What Are The Best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives?

Image: Alan Dyer / Amazing Sky

Adobe isn't the easiest company to displace from the top of the photo processing pile. In fact, you could say it's nearly impossible. But that hasn't stopped a slew of developers from having a go. So, what are your options in 2017? Turns out, you have a few.

Astronomer and photographer Alan Dyer decided to perform an exhaustive survey of alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Here's the list of applications he ended up looking at:

Photoshop alternatives

  • Affinity Photo v1.6
  • Luminar 2018
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2018
  • Pixelmator Pro v1

Lightroom alternatives

  • ACDSee Photo Studio
  • Capture One v11
  • Corel Aftershot Pro v3
  • DxO PhotoLab ELITE v1
  • Raw Therapee v5.3

Dyer used a night shot of the sky and processed it using the aforementioned programs. Due to the nature of the photo, which featured poor contrast, uneven colour tinting and high noise, it was perfect fodder to test the capabilities of each alternative.

The bad news is, Adobe's products proved superior. However, Dyer did list the products that were good enough:

If you are processing just individual still images, perhaps needing only to stack or composite a few exposures, and want to do all the raw development and subsequent layering of images within one non-Adobe program, then look at ... Affinity Photo, Luminar 2018 [or] ON1 Photo RAW 2018

In terms of noise reduction, DxO PhotoLab was the best non-Adobe option, while Capture One did well for lens and colour correction.

Dyer's analysis is extensive; I'd highly recommend giving it a read if you're in the market for photo software that isn't from the big A.

I Tested 10+ Photoshop Alternatives to See How They Stack Up [Amazing Sky, via PetaPixel]


Comments

    Probably worth including this disclaimer:
    Also, please keep in mind, I am a Mac user and tested only programs available for MacOS, though many are also available for Windows. I’ve indicated these.

    Probably worth including this disclaimer:
    Also, please keep in mind, I am a Mac user and tested only programs available for MacOS, though many are also available for Windows. I’ve indicated these.

    A worthy alternative to Photoshop is - Photoshop.

    Photoshop CS6 [if you can find it] was the last version sold as a complete package.
    So you can edit your source material without the need to pay an ongoing ransom.

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