The best photo editing software

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Best photo editing software

(Image credit: Adobe / Skylum / Capture One)

The list in brief ↴
1. Best overall: Photoshop
2. Best for AI: Skylum Luminar Neo
3. Best Premium: Capture One
4. Best budget: PhotoDirector 365
5. Photoshop alternative: Affinity 2
6. Best compatibility: Lightroom
7. Best for RAW: DxO Photolab
8. Best for portraits: PortraitPro24
9. Best free editor: GIMP
10. Other options
How to choose
How we test

The best photo-editing software today is more varied than ever. Some photo editing programs focus on the core basics: adjusting tones, colour grading, and masking for local adjustments. Other tools incorporate things like denoising, and others still are focused on retouching, which involves removing distractions and smoothing skin rather than tweaking colours and tones. On top of that, generative AI is transforming image editing with some of the best photo editors adding text-to-image tools that allow mundane tasks that used to take hours to be done in one click.

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

With contributions from