Best Photo Editing Software to Deliver Beauty to the World

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 15, 2021
Everybody wants their photos to be the epitome of awesomeness; only, perfection is rarely achieved just like that, with raw material. But add a touch here and there with the right photo editing software and voilà—you've created an image you can happily post online. Let's see what the market has to offer us in this direction. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
OPERATING SYSTEM
MOBILE APPS
FEATURES
TRIAL
 
PROS

Boasting an intuitive interface, Movavi Picverse photo editor will make editing images a simple and enjoyable task even for beginners. For more sophisticated projects, you can get a plan that includes a Slideshow Maker and Photo Manager software.

CONS

Picverse free trial is limited to 10 images only.

OUR VERDICT

In addition to picture editing, the most popular Movavi plan will allow you to create unique slideshows using the provided special effects, music, voice-overs, and videos. If you work on bigger projects, opt for the plan that comes with Photo Manager software.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Desktop editor

OPERATING SYSTEM

Windows 7 and later
Mac OS X 11.0 and later

MOBILE APPS

Android, iOS (Picverse only)

FEATURES

AI auto-enhance, Quick image background removal, AI restoration of old photos, Over 100 effects and filters, Custom sharpness adjustment, Precise object removal, Impeccable photo retouching, Light and color correction, Noise reduction, Text insertion, RAW image support, Basic editing tools, Export settings

TRIAL

7 days for Movavi Slideshow Maker; 10 images for Movavi Picverse and Photo Manager

PROS

The Ultimate package includes additional apps dedicated to performing specific tasks but if you don't need them you can purchase the core app only and save some money.

CONS

Some tools need to be bought additionally.

OUR VERDICT

PaintShop Pro 2021 is a good option for beginners as it has a simplified interface as well as a complete one so after growing your skills you won't need new photo editing software if you just switch to another workspace with more features.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Desktop editor

OPERATING SYSTEM

Windows 10

MOBILE APPS

No

FEATURES

AI upsampling, AI artifact removal, AI denoise, AI style transfer, Sea-to-Sky™ workspace, Over 100 royalty-free backgrounds, Photo-to-drawing/painting feature, Simple RAW editing, Several crop composition guides, Text tools, Scripting engine, Face recognition, Batch processing, Social media features

TRIAL

30 days

PROS

Skylum is a company that offers photo editing software for Mac that has been named the best for several years in a row. It has pro-level tools and uses the world's first AI-powered filter, the Accent, and a smart AI Structure slider that automatically detects areas that need enhancement.

CONS

No photo library management tool.

OUR VERDICT

Enjoy flawless photo editing with Luminar 4 or get an Expert package that comes with the newest Luminar AI to handle large projects in no time. To go beyond limits, opt for a Guru package that also includes software dedicated to HDR photography.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Desktop editor

OPERATING SYSTEM

Mac OS X 10.12 and later Windows 7 and later (Luminar 4)
Mac OS X 10.11 and later Windows 7 and later (Aurora HDR)
Mac OS X 10.13.6 and later Windows 10 (Luminar AI)

MOBILE APPS

No

FEATURES

Luminar 4:
AI structure slider, AI accent tool, Smart editor, AI sky enhancer, Over 300 tools, RAW support, Customizable interface, Batch processing, Windows support, Works as a plug-in

Luminar AI: All-new artificial intelligence engine, Fully powered by AI, Exclusive AI-powered tools

Aurora HDR:
AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine™, HDR-tailored tools, Batch processing, RAW support, Windows support, Works as a plug-in


TRIAL

15 days for Luminar

PROS

CyberLink's professional photo editing software works perfectly not only with images but with video as well. It is the easiest thing now to make GIFs, photos with motion, and to catch all the excellent moments, and make flawless photos from screenshots.

CONS

Only Ultra works with Mac computers.

OUR VERDICT

One of the fullest desktop photo editing software options, PhotoDirector 365 will enable you to make the most beautiful images for social networks, blogs, or simply to print out and hang on your wall.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Desktop editor

OPERATING SYSTEM

Windows 7 and later
Mac OS X 10.11 and later

MOBILE APPS

Android, iOS

FEATURES

AI style effects, AI person and object segmentation, Dispersion, Light rays, Glitch effect, Photo animation, AI-powered sky replacement, CyberLink’s FaceMe™ engine, Blending modes, Content-aware removal, Beautification tools, Video editing tools, LUTs Color Presets, Express Layer Templates, Over 170 background music tracks, etc.

TRIAL

30 days

PROS

As of recently, PicMonkey cut down almost all restrictions on the use of their premium features, so basically, it is now really a free online photo editing software that anyone can use, full-scale. Although some features need to be purchased, it is still a great option for beginners.

CONS

You have to go Premium to download or share edited photos.

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a good web-based option, PicMonkey is one of the best photo editing software, it offers a huge selection of features, templates, effects, and fonts to help you create totally cool pics from your photos.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Online editor

OPERATING SYSTEM

Any

MOBILE APPS

Android, iOS

FEATURES

Retouching, Design tools, Collage templates, PrintDirect, Effects, Frames, Hub storage

TRIAL

Freemium, 7 days trial for Premium

X

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Movavi Picverse:

Photo Editing Universe

If you are looking for professional desktop software for editing pictures, try Movavi Picverse. Recommended for beginners and experienced photographers alike, it allows fast and easy editing thanks to its user-friendly interface and AI-powered software. The editor is available for both Windows 7 and later versions and Mac OS 11.0 or higher.

You can buy a yearly plan for Movavi Picverse only, or choose a more popular Picverse + Slideshow Maker subscription plan. Alternatively, you can use both workshops plus Movavi Photo Manager software. Surely enough, buying several products together is possible at a discounted price, which is a fantastic option for professionals (by the way, business subscription plans are also available).

Movavi Slideshow Maker will help you to create wonderful slideshows using all formats of media files - images, music, and videos. The software offers 105+ transitions, 165+ visual effects and filters, and 100+ titles and stickers. You can have your slideshow created automatically, or go through the process manually. Recording voice-overs for your project (there is a dedicated tool for this task) is a great way to tell your story in a special way.

Review of Movavi Picverse: Professional-grade Photo Editor for Mac and PC

AI for Awesome Images

Using artificial intelligence technology, you will be able to enhance the contrast and optimize colors, restore old images and even colorize them in mere seconds. Removing a background behind your image and adding a new one is also a breeze. You will get access to over a hundred effects and filters to make your creativity run wild.

Making your images sharp and crisp is also a snap with Picverse. The editor will allow you to make blurry pictures clear and emphasize texture. It will also help to remove unwanted objects as if they have never existed. Finally, it is ideal for enhancing portraits. You can make skin look smoother and teeth whiter and make-up more flattering; with that, the edited pictures always have a realistic look.

Surely enough, basic editing tools, light and color correction, text insertion, noise reduction, and other commonly-used features, are also included.

Note that, unlike most of its rivals, Movavi Picverse Photo Editor is available for Android and iOS mobile devices.

Movavi Picverse: Professional-grade Photo Editor for Mac and PC in the use

New Level of Editing

Last but not the least, Movavi Photo Manager software will help bring editing to a whole new level. It features an innovative program that recognizes faces in pictures and creates a separate album for each person. The software will help you quickly find and delete duplicates saving space on your hard drive. Moreover, you will be able to make some editions to multiple photos simultaneously, which is a great time-saving option.

Creating backup copies will allow you to easily restore the lost data. Based on GPS coordinates and the shooting date, a smart photo organizer will sort your images into albums automatically. The editor will allow you to work with images in RAW, JPEG, PNG, and other formats.

In a word, Movavi editing tools are ideal for both aspiring and seasoned designers and photographers. They will help you create stunning slideshows and edit pictures for social media and manage bigger projects in the shortest time possible.

Detailed review of Movavi Picverse: Professional-grade Photo Editor for Mac and PC

 

PaintShop Pro 2021 - Powerful New Photo Editor and Design Tools

Renowned Creator

Corel is another name well-known in the field of graphic design, alongside Adobe. Most people have heard of CorelDRAW at least once, it's a famous software for vector graphics. But this is a review on top photo editing software and we are here to tell you about PaintShop Pro 2021 family. Creators claim the software to be an "affordable alternative to Photoshop" and they are more or less truthful in it.

The new thing in PaintShop Pro 2021 is that it has two workspaces for users with different levels of skills and experience. For those only beginning their journey into the world of photo editing, it might be more convenient to start with the PaintShop Pro 2021 (you make the choice upon startup and can switch at any moment).

First of all, it comes with a set of new artificial intelligence-powered tools including AI Upsampling, AI Denoise, AI Artifact Removal, and AI Style Transfer. In here, you will also find the most basic functions like Crop, Eraser, Drop, Gradient, and some more heavily used instruments. You can also add some features here if you need, using the Search button—this might be useful for editors who have some (or even a lot of) experience but need fast work with certain tools and an uncluttered window.

On the other hand, with PaintShop Pro 2021 Ultimate, you get the whole range of tools and instruments, large enough to get lost in sometimes. Fortunately, Corel has answered the pleas of its users of previous versions and has made the user interface much simpler to navigate.

Review of PaintShop Pro 2021 - Powerful New Photo Editor and Design Tools

Boost Your Creativity

Corel PaintShop Pro 2021 offers professional tools for your creative projects. Layers and masks will come in useful for advanced image editing and graphic design. The workshop also offers a complete set of typography tools that will help you add text to your images with ease. Drawing, painting, and fill tools will come in useful for creating unique digital designs. With that, you can either use the built-in tools or import Adobe Photoshop brushes. Built-in templates will allow you to quickly create greeting cards, collages, social media images, and more.

The time-saving software will allow you to edit several photos with the same effects (for example, a series of photos in the same color scheme and with similar contents but at different angles) by creating a script with the necessary changes and apply it to all the photos. You can create a script for almost every task you do often, or not often but sometimes it's just the best. There is, by the way, a batch processing option as well. With these two possibilities, editing becomes much easier and faster, which can be extremely useful at times.

PaintShop Pro 2021 - Powerful New Photo Editor and Design Tools in the use

Buy a Batch

The Ultimate is in fact not a single app but a collection of professional photo editing software, it includes everything that you can find in PaintShop Pro plus new AI HDR Studio, Sea-to-Sky™ Workspace, Painter® Essentials™ 7, as well as PhotoMirage™ Express, Corel® AfterShot™ 3, and Corel® Creative Collection.

With the AI HDR Studio, you will be able to give your projects a professional HDR effect. The Sea-to-Sky™ Workspace was specially created for editing underwater photography. If you want to turn your photos into true works of art or to make fantastic projects from scratch, try the Painter® Essentials™ 7. Or, you can transform your images into creative animations with the PhotoMirage™ Express. The Corel AfterShot 3 is an app designed for RAW editing, it makes photos from your camera look professional and it also supports batch processing, you can apply the changes to up to 1000 photos.

Finally, if you are also interested in video editing software, get a Photo Video Bundle Ultimate that, in addition to the new PaintShop Pro 2021 AI-powered tools and features, includes Corel VideoStudio software.

Detailed review of PaintShop Pro 2021 - Powerful New Photo Editor and Design Tools

 

Skylum Luminar 4:

Smart Editor

Luminar by Skylum is considered to be the best photo editing software for Mac by many users, point in case being that Skylum has been holding a leading position for years in a row. Luminar offers a workspace specifically designed for comfortable and convenient work without sacrificing speed—you will not notice how much you've accomplished in the time you previously spent on simply getting used to the interface. The main new addition to the latest Luminar 4 upgrade is its AI Structure slider that automatically detects areas that need enhancement and makes them look richer. Meanwhile, an AI Accent tool automatically adjusts the settings on your photo to create the perfect look and an AI Sky Enhancer gives the sky a fantastic look. There is no need for complex tweaking of numbers of settings, with these artificial intelligence-powered tools you can do wonders already. That being said, the pro-level photo editing tools are still available, of course, over 300 of them, all hi-end, including RAW files support.

Another interesting detail about Luminar is that it automatically detects the type of image to reveal the most appropriate filters first. Really handy. Luminar can replace your editing software or it can work as its plug-in or as an extension to Apple Photos. You can also use it as a plug-in to Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop apps. Luminar is a professional photo editing software for Mac that works with OS X 10.12 or higher. Luckily, the software is now available for Windows 7 and later.

Review of Skylum Luminar 4: Revolutionary Tools and AI Technologies

The Ultimate HDR Solution

Aurora is Skylum's dedicated photo editing software for HDR photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging, the type of photo where to achieve top-quality image the photo is taken several times with different exposure and then all shots are layered one over the other and mixed automatically. It is a technology that works magic on landscape-in-the-sunlight photos and low-light scenes. At the same time, HDR is not a recommended option for photos where something moves as any difference between the shots makes the resulting image blurry at best and utterly indiscernible at worst.

Aurora HDR was developed completely by Skylum in collaboration with a famous HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff and it works not only with Mac computers but also with Windows ones. The number of tools in the app is really large, from the basics like cropping and histogram to HDR denoise and details enhancer, advanced tone-mapping, and lens corrector. It is also possible to process several images simultaneously with batch processing.

Skylum Luminar 4: Revolutionary Tools and AI Technologies in the use

Limitless Quality of Your Pictures

Being the first photo editor powered by artificial intelligence, Luminar AI has a faster and smarter AI engine that provides excellent results in less time. For example, Sky Enhancer and Accent tools perform 30% faster than those of Luminar 4. Moreover, the software will recognize 7,000+ objects for enhanced editing. It offers a whole set of new tools for bringing portraits to perfection. Its Body AI tool will make shaping subjects a snap and its Iris AI tool will help to experiment with eye color. In a word, Luminar AI will help you to create professional visual content with minimum time and effort.

All in all, Skylum editing software will allow you to create true masterpieces in any photography genre. The company offers no monthly or yearly subscription, but a lifetime license with 24/7 technical support. You can get a Master package that comes with Luminar 4 software, an Expert package that includes Luminar 4 and Luminar AI, or a Guru package that comes with Luminar 4, Luminar AI, plus an Aurora HDR. Existing customers can upgrade to the newer Luminar version at a discounted price.

Detailed review of Skylum Luminar 4: Revolutionary Tools and AI Technologies

 

CyberLink PhotoDirector: Turn Your Photos Into Art

Photo Software for Sophisticated Editing

CyberLink's PhotoDirector might be not the most known photo editing software out there but we did find it really useful and, what's also important, entertaining. CyberLink puts great emphasis on it being created with everything to spur creativity in the users and we are inclined to agree. The best thing about PhotoDirector is that it works with video as well as with photos (well, to a certain extent, of course).

The latest version of the software comes with a range of new editing options. Innovative AI features will allow you to go beyond any boundaries. Make your fantasy run wild playing with color, changing the size of objects, transforming and removing them. You can either enhance or alter the sky with the AI Sky Replacement tool. The Glitch Art effect will allow you to experiment with color layers while the Dispersion Effect will help create dynamic images with disintegrated particles. To emphasize your subject, you can use a Bokeh Effect.

Animating your photos is a great option to liven up your blog posts, creating a so-called motion still, a photo-from-video where only some part of the image is moving—the water is flowing or cars are moving—whereas all around it everything stays still. Looks fascinating and hard to tear your eyes from. Finally, you can add sun rays to your pictures and use sparkle effects to highlight the special atmosphere in the picture.

Review of CyberLink PhotoDirector: Turn Your Photos Into Art

Full-packed Easy-to-use Editor

PhotoDirector by CyberLink offers features for just about any kind of photos that professionals and amateurs alike will appreciate. Forget about blurry images; an intelligent deblur feature will help to fix up photos taken on the move. Use a Dehaze slider to remove haze and smog and get crystal clear images every time. When you work on pictures of people, there are so-called beautification functions that will enable you to correct skin tone, retouch wrinkles or little pimps, slightly correct face and body shape. Landscape photos will look immensely better after you apply Express Layer Templates to them—the feature that has all the necessary elements already set so you don't need to tweak it much. The number of blending modes is also being increased constantly, the way to make stunning mixes that will look good in your header on Facebook, YouTube channel, or work/travel blog. PhotoDirector offers an easy-to-use GIF creation tool and pro-level effects for you to make magic images to catch the eye of every single person seeing them. It also supports all professional file formats. There is not much that a photo editor needs that is not included here.

CyberLink PhotoDirector: Turn Your Photos Into Art in the use

The Dream of any Photographer

There are even more stunning AI features that can give your photos a whole new look. Designed to analyze every detail of your image, the AI Style Engine will identify every aspect of the shot. It will then apply brushstrokes transforming your pictures into painted works of art. Or, you can use layer-editing tools to compile your images giving them a new depth. Outlining and editing any object has never been so easy. With that, all the changes will be saved in the history, so you can easily rewind to the previous edits.

What else you need? We didn't cover everything, chances are the feature you're looking for is right there too. If you're not sure, before buying the license, you can just use the 30-day trial. A whole month should be enough to explore.

Detailed review of CyberLink PhotoDirector: Turn Your Photos Into Art

 

PicMonkey Photo Editor: Design Maker. Idea Realizer.

Run Wild with Your Photos

PicMonkey is a browser-based photo editing software created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. When it was all only starting in 2012, PicMonkey had a pretty basic set of options for photo editing; today, it is one of the most advanced online tools where you can use layers of effects, add stickers and text, change the image this way and that. It is actually kind of awesome.

PicMonkey offers just about everything, from retouching tools to edit people's photos (everything down to teeth whitening and blemish removal) to overlays and mood-altering effect to apply to your favorite landscape images and photos of nature or your pets' best shots. Altering or adding makeup? Here's your eyeliner, mascara, lip tint, shadows. Visual weight loss options (because we all know that photos add weight!), whisker grow, hair highlights—everything you can imagine is accounted for. Hell, you can even create a Haloween look with gore elements and scary "makeup" then go add a "ghostly" mood or a haunted house aura and scare your family and friends to the moon and back. Themed effects are a blessing here, they make it all so much more fun. And the best thing is? PicMonkey is a freemium online photo editing software.

Review of PicMonkey Photo Editor: Design Maker. Idea Realizer.

All Included

The selection of templates offered by PicMonkey is a great choice when it comes to making designs for social media, beautifying your profile and posts. There are options for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. If you need a business card or an invitation to just about any event, PicMonkey can help with it, too. Announcement pictures, postcards, collages—it is simple and fast to get. You can even select a size to print it right away, then order it with PicMonkey Print Shop, and they will deliver the completed item to your mailbox.

PicMonkey Photo Editor: Design Maker. Idea Realizer. in the use

Recent Changes

Up until recently, PicMonkey had a policy similar to the majority of Freemium services on the net. That is, you could use a limited number of features for free and obtain access to the whole list by buying one of three paid options: Home, Pro or Team. Now, all the features for image beautification are available for free users as well, you can go wild as much as you want. However, to save the edited picture to your computer or post it via the share option, you will need a paid account. This controversial change has brought up quite a commotion among the users, of course, but the PicMonkey team has issued their justification for such a drastic move on their blog. Whether it will be for better or worse is yet to be seen but for now, you can just go check out the whole scale of offered options to see if you want them all at the tip of your fingers or you can try Premium for free for 7 days to assess the quality of saved pics (we think it's good) and make your decision.

In the meantime, the changes have not yet been applied for any of the two available mobile apps (Android and iPhone). There, you can still use the limited number of features but you can save those pictures freely.

Detailed review of PicMonkey Photo Editor: Design Maker. Idea Realizer.

 

What Is Photo Editing Software?

There was a time when photo editing was considered a highly superior skill that required some significant training and a drop of talent. True, professional photographers are still valued as theirs are often works of art instead of just photos. But at the same time, the technology has made a huge leap in the direction of digital amateur photography, to the point where Snapchat and Instagram can somewhat help make photos more appealing. And, along with it, a wide variety of good photo editing software is being created every day.

Most of us know the Adobe company as the designers behind Photoshop, the most popular photo editing software in the world today, although now they have a number of sophisticated media editing software, not just for photos. What else we know is that Photoshop can be quite costly and that hobbyist photographers do not always use all the great selection of tools it offers so they might be reluctant to pay for it. That's why here in this review, we've decided to cover some of the top photo editing software that may offer fewer features at a lower cost but is still considered a nice deal for many beginners and professionals alike. You can post the edited photos on your social network pages, you can create a portfolio to start your career, or you can print them and hang on your walls.

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Publish Date: 2017-09-28 13:46:56