If you like photography and retouching and editing, you will know that Adobe Lightroom is one of the essentials that can not be missing on any device (MacOS, Windows or on phones and tablets) for amateurs or for professional photographers. It is a very complete software with all kinds of options but it is not the only one. If you are looking for alternatives to Lightroom to edit your photos, we collect some of the best.
Free and paid alternatives for all types of platforms and suitable for any user: for those who want complex tools or for beginners. All of them are good options for retouching and improving any photograph on your computer or mobile.
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Best Alternatives to Lightroom:
Luminar 4 is one of the most recommended and interesting options that you can download without cost to your computer and that will allow you all kinds of filters, settings and tools. The interface is quite simple if you already know how to handle Adobe Lightroom and even more intuitive than this, with several workspaces available.
This software has artificial intelligence that is able to automatically retouch the images that you upload to the program in case you go in a hurry or just do not feel like doing it. Or to achieve effects that you do not know how to manually obtain how to change the sky of your photographs with a totally realistic look or add sunbeams to your landscapes.
But if you want to do it manually, there are many tools that will allow you to get the perfect touch up. In addition, one of the most interesting functions is that you have synchronization of effects with which you can copy the retouching of an image in all those you want and thus you will achieve harmony in all your photos and thus create your own style, different from everything else.
This program is compatible with Windows or Mac and is one of the best alternatives to Lightroom, has a price of 89 euros that gives you license for two different computers and is not only useful as an alternative to Adobe software but as a complement to it if You want to add AI functions or new filters.
Polarr is a good idea if you are looking for an editing software compatible with almost any device: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows … and even with a web version that you will not have to install.
There is a free version quite complete and useful enough but, in addition, the Pro version is cheap and more interesting: it will only cost you $ 2.49 per month (if you want to use it sporadically) or for $ 1.99 per month with annual subscription .
Polarr offers you all kinds of touch-ups and adjustments when modifying any photo or image. It has the different options to alter the basic parameters such as hue, intensity, light, curves, temperature, saturation … You can change what you need to make the result professional.
Beyond the desktop version , Polarr has a free application for iOS and Android that has virtually the same options as the free version but adapted to the small format of mobile phones and tablets.
RAW Therapee is free and quite complete in terms of tools but with a somewhat more complex interface than others on this list. It has periodic updates that improve the possibilities and options it offers and it is especially recommended if you want to work with the RAW files of your camera without paying for an editing tool.
It is one of the best alternatives to Lightroom if you want something free and quality. In addition, it is a free software program so you can download the source code and modify it as you see fit to make the most of it.
RAW Therapee is available for Linux, Windows or macOS and is available in more than fifteen different languages. The great advantage, as we say, is that it has periodic updates that solve possible problems or add improvements.
Another of the best options to edit photos in RAW format for free and on any device is Darktable . It is an open source editing program with all kinds of functions. tools, features.
In terms of design and interface, it will not cost us to adapt because it is very similar to Adobe Lightroom but it is completely free and boasts of being able to take full advantage of the “real” power of the RAW format with editions that will not destroy the original images.
Darktable is available for all types of devices, it is free and has more than sixty operation modules in which we can use and adjust contrast, tone, exposure, color or noise without modifying the original format. In addition, it supports 21 different languages and is capable of exporting in the main file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, PPM, PNG or even supports email attachments, Facebook albums or even uploads from FLickr.
LightZone is another essential free software tool if you are looking for a free, cross-platform, RAW-compatible option with many options available. To use it you will have to register but it has no cost beyond creating your own account. Once you have it, you can use it on Windows, MacOS or Linux and it is compatible with RAW format but also with images in more popular formats such as JPEG or TIFF.
Like the rest of the options on the list, LightZone allows you to choose certain parts of an image to alter color, brightness, etc. In this case, the editor uses stackable tools that can be organized, deleted, copied, etc.
For mobile and tablets
Adobe Lightroom has a free version for Android and iOS but much less complete than the option for computers and with “premium” settings for which you will have to pay to use them, such as RAW support. If you need to edit photos on your mobile phone or from your tablet, there are several alternatives to high-quality Lightroom that will make you not miss the computer when you take photos. They are easy to handle and suitable for any user even if they have no experience in editing software or advanced knowledge.
One of the most practical and popular is VSCO and it is also free. VSCO is one of the best alternatives to Lightroom if you are going to edit from your mobile phone and want to have access to the main tools you need.
One of the main advantages of this application to retouch photos is that it has a large number of filters and presets that will improve the images without touching the parameters one by one. In addition, you can adjust everything individually: exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation, hue, white balance …
VSCO also has one of the most practical features in a similar app: save presets . You can save a series of adjustments with which to retouch all your photos with the same style and with the same adjustments without having to repeat them again and again each time you go to edit.
For example, if you want harmony in your entire Instagram feed or give a distinctive touch to your images. In addition, the application also works as a social network in which you can share your photos or view images of others to get inspired or to enjoy the content.
Among the best photo editors and alternatives to Lightroom for mobile phones is Snapseed, with all kinds of filters and effects available and suitable for any user regardless of their level of knowledge. Snapseed has very useful tools and that will become essential in your day to day, as a selective brush with which you can alter the parameters of a specific part of the image while the rest continues as it was. It also has stain remover tools or the possibility to bleach the backgrounds of the photographs, if you want to make original and modern still lifes.
Snapseed has a large number of tools and is one of the best options thanks to its compatibility with JPEG and RAW files so you can take advantage of the photographs of your camera with all its possibilities. And it is an application for iOS and Android and completely free and one of the best you can install.
If you are interested in retouching the selfies you make with your mobile, FaceTune2 is the best alternative to Lighroom to improve your selfies. It is one of the favorite applications of any influencer and allows all kinds of touch-ups so that you have the best face: you can have a more uniform skin, eliminate red eyes, whiten teeth, modify the size of eyes and nose or even mark smiles
Facetune2 has many options available for editing photos but it is a very specific application for portraits, so you should discard it (and bet on one of the above) if you are looking for something more professional or more versatile.
Pixlr allows us to have a complete and free editor on our Android or iOS mobile phone. Like the majority of alternatives to Lightroom for mobile devices, it offers us the possibility of adding filters, frames or automatic effects but also choosing the retouching manually through the available tools: we can blur, soften, repair stains, change the brightness, adjust color, contrast, saturation, double exposure …
Beyond editing simple photographs, the 123RF editor allows us to add all kinds of texts on our images and achieve a curious and original effect. We can also write about them, add scribbles or frames or create layers to merge several different photos and create an original and unique composition. It allows editing images, resizing collages in the same free and very interesting application.