10+ Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives (Paid & Free)

10+ Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives (Paid & Free)

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Adobe Lightroom is an enhanced but simplified version of Adobe Photoshop that helps you to import, save, organize and edit your photos.

It helps you keep the original image and saves the edited image as a new file. The compatible image formats in the software include TIFF. JPEG, PSG, PNG, etc.

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The biggest disadvantage of using Lightroom is that we need to subscribe to the software which is why you should consider some these Adobe Lightroom alternatives.

What is the best Adobe Lightroom alternative?

  1. Luminar Best alternative for Lightroom (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Apple Photos — Great option for Apple devices
  3. Raw Therapee — Free cross-platform alternative
  4. GNU Image Manipulation Program — Free raster graphics editor
  5. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos — Free Photo editor and viewer from Windows 10
  6. Darktable Non-destructive photo editor alternative for Lightroom
  7. Paint.Net — Best graphics editor with support for plugins
  8. On 1PhotoRaw 2021Non-destructive image editor with batch processing
  9. Capture One Pro — Best choice for professionals
  10. DxO PhotoLab — Has the best Denoising technology in the software.
  11. Exposure X7Best image editing software for photos
  12. Capture One Express Free photo editing software for Fuji and Sony
  13. Photoshop Elements Best photo editing software for beginners
  14. Affinity Photo Best subscription-free Lightroom alternative
  15. Corel AfterShotPro Best lightroom alternative with impressive features
  16. Mylio Photos Best alternative for photography

What to Look For In Image Editing Software?

These days most computers come with the option of viewing, uploading, organizing, and even editing your photos. But the built-in software might not have all the options you need to edit your photos. In such cases, you may need image editing software. There are a lot of image editing software available. You have plenty of options in all pricing levels. It is better to go in for the software that satisfies certain criteria:

File Types: If you need to develop images in the right file formats for display on web pages.

Compatibility: The software you choose must be compatible with your camera. Camera compatibility is necessary for displaying exact colors and accessing the customized tools.

OS Compatibility: The software you are installing should be compatible with your system. This can be checked with the OS, processor, and the inbuilt graphics card of the system.

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Editing Tools: Aside from the common tools of rotate, resize, crop, etc., you want photo editing tools that will make your graphics pop and get your audience excited.

Organizing Tools: Similarly, the tools in the software need to be in an organized way so as to make your work easier and faster.

Asset Management: Apart from batch processing, fast editing needs a good image management system, sharing capabilities, and efficient search tools. For example, photos.google.com can be terrible in organizing your photos but at the same time, a purchased product can reduce your problem to a great extent. Choose software that helps you to keep all your images in an organized manner.

Presets: You need to choose a photo editing software that has huge presets stored in them. You should be in a position to tune them according to your needs as well as create your own customized presets. A preset can be chosen that sets and fits your branding well. You can customize the preset according to your needs and use the same one for all the photos to achieve the same look every time you create a new post.

Check out the blog to learn more about Adobe Lightroom.

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If you don’t find an Adobe Lightroom alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro,  Illustrator, InDesign, XD, and more.

See our guide to Adobe Creative Cloud Discounts.


Top 10 Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives

1. Luminar (Editor’s Choice)

Best Adobe Lightroom Alternative
Luminar. Image Credit: Skylum

The best alternative for Lightroom.

Luminar is photo editing software developed by Skylum. It is considered the best lightroom alternative to Adobe Lightroom. Editing photos in Luminar is much easier and faster when compared to Lightroom.

A big advantage of Luminar is its AI technology has been implemented with preset filters meaning you can easily edit the photo in seconds.

The user interface plays a vital role when deciding on photo editing software. If you are an amateur and use photo editing software only once in a while, Luminar is a great choice as its easy-to-find tools and controls are much easier when compared to Adobe Lightroom.

Luminar is perfect if you don’t want to be chained to an expensive subscription like Adobe CC and you need quick, accurate edits. Luminar starts from just $9/month.

Pros  Cons
➕ Powerful and affordable. ➖  No Tablet/Smartphone app available.
➕ Tools are powered with Artificial Intelligence. ➖  Fewer options in photo management.
➕ 30 Days money-back guarantee offer is provided.


2. Apple Photos

Apple Photos
Apple Photos. Image Credit: Apple Photos

Effective alternative for Apple-supported devices.

If you have beautiful pictures taken on a holiday and you want to edit these photos into attractive ones, Apple Photos could be your right choice. Apple Photos is considered as another alternative to Lightroom. Photos developed by Apple is a bundled editing tool that is available free on the internet. https://support.apple.com/guide/photos/order-professional-prints-pht6e15ea68/mac

All Mac computers have Apple Photos installed already. It is an excellent software for the ones who use Apple products. RAW files are greatly supported. This software can be used to create greeting cards, wedding cards, calendars, books, and professional photos.

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The editing tools which are available on Apple Photos are very easy to use for an amateur. It is very easy to share your pictures via message, mails, etc. You can also view your photos even when the internet connection is not there. You can see the thumbnail of your photos anywhere. Apple Photos is an excellent photo editing tool for iPhone users.

Pros Cons
➕ The Software is available for free. ➖  Sharing of the images is limited to Apple devices.
➕ The auto-correction feature is available. ➖ Auto Created photos cannot be edited.
➕ It is an intuitive software that makes it easy to learn and produces professional-quality results.


3. Raw Therapee

RawTherapee. Image Credit: RawTherapee

Free cross-platform raw image software.

Raw Therapee is a photo editing software developed by a single developer but later on developed by a group of people. The best part about Raw Therapee is the amount of help and support you get on the internet in case if you are not able to proceed further with the software. It is available free on the Internet.

You can edit the images in different colors using Raw Therapee. You can easily display your workspace in Raw Therapee with color toning tools. It enables you to edit your picture without any destruction, in other words, you can return to your previous image. The entire advantage and disadvantages of using the software can be availed from RawPedia that is like an online encyclopedia for the same.

Pros Cons
➕ It is available for free on the net. ➖  It has limited features.
➕ The interface is intuitive and easy to learn. ➖  No tutorial is available for learning the software.
➕ Advanced tools are available for color correction.


4. GNU Image Manipulation Program

GIMP. Image Credit: GIMP

Free raster graphics image editor

GIMP stands for General Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It is an image editor that can be used across various Operating Systems like Linux, Macintosh, Windows, etc., This was invented by a group of volunteers for photo editing purposes. When it comes to compatibility, GIMP can easily adapt itself across various OS platforms.

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If you are an amateur photographer or a person who has not taken photography as a profession and you need only the basic form of editing you can go in for GIMP, but it also has deeper editing options for those who need that. It is available free on the Internet that makes it a little bit pocket-friendly as well. When it comes to the user interface, GIMP can keep you a little bit perplexed as you need to work on the Interface properly before getting a hang of it. But unlike Lightroom, it does not have too many additional tools that need to be learned as it is a perfect software for simple edits.

Pros Cons
➕ It is open-source software available in the market. ➖  Limited options are available for developing 3D designs.
➕ Easy to use for beginners. ➖  Fewer features when compared to paid software.
➕ You can edit images of various formats. ➖  Lack of customer support as it is available for free.
➕ All the need-based editing tools are available in the software.


5. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos

Microsoft Windows 10 Photos
Microsoft Windows 10 Photos. Image Credit: Microsoft Windows 10 Photos

Free Photo editor and viewer from Windows 10

The Windows 10 Operating System has by default Microsoft Windows 10 Photos installed in it. As you have Photos for Lightroom, Windows 10 Photos acts as an image library and editing program for Windows OS. But it does not validate RAW files.

Windows 10 Photos is an image viewer, photo-sharing application, and video clip editor founded by Microsoft. It replaced the Windows Photo Viewer and was first included in Windows 8. Users can also upload their photos to Facebook and Instagram.

Photos may not have all the technicalities of Lightroom or Photoshop. But if you are an amateur photographer who needs only simple image corrections, this software is fine. The Photos Video editor helps you to reduce the duration of videos, change text and add filters.

Pros Cons
➕ Available for free. ➖  Lacks fine-tune controls.
➕ It is easy to use. ➖  The metadata does not sync across devices.
➕ Touch screen support is allowed.
➕ It is suitable for both iOS and Android devices.


6. Darktable

Darktable. Image Credit: Darktable

Non-destructive photo editor alternative for Lightroom.

Darktable is a non-destructive raw image and a photography application. More than a graphics editor like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, it has a subset of image editing operations.

It has got a lot of features to edit photos when compared to Lightroom. Darktable aims at a non-destructive form of photo editing. It is a free Adobe lightroom alternative.

It is a photo editing software and is a lightroom alternative. Darktable has much more features than Lightroom when it comes to image processing. But the software is not intuitive. As a beginner, you might have difficulty working with the software. It is specialized in processing in RAW format.

Pros Cons
➕ It is cross-platform. It runs in Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. ➖  There are no online or mobile versions.
➕ It has a structured layout and is user-friendly. ➖  The software runs very slowly when compared to its alternatives.
➕ Available for free.
➕ Non-destructive form of editing.


7. Paint.Net

Paint.net. Image Credit: yakobeltPaint.Net

Best graphics editor with support for plugins

If you are a beginner in the area of photography, Paint.Net is for you. It is mainly used by photographers who don’t need intricate tools. It is a free lightroom alternative.

This software was developed to replace Microsoft Paint. MSPaint is used for simple drawings and simple tasks. But Paint.Net has certain tools and features that put it closer to Photoshop than its namesake. Though meant for complex usage, this software has a simple interface. The ease of use interface helps you to create and edit digital images.

It is free and easy-to-use software. It is an image editor developed primarily for Windows Operating Systems. But it is not compatible with Mac or Linux. Paint.NET is a free photo manipulation software. It’s a free image editor software developed for Windows operating systems.

Pros Cons
➕ Ease of use. ➖  The text correction option is not available.
➕ The software is regularly refined and expanded. ➖  The brushwork is very limited.
➕ The online forum of Paint.Net is available for you to get help with the software. ➖  Available only for Windows.
➕ Different formats are available for saving images.


8. On 1PhotoRaw 2021

ON1PhotoRaw2021. Image Credit: ON1PhotoRaw2021

Non-destructive image editor with batch processing.

It works more or less like Luminar. It combines the Raw processor, image organizer, layered editor, and effects app all in one. The interface is not as intuitive as the other image graphical software like Lightroom.

But if you work on it, it has a lot of advanced features that users will appreciate. Most important is that their photo management and library system has an exhaustive collection of images. You don’t need to import any images from outside.

ON1 Photo RAW also has a print module that adds some functionality to it. You also have various options for individual prints. In case you are going in for package printing, you can also insert a watermark into it for your brand. You can merge pictures and it even allows you to add text.

This software comes with a 30 day trial period. Once the trial period is over, you can purchase it at a decent cost, and also a 90-day money-back is also available.

Pros Cons
➕ Powered with Artificial Intelligence for editing. ➖  Beginners may find a steep learning curve.
➕ No subscription plan is available as it is a one-time purchase.
➕ The user interface is amazing for medium and advanced photo editors.
➕ Photoshop plugins are used.


9. Capture One Pro

CaptureOnePro. Image Credit: CaptureOne Pro

The best choice for professional Photographers.

Capture One Pro can be an important photo editing software for professionals. It helps you to edit a large number of photographs in one shot and create them with a much more professional, cohesive look.

The workspace in this software can be customized according to your requirements.  As almost every tool is a floating tool it can be organized anywhere in the workspace. By organizing the tools to your needs, you can cut down on your editing time.  This way based on the kind of photography assignments you get, you can organize different workspaces for different needs.

Color editing tools let you adjust the saturation and brightness of any color. You can adjust a specific color in a mixed color image. For instance, there is a tool specific for skin tones. You can feed in a sample of a specific skin tone and then use a set of sliders to make the saturation and brightness more uniform. Shortcut keys can be created to help you in the photo editing part of the software.

In the end, if you are a pro and need an accurate form of editing, then Capture One Pro could be the thing for you.

Pros Cons
➕ Made for professional photographers with an advanced set of tools. ➖  Amateurs may struggle in getting adapt to the software.
➕ Color editing is provided in multiple ways. ➖  Unusual pricing plans have been provided.


10. DxO PhotoLab 4

DxOPhotoLab4. Image Credit: DxOPhotoLab4

Has the best Denoising technology in the software.

DxO PhotoLab 4 is an image editing application powered by a RAW processing engine. It needs to be purchased only once though the price may be much higher. This software is available at two photo editing programs: Essentials and Elite.

The Essential package may not include certain key features of the software, which can be pretty annoying. It also lacks the advanced customization techniques required for your work.

The Elite version has an innumerable number of pro-level tools for the most expert photographers out there.

Before buying the software, you can go in for the trial version of the software that is available for 30 days. You can customize your workspace in DxO according to your requirements. Batch editing is a great advantage and makes your work much easier and quicker.

The advanced keyword management tool helps you to locate the photos quickly.  Batch Keywords editing helps in better library management.

In the end, DxO has a lot of features that can be used by both amateur and professional photographers. It can be considered the best lightroom alternative. But when compared to Lightroom, the latter becomes a clear winner.

Pros Cons
➕ Easy to Use. ➖ Minimum Updates.
➕ No Subscription required. ➖ The Add ons and the Elite version makes the price dearer.
➕ Beautiful in handling RAW images. ➖ It has basic image organizing tools that might not help with complex image editing.
➕ Keyword Improvements.


11. Exposure X7

Exposure X7 is an image editor that helps you come up with picture-perfect images based on the photographs you take. It can be used as a perfect Adobe Lightroom Alternative tool. It is developed by photographers and graphic designers. It has got innumerable creative editing effects with it for almost any purpose you want. 

Although initially, the software was not popular, slowly it started making a mark in the field of photo editing software. It is also used as a plugin for Adobe’s line of products. 

Exposure X7 program processes in order to increase the processing speed. The rendering time of the images is cut down with the help of the CPU and the graphics cards to help you in speeding up the workflow. 

The software optimizes all available GPU power. It also has new functionality in the form of built-in support for Adobe DNG conversion.

Apart from this, the features of the software have new additions to it from its previous versions.  You can find the color and replace it with another one. For avid color lovers, there is an advanced color editor that is available.

Finally comes the noise reduction feature of the software. Finding software that really reduces the noise is the greatest advantage of any photographer. The software reduces the noise based on the individual camera sensor characteristics, ISO, and estimated electronic noise.

If your system is able to handle the program, it is worth its price. Instead of going in for subscription-driven software, you can go in for this one for a cost-effective one-time purchase.

Pros Cons
➕ Advanced noise reduction ➖ Does not support image layers
➕ Advanced color editor ➖ Does not provide a RAW image processing of images
➕ Updated interface
➕ DNG converter


12. Capture One Express

Capture One Express
Capture One Express. Image Credits: Capture One

Capture One Express is a simplified version of the Capture One Pro software. It is a free photo editing software for Sony and Fujifilm files. It is completely free to download and is not restricted to the 30-day trial period.

Capture One Express supports digital photo importing, image adjustment, local and layer editing, and raw camera file conversion. The latest version of the software also supports HDR merging, a Dehaze tool, and a quick edit feature called the speed edit. 

This image editing softwares make quick fixes to elements such as brightness, shadows, colors, or lighting to create an amazing photograph.

If you have taken a photo through a Sony or Fujifilm camera, you would have tried to make it picture-perfect. There would have been a lot of memorable moments that you have captured through the camera. When you upload the photos, export them for printing or share them online, you might have felt awful that the pictures do not look good. 

Pros Cons
➕ Available free with Fujifilm and Sony camera ➖ No local adjustments
➕ Default noise reduction


13. Photoshop Elements 

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements can be used as a Lightroom alternative. It is meant for non-professional consumers. It is a photo editing software that can be used by any amateur photographer who wants to try his hands at photo editing. This particular photo editing software helps you to create amazing Photoshop effects that are difficult for beginners to accomplish. 

As with Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications, the new features available with the software include the art style transfer and warping photos. Art Style Transfers give your picture a look of a hand-painting image. This feature is powered by Adobe’s AI technology called the Sensei. The Photo Warp tool lets you place one image over another one.

Using the Guided Edits feature, you can turn blurred or shaded faces into brighter ones. As with many of the other applications, Photoshop Elements auto-updates itself. But this is restricted only to the current version.

Photoshop Element uses many of Photoshop’s tools and capabilities without going in for a subscription mode as it is available at a one-time purchase.

Photoshop Elements is available as a one-time purchase at the rate of US $99.99. The trial version of the software is also available for 30 days. You can also buy Photoshop Elements and  Adobe PremierePro software together at the rate of US$149.99. 

The installed program of the software takes around 2.5 GB. Make sure, your computer has enough space to accommodate the software.

Pros Cons
➕ Ease of use ➖ Expensive for a single software
➕ Quick to install  ➖ Popular social media networks are not supported
➕ Impressive automated features


14. Affinity Photo

affinity photo
Image credits: Affinity photo

The best subscription free Lightroom alternative.

Affinity Photo comes with a free trial that lets you test the software before signing up for the subscription. While this lightroom alternative is not free, it is an advanced, effective one with no extra price. You can buy the software with a one-time payment and it doesn’t require a subscription. Affinity Photo supports Windows, Mac, and iPad.

Affinity Photo comes with a large set of editing tools that appeal to creative and professional photographers. The software also lets you switch back to the original photo after editing them on multiple tools like White Balance, Curves, and Levels. 

Correcting and enhancing images with this software is simple with the Affinity Photo software, focus stacking, HDR merging, panorama stitching, and batch processing features. 

Pros Cons
➕ Raw image support. ➖ Cannot create custom workspaces.
➕ Works with vector and raster images. ➖ A bit slow with large files.
➕ Layer-based editing. ➖ Doesn’t support creating smart objects.

15. Corel AfterShotPro


Best lightroom alternative with impressive features

Being available at a lower price, you can consider Corel AfterShotPro as a best lightroom alternative. Along with all the basic features like retouching and adjusting colors, this alternative will also impress you with the advanced features. Highlight recovery, Lens corrections, Blemish remover tools, etc are some of the best features of Corel AfterShotPro. 

Being compatible with a wide range of RAW file formats, it helps you with non-destructive editing. You can even adjust images together through batch processing. Along with other editing tools, it also supports layers. 



➕ Compatible with a lot of RAW file formats  ➖Lacks PNG format support
➕ Provides non-destructive editing


16. Mylio Photos

best adobe lightroom alternative

Best alternative for photography

Like any other Adobe Lightroom alternative, Mylio is one of the best choices for artists or photographers to edit your images. As it is best in organizing photos, the software supports devices laptops, phones, tablets, etc. 

You can edit your photos easily without an internet connection. You can handle images from various sources that you can edit from the easy to search option in Mylio Photos. As a beginner, you can try and make remarkable edits through free access. Subscriptions will not limit your use of the features in Mylio Photos. 



➕Easy to use software ➖Has limits in free access 
➕Supports many devices 

Adobe Lightroom Alternatives Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best Lightroom alternatives available for free?

RawTherapee and DarkTable are photo editing software available for free and can be used as an alternative.

Can Apple Photos be used as a Lightroom alternative?

Yes, you can use Apple Photos as an alternative to Lightroom but the software can be used only in Apple-supported devices.

Is RawTherapee Free?

Yes. RawTherapee is a free image editing software. You can use it across various platforms like Windows, Mac.

Is DarkTable better than Lightroom?

DarkTable can be used as an alternative to Lightroom. But since Lightroom comes as an Adobe product and also a part of the Creative Cloud. It also has huge community support from Adobe.

Do Professionals use alternatives to Lightroom?

Yes, People who cannot afford to buy Lightroom can get the free software which has been mentioned above. The alternatives that are offered here are all used by professionals.


Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives Conclusion

We hope that this article has given you some insight into the various options that are available in place of Lightroom. Though Adobe Lightroom has been the standard photo editing software for quite a long period. We have given you various options that could be used as an alternative. It is for you to decide what kind of photo editing software you require.