9 Best Lightroom Alternatives in 2024

Adobe is a well-known software due to its editing dominancy, but many people can’t do justice to it, whether because of its rising price tag or simply a desire for a change. In 2024, dozens of Lightroom alternatives are out there, many free. In this article, we will discuss Lightroom alternatives that offer a range of features to enhance your photography workflow.

Lightroom alternatives

Selection Criteria Of Lightroom Alternatives:

Several factors are important for selecting Lightroom alternatives:

Choose a photo editor that suits your needs, such as features, image editing capabilities, catalog, interface, RAW file support, different platform support, image organization, and price. Based on these factors, we have replaced Lightroom with alternatives that can meet the various requirements of photographers at different levels of work.

1. Luminar Neo: Most Popular AI-Powered Software

Luminar AI Software

Software Overview:

Brand Luminar Neo
Operating SystemPC resources
FeaturesAI-based workflow is easy and fast
CostPaid but flexible
Best For Beginners

Description:

Luminar Neo is an AI-based & most popular software because it has awesome artificial intelligence features that allow you to edit photos in seconds. It makes complex editing tasks simple. Luminar Neo has the same editing tools as Lightroom but with advanced features that enable you to unleash your creativity. Whether you want to edit landscape shots or portraits, Luminar intelligence makes your work fast and easy. It offers an affordable alternative with its one-time purchase.

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Luminar Neo:

Advantages

  • AI-powered editor.
  • Sky replacement.
  • Non-destructive editing.
  • Easy to use.
  • Flexible payment method.
  • Catalog friendly.
  • Versatile, built-in presets.
  • Affordable, one-time price.
  • Easy and fun to use.
  • Extensions ( additional feature).

Dis-advantages

  • Limited Advanced editing.
  • Less robust advanced editing tools.
  • Demanding PC.
  • It is not available in Mobile.
  • Limited print options.

2. Apple Photos: Free Lightroom Alternative for MacOS

Apple photos Lightroom Alternatives

Software Overview:

BrandApple Photos
Operating SystemMac
FeaturesCost-free, automatically set up in the Apple devices.
CostFree
Best ForBest for people who don’t want professional editing.

Description:

Apple photos are best for those who don’t want professional editing. This software is automatically installed on Mac computers and set up to sync with your other Apple devices via iCloud. It has features for organizing photo edits, supports RAW files, and many other tools that help in basic editing like cropping, color selecting, levels, curves, etc. 

Its drawback over Lightroom is that it can’t edit certain parts of an image; its editing features apply all over the image, even where they are unnecessary. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Apple Photos:

Advantages

  • Best for iOS users.
  • Lots of tools.
  • iCloud setup.
  • Best for people who don’t want professional editing.
  • Cost-free, automatically set up in the Apple devices.
  • Plugin support.
  • Face recognition.
  • Visual look.
  • Mobile app integration.

Dis-advantages

  • Difficult for beginners.
  • Lack of advanced tools.
  • Only iOS supported.
  • Lack of Lens  profile corrections.
  • Lack layer editing.

3. Capture One: Our Top Pick

Capture One: our top pick

Software Overview:

BrandCapture one
Operating systemMac, windows, iPads
SubscriptionBoth are available; the license covers over 3 computers
Key featuresBoth are available, and the license covers over 3 computers
Best ForCollaborative or teamwork

Description:

Capture One is powerful software and one of the best alternatives to Adobe Lightroom. It has extensive tools and powerful RAW file editing capabilities. In tethered shooting qualities for collaboration or teamwork capture, one is more reliable and fast than Lightroom. In image cataloging, when you use layers, you can make tethered local and keystone adjustments in Capture One. Moreover, it has a customizable interface, precise color control like shadow, mid-tone, highlights, and a channel dedicated to skin tone. For more detail you can check Lightroom vs. Capture One.

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Capture One:

Advantages

  • Exceptional tethered workflow.
  • Color grading adjustments tools.
  • RAW file editing qualities.
  • Customizable interface.
  • Layer base editing.
  • Generous student discount.
  • Available in iPad app.

Dis-advantages

  • Lack of Mobile support.
  • Lack of 3rd party plugins.
  • Limited file organization system.
  • Complicated for beginners.
  • Cost issues.

4. RawTherapee: Free Lightroom Alternatives

RawTherapee Lightroom Alternatives

Software Overview:

BrandRawTherapee
Operating SystemMac, Windows, Linux
CostFree
FeaturesNon-destructive editing flow, advanced tools, cross-platform compatibility, and a wide range of supported file formats, Powerful & precise editing
Best ForThose who seek free sources

Description:

RawTherapee is a free, open-source RAW photo editor that offers multiple editing features, such as a non-destructive editing flow, advanced tools, cross-platform compatibility, and a wide range of supported file formats, making it a better choice among Lightroom alternatives. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of RawTherapee:

Advantages

  • Free of cost.
  • Non-destructive editing.
  • Advanced tools.
  • Support for Windows, Linux & Mac
  • Open source.
  • Decent color adjustments.

Dis-advantages

  • Less user-friendly interface.
  • Limited library management.
  • Learning curves.
  • Lack of printing options.
  • RAM intensive.

5. Darktable: Free Lightroom Alternatives 

darktable free alternative

Software Overview:

BrandDarktable
Operating SystemWindows, Linux, Mac OS X/Mac Port, BSD, and their distribution
CostFree, open-source
Key featuresNon-destructive editing tools presets & styles, tethered shooting, modular workflow, advanced masking tools
Best ForThose who seek the free source

Description:

Darktable is the best free Lightroom alternative software, offering full-featured organization and editing advancement. It is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X/Mac Port, BSD, and Solaris11. Darktable has extensive library management options with various standard, RAW, and HDR formats. Its UI looks like Lightroom’s, but the grouping of the editing module still takes a bit of time to get used to. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Darktable:

Advantages

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Free source.
  • Comprehensive editing tools
  • Presets and styles.
  • Best file management.
  • Multi-lingual.
  • Repetitive tasks can be scripted.

Dis-advantages

  • No mobile version.
  • Performance issues.
  • Confusing interface.
  • RAW processing is not refined.
  • Limited export options.
  • Lack of keywords.

6. Snapseed: Lightroom Alternatives for Android

Snapseed lightroom alternative

Software Overview:

Brand Snapseed
Operating SystemAndroid, iOS, Windows
CostFree
Best ForMobile photographers are looking for a free open source

Description:

Google has developed the most popular mobile photography app, Snapseed, available for Android or iOS. With over 100 million downloads in the Google Play Store, it is the most popular but free Lightroom alternative. It is a feature-rich editing app that offers comprehensive editing tools and filters. More details about the Lightroom vs. Snapseed database are available on the internet. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Snapseed:

Advantages

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Free of cost.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Basic to advanced tools.
  • Snappy to use.

Dis-advantages

  • No mobile version.
  • Performance issues.
  • Confusing interface.
  • RAW processing is not refined.
  • Limited export options.
  • Lack of keywords.

7. Affinity Photo: All-in-One Lightroom Alternatives

Affinity photos

Software Overview:

BrandAffinity Photo
Operating SystemMac & Windows
FeaturesA combination of both Lightroom & Photoshop capabilities
CostSubscription-based
Best ForThose who are looking for a single photo editing piece

Description:

Affinity Photo is an excellent choice for all photograph editors looking for a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop graphic manipulation capabilities. Affinity Photos takes more after Photoshop than Lightroom in the list of most popular software. It offers a wide range of professional editing tools, including advanced retouching, layer support, mask grading, smart objects, color management, and RAW file editing capabilities.

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Affinity Photos:

Advantages

  • Professional level editing. 
  • Raw editing. 
  • Easy to use.
  • Precise editing tools.
  • Affordable. 
  • Multi-platform compatibility.
  • Quick image processing.
  • User-friendly interface.

Dis-advantages

  • No mobile version.
  • No image organization.
  • By default, text needs to be bigger and easier to read.
  • Learning curves.
  • One-time purchasing plan.

8. Polar: Best Online Lightroom Alternative

Polar

Software Overview:

BrandPolar
Operating systemWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
FeaturesFree and online photo editing software
CostFree with an optional pro subscription
Best forWho has the best internet availability
Free trialYes, the free version is available.

Description:

Polar is the best free online alternative to Lightroom. It is browser-based photo editing software that offers powerful and highly advanced features unavailable elsewhere for free. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Polar:

Advantages

  • Fast.
  • Powerful portrait editor.
  • Entirely online.
  • Free.
  • Slick user interface.

Dis-advantages

  • Dangerous for editing important photos.
  • Substandard app.

9. Mylio Photos: Best Photo Organising Alternative 

mylio photos

Software Overview:

BrandMylio Photos
Operating SystemWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
FeaturesBest photo organizing software
CostFree / subscription plan
Best ForManaging image libraries

Description:

Mylio Photo is editing software equivalent to Lightroom, but it has no subscription plan so it can replace Lightroom. The best photo management app uses local media storage and device-to-device syncing. It allows users to connect multiple image libraries and access them in one location—all without the internet or the Cloud. It is an entirely private app where you can store unlimited photos and videos—the only limitation is your device’s capacity. 

Advantages & Dis-Advantages of Mylio Photos:

Advantages

  • Available offline.
  • Complete private. 
  • Slick interface.
  • Easy & fun to use.
  • Facial recognition is entirely private.
  • Detected duplicate photos to help save space.
  • Excellent in tagging mapping.

Dis-advantages

  • Only purchased 
  • Devices need to be in sync.
  • Inaccurate import time.

Final Words

Adobe Lightroom is the world’s best and most popular editing software, but it is not for everyone due to various reasons, like budget, complicated editing system, and confusing management system. Several great image editors can do similar but great jobs, that fulfill your needs. If you need basic editing on Mobile, go with Snapseed and Apple Photos. If you need online alternatives, go with Polar, and if you are looking for advanced Lightroom alternatives then go with Affinity Photos, or Capture One.

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