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The Top Paid-for AI Photo Editing Softwares for 2021

The Top Paid-for AI Photo Editing Softwares for 2021

Artificial intelligence is fast becoming one of the most sought after features for image editing software, but which one is right for you? We've rounded up the five best AI image editing software for you to choose from.

Manual image editing is so last decade. If you're becoming tired of running a bunch of filters to remove noise, take a long time cutting out backgrounds from photos, or need to upscale your photos but can't afford a camera with higher resolution photos then the artificial intelligence movement has come just at the right time.

New advances in AI technology has meant software companies are now adopting the intelligent, machine-learning algorithms required for automatic adjustments to photographs (and videos, too). That means new ways of editing that is faster, saving you time, and more accurate than perhaps your current skill level will allow. There are a few different software and apps out there powered by AI though, so how do you know which one is right for you? Luckily, we've rounded up the top five to cover everyone from the beginner image editor right through to professional-level users that work on industry-standard software. Take a look below and decide which one is right for you.

Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs has a whole suite of separate image editing softwares powered by artificial intelligence which offer high quality filtration for image enhancement, but buying everything could get a little on the pricey side

Topaz Labs have a whole host of AI-powered software available as either standalone or that work as plug-ins for your existing image editing software. There's Gigapixel AI which can upscale photos by up to 600% whilst maintaining image quality, DeNoise AI which eliminates noise but keeps images crisp. Sharpen AI can apparently determine the difference between real detail and noise and therefore can sharpen images much more accurately than conventional techniques. If you need to cut out a background there's Mask AI which uses machine learning technology and a trimap technique to cut around tricky subjects. Or if you prefer just to have your images edited automatically there's Adjust AI, or you can do that manually with Topaz Studio 2 (in which there's AI-clear which works by removing noise and sharpening details simultaneously). You can even use JPEG to raw to edit a JPEG photo as if it were captured in raw format, it helps to prevent compression artifacts and banding in images. 

Topaz Labs truly has a whole suite of artificially intelligent-powered software available, even one for video called Video Enhance AI which is claimed to be the most powerful video upscaling software ever released. If you want the whole suite though, it'll cost you as prices for each package ranges from around $59.99 to $299.99. If you want to pick a free trial though, head here.

Luminar AI

Luminar AI is a fully artificial intelligence powered image editor and is well-rounded in approach to filters and tools, as it also has some standard manual tools you'd expect to find in standard image editing softwares

If you'd prefer a well-rounded image editing software that's powered by AI but doesn't have a hefty price tag then look no further than Luminar AI. There's a 7 day free trial and it does have an expansive collection of automatic and manual AI features, including some non-AI essential tools like dodging and burning. The benefit of choosing Luminar AI is that there's a one-off purchase of $79 and it comes bundled with updates up to a year in the future.

The foundation of the software runs on Templates, which help you to choose specific presets which then run an analysis of the photo before applying the pre-determined template to your photo. For example, it will take note of people and animals in photos, or scan the scene for landscapes and look for skies. There's even the ability to add atmospheric phenomena such as crepuscular rays and haze to photos.

Photoshop CC

Adobe have included AI-powered filters in Photoshop CC under the guise of "neural filters" but currently there are only two fully functioning AI filters in there, with the rest of the pack being made up with beta filters and a glimpse at things to come

Adobe has placed some AI tools in Photoshop CC, but at the time of writing there are a limited range of fully functioning AI filters at the moment. Adobe calls them "Neural filters" and they can be found under the Filter tab at the top of the window. The two that are there (Skin Smoothing and Style Transfer) work well and are a welcome addition to the editing tool house, but it would be nice to see more. For now, there are beta filters that are apparently still being worked on by Adobe and include some interesting and useful features such as colorizing black and white photos or altering the emotions on faces, but there are also more on the horizon. It would be better for an industry-leading image editor such as Photoshop to have more AI-powered features, considering Skylum's Luminar AI is fully AI-powered and has a relatively cheap one-off purchase. Photoshop CC remains a subscription-only purchase either standalone or as part of another creative bundle.

PaintShop Pro

Corel has introduced a range of artificial intelligence tools to PaintShop Pro to enhance and improve creative image edits, the new sea-to-sky workspace also helps to correct drone and underwater footage for those thrill-seeking photographers

Corel has started to implement artificial intelligence in PaintShop Pro with the introduction of upscale and denoise filters. It offers a whopping 30-day free trial which is fantastic for those users that want to try it out before committing. PSP also features AI HDR Studio which can apply unique HDR effects to photos with an exclusive collection of presets designed to bring out the finest details in your images. It also has a unique workspace called Sea-to-Sky which works on making seamless corrections and creative improvements to drone and underwater photography. PaintShop Pro packages start at £69.99 (approx $96USD) and go up to £159.99 (approx $220) for the Photo Video Bundle Ultimate.

PhotoLemur 3

PhotoLemur 3 is a simple-to-use artificially intelligent image editing software, is relatively cheap (cheapest on the list), and does well to keep the user interface simple. But it might not be ideal for professional-level users

There are three things to like about PhotoLemur 3: it's cheap, it's fast, and it's easy to use. The simple user interface makes it ideal for users that want maximum results with minimal input. With simple AI-powered tools, PhotoLemur 3 uses advanced algorithms that run on images to analyze and make alterations automatically. While there is an option to make changes with intensity sliders there's not a lot more you can do to manually alter photos. That means it's not great for control freaks or perfectionists that like more manual input but it does well considering the depth of AI-powered automation and price point. At £27.44 (roughly $37.79USD) it's the cheapest of the best AI-powered image editing apps, and there's also a free trial but PhotoLemur 3 might not be for everyone due to the limited manual controls and simple user interface.

Jason Parnell-Brookes's picture

Jason is an internationally award-winning photographer with more than 10 years of experience. A qualified teacher and Master’s graduate, he has been widely published in both print and online. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014.

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“...It would be better for an industry-leading image editor such as Photoshop to have more AI-powered features, considering Skylum's Luminar AI...”

Adobe doesn’t need to consider what off-brand software is offering. The key phrase is “industry-leading.” And why does PS have that title? Quality, performance, reliability—the stuff that pro’s need.

Fuck Adobe

“...It would be better for an industry-leading image editor such as Photoshop to have more AI-powered features, considering Skylum's Luminar AI...”

Luminar can't be, even remotely, compared to Photoshop. In fact, it's been my experience that Luminar and Photoshop should never even be mentioned in the same sentence.

Adobe is trash

I am not a professional photographer. As such it makes no sense to me to pay monthly for my photo editing software. I had used paid licenses of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom for the past 20 years. So what I got for my loyalty was that my software became obsolete, unsupported and thousands of edits completed non-destructively were lost.

I switched to a combination of Skylum and Topaz photo editing software. My experience is totally different than with Adobe. This is because I can still do all the same edits I did before but much faster, much easier and much more fun. Culling, editing, printing is no longer a pain. So I am actually grateful that Adobe abandoned the liscence purchase system. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and discovered something far superior in the process.

Only just came across this post but thought I'll give some advise. Keep using the editing software you have. Some "professional" photographer's are scared of changing to different editing software. And if you're told that Adobe is the industry standard, it isn't. It is marketing hype! Work on taking good photograph's. Lighting and lens selection is the most important. The lowest iso possible is a good start. Buy a good flash, reflectors, and lights before splashing out on over priced software. When 'you nail the shot', you may want to keep it as it is without editing. If the photograph is average to good, GIMP is a great alternative and It's free!