15 Best Free & Paid Photoshop Alternatives to Use for Image Editing

Updated on October 31, 2022 in Photo Editing by

15 Best Free & Paid Photoshop Alternatives to Use for Image Editing

Photoshop is the cult-favorite photo editing software. Most people can’t handle part with it because they can’t find any free Photoshop alternatives that can deliver them similar quality, performance, and results.

But in this article, I’ll be telling you about the 15 best Photoshop alternatives, both free and paid that are actually powerful and bound to make you love them.

5 Best Paid Photoshop alternatives with a free trial

1. Affinity Photo

Affinity-Photo

From features, quality, and performance to interface, Affinity Photo is the closest and the best Photoshop alternative. In fact, it’s better in many things as compared to Photoshop.

It’s cheaper, got no subscriptions, promises fewer crashes, higher speed, unlimited undo, and overall better performance. It supports PSD and other file formats just like Photoshop and is available for both Windows and Mac.

Affinity Photo is specifically designed for professional designers, retouchers, and photographers who are looking for cheaper and better photo editing software.

Pros:

  • The tool supports all kinds of file formats including RAW images and PSD file formats.
  • It allows you to create layer-based, non-destructive editing.
  • One-time payment for lifetime updates.
  • Tools to support high-end editings such as batch processing, focus stacking, built-in lens correction, and more.
  • Huge brush library and powerful text tools.

Cons:

  • There is no file management system.
  • Slower for large files.

2. PhotoWorks

PhotoWorks

The next best Photoshop alternative is PhotoWorks. It is the perfect balance of user-friendliness and massive features with high functionality. It is an amazing photo editing software for both professionals and beginners.

One of the most exciting features you get with this is its amazing content-aware AI that remarkably simplifies the editing process, especially of portraits by recognizing the faces. The easy-to-use interface and wide range of basic to pro-level tools turn even the most basic image into eye candy.

PhotoWorks becomes even better with its undemanding and smooth operation even with low-spec computers.

The biggest deal-breaker that makes this software one of the best photoshop alternatives are the Face Sculpt feature and the library of beautifying presents that makes portrait retouching a breeze.

Pros:

  • System requirements are minimal and can be easily used.
  • It’s easy to learn and get started with photo editing.
  • Professional tools like background removal, portrait auto retouching, face sculpting, AI-driven auto-correction tools, and more.
  • A library of 3D LUT presets and color grading tools.
  • Curves and radial filter for pro-level editing.

Cons:

  • The tool is only available for windows.
  • The free trial of Photowork doesn’t allow you to download your work
  • PhotoWorks doesn’t support PSD format

3. Procreate

Procreate

If you’re looking for a Photoshop alternative for digital painting, then Procreate is the best painting app for your iPad.

With a user-friendly interface and a variety of features, procreate is a paradise for artists. The added palm support makes sure that you never accidentally ruin your canvas and the life-like pencils with other advanced and digital tools are all you need to bring out the true artist within you.

This may not provide you with the editing features like in Photoshop, but it’s specifically the best software you can ever find for digital painting.

Pros:

  • Tools specializing in digital painting.
  • The learning curve is easier and helps in getting started quickly.
  • Ability to create brushes that are right within the system.
  • The tool is affordable and has a smooth workflow.
  • Procreate is compatible with CMYK and RGB.

Cons:

  • There is no free trial available.
  • Procreate is only available for iPad users.
  • There are no vectors, masks, or adjustment layers.

4. Luminar 4

Luminar-4

Luminar 4 is the next-gen AI photo editor that speeds up your editing process. It is one of the best and most advanced Photoshop alternatives that you can find on my list.

The quick detection of hairs, facial features, skin, and sky makes portrait and landscape photography fun and easy. You might go crazy about the templates which are more like filters or presets.

The eye-popping sky replacements, eye enhancements, body slimming, and adding realistic fog to the landscapes are some of the other features that make Luminar 4 the best editing software.

The only drawbacks are it doesn’t support batch editing and layer-based editing for which you might consider other Photoshop alternatives.

Pros:

  • It is a powerful AI-driven tool for high-end editing.
  • The tool supports RAW file images, which allows you to edit.
  • Its AI automatically detects parts of the image and masks them.
  • Luminar has amazing portrait editing and sky replacement tools.

Cons:

  • Luminar has no layer-based photo editing system.
  • The system requirements for Luminar are high.

5. Capture One

Capture-One

Capture One is the most popular Photoshop alternative, or we can say the biggest competitor. It is also the best alternative to Lightroom allowing batch editing with no heavy monthly subscription.

Being one of the best Photoshop alternatives, Capture One is great for layer-based editing, editing RAW files, curve and level adjustment, lens correction, color grading, and spot removal and cloning.

It is compatible with both Mac and Windows. Though you might not find the interface of Capture One as easy as other Photoshop alternatives at first, you can customize it. Also, there are many helpful tutorials to get you started.

Pros:

  • The tool allows you to customize the interface as you please.
  • Capture One has an efficient file management system.
  • You can get a discount if you are Fuji and Sony user.
  • One of the best Photoshop alternatives.

Cons:

  • The tool lacks layer blend modes and advanced retouching tools.
  • The normal interface can be difficult for new users.

10 Best Free Photoshop alternatives

1. GIMP

Gimp-1

Gimp is among the free alternatives to photoshop that you must try. It allows for image retouching, photo composition, and photo authoring.

It comes with a number of competitive features gainst Photoshop that makes the designers and retouchers love it. You can customize the interface, utilize the toolbars and multiple windows, and run it easily on Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Pros:

  • The tool includes paint features like a brush, pencil, airbrush, and clone.
  • Has a large library of plugins to extend the photo editing work.
  • Features Advance editing tools like layers, curves, masks, and levels.
  • GIMP also has advanced layer blending modes.
  • It supports custom brushes and patterns

Cons:

  • The UI of the tools is outdated and cluttered.
  • Learning GIMP is not easy and can be difficult for beginners.

2. Photopea

Photopea

Photopea has an almost similar interface to Photoshop. It allows you to work with layers and layer masks, blend modes just like in Photoshop, leverage a powerful pen, and brush tool, and adjust important elements like brightness, sharpness, contrast, blur, and more.

Pros:

  • The tool can export files in PSD format.
  • Photopea doesn’t require high system requirements.
  • It has the same basic shortcuts as Photoshop.
  • Photopea is one of the best free Photoshop alternatives.

Cons:

  • Advanced photo editing tools are missing.
  • Have ads within the interface.

3. Darktable

Darktable

Darktable is an open-source image editing software that allows non-destructive editing, tether shooting, processing RAW files, and using advanced color tools.

It has an interface similar to Lightroom that allows you to bulk edit images and apply the created presets. Though not as close as Photoshop, it’s the best you can get for free.

However, users did have reported it being slow and buggy when worthing with large or multiple files.

Pros:

  • Darktable works on all devices like Apple, Windows, and even Linux.
  • It has a simple interface that is highly identical to lightroom.
  • The tool allows you to edit RAW images and adjust your image tone, balance your sharpness and contrast and create artistic effects.
  • Darktable allows you to tether shooting support for many camera brands.

Cons:

  • There are many bugs and crashes.
  • It lacks many advanced tools and retouching features to edit the images.

4. Pixlr

Pixlr Free-Photo-editor-online-graphic-design-Pixlr

Pixlr is the most popular and among the best free Photoshop alternatives. It is a tool that works on HTLM5, compatible with all major browsers.

When getting started it allows you to choose between Pixlr X and Pixlr E. First for basic editing and another one for advanced photo editing.

And even if you don’t want to over-edit, you can use tools like an Auto fix to get your photos edited quickly and efficiently.

Pros:

  • The tool is accessible through any platform, even through your phone.
  • Comes with tools to keep track of the history of edit.
  • Pixlr has advanced features like layers supporting multiple blending modes.
  • It also comes with various filters and presets to help you edit your images faster.

Cons:

  • It requires a constant internet connection.
  • There are still some bugs as the tool has various areas to work on.

5. Paint.NET

Paint.NET

Another free Photoshop alternative that you must give a try is Paint. NET.

It supports file formats like PDN, BMP, GIF, JPG, TIFF, DDS, and more. It supports multiple layers and blending modes to help in advanced photo editing.

To get started, one can also refer to the forums, tutorials, and plugins to extend the software.

Pros:

  • The tool is lightweight and requires minimal system requirements.
  • The interface is easy to understand.
  • Paint. NET is free and has no restrictions for business and commercial use.

Cons:

  • Only for Windows.
  • Does not support PSD.

6. Krita

Krita

Krita is a well-known tool for its brush performance. It is a tool that helps in creating digital paintings and is highly regarded among the free alternatives to photoshop for photographers.

To improve the workflow, you can easily create shortcuts for your commonly used tools. In addition, it comes with seemingly endless brush customizations to allow you to be creative with your choices.

With all these extensive designs, one can easily create the high-quality visuals that one needs.

Pros:

  • Comes with excellent brush selections
  • Assistant tools that can help in creating perfect shapes
  • Supports advanced layer management system
  • Available for all operating system

Cons:

  • No filters of dedicated advanced photo editing tools
  • History toolbar functionality missing
  • Update releases are quite few

7. Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro is another, easy-to-get started with free alternative to photoshop that you can use.

It is a tool beginners as well as professionals can start using for their work.

The tool comes with some amazing features, but one that stands out is the 24-hour customer support.

Other than this, the tool features layer and masking functionality, healing and clone brush, and comes with pre-designed extension packs.

Pros:

  • Pre-designed extension packs.
  • 24-hour customer support
  • Supports RAW files
  • Ability to create a filter and save them for future
  • Healing and clone brush

Cons:

  • The exported file size is limited
  • The run time is slow

8. Sumopaint

Sumopaint

Sumopaint is a high-quality free photoshop alternative for digital artwork. It is a tool that you can use to create high-quality images using various professionals tool.

The UI ensures that the learning curve is easy, even for beginners and the tool helps get the desired results with effective control over the work.

Some features that make Sumopaint a must-try are over 300 brushes, clone stamping for real-time drawing, a selection tool with undo feature, and more.

Pros:

  • The interface is very similar to the Photoshop
  • Advance tools for creation like symmetry points, gravity, and, modes.
  • Layer blending and layer effects
  • SUMO format for working offline

Cons:

  • PSD file format is not supported.
  • No rulers or guides

9. Seashore

Seashore

Seashore is among the easy-to-use free photoshop alternative but only for basic photo editing. It works only with Apple and lets you get the basic photo editing work done very easily.

It supports mostly all commonly used file formats except .psd. The learning curve is simple, as the interface is pretty basic and with all the tools right where you need them.

Other than this, the one most outstanding feature of Seashore is the pressure sensitivity that can help you customize your pressure level while editing your photos.

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and best suited for beginners
  • Selections using the lasso tool
  • Layer and merging effects

Cons:

  • Only for Apple users
  • Lacks many features

10. Colorcinch

Colorcinch

Colorinch is another eye-catching, effective, and free photoshop alternative for photo editing. It is especially great for people who are looking for a web-based tool.

It comes with a bunch of presets and graphics that make photo editing much easier. In addition to that, it also features an AI-powered specialty effect to make your images stand out.

Lastly, if you are looking to get started – for business or commercial work – Colorinch has a large collection of stock images that allows you to get started directly.

Pros:

  • Clean, easy-to-use interface for editing.
  • Comes with some amazing AI-powered tools, filters to edit the images
  • It’s free along with the stock images it offers.

Cons:

  • Can’t be used without the internet.

Bonus Read

These 15 paid and free Photoshop alternatives are actually the best and more powerful photo editing software. This editing software promises the same high quality and the same professionalism that you get from your “cult favorite”.

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