- Lightroom For Mac Review
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Photo editing programs allow both amateurs and professionals to make corrections to the raw footage captured by their digital camera, by removing the errors therein.
Adobe Lightroom Photo editing and organizing software 12-month Subscription with auto-renewal, PC/Mac Visit the Adobe Store Platform: Mac OS Sierra 10.12, Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11, Windows 10, Mac. May 20, 2020 DxO PhotoLab is the first alternative you can use to replace Lightroom. It is a paid tool, but you are not required to be a monthly subscriber to use it. The software of DxO PhotoLab is divided into two versions: Essential Edition which costs $129 and ELITE Edition which costs $199.
One can, with the help of these programs, remove background (green screen effect), remove noise from images, sharpen them, blur them, and lots of other options.
When thinking about such programs, Adobe Lightroom is the first that comes to mind. However, it does not run on versions of Windows lower than version 10 (1709 or later) and also demands the latest versions of the Macintosh operating system too.
In addition to the above is Adobe's hefty price. It then becomes clear to understand why a Lightroom alternative will be needed.
Luminar's AI Sky Replacement
A quick online search reveals that there is no dearth of Adobe Lightroom competitors or an Adobe Lightroom replacement.
I would suggest that you purchase one of the best Adobe Lightroom alternatives, as they offer you value for money and provide you with the same editing power as that of Lightroom.
I am going to review apps like Lightroom, or apps similar to Lightroom, as this will help you determine what the best alternative to Adobe Lightroom is for your photo editing purpose.
I shall be reviewing five alternative Lightroom software that work on the Windows operating system and the Mac and review one good editing program that works on the Linux.
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The Perfect Alternatives to Lightroom (Mac, Windows & Linux)
These are perfect alternatives to Lightroom Mac, Windows or Linux. I leave it to you to determine which one of the six will be a good alternative to Lightroom for mac and the other operating systems and which will provide you with the best value for money after going through this comparison.
Skylum Luminar 4
(Mac & Windows)
Although I was quite impressed with the previous versions of this Lightroom 8 alternative, it did not have a DAM (Digital Assets Manager) in the form of an image library that allowed me to organize photographs in the same way that Adobe Lightroom does, or better.
Better Photo Library
Skylum has addressed this issue and the latest version of their Lightroom CC alternative now has an image library better than that offered by Adobe.
Luminar is a cutting-edge standalone photo editing program, packed with all the features you need to edit an image from beginning to end.
Like the offering from Adobe, it also boasts of a right-hand column, in which you can make adjustments with the help of sliders. This further shows how Luminar compares to Lightroom.
You also have the option to choose which adjustments you would like to appear in that column.
This similarity makes it easier for people looking for a photo editor like Lightroom (and people who may already have been used to Lightroom) to quickly get acquainted with Luminar.
Batch Processing Ability
The DAM included in the latest version helps you keep your image organized along with options for batch processing and quick editing.
By the way, this program, which I consider to be an excellent Windows Lightroom alternative (and Mac), also includes layer masking, Photoshop-like layers, numerous filters, blend modes, as well as advanced stuff such as LUT mapping, which Lightroom does not have.
For your information, EISA voted Luminar 3 as the best photo editing software of 2019-2020.
You can simply move a single slider or even do complex stuff like masks and multiple layers, or experiment with 3rd party plugins.
An Array of Unique Filters
Luminar also boasts of unique filters such as bottom and top lighting, sunrays, AI sky enhancer, and the standard editing tools such as black & white, highlights/shadows, curves, raw develop and some others.
These, together, offer you endless opportunities for artistic and creative editing and straight-up batch processing work. This is why I consider it to be the best Lightroom alternative Windows 10 as well.
How Best to Use Luminar As A Plugin?
In order to, efficiently, use this program as a plugin, Skylum has provided Luminar Flex for this purpose.
I loved the Accent AI in this new version as it has undergone a massive update. This can speed up the processing speed quite a lot.
Improved Photo Library Functionality
Luminar has also improved the way the library works. When you apply the same look to numerous photographs, the software understands that it should not transfer selective adjustments such as cropping, erasing all of the photographs, as well as cloning.
You now have the ability to copy and paste your adjustments over individual photographs or synchronize them across multiple images.
View Only the JPEG or RAW Images to Reduce the Clutter
Do you want to compare your edited images with the way your camera edits? Here's some good news for Fuji fans. You can view both of them simultaneously and use the JPEG for referencing while editing the RAW version.
Luminar 4 costs $89. However, if you purchase it now, the vendor will include `Inspiration Looks,' which includes plugins such as Dramatic Landscapes, Neon Tokyo, and Analogue Film. The vendor offers a 60 days money-back guarantee.
(Mac & Windows)
I shall now check Aurora HDR in this review of best Lightroom alternative Mac to see how the former stands against the latter.
Although this program works excellently on the Windows operating system, it is the perfect Mac alternative to Lightroom.
Best for HDR Imaging
HDR is a highly specialized type of photography coded to expose details in both shadows and highlights of a specific scene by mixing multiple versions of an identical image, clicked at different exposures.
A Product of Merged Images
It is tough to do this right without overdoing it. The camera sensor cannot capture what your eyes see and this HDR technique compensates by creating the exact image you saw through your eyes.
The 2020 version of this software boasts of a new Quantum HDR Engine with AI (artificial intelligence) based tone-mapping technology. This helps produce natural results through more efficient photo merging.
A New Smart HDR Structure feature offers more realistic sharpness and precise details sans halos, noise or artifacts.
Can Be Used As A Plugin or Standalone
You can run this software as an Adobe Photoshop plugin or as a standalone app. It works as a plugin for Lightroom too (does this not put it ahead of Lightroom?) and even as an Apple Photos extension.
Aurora HDR supports plug-ins of Photoshop such as the Nik Collection and Imagenomic and you also have the option to combine Aurora with Luminar as a bundle.
Can Also Transform One RAW Image to HDR
Classical HDR photography mixes multiple images; however, Aurora, via its AI-based neural network, permits you to transform one RAW image to HDR as well.
It prevents ghosting and unnatural lighting, reduces noise, boosts contrast, as well as corrects colors.
Batch Processing (Quickly Identifies Bracketed or Standalone Images)
The batch processing feature of this photo editor allows you to import multiple image folders for export as single or bracketed images. It can accurately identify which images stand alone and which are bracketed. It allows you to work with different image formats, including RAW.
Easy to Use Interface (Quickly Create New Looks)
If you are in need of software like Lightroom, Aurora HDR boasts of a friendly interface and is extremely easy to use. The 2020 version introduces a new Looks feature, which was previously known as presets, with additional refined toning and aesthetic choices.
As a good Lightroom substitute for Mac and Windows, this photo editing software has sliders and controls that give you total visual power over your picture. This software ships with some Looks collections: Artistic, Dramatic, Architecture, Landscape, and Essential.
Easily Add Masking and Layers to One-click Looks
Applying one-click Looks is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as you can build in additional edits with the masking and layer features.
Like most Photoshop Lightroom alternatives, Aurora, too, is non-destructive. It allows you to undo any adjustments. If required, you can revert to the original image and start from scratch.
Preview with LUT Mapping
The new Lookup Table (LUT) mapping feature allows you to simply put your mouse pointer over the 11 built-in LUTs to look at dynamic previews of the various color grading styles that you are able to apply to your photos.
Additional Textures, LUTs, and Looks are available either for free or for a reasonable price from the Aurora HDR Marketplace.
If you are in need of a software similar to Lightroom (and cheaper), the Aurora HDR makes for a good option. For a limited time, it can be purchased at a cost of $99. Existing users can always upgrade to the new version by supplying their names and emails or serial numbers for verification.
In my opinion, this is among the best in the OSX Lightroom alternative.
Capture One Pro
(Mac & Windows)
Another powerful photo editing software that can be a good replacement for Lightroom is Capture One Pro. From import to export, it gets the job done (and quickly too).
Its interface is similar to that of Lightroom. Hence, you should find it familiar if you have been using Lightroom before or migrating.
Catalog and Sessions
For those familiar with Lightroom, it makes use of catalogs for photo organization and storage while Capture One makes use of both catalogs and sessions for the same function.
Because Lightroom works with one database file, it can get pretty slow when you have several thousands of photographs in its catalog whereas Capture One gives you the option of also using ‘sessions'.
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‘Sessions' in Capture One, creates folders for your photos that are carefully organized into subjects (or whatever the session folder is about). They are portable and so you can just move those folders from one place to the other. This can be handy if you do a lot of traveling.
Wide Array of Supported Cameras
Capture One supports many camera types and brands, so you should not face any problems with camera compatibility.
Some camera brands supported include:
- Konica Minolta
- and others
Re-arrangeable Tools and Interface
Tools in the toolbar and user interface can be re-organized and customized as you deem fit. You may remove tools that you do not need or add those that you need. Some are also collapsible and expandable.
Levels and Curve for Adjustments
Capture One has ‘Levels' and ‘Curve' adjustments, which are standard for all you need for professional photo editing.
Keyboard Shortcuts Can be Customized
In addition to a wide array of toolbar options to choose from, it also contains keyboard shortcuts that can be customized to speed up your workflow.
You can stack up photos in layers with Capture One and adjust the opacity. You can also toggle between a layer and the background. This will help you see the ‘before' and ‘after' of any image.
Good RAW Image Conversion and Output
There are ‘Process Recipes' available for a perfect output of your files into whatever format you need. You can also create your own ‘Process Recipes' for output. You can also select many images for batch processing.
(Mac & Windows)
Franzis has, virtually, all you need to churn out great-looking photos in very little time. Just give it an ordinary picture, and the result will amaze you.
To achieve all these, it has a wide variety of tools that you can use. Some of these tools include HDR, Denoise, Black & White, Neat, Analogue, Sketch, Focus, Sharpen, cutout, color effects, and many more.
Compared to other similar software, it is one of the best lightroom competitors worthy of mention.
Whether you want to take perfect pictures at night (when the light is poor) or you want to turn any image or photo into a beautiful work of art, Franzis has got you covered.
There is also an array of presets to use for your editing projects.
The tools can function as a standalone or as a plugin.
Exposure X5 (Alien Skin Software)
(Mac & Windows)
‘Exposure Software' is the new company name of ‘Alien Skin'. This is a non-destructive RAW editing software developed to serve all creative photographers.
The latest of this is the ‘Exposure X5' which comes with some new improved functionality to enhance editing and make for an efficient workflow.
Some of the new functionalities in Exposure X5 include:
- 3D color masking preview
- Ability to correct lens distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting
- Ability to target specific problem areas in an image by setting mask parameters
- Ability to take the luminosity and color range that is used to define the layer mask on an image and re-use them on other images with similar characteristics
- Remove unwanted areas from the mask with a brush thereby saving you time
There are, basically, 3 tools that you can get in the Exposure bundle. They are:
As already mentioned above, it lets you edit in a non-destructive manner.
- Customize and reproduce looks with creative styles to make the looks unique
- Use it as a plug-in with Adobe
(ii) Snap Art
With this, you can turn your photos into works of art.
There are pencil, watercolor, crayon, sketch and oil painting presets that you can choose from to achieve beautiful artistic photos that look real that you can hang on the wall or frame.
(iii) Blow Up
Do you need to enlarge your photograph and still retain the high quality of those photos? If so, ‘Blow Up' will let you achieve this.
Lightroom For Mac Review
‘Blow Up' images are sharp and will enlarge low-resolution JPG images with ease even if you can no longer find the original RAW files.
‘Eye Candy' includes effects such as lightning, chrome, smoke, fire and many more that you can use to add real-looking effects to your photos.
Remember, you can get all of the above 3 tools when you get the Exposure Bundle.
Corel Aftershot Pro
(Mac, Windows & Linux)
Finally here is some good news for Linux users. Corel Aftershot Pro is the best Lightroom alternative (Linux). In fact, it is the only software among the six programs like Lightroom I am reviewing here that supports Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Let us check this Adobe Lightroom alternative (Linux) in detail.
Great for RAW Editing
This program has all you need for a seamless RAW editing workflow on Linux, Mac, and Windows. It lets you edit, develop, and export your RAW images. Although it is primarily meant for professionals, it is struggling to overcome Adobe Lightroom as the most commonly-used RAW editor.
I downloaded the 30-day free trial version and installed it on my Linux PC. I was impressed by the speed of the program. However, it lacked some of the advanced editing tools that the above-reviewed programs have. I had no worries about that as I needed a Linux based photo editor at the time.
Unlike Adobe's offering, which comes at a monthly subscription, you only need to pay a one-off charge for AfterShot.
Small Storage Space Needed for Installation
The program takes far less storage space than competitors. While Lightroom CC takes up a whopping 1.3GB, this offering from Corel takes just 142MB.
A Word About Installation and Settings
Once the installation is complete, you will view a dialog box with lots of text with the choice to adjust some settings like user data, cache, and so on. I suggest that you leave these settings to default unless you know what you are doing.
Next, you have the option to register this Linux, Windows and Mac Lightroom alternative 2020 software using an email address.
Fair User Interface
The interface was, however, not as impressive as those of the other programs earlier mentioned in this review.
Coming from the house of Corel, I had expected much more. However, Linux users need not complain as they just do not have many choices.
Once you get yourself familiarized with the program, you'll find the program easy to use. I had to spend some time trying to figure out how to import an image.
Fast Image Importing Speed
However, once I found out the process, I was pleasantly surprised by the speed at which this Lightroom alternative for Windows, Mac, and Linux imported and built previews when I tried to import several images in one go.
The importing speed of this Lightroom alternative for Linux is the best of the five programs compared here.
The list price of this program is $79.99 but is generally discounted. Existing users can update to the latest version at any time, which is fair enough for this Adobe Lightroom equivalent for Linux and the other operating systems.
(Windows & Mac)
This is the last in the list of programs similar to Lightroom that I shall be reviewing today.
Unlike two of the programs reviewed here, you can download a free version of this software for trial purposes. Remember, the free version does not have all the features of the paid version.
The vendor has introduced professional-quality features like soft proofing and tethered shooting together with a new artificial intelligence style engine as well as additional style packages to modernize the creative process.
As a good Lightroom alternative software, PhotoDirector 10 offers a number of enhancements, which includes improvements to its layering system.
Lightroom Software For Mac
Good for Both Professionals and Amateurs
This allows greater creative flexibility to experienced editors without losing its simple touch, ensuring that less experienced users will also be able to use the tool and learn to edit photographs with it.
The introduction of layer grouping, cropping masks, as well as the capability to add new empty layers to projects collectively presents an excellent range of options for users interested in experimenting with their Lightroom alternative raw images.
Lightroom For Mac
Available Style Layer Templates
Users looking for quick and creative solutions can purchase a wide range of stylish express layer templates, available for sale from the website of the vendor.
Four Additional Effects Packs
In addition to the existing collection that ships with this online Lightroom alternative, the vendor will be offering four additional packs during launch, which includes Comic, Teenage, Galaxy, and Shapes.
These packs will make your life simpler when adding special effects to images. For example, the Comic pack allows you to create professional-looking comic strips in a flash. You no longer have to waste time creating speech bubbles.
Easily Turn Your Photo into A Masterful Piece of Art
Easy Program Navigation
On numerous occasions, first-time entrants in the world of photo editing feel intimidated by the number of tools available on the same bar. It is due to this that PhotoDirector, yet another Lightroom alternative for Mac and Windows, offers a navigation system with clearly labeled tools, divided into tabs.
Lightroom For Mac Torrent
Explanation and Practical Tips for the Amateur Editor
On rare occasions in which the program uses icons, they are always explained with practical tips. There is a large variety of options available; however, the tabbed design implies that there are never too many options on the screen simultaneously.
This prevents new editors from getting confused. They might have to spend some time to find a specific function, but it is always clear where to look.
The “Ultra” version of this Lightroom alternative online retails for $99.99, but the vendor is currently offering it at only $69.99.
Which Will Be A Better Alternative to Lightroom (Mac, Windows or Linux)?
I leave it to you to determine which is the best Lightroom alternative for Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2020.
After going through this basic review, you should not face any problem making a choice between the above alternatives to Lightroom for PC, Mac or Linux.
Even though I use a Linux PC, I believe that any of the above-mentioned programs will make for a good alternative to Lightroom.
Lightroom is a very popular application used for image management and processing. It plays a versatile role for the user fond of camera and photography. You can create a superb image and graphics using its tools. It provides free image source to manage the pictures as well. However, Lightroom is very costly and has a normal workflow. Owing to these reasons, many users are looking for alternatives to Lightroom. If you are the one, then go through this article thoroughly to get the best and superior Lightroom alternatives for the management of images.
Though it is quite easy to open RAW images free in Windows and Mac, the apps in this article are worth trying as all of them are not the same. Some have more, similar or fewer features in comparison to the Lightroom. Moreover, the price of the subscription of these apps also varies with the features. So, it is suggested to check all the options and go for the one as per your necessity and preference. These apps are very simple to use and are capable to add amazing effects and other additional features to the image by editing it. You will get both free and paid alternatives to Lightroom for photo management in this list given below.
Pro tips: In case you delete photos by mistake, which happens to photographers every day, don’t hesitate to try RePicvid Free Photo Recovery to get them back.
Top 1. RawTherapee
This application is designed for fulfilling the raw processing needs of the image which can be edited afterwards using any editing tool. This open source application does not delete the original image while making the changes. You can revert back to get the original image anytime.
Features of RawTherapee:
- It comes with non-destructive photo editing abilities.
- You can easily adjust the noose, sharpness, colour, exposure and other such elements of the image using its advanced tools.
- It is powered with a multicore support system and de-mosaicking codes to get connected to a hardware system easily and create proper images.
- It saves all the works done on this app automatically.
- It is also featured with batch processing for quicker editing.
Top 2. LightZone
LightZone is another open source application which plays a versatile role in the management and processing of the image. For accessing its tools and other features, you need to install the app on your device and sign in to the app to get started.
Features of LightZone:
- It is a non-destructive app which helps to gain the original form of any converted image anytime.
- It is very helpful in the raw processing of the images with advanced tools.
- It has a huge collection of amazing filters and other effects which can be applied to the image to make it attractive and unique.
- You can customize the effects to make it as per the demand of the image. It is helpful in the perfect application of effects on the image.
- It is coded with vector-based selection tool which is helpful in making changes and creating selective effects on any particular area of the image.
- You can enjoy editing and processing the image using this tool for free.
Top 3. IrfanView
IrfanView is widely used for editing and management of the image. It is featured with many effective tools which make this application perfectly used by professions. However, the interface of this app is not so interactive. So, it is not easy for newbies to use it.
Features of IrfanView:
- It has all the tools to organize and edit the image present in both compressed and raw file formats.
- It is perfectly designed for editing the images quickly and effectively.
- It enables the user to add tags, edit metadata and make changes in batches.
- It provides a wonderful raw image processing with many adjustments and configuration in the image texture.
- It allows the user to transfer the image after editing to other platforms like GIMP.
- It saves the changes automatically.
Top 4. DarkTable
DarkTable gives similar tools for editing and processing as Capture One Pro. It is an open source application so can get access to the complete software for free. It is a very simple application to be used in comparison to others. However, the image processing tool is quite complex to be used.
Features of DarkTable:
- It is designed with advanced processing tool, many editing features and asset management features.
- You can use this application for more than 400 cameras and process the images.
- It works like Lightroom and has simple effects and tools which can be implemented easily than that of Lightroom for editing and adjustments.
- It has a fully developed version for Mac and Linux devices.
Top 5. Capture One Pro
Lightroom For Mac Free Download
Capture One Pro is completely similar to Lightroom. You will find all the tools and effects as that of Lightroom in this application. However, it can be only used by paying a large amount of money. For its access, you need to make a payment of $299 to buy it. This is the reason it is only used by high-profile professionals. It gives all the advantages of its price. It is designed with advanced tools and technology.
Features of Capture One Pro:
- This application is compatible with over 400 cameras and is helpful in organizing and processing of raw image files.
- You can apply advanced techniques and tools of this app to enhance the processing in a better way.
- It provides the user support to learn about its features and tethered shooting. You can see the live video to use it.
- You can get this app for Windows and Mac devices.
- You can go for its trial version to experience its tools and effects.
Top 6. DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab is an amazing platform using which you can put effects and make adjustments like that of Lightroom. It is a perfect alternative to it. You can go for its premium version i.e., DxO OpticsPro for more tools and other utilities. However, asset management abilities, local adjustment features and raw image processing support are not found in this app.
Features of DxO PhotoLab:
- You can use this application along with Apple’s photo app, Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for better editing and management of images.
- It has many features similar to Lightroom with an interactive and user-friendly interface.
- It is featured with noise reduction capability.
Top 7. ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 Photo RAW is a newly designed photo processing application with features similar to Lightroom and Capture One Pro. It comes with both a free and premium version. You can take its trial and get access to all the services by paying $119.
Features of ON1 Photo RAW:
- It is featured with asset management abilities and is well suited for raw image processing.
- It also allows the user to access sits layer support feature like Photoshop. You can use it for the organization of different images together.
- It is developed with effective local adjustments, intuitive interface and many filters and effects for editing.
Top 8. ACDSee Photo Studio Professional
As the name suggests, this application is designed to be used by professionals with many hi-tech features. It has many features similar to Adobe Photoshop which can be brought in use for effective editing.
Features of ACDSee Photo Studio Professional:
- It comes with advanced tools for raw image processing, editing and organizing the images.
- You can also catalogue the images easily with this app.
- It supports more than 500 cameras so you can enjoy unlimited management and editing of images using it.
- You can modify the pixels of the image using the Liquify tool.
- You can buy this app for only $99.
Top 9. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is another latest application developed for raw image processing. It is compatible with both Mac and Windows PC. You can use this application for profession type editing with the use of many advanced features and tools.
Features of Affinity Photo:
- It is powered with 360-degree image editing, digital painting, PSD editing, focus stacking, panorama effects and many other.
- It supports multi-image processing and multi-layer compositions which creates a good environment for working.
Top 10. Mac Photos and Google Photos
Mac Photos and Google Photos are technically advanced and provide similar editing features like that of Lightroom.
You can easily manage and feature the image by making adjustments in curve, tone, saturation and others using Mac Photos. You can customize the effects to make the image more attractive and well-toned.
Google Photos also comes with many specifications in features for editing the image. It supports high processing of image and works on the codes of advanced machine learning. It can automatically edit the photos to make your collection of photos more effective.
Both of them are perfectly made for primary editing, processing and management of images. You can easily organize using Mac Photos and Google Photos with no hassle.
We have learnt a total of 10 image editing and processing applications with many advanced tools. Some of them are open source tools while some come with the premium subscription. You can select any of these Lightroom alternatives as your editing software as per your needs and image processing requirements. All these apps help you to create an effective and well-edited image with perfect adjustments. If you have any queries then drop it down in the comments section.