What Photo-Processing Software Is Right for You?

These days, there are numerous options for cataloging and editing your photos, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This excellent video will give you an overview of the different programs to help you decide which is right for your style and workflow.

Coming to you from Anthony Morganti, this great video takes a look at photo-processing software options, such as Lightroom, On1 Photo RAW 2019, Capture One, Affinity Photo, Luminar, and more. It is worth noting that since the release of this video, Skylum has released Luminar 4, which has new upgrades, most notably, the addition of some powerful AI features. You can check out our thoughts on Luminar 4 here

Like many, I started out with a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop, but I am always interested in trying out and adding new tools to my repertoire. To that end, Capture One and Luminar 4 have become increasingly larger parts of my workflow, and I find myself particularly taken by any tool that can produce quality results in a more efficient manner, which is part of the reason I find the prospect of AI-assisted editing so interesting. Check out the video above for the full rundown of the different options.

Have you used different post-processing software? Which has been your favorite? Let me know what you prefer in the comments. 

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17 Comments

vik .'s picture

Capture one is not just the best for Fuji's, Is the best for any raw file. After the c20 upgrade the noise rendering is amazing

Ian Goss's picture

To give C1 less than five minutes is a great disservice—Lr gets minutes more. Why?

And to dismiss C1 tethering in the way the author does … well! Only the most rock-solid in the industry by all accounts.

I have used C1 since v5, and it gets better and better. YMMV.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I used to use LR. I also gave Alien Skin's ExposureX a go a few years back. I was trying to find an all-in-one one-stop-shop software. If I recall correctly, it was their first attempt at raw processing. The images just wasn't sharp, clear, and crisp. Slight exaggeration, but, images look liked straight from a flip-phone.

Nowadays, using Capture One and Affinity Photo.

Carl Irjala's picture

For my work, I use Capture one Pro for Fujifilm and for pictures taken with other camera brands, I use DxO PhotoLab 3 with Nik Collection 2.3 by DxO. The software I mention have also a cost close to the same level as CC. However, one of the major advantages is that my computer now works much faster. Time saving is also important.
For me, this is the perfect tools to edit with, so I'm definitely not going back to Adobe CC

Gil N's picture

It's Capture One and Photoshop for me. I gave Affinity Photo a try but I couldn't find a workflow that fit me. I should try it again in 2020. For the foreseeable future I won't use any other raw processor that C1 though. The tethering options are the best out there.

Dave Morris's picture

It is LR + RNI All Films 5.

In fact I own both Adobe and Phase One licenses, and I was mainly a C1 user. But the All Films 5 release has profoundly transformed the LR color output and experience, so now I'm back to LR.

In terms of speed LR is now much faster than it was a year ago while C1 has become overall slower. However I still use it for some projects when I don't need the film-like rendering of RNI and need more selective control over skintones.

Giulio Roman's picture

Darktable all life long

Richard Hitswater's picture

I wish they would do more articles about Darktable and GIMP. Not all of us are professionals and want to spend money on a required monthly fee to use.

Thorsten Merz's picture

Who are you referring to when you say "they"?

There are plenty of tutorials on Open Source photography solutions (not just Darktable and GIMP). Two photographers that immediately spring to mind are Riley Brandt (whom I found out about after Fedora Magazine did a feature article on him and how he uses Fedora as a photographer) and Shane Milton.

Riley Brandt - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt6U6IJ2myOToBFeVL-EaXA

Shane Milton - https://www.youtube.com/user/MiltonPhoto

Oh and check out the work of Rosie Hardy, I'm pretty sure she has some online GIMP tutorials too.

Giulio Roman's picture

Hey! thanks! I did not know those two channels.

Richard Hitswater's picture

Thanks for the links! I think by "they" I meant fstoppers. They have lots of articles about LR, etc.

Giulio Roman's picture

I think Photoshop cannot yet be substituted completely by GIMP: it is still ahead. GIMP is still somewhat limited with respect to non-destructive editing. This however does not apply to Lightroom / Darktable. Being a "professional", whatever that means, does not influence the choice between Darktable and GIMP. Still. if someone likes to pay for a software that does less, they are welcome to do so.

Richard Hitswater's picture

I consider a "professional" to be someone who gets paid for their photography. It's their occupation. It's more than a hobby. I'm just an amateur enthusiast who doesn't really do a lot of post-processing. I don't want to pay a monthly fee for something I may not use all that often; certainly not as often as someone whose livelihood depends on it.

Giulio Roman's picture

Yeah, but as you can see pretty much all "professional" photographers do other stuff as well, like teaching, selling tutorials, monetizing youtube videos, selling presets, etc. That's because the industry has changed a lot in the past years, and they have to reinvent their job in order to survive. So nowadays very few do only photography as their business. Moreover, a computer software being free (as in freedom) means that behind it there is a gain for all mankind, it's not just an issue of avoiding paying 3 dollars a month.

Richard Hitswater's picture

Thanks for the reply. I can certainly afford $3/month, but I'm not sure I would use it that much. I hope my pictures come out of camera without needing a lot of post processing. There's still a lot about post processing I need to learn (and I'm thankful for the plethora of available tutorials!), so I may go to and stick with LR and Photoshop, or find that Darktable and GIMP, or some other free software may adequately fit my needs. Having so many choices seems like a blessing and a curse!

Daryl Alm's picture

No Corel Paintshop Pro 2020?

Viktor Wågman's picture

Capture one is better for most files not only fuji. But Canon files dont looks that diffens..