11 Best Professional Photo Editing Software [Photoshop and Lightroom Alternatives]

When it comes to photo editing, the first choice of professionals is Adobe products. It has set a standard in the market over time. However, several best professional photo editing software works as a perfect alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom.

Let’s find out.

Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are full of unique features such as RAW image convertor and presets, and effects. It also offers image processing and management, making it extensively popular among professionals.

However, it is not for everyone. Professionals don’t like a few things about it, such as the lack of layers and file handling systems. It makes the professionals watch out for the alternatives that can work just fine but with more efficiency.

We have summed up a few best photo editing software that one will love over Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.


LuminarAI is an AI-powered photo editor that works for Windows and Mac. This photo editing software has the plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop that offers fantastic results. It provides endless possibilities and exclusive tools with more than 20 unique photo effects.

The tool also retouch portraits, change skills, enhance landscapes, and remove unwanted details with complete scene relighting. In 12-20 seconds, users can get a perfect photo by creating a style for images and applying it to the series. The photo editor software creates natural haze or mist, keeps vibrant colors, transforms the landscape gallery, and corrects camera exposure.

LuminarAI or Luminar Studio can edit a picture in a few clicks with portrait, makeup, and fashion photosets with outstanding highlight and natural texture. It also works on the face features with FaceAI and SkinAI, irises, perfect portrait and accent or crop for macOS and Windows.

It comes with more possibilities with innovative technologies to receive pro-quality photos and express your ideas. Along with this, the Luminar photo editor app deals with AI that can focus on creativity.

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo editing software offers delicate retouching, quick corrections, and immersive design in complex fine art. It adds several layers to the photos that can increase the quality of the photo. The software focuses on creative and photography professionals across the globe, maintaining precision, power, and speed.

The fully-loaded photo editor is ideas for iOS, Windows, and macOS, allowing users to explore digital painting, panorama stitching, HDR merge, raw editing, batch processing, focus stacking, smart object support, unlimited layer, 360 image editing, and PSD editing.

Affinity Photo focuses on the raw power that can also render in real-time. It offers massive image support (100+ megapixels), real-time editing, UI layout, complex vector docs, PSD smart object import, timesaving tools, and super smooth pan and zoom at 60fps.

The software offers flawless retouching making quick corrections, detailed retouch, dedicated features, etc. It removes unwanted objects with an inpainting brush, liquifies workspace for sculpting features, clone, patch, burns, dodge, blemish removal tool, retouches skin.

It has incredible live filter layers that focus on distortion, lighting, blurs, and perspective corrections. It also erases layers, reorders mast, and adjusts the parameters. The tool adds a live liquify layer, applies a single layer or whole stack, adds filter effects, mask areas, and live full-resolution preview.

Full raw development for a super smooth experience and end-to-end 16-bit shoot to control finer corrections is more popular. It edits metadata, imports XMP files, EXIF information, adjusts a black point, shadow, blown highlights, professional lens corrections, and shadows. Along with this, the breathtaking composition and beautiful brushwork enhance details.


ACDSee photo editing software is more than adding layers and advanced light EQ. It offers RAW editing to give your memory a new look and polish the finish features. The software comes with fundamental elements that provide a flow to the photography and depend on digital asset management.

The RAW editing captures the rough data using non-destructively adjustment, camera sensors for complete flexibility. The tool focuses on the details rather than the complete image. The tool focuses on Advanced Light EQ, which doesn’t affect the image at all.

ACDSee Advanced Light EQ can focus on the specific areas of the photo with its patented lighting technology. Layered editing works on various layered adjustments, masks, blank layers, effects, selections, etc. It allows users to isolate specific areas of the images for editing and make the desired changes.

Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro is a professional image editing tool with extensive features like retouching photos, painting, creating graphic designs, drawing vector graphics, adding stunning effects, etc. The AI-powered automatic tool offers automatic subject selection and background removal.

It also comes with a select and masks tool with advanced selections and a select subject, magic background eraser, and smart refine. The powerful tools come to allow non-destructive color adjustments with the collection of stunning adjustment prests, support RAW photos, and incredible retouching tools.

Pixelmator Pro 2.3 Abracadabra is a new version of this powerful tool that turns good-looking photos spectacular. The tool offers enhanced photos automagically, edits colors, is exposed to advanced tools, color adjustments, RAW editing, and retouching with brushstrokes. It also uses a machine-learning algorithm that makes the adjustments easier.

The vector tools are easily customizable smart shapes, support SVG vectors, and come with an extensive collection of pre-designed shapes. It offers resolution independency, making it look smooth and with sharp edges. The software comes with pre-made smart shares such as arrows, shapes, speech bubbles, etc.


PixStudio is a graphic design maker for logos, posters, YouTube thumbnails, etc. It works on creative designs with drag-and-drop templates, accessible creative assets for invitations, social media posts, and event posters. The tool is a one-click download and is easy to share across different social media platforms.

The growing library comes with several templates that are easily accessible for free. One can customize the templates with colors, photos, text, and graphics with a distinctive brand kit. PixStudio is packed with thousands of vector graphics and background remover with outstanding options and flexibility.

Acorn 7

If you want to work on the animated GIF exports and actionable features, then Acorn 7 is your step forward. It is packed with several features such as crop or fix tools to fix images working on problematic distortions. It adjusts colors in HSV and RGB without switching modes, building color accuracy and management.

The online tool is packed with non-destructive filters that one can customize easily, use on-canvas controls, boolean operations, Bézier curves, arrows, stars, and text vector tools. It modifies stroke alignment, shape blending, and line join style within the inspector palette.

To get adjustments, Acorn 7 offers a range of photo effects such as distortions, color corrections, sharpening, gradients, drop shadow, vignette, tilt-shift, blurs, etc. The circle text tools offer rotation, circle radius, inversions, kerning sliders, baseline, and text on a path feature. It also provides smart layer export, clone across layers, images, and more, along with export goodness.

PaintShop Pro

PaintShop Pro has AI power that can edit photos and videos easily with unique results. The photo editing software offers the digital world to get brightness and color to the missing piece with one-click fixes.

The customizable toolset offers graphic design, photo-editing, and smart solutions packed with several features. It comes with a highlight reel showing the latest adventures to create videos and photos. It aims to work on smart movies to extract and analyze the best parts of the pictures.

PaintShop Pro 2022 Ultimate offers MultiCam Capture Lite that can grow the audience, engage viewers, and capture videos. One can record product demos, create how-to videos, record videos, and develop gaming videos.

It offers digital painting features using realistic brushes and a blank canvas in exclusive image-based AI and cloning art. Several features are included in the tool, such as essential tools, adjustment tools, selection or correction tools, RAW, HDR, 360° camera support, and timesaving tools.

Capture One

Capture One photo editing is a powerful tool that offers an efficient photography experience for editing, shooting, and collaborating. The tool has redesigned the way the professionals work around the editing software with extensive features like:

  • Fastering tethering
  • True-to-life color
  • Customized experince
  • Advanced color editing
  • Smarter layers and masks
  • Speed edit

Capture One helps increase creativity in the images with precise and powerful tools and features. It is packed with features like haze, style brushes, styles or presets, before/after tool, curves, skin tone editing, levels, and black/white tool.

The tool can also mast up to 16 layers in the images for separate areas without affecting the other parts. It follows luminosity masking, linear-gradient, heals or clone brushes, magic brush, greyscale mask, feature mask, radial masks, and refine the mask.

DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab photo editing software has made it easier for professionals to give their images a new look. The tool is used for photo processing and management, providing outstanding results. With RAW processing, the tool is packed with denoising or demosaicing the images via its Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence technology.

The lens corrections using cutting-edge measurements come with chromatic aberrations, distortions sharpness, and vignetting. It comes with U Point technology that offers precision for image editing. The features include manual and automatic brushes, a comprehensive array of local adjustments, and adjustable sensitivity levels.

DxO PhotoLab can also repair the images using overlap and reposition features to give precision to the image. ClearView Plus reveals an image’s true character, providing control over mist, fog, and haze while automatically optimizing intensity and style.

DxO SmartLighting intelligent technology allows a balance between deep shadows and bright highlights. It will enable users to make necessary adjustments when it comes to text or image-based watermarks.

ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW ultimate photo editor is an all-in-one application for all the photographer’s requirements. It is packed with different features such as RAW editing, effects, browse, resize, HDR, portrait, and whatnot. The new technology and additions like Time-Lapse, NoNoise AI, Sky Swap AI, make the tool even more popular.

The advanced tool also comes with Photoshop Plugin Host, Liquify Tool, Export or backup/catalog, and advanced search. The tool’s key features include organizing, RAW processing, resizing, sharing, printing, powerful effects, AI-powered features & integrations, combining photos, and cloud sync.

ON1 Photo RAW is an all-in-one application that allows professionals to catalog and browse images easily, allowing them to control them. The state-of-the-art RAW Processing makes it full of compact features like Textures, Dynamic Contrast, HDR Look, Glow, Split Tone, and other creative effects.

It goes beyond users with AI-powered features, and non-destructively photos make complex tasks more manageable. Deep RAW technology maintains the quality of images while focusing on large, high-bit, and color space engines.


PortraitPro is the tool that allows professionals to transform the features of portraits to deliver amazing results. The tool comes with Neck & Shoulder Slimming technology, Body Lighting tools to relight full-body portraits, Volumizing, Recolouring, Hair Highlighting, Hairline tools, Chin Shadows features to improve facial structure.

The retouching tool uses artificial intelligence technology to enhance any image aspect. It detects the subject’s face, age, gender, locates features (objects, hair, skin, backgrounds), and automatically retouches it. There are customizable and full adjustable slider presets that make it easier for users to get remarkable results.

PortraitPro is packed with new tools that give whole new meaning to the editing. The tools provide natural and beautiful results while reproducing the existing texture and removing shadows. It creates subtle look changes keeping the natural and realistic texture intact. The smart filters offer optimum workflow customization and RAW processing.


Not every tool can fit all your requirements, and hence it is best to purchase the premium version based on what you need. There are free trials of the tools that can give you a glimpse and help you understand what will work well. So, explore your options and invest in the best one.

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