Adobe Lightroom has become one of the biggest names when it comes to editing photos. However, most newcomers have a hard time learning and adjusting to it, leading them to opt for a Lightroom alternative.
While Lightroom provides advanced features, it’s not as user-friendly as other software. People who have been using the software for years can navigate it with relative ease, but new users have a hard time.
That’s why it’s not an ideal tool for small businesses, entrepreneurs with limited resources, and people who just want to quickly edit their photos.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ideal Lightroom alternative, along with other potential software you can use.
Let’s get started.
What’s the Best Lightroom Alternative?
While there are several considerable Lightroom alternatives, Pixelied comes out on top due to its unique features, including pre-designed templates, stock photos library, third-party icons integrations, and more.
Pixelied is extremely simple to use, requires no training, and you can start editing your photos off the bat. Since it’s an online tool, there are no downloads involved or any need for integrations and plugins.
It’s as simple as opening the Pixelied editor, uploading your picture, and starting the editing process. Furthermore, all of the tools are straightforward, available on the screen readily, and can be used without limitations.
For casual users, small businesses, and people new to editing, it can be hard to adjust to Adobe Lightroom CC. While Lightroom Classic provides hefty photo editing features, they’re pretty complex and hard to learn just like some of Adobe’s similar products like InDesign and Photoshop.
Alternatively, Pixelied provides those editing tools and features in an online tool. There’s no learning curve, so you can easily figure out all the image editing options.
On the other hand, if you’re a professional photographer who has to edit raw images, HDR images, and needs advanced image processing, you’re better off learning Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. These photo editing software are designed for raw processing, batch processing, and algorithm-based editing.
Pixelied’s Features and Tools
While Lightroom users make use of advanced features like focus stacking, Nik, lens correction, noise reduction, and raw file editing, those features aren’t useful for the majority of people.
The average user, business owner, marketer, or designer needs relevant features that are easy to use. Pixelied has combined those features and editing tools, bringing them in one place. The following are some of the notable features and tools.
- Ready-Made Templates – You can find thousands of ready-made templates for different posts, pictures, and more. You can easily adjust your photos within the templates to start your design.
- Stock Photos – Third-party integrations allow access to thousands of stock photos within the editor. With a massive photo library, you can find practically any stock photo you need.
- Icons – You can access thousands of icons to use in your photos.
- My Files – This option allows you to upload your photos (PNG, JPG, SVG) and edit them.
- Illustrations – You can add custom illustrations and vectors to your photos.
- Elements – You can quickly add simple elements like arrows, shapes, and more.
- Brandify – If you’ve added your brand fonts, logo, and colors, you have a one-click option to add your branding to any photo or design.
- Blend – This feature gives you complete freedom for color correction across the board.
- Workspaces – You can run multiple projects, designs, and edits at the same time with various people.
Other than that, you can find basic options and adjustment tools like layering, alignment, opacity, shadows, borders, and more.
How to Use Pixelied to Edit Photos
If you’re looking to quickly edit your photos, take a look at how you can do it using Pixelied.
- Open Pixelied’s editor on your computer’s browser. You’ll see the following window.
- On the left-hand side, click on the My Files feature and you’ll see the following prompt.
- Either drag and drop your photos or you can click on the Browse button and manually choose your photos from your computer.
- Once you select your photos, you can start the importing process. It takes a couple of seconds for the file to upload.
- Once it’s uploaded, you can access it at any time and put it in your canvas to start editing it.
If you want to remove any file, right-click on it and click Delete. Click the confirmation and your asset will be removed from the editor.
Once you’re done, you can download your photo from the Download button in the top-right corner.
Additional Lightroom Alternatives You Can Use
It’s no secret that photo editing in Lightroom is for advanced users. Basic retouching is one thing, but if you want to change up your photos completely, you need Lightroom. However, that makes it an extremely complicated editing program.
Even the Android and Apple iOS apps are pretty hard to use. Some people even report compatibility issues in Linux and macOS.
Furthermore, the tutorials don’t offer much help. Therefore, it’s not very user-friendly for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and casual users. Even existing Lightroom users recommend that only users who need advanced features should start using it.
Other drawbacks of the software include slow processing, lack of a background removal tool, limited integrations, and high system usage.
Based on that, it’s better to use a Lightroom alternative like Pixelied. If you want to try out other alternatives, here’s a list of some of the best paid and free Lightroom alternatives you can find.
1. Skylum Luminar 4
Luminar is a relatively affordable and simple-to-use alternative to Lightroom. It’s designed to provide people maximum editing capabilities with minimal fuss.
Its key features include artificial intelligence-powered tools that offer one-click local adjustments. This helps enhance any JPEG or PNG in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, if you want to manually retouch your photos, there are AI-powered tools for various purposes, depending on the nature of your photos.
Other than that, image management is pretty easy with Luminar because it mirrors your hard drive. Any photo management you do in the photo editor reflects in your PC, regardless of whether you have a Mac or Windows PC.
However, there have been a lot of complaints about crashes, causing major performance issues. Other than that, while the software has over 60 editing features and tools, it still lacks some basic features like a BG remover, masking tools, and cloud storage.
You can check out Skylum Luminar 4 here.
Darktable is an open-source photo editor that is considered one of the best free photo editors. It also acts as an asset management tool where you can organize and store your photos.
Image management allows you to rate, tag, mark, and file your photos according to your needs.
The UI is similar to Lightroom, making it relatively hard to use. That’s why it’s mostly preferred by users who like to have a free Lightroom alternative.
It doesn’t offer many color manipulation tools and presets for editing photos. However, it provides the majority of features you need for advanced photo editing.
You can check out Darktable here.
3. ON1 Photo RAW
ON1 Photo RAW is a photo editing program that combines the best of both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. For example, it offers Photoshop-like layer editing and focus stacking that isn’t available in Lightroom.
Once you buy it, you get a perpetual license; however, the hefty price tag is only justified for dedicated users. Other than that, it has some of the best facial recognition tools for retouching photos.
The program offers ease of access in multiple areas. For example, you don’t have to import images, it automatically recognizes them from your hard drive.
Some notable tools in the program include panorama and HDR tools. Other than that, specific options like portrait editing modes allow for more flexibility while editing.
However, compared to Lightroom, it’s slower, doesn’t support cloud editing, and has a mediocre catalog system.
You can check out ON1 Photo RAW here.
4. Capture One Pro
Capture One Pro is the brainchild of Phase One – a medium format camera company. That means the program is dedicated to RAW editing using high-end tools and advanced features.
It’s most used by professional studio photographers, as they need the functionality it provides. That includes easy cataloging, annotations, layer editing, advanced color tools, and studio enhancement options.
While the interface is easy to use for existing users, the advanced controls and studio-level options may be hard to grasp for new users.
Compared to Lightroom, Capture One Pro is more expensive; however, it goes one step above Lightroom, justifying the price tag. That also means Capture One Pro has a limited target audience and is not ideal for casual users.
You can check out Capture One Pro here.
5. Corel AfterShot Pro
Corel AfterShot Pro is a strong Lightroom alternative that offers batch editing, intelligent cropping, blemish retouching, color adjustments, and watermark options. It also has options like perspective distortion and lens corrections to solve focus, lighting, and pixel issues.
However, asset organization isn’t as good as its counterparts. However, automatic image metadata and geotagging features make up for it.
It’s easy to use, more affordable, and offers quick importing capabilities. However, compared to Lightroom, it has fewer editing and organizational tools.
You can check out Corel AfterShot Pro here.
RawTherapee is an open-source RAW photo editor that works similar to Lightroom. It doesn’t offer a great organizational system, but you can set it up so all your files are in one place.
You get all the basic options including exposure setting, sharpening tools, color correction, and curves. However, adjustments tools like the healing brush aren’t available.
The best thing about RawTherapee is that it’s free. Other than that, you don’t have to import your files and you can run it on most operating systems. However, Lightroom has more organizational and adjustment tools.
You can check out RawTherapee here.
7. Exposure X6
Exposure X6 is considered one of the best photo editing apps with easy-to-use controls, advanced features, and affordable prices.
You’ll find various file-management tools and photo manipulation options. Other than that, the program offers tons of presets, styles, and tools to help users quickly edit their photos.
However, you can only work on one workspace at any given time. Some people prefer the single-module setup, but it mostly depends on one’s preference.
You can check out Exposure X6 here.
Polarr is a relatively simple image editing program that’s available on Mac, Linux, and Windows. It also has an app for both iOS and Android.
It’s designed for casual users who need to quickly edit their photos. That’s why it has a lot of sliders, filters, and brushes. While functionality is limited, the workflow is seamless.
There’s a free and paid version of the software, depending on your usage. The downside is that Polarr doesn’t have RAW image support. You can edit basic photos taken from smartphones, digital cameras, and even advanced Fujifilm and Sony cameras, but not RAW images. If you want to edit your next profile picture or just make some meme pictures, Polarr may be a good option for you.
Furthermore, it isn’t as advanced as Lightroom, so if you’re looking for advanced features, you’re better off with another entry in this list.
You can check out Polarr here.
Choosing the Ideal Lightroom Alternative
Other than the software listed above, you’ll find plenty more like Gimp, DxO PhotoLab, and Affinity Photo. These software usually have certain strong points. For example, Gimp has analog photography enhancements to give photos a vintage look.
However, if you’re a small business looking for free marketing tools and photo editing software, you’re better off with the list above.
If you’re looking for a reliable and quick option, Pixelied is your best bet. Intuitive UI, ready-made templates, and options like a BG remover tool are just the tip of the iceberg.
The best thing about Pixelied? You can start using it free of cost.