6 Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives [2019]

Adobe Lightroom Alternatives

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular photo management tools available.

It supports easy, but powerful organization, editing, and publishing functionality.

However, it’s not completely unique, and there are a host of other powerful photo management apps available for both Mac and Windows.

We’ve collected a list of the most popular Adobe Lightroom alternatives to help you choose the right software for your photo management needs.

Let’s get into it.

6 Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives:

  1. Capture One Pro
  2. ON1 Photo Raw
  3. Darktable
  4. Adobe Bridge
  5. ACDSee Ultimate
  6. Affinity Photo

 

1. Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro is our first recommendation for an Adobe Lightroom alternative.

Why?

It’s packed with every feature that almost every professional (or hobbyist) photographer will ever need as part of your regular image workflow. It supports over 400+ cameras, so compatibility shouldn’t be a problem, as well as powerful image editing capabilities.

Capture One Pro

Some of the top features Capture One Pro includes are strong organization workflows, powerful color grading, layer editing, the ability to shoot tethered, and more. It also lets you customize the user interface to your needs.

Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro isn’t the cheapest software available, but the quality and functionality won’t leave you with anything to be desired. It also allows you to pay via an ongoing subscription, or if you’d rather buy it outright, a perpetual license.

Pricing: Perpetual license from £417. Monthly subscription starts at £20/month.

 

2. ON1 Photo Raw

ON1 Photo Raw

ON1 Photo Raw shamelessly pitch themselves as a Lightroom Alternative, from the moment you open their website (I definitely have no problem with that!). It’s no surprise to find out that their features and functionality is a good match for Adobe Lightroom’s.

The photo browser is fast, and easy to navigate.

You can use powerful editing features like multi-layered compositing, focus stacking, auto-align layers, and even add text to your images.

It includes hundreds of built in presets and filters you can use to quickly edit your photos with, and the ability to tweak and edit as much as you want.

Powerful retouching features are available too, such as an AI powered quick mask, edge detecting brushes, and more.

AI quick mask

One of my favourite parts about ON1 Photo Raw is that they only offer a one-time payment for a lifetime license. In an age of subscription based software, it’s nice to feel like you own this one.

Pricing: Licenses start at $99

 

3. Darktable

Darktable is an open source, and free Adobe Lightroom alternative for those of you on a smaller budget but who still need a solid photo management software. Despite it being free, the user interface is relatively similar to Lightroom, meaning if you’re familiar with Lightroom already, the learning curve won’t be too steep.

darktable

However, there are people who view Darktable as a compromise. This article on Expert Photography found that Darktable felt slow, and clunky compared to Lightroom when they first transitioned.

Despite it sometimes feeling lackluster compared to Lightroom, you still have access to export functionality such as exporting straight to Flickr, Facebook, or into an email.

Pricing: Free

 

4. Adobe Bridge

adobe bridge

I know what you’re thinking…

Adobe Bridge.. how is that an alternative to Lightroom?

Well, you’re right in some ways.

But for those of you using Lightroom simply as a photo management tool, rather than for most of your editing, Adobe Bridge could be a good alternative. It can integrate directly into your existing workflow with Photoshop, enabling you to easily manage your files in one program, while doing detailed retouching and editing in another.

Another major benefit of Adobe Bridge is that it’s completely free.

Pricing: Free

 

5. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2019

ACDsee lightroom alternative

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate (I’ll just refer to it as ACDSee going forwards) is another powerful photo management software for photographers. According to their website they were the first digital asset manager to incorporate layers. We’ve seen other tools incorporate this functionality, so it’s not unique anymore, but you can count on them to keep releasing new features.

 

It’s easy to switch your existing workflow and images from Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to ACDSee, thanks to a built in migration assistant.

Another plus for ACDSee is that they have a strong community, as well as video tutorials and workshops, meaning it’s easy to get up to speed, learn from other photographers on ACDSee, and troubleshoot any problems you might be having.

Pricing: Lifetime license for $89.95. Home subscriptions start at $8.90/month.

 

6. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo have both a desktop and tablet version of their software, so if you want a solution that lets you edit both at home and whilst travelling, this is a good option.

Again, this photo management and editing software is packed with powerful features, leaving little to be desired.

It includes all of the editing features you would expect from a Lightroom alternative, and also includes tools like an inpainting brush, frequency separation capabilities, a set of liquify features. It might even replace Photoshop for parts of your usual Adobe workflow.

Pricing: £48.99

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a new tool to manage, edit, and export your photos, these six Adobe Lightroom alternatives could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Migrating your entire workflow to a new tool can feel like a tough process, but these programs will make that transition feel simple due to their similarities with Lightroom.

Most of the premium tools recommended in this article come with a free trial, so you can download them, try them out and decide on the one that works best for you.

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