Photo editing software

ALPhotographyALPhotography Registered Users Posts: 5 Big grins
I am sick of Adobe, and I am looking to change to another brand of photo editing software. I have Windows, so I need to stay with that format. Would appreciate any recommendations for replacement of Photoshop Elements 14 and Lightroom .


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,541 moderator

    I use Phase One, Capture One Pro (C1P). Despite the name, it's an excellent RAW conversion tool which can also process most other raster image files.

    It does have file management, but I'll admit it's much less useful than Lightroom. Since I have my own directory and file management system, it's less of an issue for me, but many folks do use C1P file management with good results.

    Primarily I really enjoy the excellent noise reduction and Clarity control, both of which work better for my use than Adobe products.

    C1P is available for Mac and Windows, and you can get a free 30 day trial. Purchase options include both subscription and license, single user and multi-user.

    I have no affiliation with Phase One, just a happy user.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ImYoshiImYoshi Registered Users Posts: 15 Big grins

    Phase One is definitely a good choice, I once used it and it helped a lot. However, I prefer free editing tools like GIMP and Krita, which is quick, easy and has a straightforward display. There is surely more free photo software, you can have a small research an google and find the most suitable.

  • kurzvorzwoelfkurzvorzwoelf Registered Users Posts: 326 Major grins

    I can highly recommend to try a 30 day free evaluation of ACDSee Photo Studio. It has a full feature library management module as well as a very good RAW development and a photographic centred image editor. I use it in combination with Affinity Photo and am quite satisfied. I have never used Lightroom or Photoshop before, tho.

    Wise words from the Dog of Wisdom: If your ball is too big for your mouth, it's not yours.

    I'm here to learn and progress. Honest feedback and criticism on my images is warmly appreciated!

    My SmugMug site -

  • Gary752Gary752 Registered Users Posts: 934 Major grins

    Take a look at Affinity Photo. You can do all your edits from RAW to JPG in one single program.

    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
  • DyunDyun Registered Users Posts: 45 Big grins
    This looks like a really old post, but in case someone else is looking for an alternative to Adobe, look at DxO PhotoLab Elite. I'm loving their "Prime" noise reduction feature as well as their lens profiles and film colors. Their sharpening is also better than Adobe. I have an Adobe subscription, but have barely used it for anything these past few months, because DxO is that capable. Is it perfect? No, but unless you like to cut/paste or do heavy artistic edits, it can handle a lot. All the images on my website have been edited using DxO.
  • monk_monk_ New member Posts: 8 Beginner grinner
    I stopped using this paid options and right now when I edit photos I don't use crazy effects but I take advantage of the tools mac has and it works great for me. However, if I do something crazy I will most probably use GIMP.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 23 Big grins
    Look , If you are struggling , and you need to edit and away from your usuall powerhouse Desktop with your registered software , then try .. FASTSTONE image viewer ..
    It does a good enough job on raw files , and is pretty easy to figure out .. and your photos will look damn good...

    Powerful little free program
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,541 moderator

    @mongoose330 said:
    Look , If you are struggling , and you need to edit and away from your usuall powerhouse Desktop with your registered software , then try .. FASTSTONE image viewer ..

    It does a good enough job on raw files , and is pretty easy to figure out .. and your photos will look damn good...

    Powerful little free program

    +1 for FastStone Image Viewer {which also does image editing}. I liked it enough to donate/pay for my copy, and they need paid accounts in order to justify continued development.

    I especially like the Straighten capability and the automation for many operations to repurpose images.

    Sadly, FastStone is only available for Windows users, although you may be able to run it in an emulator layer, or similar.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • HpixHpix Registered Users Posts: 44 Big grins
    edited July 4, 2018

    For organizing and managing my 60K+ photos, I love JRiver Media Center. It is a database system optimized for media -- image files, audio files, video files. It plays/displays all the file types it manages, which is just about every media file type that exists. A built-in converter is super useful.

    However, it is not a 100% alternative to Lightroom or PhotoShop Essentials, etc, because JRMC only does rudimentary editing, so I use other tools. But it is easy to add a link to external editing apps, click on a photo (or audio file, etc) and it promptly opens in the external app for editing.

    What I hugely love is that I am in control. There are many many ways to organize and manipulate, including an expression-type language, incredibly good search, find-and-replace, nested keywords, a very simple therefore strong metadata edit system (takes 2 seconds to revise a photo date, for instance, essential when scanning photos).

    Even viewing a screen of thumbnails is delightful, because I see MY customizable metadata when displaying lists of photos, so I can not only see a dozen (or whatever) at a time, I can specify what I want to see (date, size, caption, keywords, etc, etc, formatted as I desired, large/small font, bold, colors, whatever). So I manage my photos MY WAY (After the photo exists I don't care about camera, lens, f-stop, the photo is the photos...but all that metadata is still there, I can see it when desired, but mainly I see what matters to me NOW, which is metadata about the photo's content, caption, data, keywords). MC has a huge number of standard metadata fields/tags, but it is simple to add custom metadata if desired (which I've done for my audio collection for special info important to me, haven't needed this for photos.).

    Changing metadata in MC stores it in both the database, and (if desired) in the media file, in one or more of the standard internal formats, making it compatible with most other apps. In Adobe apps I can see my MC metadata, for instance. But try that the other direction, not so simple. Rather than trying to be its own proprietary standard, JRMC even has one-click updating from database to file, or file to database, as desired/needed. It happens instantly. JRiver's philosophy seems to be, support all significant standards, Play Well With Others.

    Also, JRMC works directly on the media files (or safety/alternate copies, your choice), not proprietary formats, so if I edit something and save it, that changed file is immediately available to all other apps and purposes, no need to export or sync or whatever time-wasting other apps required. Total control is the key for any such tool, do it MY way, don't force me into a clumsy, closed system.

    But, JR Media Center does not sync with SmugMug, alas. This has been requested by JRMC users, and many features arose from such requests, so I'm hopeful, but not yet. Instead, I do it semi-manually. It took just 30 seconds to create a MC View (list of photos) that have been added or revised recently, so I immediately know what I need to upload to SmugMug. The manual method takes extra steps until SM fixes its Replace mode bug so it updates metadata too. Because SM Upload with Replace is both "dumb" (can't automatically update/skip based on Last Modified), and metadata-broken, the current workaround is to Delete the SM photos, then Upload with Replace which causes SM to see them as new photos so it reads metadata too. (All of this is clumsy in SM, but I don't care to spend $$$ for Lightroom just to sync, don't like anything else about it.)

    JR Media Center is incredibly fast. Instead of 20 minutes in an Adobe product, in MC I do things in 20 seconds, sometimes 2 seconds. (I did an Adobe action to Find Missing Files, it ran 12 hours working on 60000 photos; the same activity in JRMC finished in 20 minutes). JRMC is fast because its database is so good, I suppose.

    Also, JRMC app loads almost instantly, is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and via a browser therefore tablets and phones and friends computers too. It can sync with multiple instances of itself, does DLNA server and client, has an internal web server, crazy range of capabilities. (I was driving through the desert, my phone bluetoothed to my car radio to listen to my music library running on my home PC 800 miles away.) AND, the one product does all media types. I use it for my photos, and my huge audio tracks library, and my various video files. it can even do online streaming, TV recording, and more.

    I believe JRiver Media Center can be tried free for about 30 days before it must be purchased, A new JRMC perpetual license (no subscription) is about $50, which allows use on multiple devices of the owner with no hassle, no one-at-a-time nonsense. I use it on 3 PCs, one devoted to imaging (photos, videos), another devoted to audio (music tracks and albums), a third in my Family Room to play music (streaming from my office Audio PC) and show a slide show (from my Photos PC). But one PC would do it, just open the desired Library (can have as many as desired). J River Media Center gets updated many times throughout the year as they add features and fix bugs, and once a year around May-June they release a major upgrade, optional to buy, at a modest price, I just paid about $18 to upgrade to new version 24 (as in, 24 years!).

    Probably this ramble seems like spam, but I just want to add JRiver Media Center to the list of useful tools discussed here. I have absolutely no connection with the the company, I buy it like everyone else, get nothing from promoting the product. All I am is a happy customer since version 6 -- current version is 24 so that's approaching 18 years. If there is a similar but superior product, I'll switch. (For total accuracy, I first got the app free, it was called Media Jukebox then, and version 6 was sent to me as a magazine columnist to review. I ended up buying and using every version since...)

    PS: I was driven to JRiver Media Center by huge disappointment with the Big Names that cost so much, do so little well, run so slowly, and frustrate me so constantly. As a magazine/web publisher/editor I owned many licenses for every "A" app and came to think "A" means "Annoying". I regularly try new versions of Big Names (and small names) and so far, nothing is better than my current setup (except for the MC<-->SM sync gap). But via this thread I revisited FastStone, added it back to my tools (though its lack of practical metadata support is a big hole.) Keep the suggestions and experiences coming!

  • graphhenegraphhene New member Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    You can us ecanva, pixlr, GIMP and other photo editing softwares available in the market.
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