Today we will bring users some apps which can help user to edit their photos, but users should learn that none of these apps is a true one-to-one ‘replacement’ for Photoshop CS6, particularly if you’re a graphic designer or video professional. But for the rest of us-people that just want to retouch images, manipulate composition, adjust colors and saturation, apply canned filters and effects, and remove that kid who wandered into the foreground of an otherwise-perfect photo-they may prove to be very useful. Now let’s check it out.
ACD Systems ACDSee Pro 6 and ACDSee Photo Editor
If you’re using Windows and looking to replace the one-two punch of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom entirely, ACDSee Pro 6 (a Lightroom alternative) and ACDSee Photo Editor 6 (a Photoshop alternative) may get you some of the way there for a fraction of the price.
ACDSee Pro 6 offers RAW processing, image tagging and organization tools, and exposure/color enhancements, while Photo Editor 6 is the more-Photoshop-like tool for layer-based, pixel-level edits. ACDSee Pro 6 doesn’t offer many of the facial-recognition, geotagging, and distortion-correction whistles and bells of Lightroom and Aperture, but both pieces of software offer extensive RAW-format support out of the box. Mac users beware though – you’ll have to make do with ACDSee Pro 3 for now.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4
Lightroom isn’t a Photoshop alternative per se. Launched as a RAW workflow tool, Adobe has been steadily updating it through four iterations (a beta version of 5 is also available) and if you don’t need to slice and dice your images too intensively, it’s a great alternative to ‘full strength’ Photoshop.
If you’re a RAW shooter you may already be using Lightroom as part of your workflow, as it covers a few of Photoshop’s weakest points: organizing your photos, tagging your photos, and applying quick fixes and enhancements. If you work mainly with RAW files and need a program to quickly process your images, adjust exposure, remove noise, and apply the same adjustments to a batch of images, Lightroom may be all you need – which was precisely why Adobe created it.
Lightroom 4 is available for $150 as a standalone boxed package or via a $50/month Creative Cloud subscription. (Of course, if you’re already paying $50 per month for Lightroom via a Creative Cloud subscription, you’ll have Photoshop CS6 as part of the package, too.)
Apple Aperture 3
Aperture is more of a Lightroom alternative than a Photoshop CS6 alternative, and if you’re a Mac user it might be just what you need. Aperture blends advanced features such as RAW processing, manual retouching, custom-printing elements, and tagging/organization tools with novice-friendly options such as facial recognition, geotagging, and one-click filters. Unlike Lightroom, Aperture does not offer built-in lens-distortion correction out of the box, but there are several Aperture plugins available on Apple’s site that offer that and many other features.
Earlier versions of Aperture were notoriously system-intensive, requiring a lot of processing power to run, but Aperture 3 is much improved. At $80 it’s hard to find much to complain about.
Corel PaintShop Pro X5
If you’re looking specifically for a boxed-software Photoshop alternative for Windows, Corel PaintShop Pro X5 is one of the most-popular packages in that realm.
It’s arguably the best option in this roundup for graphic artists, as it can create vector graphics and offers interoperability with Photoshop’s own brush tools. As you’d expect, it also features a full array of photo-editing tools as well, including layers, filters, one-click HDR and other filters, retouch tools, and much more RAW-format support than any of the free packages (including 16-bit RAW). The ‘Ultimate’ edition of PaintShop Pro X5 costs just $10 more than the standard version, and it includes Nik Color Efx Pro 3.0 filters(which costs around $150 by itself, so that’s quite a deal) and additional enhancement tools for portrait photographers.
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list. If you think we’ve missed anything, as always let us know in the comments. Or you may also visit our site for more software for your Mac or Windows PC like data rescue software whenever you want.