as a 'recipe' and, if necessary, applied to a whole set of photos with just one click. All clarity will be saved – before applying the recipe, the user will see a preview of the future result.
Overall, Pixelmator Pro is a real breakthrough in photo editing software, regardless of platform Apple. The only thing is that the functionality of the program cannot be extended through third-party add-ons, plugins and extensions – they are simply not supported purely technically.
- rich set of tools;
- deep optimization;
- original and effective approaches;
- smart tools based on artificial intelligence;
- combination of price and features.
- some users lack support for extensions.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.