Ten Best Photo Editing Software2021: A Buyer’s Guide

Ever wondered why you get to see a whole new generation of photo editing software every year?

Just like every other year, the end of 2018 and 2019’s first three quarters have witnessed and will see the rise of next-generation photo editing tools and websites and apps.photo editing software

The question remains the same way we get to see so many photo editing software, while the photo is not the next big thing.

I mean, looking from the eyes of a content creator, I know that even video revolution is only getting older day by day.

We’re about to steep feet in the era of interactive content, so why photo editing is still so big a trend?


The answer to this question can be found on Facebook and the internet in general. We all know that 360 degrees’ photos have become a big sensation and #NSMEOFTHEPLACE360 has been a big trend on all social media forums.

Then Facebook dropped the bomb that we know as 3D photo, and it has become a new sensation.


Ladies and gentlemen the reason why we get to see so many new photo editing software every year is the photo is not dead as of yet.

In this guide, you will find out ten best photo editing software that you should use in 2019. Here you go:

  1. Adobe Photoshop CC

adobe photoshop ccSoftware like Adobe Photoshop or Coral Draw is so deep-rooted in the history and culture of photo editing that they will remain relevant and in for many years to come.

Here are the pros and cons of Adobe Photoshop.


  • Lots of design tools that Photoshop users love
  • User-friendly Interface
  • Layers-based Editing
  • Video & 3D Design Manipulation


  • Subscription-based access
  • Lightroom has to be bought separately

As you can see, the pros and this tool do and will always overwhelm the cons. Photoshop is so powerful a photo editor that people are making alternatives or clones of this tool and still making money because those clones are available at cheap rates.

The definite strong suite of Photoshop is its design tools and options. They have been there almost since ever, but with the time Photoshop has added new features to its palettes, such as Content-Aware Fill and a few others.

I’d say that the user-friendly design is just okay – why we consider it user-friendly? It is because all of us used this software for at least once in our life and we are very well aware of the tricks of the trade.

Likewise, one may consider that making Lightroom a standalone tool or refusing permanent access to the tool (unless you keep paying the subscription) is a con, but I would say it is so because Photoshop guys know its worth.


I just call it an adjustment of payment mode and the offer. They want you to subscribe for frequent payments instead of pay once and have access to it.

  1. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

Talk of the devil …

Lightroom CC is the tool that was used to be the part of Photoshop CC bundle that you can buy on their website.


It is no longer a part of Photoshop CC, and it comes as a standalone tool that you have to buy separately.


This tool is the lighter version of Photoshop, and it does something similar to what you want Photoshop to do for you.

It is used for image organization as well as photo enhancements, e.g., filters that you use to change the entire look and feel of the picture.

Here are the pros and cons of this tool.


  • Advanced and Easy Interface
  • Can be used on Mobile as well as Browser
  • Best Photo Management
  • Face Detection and Tagging


  • Has to be managed separately from Photoshop CC
  • Divided into two different Software that had to buy separately – CC & Classic

Apart from the cons which are inevitable (because of certain executive decisions on Adobe’s part), the pros of this tool are really promising.

When you use Lightroom Classic or CC, do know that you’re using something that is a part of whole Photoshop enterprise.

Without Lightroom, Photoshop is not the same that it used to be. And when you add mobile and browser support capacity to this, you just cannot ignore this tool.

I mean, I had to choose four best pros, but I can pick many others. For example, with Quick Develop panel you can batch process the images and thus save your time.

It is one of the easiest and fastest tools when it comes to image cropping and yes, make gazillion changes to the default photo, and you should not be afraid of losing the original and default version because you’re covered by Non-destructive editing.

  1.  Serif Affinity Photo


Those of you who use Mac instead of Windows must be aware of this software because it is only available for Macs. Although the Windows Beta version is available, but not available to every Windows user.

Why do I consider this software worthy of being included in a list of top photo editing software of 2019?

It is because of its unique features. For example, there is this ‘Assistant’ feature that you can use to customize the presets as per your personal or company editing preferences.

Here are the pros and cons that I consider the most important ones.


  • Wide Range of High-end Filters
  • Assistant Feature
  • Edits Can be Reversed
  • Perpetual Ownership – No Subscription Needed


  • So far only for Macs
  • Advanced Features are Complex

The Assistant is not the only best thing about Affinity. It has Illustrator and many other powerful tools to help you with your blog or personal photo editing tasks.

Speaking of cons: the most prominent of those is a complete lack of commercially available Windows version of this software.

Considering that a number of Windows users outnumber the users of Mac with a huge margin, it is a corporate mistake to make this software available only to Mac users.

While we understand that most of the professional graphic designers use Mac (hipster culture), the majority of them still use Windows because it is cheap and more user-friendly.


Another complaint that the users of Affinity have with this software is the complex nature of advanced tools. The advanced tools are not easy to use, and there are not much community support or tutorials to resolve this issue.


The pros of this software are the ones that make it the apple of every photo editing junkie’s eyes. It has a wide range of high-end photo editing filters, and you do not need to pay a monthly or annual subscription to use it. You can buy it and use it as long as you want.

  1. Corel PaintShop Pro


We all know Corel Draw. Kids in my days used to play with Corel Draw, and it was around when Photoshop was not known.

Although the application of Corel Draw and Photoshop are not the same, they belong to the same field, and there are certain grey areas where you have a pick between both.

Paintshop Pro is a more advanced software made by Corel, and the core purpose of this software is to meet and beat Photoshop.

Here are the pros and cons.


  • Advanced Features at Price Lower than Photoshop
  • Tools for both: Novice users and Professionals
  • Special attention to Vector Drawing
  • Easy Interface and Tutorials to make it easy to use it


  • Not for Mac Users
  • Pretty slower than Photoshop

If you ask me to tell you one big problem with this tool, it is their poor segmentation choice. They made this tool for Windows users only and while all the Thinkpads and Workstation laptops make it possible for a designer to use high-end design programs on Windows, a big number of them use Mac.

The problem number 2 is lagging. Some of the features of Corel Paintshop Pro slow down the system because they are heavy and slow.

Apart from these two issues, it is one of the best photo editing tools. Its interface is easy, and there are tutorials that make it easier for you to use this photo editing software.

Vector design and drawing is the thing of this software, and there are only a few of them that are this good at Vectors.

Thanks to its easy interface you can use this software like a pro, even if you’re a novice design junkie.

  1.  Cyberlink PhotoDirector Ultra 10

cyberlinkCyberlink Photo Director Ultra 10 is known for its AI-powered styling tools. This software has been around for many years, and the design tools that could be found in the predecessors can also be found in the new version.


What makes it talk of the town is the whole new bouquet of design tools. For example, with this tool, within the tool, you can enable a connected camera, take the pictures and edit them within the tool.

For any professional graphic designer and photo editor, this tool is the magic wand because without wasting time you can get your hands on sizzling new photos and manipulate them the way you like.


  • AI-Powered Tools to take Photo Editing to next level
  • Get picture within the tool and edit immediately
  • Layers Based Editing
  • 3D Editing Capacity


  • It may Slow Down Your PC
  • 3D OCD

Did you laugh?

Yes, I call it OCD when a tool made for a whole big thing is excessively focused on a particular aspect.

This tool is overly focused on 3D tools, and this is a con because other aspects of the whole photo editing thing remain untouched or ignored.

The other problem is with how they’ve programmed it. There are another 3D editing, and high-end photo editing tools do not slow down your PC, but this tool does.


The pros of this tool simply make it a steal. Just like Photoshop, it also has a layered editing solution, so you do the “multi-editing” with this tool.

  1.  GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)



The name says it all. I mean in case of Photoshop and a few other tops of the line photo editing software you can say that they work for the video as well and thus focus is not entirely there, but not in case of GIMP.

It was primarily made for Linux, but now it works perfectly on a Windows and Mac computer as well.

Here are the pros and cons of GIMP.


  • Powerful Photo Editing Program – No Lags
  • It’s Free and Still Competes Photoshop
  • Layered Editing
  • Almost All Photoshop Tools


  • Very Small Community – Little to No Help
  • Features Less Pixel Perfect when compared to Photoshop


Give a round of applause to GIMP for at least being a free of cost and open source photo editing tool.


Not only you can use it for free, but if you’re a programmer as well, you can re-code it and make something useful for yourself and others.


Since it is free, it is possessed of a problem that every cheap or free of cost design software suffers from.

The features, as compared to the features of its commercial rival: Adobe Photoshop, are not exactly pixel perfect.


The tool rocks at photo editing with zero lag whether you use it on Windows or Mac or Linux. It is the ultimate alternative of Photoshop with it layered editing and all the tools that resemble to Photoshop tools.

  1. PicMonkey


PicMonkey gets known as a Photo Editor and Graphic Design software. It comes with a wide range of really cool filters and effects.

To make your job easy, it offers a big range of free templates that you can use and customize your content to catch eye-balls like magnet catches metal nails.


For skilled designers out there, who do not really need filters or templates, it has a big variety of tools and a big blank canvas where they can let their imagination go wild.


  • Extremely Useful for Bloggers and people who just want a good photo editor
  • Graphic Feature to Work an old photo into a new one
  • The very simple and friendly user interface
  • Very Affordable


  • No Drag and Drop Function
  • No Layered Editing

You heard it right!

This software is not for you if you want to drag and drop function (who wouldn’t) and you like layered editing option like you have in Photoshop.


If you can ignore these two cons for the sort of editing that you can do for personal purposes or blog or business etc., this tool is a great help.

A lot of bloggers rated 5 out of 5 stars for this product, because it makes it very easy for them to edit photos for their blogs.

The Graphic Feature, for example, can easily turn two old photos into a new one. The interface is easier than almost any other software in this review, and it is stolen, if you take a look at its pricing plans.

  1. PhaseOne Capture One Pro 11

If you’re looking for a more advanced version of Adobe Lightroom Classic, and the reason why you actually need a software is manipulating, customizing and editing images, then PhaseOne Capture One Pro 11 is what you need.

For starters:

This software is perhaps the most pixel-perfect software, and if you love colors, you will love to get your hands on this software, because it is packed and loaded with lively and bright colors.

Here are other pros and the cons of this product.


  • Smooth Processing of Images – Less Noise
  • The Best Tethering
  • Advanced Rendering of Primary Image
  • Maximum Customizability


  • Too Expensive
  • No Mobile Support


I mean this could be perhaps the most advanced and perfect photo editing software if it was not this expensive and it had mobile support too.

Without a mobile app and with a price tag of $299, I cannot call the best photo editing tool.


Its pros and simply more than appealing. Users say that it is one of the most silent photo processing software.

Heck, there is noise in Photoshop, let alone all other software.


The two gems that make it the number one competition of Adobe Lightroom are the best tethering options (pairing it with a computer and getting images via computer camera) and super advanced rendering of the actual image.

The features that this tool is packed and loaded with, makes it easy for you to customize a photo to its last limit.

  1. Adobe Photoshop Elements 14

You open Photoshop and you start editing a photo and very soon you find out that the complex toolbar on your left side is useless for your simple and smart purposes, and you can hardly use a few to do your job.

If you really feel like this (which I do) then worry no more because Adobe has made a lighter and simpler version of Photoshop: the Photoshop Elements 14.

Here are the pros and cons.


  • Face Recognition
  • Guided Edits
  • All Big Image Manipulation Tools from Photoshop
  • Easy to Delete Objects and Fill the Space


  • Limited Social Sharing Outputs
  • Photo Organizer comes Separately

As you can see:

The only “big problem” with this tool is that its photo organizer is not the part of the software and not only you cannot reach it from within the console, but you have to pay extra for this too.

This is simply not acceptable that Photoshop makes people pay $99 only for the organizer.

The social sharing outputs is a minor problem. Definitely it’ll take time to save and manually share the pictures, but no big deal.

Regarding pros, this tool is impressive.

You get guided edits which mean that even a novice can do photo editing with this software. Amazingly, being a simple software with no complex features, it has still got face recognition feature.

You enjoy full Photoshop photo editing shebang with all tools and capacity to delete objects and fill up space.

  1.  DxO PhotoLab

dxo photolab

This tool, just like Phase One Capture One, if from Amazon.

And if this is not enough to establish its authority, you should know that this is one of the best photo editing tools when it comes to raw image editing and creating images with sharpness more than that of a whetted sword.

Here are all the pros and cons of this product.


  • Immaculate Sharpness
  • Easy Interface
  • Zero Noise
  • Advanced Photo Editing Features


  • Not much useful for teamwork
  • No Layered Editing

Definitely, no tool is perfect, and there is one major flaw with this professional photo editing tool.

This is not made for workflow. I mean you can use it for your team, but there aren’t many features to support a robust workflow.

Then comes a bigger issue. This tool does not have a layered editing feature. We are comparing this tool to the photo editing giant: Photoshop CC and not having a great feature like layer editing does not help the cause.


The pros are really promising. If you want a workhorse that will turn raw images into crisp and clear ones with zero lagging or problems, then this tool is for you.

This software has little to no noise, and the photos are pixel perfect. The features that come with this software are really top-notch.

I’m talking about features like U Point Technology that help users work in the area to make it super perfect.


This was our selection of the best Photo Editing tools of 2019, and I bet that you would be turning in your seats to get to know as to which one are the three best photo editing tools for 2019.


Here is the list. Pick any of them as per your specific requirements and budget, and you will not be disappointed.

  1. Adobe Photoshop CC
  2. PhaseOne Capture One Pro 11
  3. GIMP


I hope you gain some more knowledge about Photo Editing. If you have any Suggestion, Query then let me know by comments.

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