Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

Best PCs for Photo Editing (13 Desktops & AIOs for 2020)

When it comes to photo editing, you’re going to want a high-performing PC to do the job. Editing software takes a pretty big toll on your computer’s memory and overall performance when in use.

If you don’t have high enough specs, you’ll find your PC handling the program in a rather sluggish manner. With all this in mind, there are certain factors need to consider when choosing the best PCs for photo editing.

Key Things to Consider When Choosing the Best PCs for Photo Editing:

  • Available storage space
  • Amount of RAM
  • Type of processor
  • Type of graphics card
  • Price

As a photographer, having access to your files and also having enough storage space to install and run your programs is key. You’ll ideally want a PC with 1TB or more in storage.

The best PCs have ample RAM, this allows you to handle performance-heavy programs with ease. Look for a PC with 8GB of RAM at a minimum.

Processors and graphics cards vary from PC to PC, you ideally want high-performers on both ends. The latest Intel i5 or above is a great choice, paired with a powerful NVIDIA or Radeon graphics card.

Price is the final factor and one that comes down to your personal budget. If you have a tight budget, expect to make cuts in some of the above departments to find a PC in your price range.

We have divided our research and writing in two parts.

The first part covers (gaming) PCs which due to their processing power are ideal for photo editing. You will have to buy a monitor for photo editing separately. Also, you may want to buy a non-gaming keyboard. Finally, an editing tool like the Wacom tablet is advisable for maximum editing convenience.

The second part covers the so called All-in-One PCs. These are ideal for those who want a complete unit ready to use straight out-of-the-box. These units come with the processing tower, a display (usually large) unit and a keyboard. Some, like the Apple iMac comes with a pointer device too.

The third part covers the best budget PC units. These are great for everyday office work. A little bit better build than your average office PC. Just so that they can take the additional responsibility of photo editing whenever necessary. We have not gone for the absolutely dirt cheap units because they can be a frustrating experience when you are using Photoshop.

Best (Gaming) Desktop PCs for Photo Editing

  1. CyberPowerPC Gamer Master Desktop Computer
  2. MSI Trident X Plus Gaming Desktop
  3. Dell Alienware Aurora R8 Gaming Desktop PC
  4. HP OMEN Obelisk Desktop Computer
  5. MSI Trident 3 Desktop Computer

Best All-in-One PCs for Photo Editing

  1. Apple 27” iMac with Retina 5K Display (Mid 2017) – Still good in 2020
  2. Apple iMac 21.5” (Mid 2017) – Still good in 2020
  3. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 28” (best pc for photo editing A-I-O)
  4. HP Pavilion 27” All-in-One Computer

Best Budget PCs for Photo Editing

  1. HP Pavilion Gaming 9400F
  2. Skytech Shiva Gaming PC
  3. Skytech Blaze II
  4. Dell XPS 8930 (2019)

Best (Gaming) Desktop PCs for Photo Editing

1. CyberPowerPC Gamer Master Desktop Computer

The CyberPowerPC's Game Master Desktop Computer is the first of many Gaming PCs on our list. It’s powered by an 8-core processor, which is perfect for handling high demand tasks. It comes with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, giving you stunning visual performance. In terms of RAM, you get 16GB, more than enough for running most programs.

And if you’re worried about storage, fear not, this PC comes with 240GB SSD and another 2TB of storage on a built-in hard drive!

Okay, so we’ll admit this is quite a power-heavy PC and you might be wondering why. But trust us, you’ll be thankful for it when it comes to using some super-high-performance programs. Where you’d normally expect a lag, you’ll find none. And if you want to dip into video editing, you’ll still find that this PC offers more than enough.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master Gaming PC, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX...
  • System: AMD Ryzen 7 3700x 3. 6GHz 8-Core | AMD B450 Chipset | 16GB DDR4 | 240GB SSD | 2TB HDD | Genuine Windows 10 Home...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB Video Card | 1x HDMI | 2x DisplayPort
  • Connectivity: 6 x USB 3.1 | 2 x USB 2.0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | 802.11AC Wi-Fi | Audio: 7.1 Channel |...
  • 1 year parts & labor | Free lifetime tech support
  • Special feature: Tempered glass side case panel | Custom ARGB case lighting | RGB 7 colors gaming mouse

2. MSI Trident X Plus Gaming Desktop

Both the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Six-Core processor and the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700K Six-Core processor have very similar real world performance. They are both capable of hyper-threading (hyper threading denotes where each physical core is capable of splitting into two virtual cores, and that allows them to handle additional processes).

3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Six-Core vs 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700K Six-Core

The difference in price is just a few dollars and the base clock speed is 3.2 GHz as compared to the K’s 3.7 GHz. So, in terms of RAW processing power there wouldn’t be too much of a difference. You save some extra cash and some extra heat as the K generates more heat during max load.

Justification: Do I need the MSI Trident X Plus?

We say again, for Lightroom you don’t need the K. The basic 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Six-Core processor is more than enough for your requirements. You would also be able to run Photoshop with some degree of satisfaction depending on your preferred tools of editing. The only reason you would want to fork more money for something like a Core i9 or an AMD Ryzen 9 SoC would be because of future diversification into video editing or generating time-lapse and or hyper-lapse sequences. These are resource hogging applications are the best places where you can expect that your virtual cores capable of running extra threads to come in handy.

Related Post: Best Computers for Video Editing

About the stock cooler

Now a word about the stock cooler of the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Six-Core processor. The stock cooler on the 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 Six-Core processor isn’t the best. So, heat generation would be an issue. A better cooler would be in order if you would like to run resource hungry applications.

Other Specs

The other specs of the PC are 16 GB of DDR4 memory, 256 GB NVMe SSD plus a 2 TB normal HDD storage, and a MSI GeForce RTX 2080 VENTUS 8G GPU.  This would have been higher on our list of the best pc for photo editing, but for the stock cooler. Nevertheless, this is a good option if you choose a better cooler for more resource hogging applications.

MSI Trident X Plus 9SF-054US High-End Small Form Factor PC Intel Core i9-9900K RTX...
  • Type: small form Factor PC With Mini-ITX MB | Operating System: Win 10 Pro
  • Processor: Intel Core i9-9900KF Processor 8 Cores 3.6-5.0 GHz 16M Cache
  • Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2080Ti 11G OC w/true-to-life Ray Tracing Technology
  • Memory: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz (16GB x 2), 2 x U-DIMM DDR4 2400MHz, Max 32GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD (512GB x1) + 2TB...
  • Special Features: real-time Ray tracing | Tempered Glass Side panel | RGB Case Lighting | dedicated cooling Chambers for GPU,...

3. Dell Alienware Aurora R8 Gaming Desktop PC

And going with the same argument with which we concluded the previous paragraph we recommend the Dell Alienware Aurora R8. Another 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7 8th Gen SoC with 6 physical cores.

More cores are better!

The basic thumb-rule in high end PCs is that more the cores you have the better that PC is at multi-tasking. And believe you me when I say this, gaming PCs are the best when it comes to editing photos as well as videos. That is why we have includes the Dell Alienware Aurora R8 as one of the best PCs for photo editing.

Armed with a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8700 six core chip and with the power to multi-thread and therefore handle 12 threads at a time. One of the major advantages of investing in a proper gaming PC is the cooling mechanism. The Aurora R8 comes with an optional liquid cooling system. That basically means this monster is designed to handle demanding games, or in our case work with even the most demanding tools in Photoshop.

Other Specs

The other specs of the R8 are – 16 GB DDR4, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics with 8 GB GDDR6 memory. There are twin storage options inside. One is the fast 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and the other is a 1 TB 7200 rpm hard drive. The best thing about the Aurora R8 is that the tower gives you tool less access. So scalability is easy and is a definite advantage. One of the best pc for photo editing if you are on the Windows platform.

4. HP OMEN Obelisk Desktop Computer

If the configurations do not make sense the name should be a giveaway. The Obelisk is powered by a Core i7-9700K 8 core processor. The chip does not support multi-threading so only 8 threads are supported. The base clock speed of the chip is 3.6 GHz. But it can be tweaked to 4.9 GHz using Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0 technology.

Other Specs

The other specifications of the PC include 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8 GB DDR6 VRAM and 512 GB of PCIe M.2 SSD storage. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is faster and more efficient than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 that we discussed above.

Although this comparison is strictly in terms of gaming performance and against established benchmarks in that segment, it is safe to assume that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 would be the better choice for video editing. For purely photo editing purposes, which we are concerned with, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is more than enough.

Omen by HP Obelisk Gaming Desktop Computer, 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K...
  • Hyper-realistic graphics: NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) RTX 2080 Super (8 GB GDDR6 dedicated memory). Enjoy new levels of gaming...
  • Cutting-edge gaming performance: Geared with the latest hardware and easy to upgrade, so you can crush the latest and most...
  • Ultra-fast processor: 9th generation Intel Core i9-9900K Processor, 8-core, 3.60 GHz
  • HP OMEN command center: Included software lets you customize RGB lighting, prioritize gaming network traffic, and stream your...
  • Solid state drive and memory: 1 TB PCIe(R) NVMe(TM) M.2 Solid State Drive and HyperX(R) 32 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradable to...

5. MSI Trident 3 Desktop Computer

The MSI Trident is a VR ready computer. It is powered by a 3.0 GHz Intel Core i7 9th Gen Eight-Core processor which is paired with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB GDDR6). The CPU does not support hyper threading. Also there is no bundled cooler with the CPU which means you will need to purchase that separately.

Related Post: Best External Hard Drives for Photographers

Other Specs

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is a reasonably powerful mid-range GPU and the 3 GHz Intel Core i7 9th Gen Eight-Core processor combination makes for a potent combination. For photo editing the combination gives you smooth results when using resource hogging tools on Photoshop.

The internal memory of the PC is 16 GB DDR4. VRAM is 6 GB GDDR6. Internal storage is 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD. Definitely one of the best pc for photo editing if you are on a budget.

MSI Trident 3 9SI-447US Small Form Factor Gaming Desktop, Intel Core i7-9700F, NVIDIA...
  • System: Intel Core i7-9700f 3.0GHz 8-Core | Intel H310 Chipset | 16GB DDR4 | 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Windows 10 Home
  • Graphics: NVIDIA geforce gtx 1660 Ti 6G GDDR6 | 1x HDMI | 1x DisplayPort | 1x DVI
  • Connectivity: 4 x USB 3.1 | 4 x USB 2.0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | 802.11AC Wi-Fi | Audio: 5.1 Channel |...
  • Special Features: proprietary thermal Kit Included | DS4200 keyboard | clutch GM10 mouse
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts & Labor Warranty

Best All-in-One PCs for Photo Editing

6. Apple 27” iMac with Retina 5K Display (Mid 2017)

You can’t leave an iMac out of any discussion to do with photo or video editing. Or for that matter anything to do with visual content creation. Because an iMac has one of the best calibrated displays in the market straight out of the box. It’s a visual content creator’s absolute delight. The problem is a 2019 edition iMac costs in excess of $5K. Yes, at that price you do get the entire setup and not just the tower, but the amount is significant.

Thus, we decided to pick some budget options which are 2017 releases. Slightly cheaper but equally useful regardless.

This all in one unit is a mid-2017 edition. But don’t take it lightly. Under the hood the 27” iMac is a powerful tool in the right hands. Powering the iMac is powered by a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor. The processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.8 GHz.


Being an AIO unit the iMac comes with a display unit as well. The 27” display has a resolution of 5K. A 5120 x 2880 this is a Retina Display. The maximum brightness of the screen is 500 CD/m².

Other Specs

8 GB of DDR4 RAM makes up for the built-in storage. The iMac gets a 1 TB Fusion Drive as its main storage. Graphics is supported by the AMD Radeon Pro 570 Graphics card with an integrated 4GB of memory.

7. Apple iMac 21.5” (Mid 2017)

While we absolutely adore a large bright and high resolution display, the same may not be within the budget of most photographers. Especially when you consider upgrading to the Mac platform. Thus many photographers would have to remain contended with a slightly smaller screen. Something like a 21.5” display.

Powering the iMac 21.5” is a 7th Gen Kaby Lake 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core processor. The processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.6 GHz. The 21.5” is practical and should be enough for editing images in full scale. The only thing is it does not offer 4K resolution. It offers full HD resolution only.

Other Specs

Internal memory is 16 GB DDR4. Graphics is powered by an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 chipset. This particular configuration comes with a 256 GB SSD storage.

8. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 28”

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is an All-in-One desktop unit designed keeping in mind the visual content creator. Photographers and video editors. With a stand design that lets you push the display all the way to your work desk to work like a flat piece of paper for maximum editing convenience.

We recently did a review where we compared the Surface Studio 2 against the Lenovo Yoga A940. The USP of these two computers are that they both feature a large high resolution display. The Surface Studio 2 is a very highly rated system, ideal for users who prefer a large palette that is capable of displaying their high-res images in almost 1:1 scale. The 28” display of the Surface Studio 2 has a resolution of 4500 x 3000 dots.


The power of the Surface Studio 2 comes from a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 – 7820HQ processor paired with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. Graphics is powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM. Storage is entirely solid state drive. This particular iteration of the Surface Studio 2 comes with 1 TB SSD unit. Overall this is our preferred choice as the best pc for photo editing in the A-i-O segment.


A large 28” display that also supports touch. Multi-touch to be precise. There is nothing that gives more pleasure. Because when you are using the Surface Pen to edit your images, you can also pinch to zoom in and out and do much more than that using the fingers of your other hand.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB) - Newest Version
  • Our most powerful Surface yet with Intel Core i7 processors, discrete NVIDIA GeForce GPU, and SSD storage
  • The strikingly large 28" PixelSense Display is a stunning touchscreen with 13.5 million pixels of true-to-life color
  • Tilt the display weightlessly to work at 20 degrees down in Studio Mode or upright in Desktop Mode; Touch: 10 point...
  • Keep creativity flowing when you draw with the improved Surface Pen and use Surface Dial* for intuitive shortcuts
  • Runs intensive professional-grade software like SolidWorks,* Adobe Creative Cloud,* and Autodesk*

9. HP Pavilion 27” All-in-One Computer

There are multiple iterations / versions of the HP Pavilion 27-inch A-I-O unit. This particular version is powered by an Intel Core i7-8700T 6-Core CPU. The base clock speed of the CPU is 2.4 GHz but the same can be overclocked up to a maximum of 4 GHz.


The large 27” display offers a resolution of 2560 x 1440. This is a IPS WLED – backlit micro-edge monitor.

Related Post: Best Laptops for Photo Editing (12 Laptops Compared)

Other Specs

Internal memory of the system is composed of 16GB DDR4 RAM. Graphics of the system is powered by a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Storage of the system is comprised of 256 GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD. As a secondary storage unit a 2 TB SATA drive is also included. The SSD becomes your primary storage which stores the applications and the operating system for quick boot. The image and video files get stored in the SATA drive.

HP Pavilion 27-inch All-in-One Computer, Intel Core i7-8700T, NVIDIA GeForce GTX...
  • The perfect home computer: with an industry-leading Processor and up to 16 GB of RAM, your family can surf, stream, work and...
  • 8th Generation intel(r) Processor: 8th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i7-8700T Processor, 6-Core, 2.40GHz
  • Beautiful graphics: nvidia(r) geforce(r) GTX 1050 (4 GB GDDR5 dedicated memory). power everything from the latest games to...
  • Integrated monitor and audio: 10-point touch-enabled 27" Diagonal widescreen QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS WLED-backlit micro-edge...
  • Hard Drive and memory: 2 TB 5400Rpm SATA hard drive + 256 GB pcie(r) nvme(tm) M.2 Solid State Drive and 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM

Best Budget PCs for Photo Editing

10. HP Pavilion Gaming 9400F

Major Specs

This HP Pavilion is a gaming desktop powered by a Core i5 9400F processor and paired with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 GPU. The processor is paired with 16GB of RAM. 256 GB SSD unit takes care of the storage. Solid state drives are faster than their HDD cousins and this has a significant bearing on performance. Whether you are playing games or editing videos an SSD gives you better smoothness.

The Hexa core processor can fire at up to 2.9 GHz when set to base. When maxed out the processor can reach a maximum clock speed of 4.1 GHz. But a lot of the processing is also handled by the GPU.

Why the HP Pavilion Gaming 9400F Makes Good Buying Sense

A standard desktop PC is never a standalone work unit. It doubles up as your entertainment hub time and again. And that is why the HP Pavilion Gaming 9400F comes with 5.1 Surround Sound output.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop Core i5-9400F, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6, 16GB RAM,...
  • Intel Core i5-9400F Processor plus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 (2.90 GHz base clock, up to 4.10 GHz max boost clock,...
  • Substantial high-bandwidth 2666MHz DDR4 RAM RAM with solid state drive (SSD) combo lets you smoothly run your games and...
  • 5.1 Surround Sound output.With all the necessary ports for true 5.1 surround sound, give your favorite movies, shows, or...
  • 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x headphone/microphone combo, 1x HP...
  • Stay connected to 802.11b/g/n/ac (1x1)WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 combo with wireless technology, which gives you a different and...

11. Skytech Shiva Gaming PC

Major Specs

The best PCs for photo editing not always have to be the elite gaming units. There are plenty of mid-range units powered by 7th 8th and 9th Gen Core i5 and i7 processors that can do a decent job. We have already recommended the HP Pavilion Gaming above which is powered by a Core i5 9400F processor. Now that one does not support hyper threading. But the one that we are going to recommend next does.

Yes, the Skytech Shiva is a gaming PC, but it costs much less than something like the CyberPowerPC Gamer Master or the MSI Trident X Plus we have recommended here. So, if you are looking for something in the budget segment then the Skytech Shiva is definitely a product you can take a look at.

The Skytech Shiva is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6-core processor. The processor supports hyperthreading with each core having two logical cores (total 12 threads). The base clock speed of the processor is 3.4 GHz. It can be boosted to 3.9 GHz max.

Graphics is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6 GB GDDR6 memory. The main internal memory of the processor is a 16 GB DDR4 3000 RAM. Storage is powered by a 500 GB SSD unit.

Why the Skytech Shiva Makes Buying Sense?

In reality, a system like this is probably more useful for handling video editing because of the multithreading capabilities. That said, this leaves options open when you do decide to shoot videos and edit them on your PC.

Skytech Shiva Gaming PC Desktop - AMD Ryzen 5 2600, NVIDIA RTX 2060, 16GB DDR4, 500G...
  • Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core 3 4GHz (3 9 GHz Max Boost) CPU Processor | 500G SSD – Up to 30x Faster Than Traditional HDD | A320M...
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 Video Card | 16 GB gaming Memory DDR4 3000 with heat Spreader | Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Pcie AC Wi-Fi with antenna | No bloatware | 1 x HDMI 4 x USB 3 1 Gen1 Ports 2 x USB 2 0 | HD Audio and Mic | Free RGB...
  • 3 x RGB Ring Fans for maximum air flow | Powered by 80 Plus Certified 500 Watt Power Supply | in Win 101 case
  • 1 Year on Parts and Labor | Lifetime Free Technical Support | Assemble in the USA | This Powerful Gaming PC Capable to Run...

12. Skytech Blaze II

Major Specs

This is the second Skytech desktop PC that we have selected on this list. This one too is powered by a Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core processor. The base clock speed is 3.4 GHz but you can boost it up to a maximum of 3.9 GHz.

Graphics on the PC are powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 GPU with 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM. A total of 500 GB SSD storage is preinstalled. Plus the PC also comes with 8 GB DDR4 memory.

But even though we are pushing this as a photo editing PC, it is basically a mid-range gaming PC. And being a gaming PC comes with its own perks. Such as 3 RNG ring fans powered by 550 Watts of power supply for maximum airflow when playing demanding games.

But then if you ever switch to video editing this is a PC that would be able to handle those resource-consuming processes.

SkyTech Blaze II Gaming Computer PC Desktop – Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core 3.4 GHz, NVIDIA...
  • Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core 3.4GHz (3.9 GHz Max Boost) CPU Processor | 500G SSD – Up to 30x Faster Than Traditional HDD | A320M...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TI 6GB GDDR6 Video Card | 8 GB Gaming Memory DDR4 3000 with Heat Spreader | Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • PCIe AC Wi-Fi with Antenna | No bloatware | 1 x HDMI, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVD-D | 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 | HD Audio...
  • 3 x RGB RING Fans for Maximum Air Flow | Powered by 80 Plus Certified 500 Watt Power Supply | Skytech mATX Mid-Tower Tempered...
  • 1 Year Warranty on Parts and Labor | Lifetime Free Technical Support | Assemble in the USA | This Powerful Gaming PC Capable...

13. Dell XPS 8930 (2019 Version)

Major Specs

Let’s say that you don’t need to edit videos. Let’s say that you need is a simpler box with enough processing power to give you all the photo editing joy you could get. In that case, the 2019 Dell XPS 8930 is more than a useful option for you.

The tower comes with an 8th gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-8700 processor. The maximum clock speed of the processor is 4.6 GHz when boosted. The base clock speed of the processor is 3.2 GHz. This processor supports hyper threading. Therefore there are a total of 12 threads that can simultaneously run.

Does the Dell XPS 8930 Makes Good Buying Sense?

Graphics is powered by UHD Graphics 630. This is nowhere near some of the top of the line graphics cards that we had discussed here. But then this desktop is not designed for serious gaming or for video editing. You may still be able to do both but with reduced speed and the experience will not be as smooth as some of the other high-end PCs we have discussed here.

2019 Dell XPS 8930 Premium Desktop Computer, 8th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-8700 up to...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8700 6-Core Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.6 GHz) deliver the power and responsiveness to make...
  • 32GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAM Memory for full-power multitasking; 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 512GB SSD offer enough storage for your files....
  • Intel HD Graphics; 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2, Dual Band 2.4&5 GHz; Integrated 5.1 with WAVE MAXX Audio Pro
  • 9 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, 2 HDMI 2.0, 4 DisplayPort, 1 Dual Link DVI-D, Mic-in, Audio ports (5.1 channel 3 jack), Gigabit...
  • With Windows 10 Home – get the best combination of Windows features you know and new improvements you’ll love.
Does Photoshop benefit from a better Graphics processor?

Yes, it does. There are some tools in Photoshop which won’t even work without a GPU that is unsupported. Thus, if you are working with 3D, or doing Smooth Brush resizing and your GPU isn’t supported the tools won’t work at all. In addition, when working with Camera RAW, or using one of the blur gallery tools you would definitely find a fast GPU helping you get a much smoother working experience than when using a slower or outdated GPU.

AMD Ryzen vs Intel Core: Which One Should I Choose?

AMD Ryzen powered PCs have come along in leaps and bounds and today’s Ryzen 9 powered systems are ahead of their Intel Core i9 processors in terms of RAW power. With 12 cores and multi-threading possible on them allows the Ryzen 9 to handle 24 processes as compared to only 16 that are capable on the 8-core Core i9 processors from Intel.

Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.

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, Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

Best PC for photo editing 2020: top desktops for Photoshop

When buying the best PC for photo editing, don’t just go for the most powerful option out there and be done with it. Whether you’re a professional photographer or keen hobbyist with deep pockets, there are a few things to check off the list to find the ideal computer. 

As you'll be working with high-resolution photos, the best PC for photo editing should ideally have a dedicated graphics card, rather than a less powerful integrated GPU. You won't need a high-end graphics card – unless you’re also doing video editing or 3D rendering. However, it's worth buying a PC with a decent mid-range or higher graphics card to keep up with your workload. 

The best PC for photo editing should also have enough RAM so you can have several programs and images open at once, as well as a high capacity hard drive in which to store your photos. Buying a photo editing PC that already comes with plenty of storage space will save you having to fiddle about installing extra hard drives later on. We recommend at least 8GB of RAM and 1TB or higher of storage.

If you're a photographer looking for the best PCs for photo editing, then you've come to the right place. We've carefully picked the best photo editing PC for your needs, so you skip the shopping part and get right down to your creative process. For something a bit more portable, make sure you check out our pick of the best laptops for photographers and photo editing.

  • In search of a photo book to store your edited prints? 

Best PC for photo editing at a glance:

  1. iMac (27-inch, 2020)
  2. Apple Mac mini 2018
  3. Lenovo ThinkCentre M900
  4. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
  5. Apple iMac Pro
  6. Lenovo Yoga A940
  7. iMac (27-inch, 2019)
  8. HP Pavilion Wave
  9. Intel Hades Canyon NUC

1. iMac (27-inch, 2020)

A formidable AIO for photo editing

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 - Radeon Pro 5700 XT | RAM: 8GB – 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 | Storage: 256GB – 8TB SSD | Display: 27-inch (diagonal) 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display

Can be configured to be very powerful
Just two Thunderbolt ports

Even though the iMac 27-inch’s last update was only last year, Apple couldn’t help but step up in the upgrades department with its 2020 follow-up. Specs-wise, this model sports some massive improvements while also upgrading its webcam and microphones for a felicitous update. More people are working from home these days, and this seems like the best all-in-one PC to invest in without being forced to make some considerable space in your existing area. Sure, its overall design hasn’t seen so much as a tweak, making it look a bit tired, but power trumps design for photo editing.

Read the full review: iMac (27-inch, 2020)

2. Apple Mac mini 2018

A brilliant mini PC for photo editing

CPU: Intel Core i3 - i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6cm

Four USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports
Integrated graphics aren’t all that

The new Mac mini was a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait, as Apple has packed it with some brilliant modern components, including the latest 6-core processors from Intel, along with support for up to 64GB RAM and loads of storage as well, all in that small and stylish body we've come to love. It's perfectly powerful enough for photo editing, and small enough for photographers to carry around with them. The only disappointment is that it does not come with discrete graphics, but Intel's integrated UHD Graphics 630 aren't too shabby, and you can also plug in an external GPU for extra graphical oomph.

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 is an excellent desktop PC for photo editing, as it combines speed and power with an excellent build quality and reliability which is essential for PCs used for heavy duty image manipulation. Best of all, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 comes in a range of configurations, with the top-end model boasting a huge amount of power. This flexibility lets you build a Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 that suits your needs, and there's plenty of room to upgrade and expand this desktop in the future. 

If you’re looking for an incredibly powerful, yet stylishly designed, all-in-one computer that’s not made by Apple, then Microsoft’s brilliant Surface Studio 2 will be for you. It comes at a price, but for build quality and performance, you’ll not want to look any further, especially if you work with photo editing applications. Microsoft's all-in-one PC fits comfortably on a desk, and it's built-in screen makes your photos look fantastic, even before you've edited them. As it run Windows 10 you get a huge range of comparible photo editing apps as well.

5. Apple iMac Pro

A stylish addition to any office

CPU: Intel Xeon W | Graphics: AMD Vega 56, Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB, 64GB | Storage: 1TB ssD | Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Dimensions (W x D x H): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

If you're a professional photographer and digital creative, then the iMac Pro is one of the best PCs money can buy. This is a seriously powerful all-in-one that was released last year with cutting edge tech, and a choice of powerful Intel Xeon W processors, bags of RAM and hefty graphical processing power. All of this in an iconic Apple design. If you have the budget for it, the iMac Pro is one of the best PCs for photo editing money can buy. However, for some people, you may find it has a level of power that you do not require, so read on for more modest (and affordable) PCs for photo editing.

6. Lenovo Yoga A940

An iMac alternative

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8700 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560 4 GB | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz | Storage: 1 TB 5400 RPM + 256 GB PCIe SSD | Display: 27" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Multi-touch

Screen not great in direct light

Lenovo’s latest all-in-one offering isn’t as powerful as Apple’s premium AIO, the iMac Pro, or even the recently updated iMac, which now offers a 9th-generation Intel Core configuration. After all, the 8th-generation chips and Radeon RX 560 graphics are aging at this point. However, it is still plenty powerful to meet the needs of professional photographers who can't afford Apple's more pricey machines. It's one of the best PCs for photo editing thanks to its screen that offers 100% Adobe RGB support and Dolby Vision, plus a stylus and dial as well, for better control over your photo editing work.

7. iMac (27-inch, 2019)

Now with 8th-generation processors

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 9th-generation Intel Core i5 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 570X – 580X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB - 64GB | Screen: 27-inch Retina 5K 5,120 x 2,880 P3 | Storage: 1TB – 2TB Fusion Drive | Dimensions (H x W x D): 20.3 x 25.6 x 8 inches (51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3cm)

SSD upgrades are expensive

If the iMac Pro above is too expensive (and offers a level of performance that you simply don't need) but you want an Apple all-in-one, then the standard iMac is more than capable of helping you with your photo editing. While the iMac 2019 doesn’t feature a touchscreen or an adjustable stand, the option for a 4K P3 wide color gamut display means it will accurately display your photos. Plus, there’s the fact that because the iMac (27-inch, 2019) is no longer the latest model, so it should be getting some tempting price cuts.

8. HP Pavilion Wave

A great Windows alternative to the Mac Pro

CPU: Intel Core i3 – Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 – AMD Radeon R9 M470 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD

Unique, stylish cylindrical form factor
Clever and effective audio solution

Though at first you might confuse it for a fabric-wovenMac Pro refresh, the HP Pavilion Wave is anything but. This compact Windows machine packs in 6th-generation Intel Core processors and optional discrete AMD graphics with a uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speaker. Wrapped in a handsome fabric exterior, this is the perfect PC to have on the desk. If you love listening to music while you edit your photos, then this is a brilliant – and stylish – PC to consider.

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Best PC For Photo Editing Archives

17 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers (2020 Ultimate Guide)

by Alexandra Bateman on Aug 25, 2020

Do you want professional photo editing software on Mac or Windows so that you can perfect your photos? Whether your a beginner or a pro, editing your photos before uploading them to your photography website is essential. In this guide, we’ll share the best photo editing software for photographers.

The best photo editing software can help to bring focus to an image, highlight your key subjects and transform an average picture into something truly incredible.

But the question for most photographers is: how do you choose the right editing software to supplement your skills?

There are countless different photo editing software options, from better-known systems like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom to simple but effective choices like Canva. There’s even some great free options, too.

So, in today’s post we’ll find out once and for all, “what is the best photo editing software for photographers?” We’ll look at:

  • Today’s free and paid top-rated software
  • Features of each software
  • How maximize your software options

Let’s get started!

Why Should You Edit Your Photos?

Photo editing is part of the job if you’re a photographer. Through editing, you can make your already stunning photos even more perfect by adjusting metrics like exposure, white balance and color. 

Plus, editing your photos helps to reduce the size of your image files. This is especially important if you plan on posting your images online to your photography website or to a social media account. Smaller images will improve your WordPress sites’ loading speed, which will in turn improve your search engine rankings. And, smaller image files post faster and with better quality on your social accounts.

So, photo editing is a win for you all around!

Having an intuitive and easy-to-use photo editing software can help you save time on photo editing while taking your images to the next level.

Let’s take a look at some of the best photo editing software available online today. We’ll be evaluating these software on three core principles:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Functionality
  3. Opportunities for Expansion

In other words, how intuitive are these programs to learn? What capabilities do they have — and not have — as photo editors? And finally, do they offer opportunities to expand their functionality through additions like plugins or presets?

Without further ado, let’s see what these photo editing software have to offer!

1. Adobe Lightroom

It’s impossible to ignore Adobe Lightroom when talking about the best photo editing software for photographers. In fact, Adobe products are considered the gold-standard when it comes to image editing software. 

But why? What makes Lightroom so great? Let’s take a look.

Adobe Lightroom Interface

If Photoshop comes off as too complex and cumbersome, then you’re sure to love Lightroom’s simple, beginner-friendly interface.

Lightroom’s clean and easy workspace allows you to focus on what’s important — your image. The left-hand panel gives you quick access to your image library, so you can toggle between photos as you edit. Within the right-hand panel, you’ll find drop-down menus for making quick adjustments, adding keywords to your images and more.

In order to really get into your photo editing, you’ll need to access Lightroom’s horizontal tabs along the top of the workspace. All of your basic and advanced photo editing tools live in the Develop module. From there, you can manipulate your photo with lens correction, split toning, effects and other basic adjustments. 

Having a centralized panel for all of your photo editing tools sets Lightroom apart and makes it super intuitive to use!

And, in the Develop module’s left-hand panel, Lightroom keeps stock of your photo edits in a drop-down labeled History. That way, you can easily scroll back through your image edits, make changes and review your edits before saving them in a custom preset. 

Also, you may notice that Lightroom gives you a guided walkthrough of each module the first time you open the program after downloading the software. Unlike some other in-app tours, Lightroom’s tutorial hits all the highlights so you don’t miss a thing. With this brief introduction alone, you’ll be able to get started on your own edits. 

Multi-Use Program

This program is more than just a photo editor. It’s a photo organizer, too. Lightroom allows you to easily store and rank your images inside the program, which eliminates the need for an external photo organizing program. Simply assign your photos a star rating based on editing priority — or any other metric for that matter — and get to work!

It’s clear that Adobe designed Lightroom to work for photographers at every skill level. So rest assured, Lightroom’s navigable interface doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. That’s what makes Lightroom all the more impressive — it doesn’t sacrifice functionality for ease of use!

Lightroom Key Features

For most freelance photo editors, Adobe Lightroom offers all the tools you’ll need to create stunning portrait, landscape, real estate and other photography. Lightroom’s host of fantastic features includes:

  • Face detection for photo organization
  • Camera and lens-based corrections
  • Brush and gradient adjustments
  • Fixing and blurring tools
  • Presets and professional filters
  • Customizable sliders
  • Multiple device support and sync

Adobe Lightroom Extras

Given its library of pre-made editing solutions called presets, Lightroom is one of the most expansive photo editors on the market. These presets make it easier than ever to achieve a specific look in your photos. Simply find a preset package you like via Lightroom’s preset marketplace or online, then apply it to one or more of your images for a flawless edit. 

Of course, presets work wonderfully for batch editing your photos at a break-neck pace. And, you can even design your own custom presets, which work like editing recipes for future photo edits. You can always edit pre-made or custom presets before you apply them, or you can adjust their sliders for a tailored application, depending on your photo. 

With Lightroom’s presets, you have the opportunity to continually expand the software’s editing capabilities. 

Not to mention, many third-party plugins and applications have integrated with Lightroom to make using the program even easier. Envira Gallery, for example, includes Adobe Lightroom to WordPress integration that allows you to easily sync your Lightroom photo galleries with your photography website.


Adobe Lightroom is available as a singular app, or as part of one of Adobe’s Creative Cloud packages. You can get Lightroom and Photoshop together for just $9.99/month.

Get started with a 7-day free trial of Lightroom.

2. Skylum Luminar

For many reasons, Luminar has quickly grown to become one of the the most popular editing tools for professional photographers around the world. For one, you pay a one-time flat fee for the program rather than a monthly subscription like Adobe. And, Luminar offers a ton of built-in tools and accessories!

Luminar is a one-stop shop for photo editing that can be used by itself or as a plugin in with Lightroom, Photoshop and even Apple Photos.

Skylum Luminar Interface

Believe it or not, Skylum Luminar uses the same keyboard shortcuts that Adobe’s Lightroom does. This is especially helpful if you’re already familiar with Lightroom’s interface. If that’s true of you, you’ll find switching to Luminar an easy transition given the consistent keyboard shortcuts between the two software.

And, like Lightroom, you can use Luminar as both a photo editor and a photo organizer. Once again, this means that you can upload your images to your Luminar Library so that all of your photo editing workflow is centralized in one place!

Like Lightroom, you can then sort, tag and categorize your images within the Luminar Library to make them easier to find. Many also find the Luminar Library to be simpler and more intuitive even than Lightroom’s library.

Where Luminar excels over Lightroom is its preset workspace options. Luminar provides preset workspaces each specifically designed with an editing task in mind. For example, Luminar’s preset workspaces include:

  • Professional
  • Quick & Awesome
  • Essentials
  • Aerial Photography
  • Black and White
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Street

In addition to those presets, you can create your own workspace by saving the tools you use most often to a blank workspace.

If this feature sounds familiar, it’s because Photoshop also provides preset workspaces. But, you’ll note that Luminar’s preset workspace options are much more extensive and cover a greater number of photography-specific needs. Anything to streamline your photo editing!

Skylum’s Luminar also offers more editing tools than Lightroom but fewer than Photoshop. Having more editing tools is both an advantage and a disadvantage — they make the program more challenging to navigate, but they also allow you to do more with your photos.

Here’s what we love about Luminar’s editing tools:

Skylum Luminar Key Features

Luminar has gained popularity for its AI slider, which applies automatic quick fixes to your photos including brightening, clarifying, toning and other basic adjustments.

It also comes with a host of built-in tools to make your photo editing easier and faster. These Skylum Luminar features include:

  • AI Editor
  • Exclusive filters like Sunrays filter (which lets you add realistic looking sun rays to your images) and Orton filter (made famous by the Lord of the Rings and blurs parts of the image while focusing in on others)
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Image Layers
  • Dedicated presets for DJI drone photos

Skylum Luminar Extras

What we love most about Skylum Luminar is its expandable gallery of Luminar Looks. These Looks are sets of editing solutions, much like Lightroom’s presets. But, Luminar Looks are even easier to use, and there’s more of them!

Skylum’s extensive Luminar Looks collection makes achieving specific, stylized photos even easier than ever. And, while Skylum comes pre-packaged with its own set of high-quality Looks, you can also find them for free all over the internet. Some of them are made by freelance photographers, but others are made by popular, professional photographers to help you achieve the looks you’ve loved in their work.

Once you apply a Luminar Look to your image, you can tweak the edit’s intensity and fine-tune it to fit your photo. You can also build and save your own Luminar Looks, which saves you editing time in the long-run.


If you’re liking the sounds of Skylum Luminar, you can purchase it online for a one-time fee. This purchase gives you access to Skylum Luminar for life! Plus there is a 30 day money back guaranty.

Get $25 off Skylum Luminar now.

3. Adobe Photoshop

It’s hard to write an article about the best photo editing software for photographers without giving Adobe Photoshop a well-deserved mention. For artists, illustrators, and designers around the world, Photoshop has proven to be a capable and trustworthy editing tool.

Adobe Photoshop Interface

We’ll be honest, Photoshop isn’t known for its simplicity. In fact, if you’ve heard anything about Photoshop’s interface, it’s likely been how difficult it is to navigate! And it’s true — Photoshop isn’t the easiest software to learn. Instead, like most things in life worth doing, it requires a bit of patience.

The reason many beginners to photo editing struggle to use Photoshop is because it offers such an enormous amount of tools. We’ll talk more later about all the great things you can accomplish with Photoshop, but know that it does attempt to lessen the learning curve offering organized workspaces.

Photoshop offers several different preset workspaces, designed to trim away the excess tools you don’t need for your project. You can find these workspaces under Window >> Workspace in the upper menu bar. There, you’ll see preset workspace options for Essentials editing, 3D, Graphics and Web and even Photography! 

These workspace presets provide a great introduction to Photoshop, because they emphasize the best tools for the job. The Photography workspace, for example, puts Photoshop’s brush, histogram panel and selection tools right at your fingertips. The 3D workspace, on the other hand, prioritizes Photoshop’s 3D panel and 3D Material Dropper.

Of course, as you get more familiar with Photoshop and decide which editing tools you prefer, you can create and save your own customized workspace. A customized workspace that features only your favorite tools goes a long way to increasing your editing speed and streamlining your workflow!

So, even though Photoshop can be difficult to master, it’s not necessarily difficult to learn. It’s pre-made workspaces, in-app tools descriptions and clear tools icons help make learning the program more manageable. Don’t try to dive in all at once! A piece-by-piece approach to Photoshop will likely be the more successful route.

Key Features of Photoshop

Photoshop’s masking, retouching and layering tools are still some of the most compelling on the market. Although, it’s fair to say that these tools might not be best for basic touch-ups, which would be best left for Lightroom. Photoshop is designed for professionals who need all the bells and whistles.

Photoshop’s built-in features include:

  • Sophisticated touch-up and retouching
  • Extensive filters and brushes
  • Multi-layer editing
  • 3D design functionality
  • Pro editing tools
  • Advanced color editing

Adobe Photoshop provides tools you simply won’t find in other editing software. If you’re a photo editor who works on graphic design projects or other, more layered assignments, Photoshop might be the photo editor for you.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to touch up your photos before you turn them over to clients, you’d likely be happy with a more basic program. Still, if you see your photo editing needs increasing in the future, you might want to begin learning Photoshop. That way, you’ll know how to do all of your edits in one software!

Adobe Photoshop Extras

Like many other photo editors on this list, Photoshop can increase its functionality through additional filters. That being said, Photoshop doesn’t have nearly as many filters available as programs like Lightroom and Skylum Luminar. And, while you can import and use presets in Photoshop, you may find that they complicate your workflow.

Still, Photoshop does offer some other unique expansion opportunities. For example, you can import brushes and create your own brushes to use in your photo editing. You can also use Photoshop to create short animations or GIFs using the program’s Timeline window.

Honestly, Photoshop’s built-in capabilities are already so advanced, that it only makes sense that there are fewer chances to expand the software’s functionality.

Don’t know whether you need Photoshop or Lightroom? Check out our guide: Lightroom vs Photoshop: Which is the Best Solution

Cost of Photoshop

The other great thing about Adobe Photoshop is that you can get it through Adobe’s Photography Plan, which pairs it with Adobe Lightroom. That means you get two powerful photo editors for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99/month!

Get started with a 7-day free trial of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom together here in Adobe’s Photography Plan.

4. Capture One

Capture One is a RAW image editor made by the camera company, Phase One. It is similar to the other software on this list, but with some solid distinctions.

Capture One Interface

Like any truly great photo editor, Capture One allows you to customize its layout to your liking. You can even create and modify the program’s keyboard shortcuts so that they’re intuitive to you and tailored to your needs.

And, like Lightroom, Capture One doubles as a photo editor and an organizer. But, its photo library functions a bit differently than Lightroom.

Capture One stores your photos both in sessions and in collections. What’s the difference? Sessions allow you to group your photos by shoots for different clients, which helps you better find the best images to edit. Collections allows you to manually sort your images.

And, Capture One offers a keywording tool so that you can tag your photos with your own unique tags. Then, you can more easily locate similar images. For example, you could tag all of your portraits with a “portraits” tag, so that you could pull up all of your portrait photos in a simple keyword search.

Key Features

With Capture One, you get:

  • Layers – Not all editing tools have layers, and those that do can start to lag if you pile on too many. Capture One doesn’t grow sluggish, despite offering many adjustments to make on each layer.
  • Advanced Color Editing – Capture One gives you more flexibility with sliders to adjust the granularity of color changes (even for the same colors).
  • Annotations – Make notes for your self or streamline collaborations with Capture One’s annotations tool.
  • Speed – When handling large volumes RAW files over 20 megapixels large, Capture one has shown to operate at a higher performance level than the professional heavyweight contenders in this space.
  • Option to pay a one-time flat fee – While you can purchase a monthly plan — which is double the cost of Adobe Creative Cloud’s Plan — you do have the option to purchase Capture One for a one time fee.

Capture One Extras

Like many of its competitors, Capture One offers opportunities to expand its capabilities with plugins and presets. Compared to addons offered for other photo editing programs, Capture One’s addons are relatively new to the software. But, that doesn’t make them less powerful.

For example, a plugin for Format allows you to upload your work directly to your online portfolio at Format through the Capture One software. That same plugin also lets you submit proofing galleries to clients and update your online blog.

Presets also help you to expand the software’s functions by providing you with editing formulas to achieve specific photo edits. These styles and presets work to make your edits even faster.

Of course, because Capture One isn’t quite as well-known or as popular as Adobe or Skylum, fewer presets exist on the Capture One marketplace. However, as more and more people discover just how great Capture One is, that tide will continue to shift.


How much you’ll pay for Capture One depends on the plan you choose. Unlike many photography software, Capture One offers different software for different cameras. Choose from these single-user packages:

  • Capture One for Every Camera – Subscriptions start at $20/month. Purchase a license for a $299 one-time fee.
  • For Fujifilm – Subscriptions start at $9.99/month. Purchase a license for a $129 one-time fee.
  • For Sony – Subscriptions start at $9.99/month. Purchase a license for a $129 one-time fee.
  • For Nikon – Subscriptions start at $9.99/month. Purchase a license for a $129 one-time fee.

Get started with a 30 day free trial of Capture One.

5. ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW is a complete photo editing software that you can try for free. It works wonders on your photographs!

ON1 Photo RAW Interface

Not only is Photo RAW easy to download and install, but it offers a free trial! Simply follow the on-screen instructions to download the software, then use it on any major operating system, including PC and Mac OS X.

After you’ve installed and opened ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll find a selection of getting started video tutorials waiting for you! See, ON1 Photo RAW is so dedicated to saving your time during your photo edits that it even eliminated the need to search for your own tutorial videos.

Once you actually enter into the software’s workspace, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Like most photo editors, ON1’s selection of editing tools can be a bit intimidating if you’re not a practiced photo editor.

Just take your time exploring ON1’s features, and you’ll be set!

Key Features

Speaking of features, ON1 Photo RAW offers several that are unique to this software! For one, this program doesn’t require you to upload your RAW photos in order to edit them. In fact, all you have to do to edit your RAW images in ON1 Photo RAW is find your images where they’re stored on your device and select them.

Because ON1 doesn’t have to load your RAW images into the software, you’ll find that it works lightning fast — even faster than Photoshop and Lightroom!

Other ON1 Photo RAW features include:

  • Stackable filters
  • Custom presets
  • Textures and borders
  • Live adjustments and previews
  • Available to download on any device
  • Selectively apply effects option

ON1 Photo RAW Extras

With ON1 Photo RAW, you’ll gain access to literally hundreds of presets, stackable filters and other solutions to enhance your pictures in no time. And, of course, you can download even more online from fellow photo editors!

Plus, ON1 Photo RAW offers an addon for Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop! So, if you’re considering pairing photo editing software, this one works with a host of other programs.


ON1 offers three primary Photo RAW plans:

  • ON1 Photo RAW Software Only – Purchase for $99.99 and own ON1 Photo RAW outright for use on up to 5 computers.
  • Monthly Subscription (ON1 Photo RAW Software + ON1 360) – A subscription license to the software ensures you always have access to the latest updates, plus 1TB cloud storage for $15.99/month.
  • Yearly Subscription (ON1 Photo RAW Software + ON1 360) – Enjoy the free update benefits of a subscription to ON1 Photo RAW for just $89.99/year (comes with 200GB storage) or $179.99/year (comes with 1TB storage).

Try ON1 RAW free for 30 days.

6. Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is easily one of the most straightforward photo editing software options online for people who want a simple but effective approach to upgrading their images. Though it might not be the most advanced tool in the market at first glance, it comes with everything you need to take your images to the next level without breaking the bank.

Like some other software, it requires a one-time fee, which starts at around $60.  For that price, you gain access to dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes to choose from. And, app updates add new features all the time.

The newest version of Corel PaintShop Pro also boasts a new Photography Workspace, specifically designed for photographers. This simplified workspace streamlines your edit workflow by offering the best photo editing tools in a simple format. In fact, you can apply most of the tools in the Photography Workspace in just one click!

And, because this workspace is touch-ready, it’s perfect to use for photo editing on a tablet or iPad. Corel has even made the tool icons large and distinct so that they’re easy to select on a touch device.

Key Features

Other current features include:

  • Layers and masks
  • Refine brush for selections
  • SmartClone technology
  • AI enhanced presets
  • 360-degree photo editing
  • Fantastic user experience
  • Graphic design tools and templates
  • Photo editing options like blur and fix
  • Learning tutorials
  • RAW image processing

Like many other photo editing programs, Corel’s PaintShop Pro also offers plugins, brush extensions, color palettes and even textures that you can import to give yourself even more editing options.

Cost of PaintShop Pro

You can own Corel PaintShop Pro for just $79.99. They have a 30 day money back guaranty if you find it doesn’t work out for you.

Get Corel PaintShop Pro.

7. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is a newer contender in the photo editing arena, so it hasn’t been on most professionals’ radars until recently. It’s an all-in-one photography software solution that can do everything you need within a simplistic interface.

And, ACDSee’s Mobile Sync feature allows you to send your photos to the editing program directly from your mobile device. The Mobile Sync app even keeps track of which photos you’ve sent to your Photo Studio Ultimate program so you don’t have to wonder which images you still need to transport.

Key Features

ACDSee has some strong noteworthy features worth mentioning over market competitors:

  • No Importing – Directly edit source files from your drives and bypass importing the files.
  • Facial Recognition – The name says it all. A solid method of organizing and indexing images.
  • One time purchase price and monthly options
  • Auto align and blend layers
  • Parametric color


ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is available both as a subscription plan and as a lifetime license. The subscription plan comes with 4 ACDSee products accessible for up to 5 users for $8.90/month or $89/year and includes 50GB of storage. The Lifetime License costs $79.95 and includes 1 year of free updates and technical support.

Try ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate today.


GIMP is a free professional photo editing software that’s easy to download and install on your computer. It has multiple features which help you with retouching photos, photo composition and picture enhancement. It also includes a built-in file manager.

Both beginner and professional photo editors will love GIMP’s customizable interface, which allows you to create the perfect editing environment for your needs. You can customize not only the tools available, but also your workspace’s color, widgets and widget spacings.

Key Features

Because it comes with a range of features that help with things like photo composition and image retouching, many photographers consider GIMP to be a great entry-level alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom.

Other features include:

  • Photo enhancements like corrective mode and vignette
  • File management and optimization modes
  • Digital Retouching
  • Clone and touch-up tools
  • Support for multiple plugins
  • Hardware support for input devices, including drawing tablets

Even more, you can create image authority with GIMP. It works great on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. And you can edit photos of all formats.


GIMP is a free, open-source photo editor, which means there’s no out of pocket cost to use this software!

Get GIMP now.

9. Canva

Canva is a simple graphic design software with a huge following. It operates on a freemium model and comes with multiple photo editing tools and products.

Canva allows you to adjust various elements of your images with a simple drag-and-drop editor, as well as add fonts and templates to your pictures if you want to use them on your website.

Canva’s simple interface categorizes searchable elements to help you better find what you’re looking for. Simply click the Search button, docked on the left-hand side of the screen, to browse frames, shapes and lines, illustrations and grids to add to your photo.

You can also apply various layouts, text and backgrounds to your image from the main workspace screen. With all of those tools at your fingertips, it’s no wonder Canva is a favorite of photo editing graphic designers.

Key Features of Canva

Features include:

  • Over 8,000 templates
  • Photo blur and vignette
  • Image cropping and straightening
  • Image transparency tool
  • Design grids and photo frames
  • Stickers and badges
  • Add texture
  • Speech bubble maker
  • Photo enhancer

Unlike some other editing software, you can download Canva on your mobile phone and edit your photos instantly. The Canva Marketplace has tons of templates, photos, cards and icons that make your life easy in creating visual content for your site or blog.

Canva is a great tool for turning your photos into branded social media posts or graphic design projects. But, as a standalone photo editor, it lacks many of the more professional-level tools you’d expect. Still, if you want a photo editor that will help you make quick and beautiful Instagram graphics from your images, Canva is for you!


Canva offers three pricing tiers:

  • Free – For quick projects, you can use Canva and 8,000 of their templates for free.
  • Pro – Their most popular tier, the Pro subscription includes over 60,000 free templates and 60 million professional stock imagery for $9.95/user/month.
  • Enterprise – Designed for larger collaborative teams, this tier includes unlimited storage and support for $30/user/month.

Get Canva now.

10. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a complete graphic design package that allows you to edit photos, make collages, apply touch ups, crop and more. It will help you develop your design skills and bring out your creativity to easily edit your images.

With a free trial, you can test out all of PicMonkey’s unique features before you make any purchases. Try using PicMonkey to edit your photos using specific templates or arrange your images into a collage.

Like Canva, PicMonkey’s tools are designed to help you turn your stunning photos into works of graphic design marvel! While you can use PicMonkey to make basic photo adjustments including brightness and other touch ups, this program shines when used to add graphic elements.

Key Features

Features include:

  • Basic Filters
  • Collage effects
  • Templates
  • Blank canvas design
  • Automatic sizing for social media
  • Collaboration features

You can also print photos, cards, canvases and more directly from PicMonkey. Talk about a one-stop shop!


PicMonkey plans start at only $7.99/mo, which makes it one of the cheapest photo editing options on the market.

Still not sure? Try PicMonkey for free now.

11. Pixlr Editor

Although you can download a desktop or mobile app if you prefer, the Pixlr Editor is another great online photo editing software alternative. There’s even the option to upgrade to “Pixlr X” if you’re looking for a more advanced editing option.

The first thing you’ll notice about Pixlr’s interface is probably its similarity to Photoshop! The workspace is a bit simpler because it doesn’t have quite as many tools, but the general layout looks the same.

You can view your layers and editing history on panels on the right of the workspace and choose from a variety of editing tools from a left-hand vertical toolbar.

So, for those looking to build their way up to editing with Photoshop, Pixlr Editor is a good first step!

Key Features

Like Photoshop, Pixlr allows you to add images to blank canvases, create unique effects, and add filters on-the-go.

Features include:

  • Over 2 million free effects
  • Filters and overlays
  • Creative editing app
  • Mobile and desktop downloads or web interface
  • Various Pixlr versions to choose from


You can choose from Free, Premium, or Professional plans from Pixlr:

  • Free – Enjoy free access to Pixlr X and Pixlr E, along with basic editing tools and limited stickers and overlays.
  • Premium – This plan comes with unlimited access to Pixlr X and Pixlr E, as well as exclusive video tutorials and 7,000 extra stickers for just $3.99/month.
  • Professional – The Professional plan includes free access to stock images, graphics, templates, fonts and video files, as well as AI tools and extensive editing tools for $14.99/month.

Get Pixlr now.

12. Snappa

Snappa is an online graphics and design software available online for photographers who want to transform their images into something more.

Maybe you’re looking to convert your pictures into social media banners, or photos for your blog. Snappa will help you to transform your images by adding new dimensions and effects with ease. And, you don’t even have to download anything to get started.

Plus, Snappa promises “no learning curve,” so this program is perfect for beginner photo editors and designers. The easily-accessible upper horizontal toolbar contains all the major tools you’ll need to transform your image, including effects, text and graphics. Simply select a tool and set your customizations in the sidebar panel that opens.

Key Features

Features include:

  • Drag and drop photo editing
  • Image dimension templates
  • Available high-resolution stock photos
  • Add graphics and texts in seconds
  • Share graphics on social media


Choose the right Snappa tier for you:

  • Free – 1 user and access to 6,000 templates
  • Pro – Unlimited downloads, social media sharing and custom fonts for 1 user for $10/month
  • Team – Unlimited downloads, Buffer integration and team collaboration for 5 users for $20/month.

Get Snappa now.

13. PortraitPro

PortraitPro is a professional image editor designed for photographers who specialize in portrait photography.

The application includes everything you might need to edit skin tone, remove blemishes or wrinkles from your subject’s face, add makeup and more. Also, it allows you to add effects to fix things like poor lighting or get rid of sagging cheeks.

New, built-in interactive tutorials make this program super easy to use, especially if you already know how you want your finished photo to look. PortraitPro saves your progress as you work through these tutorials, so you always know how your photo editing skills are improving!

Key Features

Features include:

  • Advanced layering options
  • Skin smoothing with ClearSkin 5 technology
  • Wrinkle Remover
  • Makeup tools
  • Award-winning editing using sliders
  • 3D relighting
  • Expression sliders to enhance smiles, frowns and more

If you’re a portrait photographer, you should definitely consider getting PortraitPro now!

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