10 Best Photo Editing Software In 2022

It’s no secret that technology has come a long way in the past few years, and with it, so has photo editing software. 


Adobe-Photoshop

#1 Winner of Best Photo Editing Software “Adobe Photoshop”


In this article, we’ll take a look at the best photo editing software of 2022. We’ll consider both paid and free software to give you a comprehensive overview of your options. 

So whether you’re a professional photographer or just someone who likes to dabble in photography as a hobby, read on for the best photo editing software of 2022!

Summary

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Top 10 Best Photo Editing Software In 2022

Best Photo Editing Software
Best Photo Editing Software

1. Adobe Photoshop — Best Overall

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is, without a doubt, the best photo editing software of 2022. Photoshop is an Adobe-developed ‘raster graphics editor’ for macOS and Windows. 

Developed by John and Thomas Knoll in 1988, the software has become the industry standard for digital art.

Photoshop can also be used for photo manipulation, retouching, and editing and provides similar features as any other photo editing software, but to an extreme. 

There are often several methods to do the same task in Photoshop, whether modifying the background color, cloning objects, frequency separation, or any of the numerous other photo editing functions.

Photoshop is perfect for professional photographers and hobbyists alike, thanks to its wide range of features and easy-to-use interface.

One of the best things about Photoshop is that it’s such a versatile program.

You can use it to do everything from basic photo editing to complex tasks like creating digital art or building websites. 

It’s also one of the most widely-used programs for professional photo editing, so if you’re looking to make a career in photography, Photoshop is a must-have tool.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Amazing set of tools for photo retouching and manipulation
  • Multi-layer editing
  • Extensive brushes, presets, and filters

Cons

  • Learning curve for beginners

2. Corel PaintShop Pro — Best Budget Photo Editing Software

Corel PaintShop Pro
Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is a great budget-friendly alternative to Adobe Photoshop. 

While it doesn’t have all of the features of Photoshop, PaintShop Pro is still a competent program with plenty of features to let you edit your photos to perfection.

PaintShop Pro has evolved into a full-featured graphics manipulation software that offers exceptional value for money, thanks to its sophisticated AI-powered features that go well beyond most Photoshop alternatives.

One of the best things about PaintShop Pro is its ease of use. The interface is simple and easy to understand, so you won’t have any trouble getting started. 

The new HDR Studio is an amazing way for photographers and HDR lovers to get that distinctive look using AI-powered presets.

Paintshop Pro supports a variety of 64-bit plugins from Topaz Labs, Adobe, DXO’s Nik Collection, and others if you need to enhance its capabilities. Additionally, you can import and export Photoshop PSD files for cross-platform editing.

You can buy it outright for a one-time payment, or you can subscribe and get updates and new features as they’re released.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Affordable
  • Amazing range of adjustment and color features
  • Numerous file options

Cons

  • Not available for Mac
  • Lacks some features

3. Canva — Best For Templates

Canva
Canva

Canva is an amazing option if you’re looking for an image editing solution that also includes templates and website design options.

Canva’s interface is simple yet comprehensive, and it has a large following throughout the world, due to its freemium pricing strategy.

There are a variety of photo editing tools as well as a multitude of templates for making social media and website photos to pick from.

The user-friendly drag-and-drop editor makes it simple to merge photos, adjust digital post components, and add fonts to images.

If you want some more visuals for a certain design, you’ll also have access to a large library of stock images.

Canva is a popular tool for many professionals that need to design social media posts, flyers, business cards, and website designs. It offers a wide range of options.

For beginners, having access to templates for social media posts, website designs, and presentations enables you to create great content fast and with minimum research.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wide variety of templates
  • Free plan available
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Smartphone app available

Cons

  • Limited options for editing

4. Adobe Lightroom — Best Photo Editing Software

Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom, which was designed exclusively for photo editing, is one of the most popular software for professional photographers.

This tool, like Photoshop, is the gold standard in image editing, with a plethora of unique pre-sets to let you edit your photos in seconds. 

If Photoshop is too complicated for your needs, Lightroom may be an excellent place to start.

What’s best about Adobe Lightroom is that it puts the best features of Photoshop and other editing programs into one place. 

Most professional photographers use Lightroom as their main photo editing software because it offers everything they need to edit their images quickly and efficiently.

Lightroom has a few mobile apps that let you edit your photos on the go, which is super convenient if you want to show off your best shots to friends or clients after a long day of shooting. 

The best part? All of this awesomeness comes with a super affordable price tag. 

You can buy Lightroom outright for a one-time payment or subscribe and get new features as they’re released.

Lightroom is a worthy investment for any editor because of its great extensibility owing to different brushes, filters, and pre-sets available online.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent photo organization and management 
  • Easy to use
  • Filters and pre-sets available 
  • Fixing and blurring tools

Cons

  • Not as feature-extensive as Photoshop
  • Lacks blending modules

5. Affinity Photo — Best For Complex Photo Editing

Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a high-quality photo-editing software that isn’t too expensive. The program is best known for its array of professional-grade tools and responsiveness. 

Raw editing, digital painting, the production of multi-layered compositions, and skilled retouching are all covered by its excellent toolset. 

Other highlights include best-in-class noise reduction and sophisticated lens corrections, which give you maximum control over your images while still delivering high-quality results.

Affinity Photos is the best option for you if you’re looking for something that will let you do some really complex photo editing without breaking the bank. 

Affinity Photo is best for professional photographers who are looking to take their work to the next level without spending thousands on Adobe’s suite of programs. 

It’s also best if you like doing things yourself; while this software does have a helpful automation tool, it’s best if you’re looking for something that lets you customize your work from start to finish.

In terms of the learning curve, Affinity Photo’s features are fairly in-depth, similar to Photoshop’s, and will require some time to review and learn. 

Fortunately, the interface is simple and intuitive, and if you’ve used Photoshop previously, the tools will be familiar.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • RAW file support
  • Layer editing
  • Strong customization and brush options
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • Lacks photo management and import tools
  • Lacks design templates

6. ON1 Photo RAW — Best Filters

ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 Photo RAW

Another company that has entered the Photoshop-alternative competition is ON1. ON1 Photo RAW is best known for its wide range of high-quality filters.  

Originally renowned for its spectacular effects and incredible Portrait plugin, it has evolved into a full-fledged RAW photo editing program.

ON1 Photo Raw 2022, which is available as standalone software and as a Photoshop/Lightroom/Apple Photos plugin, now contains a number of AI-powered features that make photo editing considerably more powerful.

You’ll love ON1’s legacy portrait plug-in if you’re a portrait photographer. 

It has amazing skin retouching, eye and mouth settings, and even an automated face finder that builds an adjustment panel and a mask for each face.

If you’re looking for software that will let you add some serious pizzazz to your photos, ON1 Photo RAW is the program for you!

It also has a wide range of features that will let you edit your photos to perfection. 

You can use it to do everything from basic photo editing to complex tasks like creating digital art or building websites.

It’s also one of the most widely-used programs for professional photo editing, so if you’re looking to make a career in photography, ON1 Photo RAW is a must-have tool.

One of the best things about ON1 Photo RAW is its ease of use. The interface is simple and clean, which means you’ll be editing your photos in no time. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High-quality filters
  • Includes support for layers
  • Simple and clean interface
  • Face tuning tools

Cons

  • No geotagging
  • Not as feature extensive as competitors

7. DxO PhotoLab — Best For Noise Reduction

DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab is the best photo editing software in 2022 for image noise reduction. 

Best known for its excellent noise reduction, sharpening tools, and RAW conversion features, PhotoLab has long been the go-to add-on for many photographers — it does things that other applications just cannot match.

PhotoLab offers a wide range of features that lets you perfect your photos, and its image noise reduction feature is one of the best in the business.

DxO is tough to beat as a RAW photo converter. 

Its automated lens and camera-calibrated adjustments provide results that are a step beyond what other image editing programs can provide.

DxO PhotoLab 4 is available in two editions: Essential ($129) and Elite ($199). It is available as a plugin or standalone software. 

The Essential version includes all of the normal features, but you’ll need the Elite version to take advantage of DxO’s outstanding noise reduction, multiple exports, dehaze tools, and the option to customize your workspace.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Clean interface
  • Amazing noise reduction
  • Geometric corrections
  • Haze remover

Cons

  • A bit slow
  • Essential version lacks some features

8. Skylum Luminar AI — Best AI-Powered Photo Editing Software

Skylum Luminar AI
Skylum Luminar AI

The goal of Skylum Luminar AI is to make photo editing faster so creators can spend as much time creating, and we have to admit it succeeds admirably.

Luminar AI is one of the most user-friendly image editors on the market, making it a great choice for beginner photographers.

Luminar AI is a strong and effective mid-range photo editor that pioneers several cutting-edge AI editing features.

Its AI Sky Replacement filter is superb, and its portrait enhancing features are much more subtle and efficient than you’d expect from an all-around image editor.

It works as a standalone tool as well as a plugin for Apple Photos, Photoshop CC, and Lightroom Classic.

There is essentially no learning curve — simply import your photo, and the artificial intelligence-powered ‘Templates’ recommend edits based on the photo’s content.

It can recommend the ideal templates for enhancing images and contains tools for quickly changing skies, accents, complexion, features, and even eyes.

The AI features themselves are quite strong, but they’re also remarkably simple to use — doing complex edits like shrinking a subject’s torsos, adjusting eye color, or even applying fog to a landscape is as simple as clicking a mouse button.

This AI-based tool is definitely worth checking out, especially considering the low one-time cost.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Endless filters
  • Efficient AI enhancements
  • Easy for beginners
  • Numerous filter and background settings

Cons

  • Problematic cloning tool
  • Stability issues

9. Capture One Pro — Best For RAW File Rendering

Capture One Pro
Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro has always been the professional photographer’s choice thanks to its outstanding color adjustment options, amazing tethered capture tools, and superb Raw conversion.

Also, Capture One is a tethered capture and editing solution for studio photographers featuring a ‘sessions’-based workflow, as well as cataloging, searching, and non-destructive editing tool for images.

Capture One 2022 has a new HDR merging option, which only works with raw files but is incredibly effective and natural-looking, as well as a panoramic merge feature.

Capture One includes a highly adjustable set of ‘tool tabs’ and operates in a single window instead of ‘modules.’

Everything is completely customizable, which might be intimidating at first but quickly becomes an intuitive approach to create a more effective workflow tailored to your specific needs.

Capture One’s conversions seem to be smoother and crisper than Lightroom’s, and Phase One’s recent collaboration with Fujifilm means it can produce some of the best Fujifilm processing available, as well as recreate Fujifilm’s Film Simulation features.

Users of Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm cameras can buy one-brand versions of the tool at a discount, but if you work with files from multiple cameras, opt for the all-cameras version.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great for RAW file conversion
  • Fast import
  • Incredible noise reduction
  • Tool for keyword tagging

Cons

  • Complex interface
  • Lacks HDR merging

10. GIMP — Best Free Photo Editing Software

GIMP
GIMP

GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop and PaintShop Pro, which makes it one of the best photo editing software options for those on a tight budget. 

The photo editing toolbox is amazing, including masks, layers, levels, and curves. 

With the great healing and clone stamp tools, you can easily remove flaws, create custom brushes, make perspective adjustments, and apply changes to isolated regions.

GIMP is completely open-source, which means it has a very large development community behind it. 

If you ever find that GIMP doesn’t have the features you need, rest assured that there are people working on it behind the scenes to make it better!

It’s important to note that GIMP isn’t quite as user-friendly or feature-rich as Photoshop. 

It’s best for someone who has a bit of experience with photo editing programs and is looking for something they can customize themselves.

GIMP may seem to be a free version of Photoshop, but it has a distinctive look and feel. 

It will take some time to switch from one to the other, but you will save money on your monthly membership price if you do so.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free
  • Great digital retouching tools
  • Supports a wide range of plugins
  • Open-source

Cons

  • Beginners may face a learning curve
  • Limited features

Conclusion

As technology advances, so does the software available for photo editing. 2022 promises some amazing new features in the best photo editing software. 

Our top 10 list includes some of the best software currently available, with a variety of options to suit everyone’s needs. 

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just looking to touch up your Instagram pics, there is sure to be something on this list that will fit your needs.


FAQs

Are free photo editing programs good?

Absolutely! If you’re looking to touch up some photos or create simple projects, then free software can provide an excellent alternative to paid programs.

Is Adobe Lightroom good for beginners?

Adobe Lightroom is a great photo editing software for beginners because it is easy to use and has a wide variety of features. 

The interface is simple and easy to navigate, and there are plenty of tutorials available online to help you get started. 

Is Photoshop good for beginners?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Photoshop is considered the best photo editing software by professionals because it offers advanced options and tools. 

However, the interface can be overwhelming for beginners, and it is best used once you’ve learned the best photo editing practices.

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