While most photographers and retouchers use Capture One and Lightroom, the raw processing software market is actually much larger than just two options. One incredibly appealing alternative to the big names is Picktorial. Its third version is being released today, and it comes with quite a few exciting features and is available at a very reasonable price. I’d almost be tempted to say that it’s to Lightroom what Affinity Photo is to Photoshop.
First, and foremost, Picktorial is a raw photo editing platform available for Mac and offers pretty much all the features an enthusiast or professional user would expect. Amongst the more original features, we find one that past Aperture users will most likely love: the compatibility of Aperture Libraries. No need for a plugin, you can browse the libraries natively and retain all the powerful editing capabilities of Picktorial.
The non-destructive image editor also brings a lot more than just what you’d expect, especially in the local adjustment department. Luminosity and color masks are available to create very refined selections. They can even be combined with blending modes for further adjustments.
But it goes even further with a skin smoothing brush. While it probably won’t replace high-end retouching, it’s an excellent way to speed up the editing process for people shooting weddings, portraits, families, and the likes. The brush works similarly to creating a frequency separation and then smoothing out transitions in the lower frequency.
Features are great, and Picktoral has everything it needs: edge-aware brush, selective tonal adjustments, single space workflow (no mode or module like in Lightroom), smart extensions for MacOS Photos, assistant view (similar to reference view in Lightroom), and more. However, without speed, even the most unique feature won’t be useful; the many photographers owning Xeon-based configurations and relying on Lightroom know something about it. Picktorial promises excellent performances, up to 30 times faster for some tools. My quick test with it seems to confirm these performances as the software is extremely responsive on my MacBook Pro Retina, much more than Lightroom. Perhaps, like Alien Skin Exposure II, having a catalog-free image handling helps speed things up, I’m not sure. But it’s quite surprising, and I cannot wait to finalize both reviews to share the results with you.
In the meantime, for more information on the software or to download the free 14-day trial version, head over to Picktorial's website. The update is free for owners of the previous version. Otherwise, the app is available for $69.99, and currently $39.99 to celebrate the new release.
What do you think of this Lightroom and Capture One alternative? Are there any others that you think would be worth reviewing? Do you believe Phase One and Adobe systems are too widespread to have any serious competition or are new options such as Picktorial good news for the market? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.