Adobe, on the other hand, charges an arm and a leg. Generally speaking, there are two categories of apps reviewed here: actual image editors, and image processors. The latter category includes apps designed to take images straight from a camera and improve them by fixing things like distortions introduced by lenses, or correct colour balance.
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Some might include basic image editing tools, but they're not about unbridled creativity like the actual editing apps, which typically offer toolbars offering direct image-editing tools. Many image-processing apps focus on improving RAW files, which is the data taken straight from the camera's image sensor prior to any processing taking place within the phone or camera itself. This offers the most scope for improvement because as much of the image data as possible is present and none has yet been discarded or manipulated.
For this group test we were only interested in professional photo editing software aimed at the photo editor who needs power and flexibility. Although Affinity Photo might be priced at a level where amateurs can snap it up, its makers are keen to stress a professional feature set. You get CMYK and Lab colour space support, for example, which is a necessity when working accurately in the print design industry. For semi-pro and even pro-level editing it really is a competitor for Adobe Photoshop.
Best pro photo editors for Mac 12222
Read our Affinity Photo review. Pixelmator has a lot of fans in the Mac world, where its combination of amazing value for money plus extensive feature list makes it the most likely candidate for a swap-in Photoshop replacement. In fact, it's hard not to notice the influence of Adobe's product when working within Pixelmator: you'll certainly find most of its key tools, all within an interface that looks beautiful and fits in entirely with the macOS aesthetic.
This is not to say that every tool you might be used to is present in Pixelmator. However, none of this is an accident. Pixelmator deliberately keeps things simpler than Adobe's effort, which means it has found a home with amateur and semi-pro image editors who use it occasionally, rather than daily. Read our Pixelmator review. There's a lot to like in DxO Optics Pro.
Our complaints are slight and revolve around the time taken to process the image when dragging it around while zoomed, as one example. Typically this was a couple of seconds, and on slower computers might be even longer. Other than Photoshop, DxO Optics Pro's nearest competition is Capture One Pro , but DxO Optics Pro is much cheaper and a lot easier to use too, relying largely on one or two sliders within each tool for the sake of simplicity. True, you don't get the incredible control over fine details that you do with Capture One Pro, but do you really need it?
PhotoDirector 9 is something of a dark horse among Mac photo editors because, initially, you might notice only its organising and sharing features. Positioned firmly in the semi-pro area, PhotoDirector 9 takes a fresh approach that means it's packed with features but operates unlike most other photo-editing apps we've looked at. Rather than take a tool-based approach, the app prefers to walk you through tweaks and edits.
You can almost certainly achieve the same things as you might with something like Photoshop - and perhaps more, such as the ability to tweak degree photos - but it can be a little frustrating getting used to the app and finding where everything lives. Read our CyberLink PhotoDirector 10 review.
In many ways Acorn feels and looks like a snapshot of Photoshop from a decade or two ago - with a selection of more modern and useful Photoshop tools mixed in. However, it does also miss out on the rare useful innovations that have come along, like the heal and patch tools, or advanced selection tools that let you select by colour range, amongst other things. Flexible Text Editing Tool Got something to say?
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You can now add text to any photo. Lots of options to adjust the font, size and color of your text till it looks perfect! Enter the magic of Fotor. Click now, adjust later.
Textures You can now apply different textures up to 26 on images under variable shooting scenes just by a click. Focus Unleash your creative inspiration by using a mix of clear focus and selective blurring.
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