Image editing software can be found in innumerous quantities on the internet. A simple Google search for image editors will make it clear how many there actually are. This can baffle anyone who is new to photo editing, which is why we have shortlisted some of the best ones available in their respective categories for all of you.
For RAW Editing
There’s a reason so many professional photographers prefer to shoot in RAW. This format allows them to edit their photo’s look in post-processing without causing any damage to the image quality.
The most famous program in this category is Adobe Lightroom. Combining a number of advanced editing tools with a clean interface, Lightroom is a great all-around solution for RAW editing.
We also like Capture One Pro a lot. This is a direct competitor to Lightroom, and subjectively has better image quality than Lightroom. The interface, however, takes a little time to get used to and the cataloging system isn’t as robust as Lightroom’s.
For Quick Editing
Sometimes all one wants is an editor that allows for quick fixes to basic exposure and color issues. Microsoft’s Photos is great for these little edits. It has a number of filters that one can use as well as more granular control over the brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, color temperature, and clarity.
For HDR Editing
HDR photography is the process of merging different exposure brackets of the same scene to get a much more editable photo as far as the highlights and shadows are concerned. This is great for scenes with tough natural lighting or when you just can’t get enough detail in the sky or in the shadows.
The best all-around HDR editor you can use today is Aurora HDR. It combines complex editing tools and controls with a very easy to use and intuitive interface. It’s also not very expensive if you’re into HDR photography. It can be used either as a standalone program or as a plugin for other editors like Photoshop.
Other capable HDR editors include Photomatix Pro and EasyHDR. The former is a direct competitor to Aurora HDR so you can expect advanced controls and great quality. The latter, however, is designed to make the jump to HDR photography easier for beginners. It has a simple interface with many presets to help make your HDR editing easier.