Some belief Adobe Lightroom to be the gold standard in photo editing. But what is the Best Lightroom substitute? There are a plethora of entirely free alternatives that operate just as well as, if not better than, Lightroom.
Today, we’ll look at the Best Lightroom alternative. There are numerous solutions available, both free and paid. Without using the real app, you may still receive fantastic image management, image processing, and all of the other benefits of Lightroom. Check out all of these amazing Lightroom alternatives for everything from importing and editing to organising and improving all of your photos.
Skylum Luminar is a popular RAW photo editor that is offered for a one-time fee with no subscription. The tools are AI-powered, provide a complete money-back guarantee, and have great digital asset management capabilities. The AI can even study a photo and automatically choose the best adjustments to make.
Skylum Luminar is also excellent for those who have never used an image editing programme before. It has a strong emphasis on presets and easy modifications, allowing you to quickly become acquainted with the new software. If you’re not a beginner and want something with a little more subtlety, Skylum Luminar is also a good option. There are sophisticated editing tools available that allow you unlimited control.
Skylum Luminar is available as a standalone app as well as a plugin for other products such as Photoshop and Lightroom.
RawTherapee is completely free. It is a free and open-source RAW image processing tool for the three major operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux. In terms of interface and tools, it’s a cross between Photoshop and Lightroom. It lacks the same level of image management as the other application. It’s a lighter variant with a shorter learning curve.
Still, RawTherapee is the best Lightroom replacement for RAW files. It has excellent editing features, is excellent for correcting exposure, has an excellent colour correction, and the UI is familiar enough that it will not be perplexing.
On1 Photo Raw combines photo editing and digital management, combining the popular features of Lightroom and Photoshop into a single user-friendly tool. It provides a free 30-day trial period with a 90-day money-back guarantee. There is simply a one-time price when purchasing, and it is pretty reasonable.
This tool is ideal for those who enjoy using Lightroom and Photoshop for picture editing and management but want something a little different. On1 Photo Raw is a simple interface that includes a Raw processor, layered editor, image organiser, and effects editing. The application has a somewhat steep learning curve, but once you’ve mastered it, it’s quite simple to use.
Because the library system is browser-based, there is no need to import images. It also features a robust search function. You can simply find photographs using keywords and metadata, as well as date and time. Even better, you can develop your own camera profiles.
There are some fantastic effects, such as adding weather to an image, such as rain or snow. Inside the programme, AI technology is evolving as we speak, with current AI on par with some of the most expensive picture editors.
The layer functionality is flawless. Blend modes are excellent for layer merging. Portrait editing is at the pinnacle, with portrait mode capable of automatically detecting faces and creating individual adjustment panels for each. You may even edit the skin and eyes of each person in the shot separately.
4. Exposure X6
Exposure X6 is a product of Exposure Software. This is one of the most effective Lightroom alternatives. It has a plethora of capabilities and functions as a fully functional RAW image editing software. You get all of the photo editing capabilities that professional photographers adore while remaining user-friendly for beginners. It can also be used as a Lightroom plugin. However, if you utilise Exposure X6 without Lightroom, you will save money on monthly expenses.
One of the most unusual features of Exposure X6 is the ability to import images from your computer’s internal storage or external drives and drop them into the programme. Files are never copied or transferred from their original location. They can be accessed directly from the programme. This is incredibly useful.
You can also move files that are already in a Lightroom library. When you do this, you retain all of the keywords and metadata that came with the original files.
This tool is excellent for filtering, it is excellent for collaborating on picture editing via cloud-based services, and it comes with a plethora of presets that will please any editor. Exposure X6 also has a 3D colour masking tool that generates masks based on factors such as hue and saturation.
Capture One Pro is a Lightroom alternative that every professional photographer should consider. However, be aware that this is not the best programme for a beginner. It has a very steep learning curve and is intended for collaborative work. However, if you’re a professional looking for something more complicated than Lightroom, this is arguably the greatest programme to utilise.
This programme comes in a variety of formats, including premium and free editions. If you’re unsure, take advantage of the paid version’s 30-day free trial before purchasing.
Capture One Pro even has software versions tailored to the camera you’re using, specifically Sony and Fujifilm. This means that colour management will be more efficient than usual. Color profiles are customised for each camera, making viewing your images in the software a more pleasurable experience.
In several aspects, this application outperforms Lightroom. It allows you to modify colour in more ways, which is great for making the optimum colour balance alterations to things like shadows and highlights. There is also a channel solely dedicated to skin tones.
Because of its sophisticated RAW processing engine, DxO PhotoLab 4 is a Lightroom alternative chosen by serious photographers. The app’s elite version includes some really amazing capabilities, such as the denoising RAW tool, the anti-moire tool, the presets editor, and much more. The app is constantly updated, and new cameras and lenses are supported as they become available.
Editing is fast and fluid, artificial intelligence is among the best in the industry, and the dynamic interface combined with the simple workflow makes editing simple and enjoyable. The editing history tool is also useful for travelling back in time and looking at certain periods during the editing process.
There are far too many fantastic things to mention. When it comes to image management, you can perform a lot of the same things inside DxO PhotoLab that you can do in Lightroom — but for processing RAW photographs, many users claim DxO PhotoLab is even better.
Darktable is a free Lightroom replacement. After changing a few photographs, there is no need for a subscription or a paywall. The programme offers more features than any other free editing software. It supports RAW processing for more than 400 cameras. It also includes all of the image alterations that a beginner requires, as well as a large library of image management options.
The user interface is very similar to that of Lightroom. If you’ve previously used Lightroom, the transition can be a little perplexing. It may take some time to completely comprehend the app because it contains many of the same capabilities as Lightroom, but they are housed in various locations, which can be perplexing.
Fortunately, there are numerous instructions available on how to use Darktable to its best potential. It’s obviously not as technologically advanced as the commercial apps, but it’s still a terrific tool for nothing.
LightZone is yet another free Lightroom alternative that is available on all major operating systems. It has certain conceptual differences that make it an outlier in the editing software game. Its Zone Mapping function, for example, allows for specific modifications via a new layer-based method. Many folks who came from Lightroom may be unfamiliar with this. People either adore it or despise it, according to numerous evaluations.
LightZone’s black-and-white photo processing is one of its key characteristics that sets it apart from many other editors. It employs tonal alterations to create some of the most brilliantly amazing black and white photos ever created. This is a significant creative boost for LightZone.
LightZone includes a variety of blending modes, a powerful RAW file converter, an appealing user interface, and photo modification tools that function surprisingly well for a free product. Those who enjoy editing with layers will benefit the most from LightZone.
The only disadvantage is that LightZone lacks some of the functionality seen in other free apps. It all depends on how you want to use the editor. If you like black and white photography, its unique features, and its user interface, LightZone could be the ideal Lightroom option for you.
The greatest Lightroom alternative is completely dependent on what you want to do with your photos. There are dozens and hundreds of Lightroom alternatives, both free and paid, that we did not cover today. Everyone wants the best editing software, which means that each software has its own proprietary quirk. You only need to determine which experience best suits you and which programme results in the most amazing images.
As with most things, the more you spend, the more valuable the features. However, there are some free picture editing programmes for beginners, such as LightZone and Darktable.