The day photographs became digital, a new niche was born which soon involved professionals and enthusiasts. If for the former it is a real job, for the latter it is often just a hobby, which is also varied based on the possible destination of the images on which the photo editing is applied. Graphic processing and basic corrections, but where to start? Obviously from one of the 18 best photo editing programs for beginners.
In drafting this list we thought of the many enthusiasts who with different budgets, possibilities and why not computers decide to try their hand at photo editing. We have obviously also thought about professional solutions, but also "light" ones dedicated to real beginners. We then tried to vary our research as much as possible, looking for solutions for Windows photo editing, Mac photo editing and online photo editing for those who cannot or want to burden the hard disk of their computers.
Here is our list, with advantages and disadvantages of individual applications and services:
Our top pick is a free, multi-platform software. We are obviously talking about Gimp, renowned open source retouching software that is used by millions of users every day. We are faced with complete software, perhaps in some ways too much for a beginner, but having additional tools, even if you are not using them at the moment, is never a wrong choice.
The software generally works very well on both Windows and Mac. Like many open source projects it sporadically presents some bugs, but they are resolved quickly thanks to the presence of updates and corrective patches.
Relative, in name only, of the old Paint present by default in Windows operating systems, Paint.net it is a software that works very well, mirroring in its functionality and layout what can be achieved with expensive paid software. A free alternative, Paint.NET is perfect for amateur and beginner use. We use this software often and really appreciate its features. There are only two possible cons, the first is that the software only works for the Windows operating system, the second is that it only supports the most common graphic formats, a limitation that has little impact for a beginner but which could become annoying for more expert users .
“Weakened” version of the famous image editing software of the same name, Adobe Photoshop Express It is perfect for all beginner users who want to perform small processing on their files. Free application, Adobe Photoshop Express is only available for Windows and can be downloaded after registering on the Adobe website directly from the manufacturer's page.
Less "sui generis" version than the previous ones, RawTherapee is a solution designed specifically for those users who find themselves having to process RAW files generated by digital cameras. We are therefore faced with specialized software that has many features and with versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
FastStone is a company famous for its fantastic software for color management of scanners. Not least is their application for graphics processing, which despite being very basic has all the functions that "amateur" users can need.
It also features the interesting additional option of the Image Viewer, an added benefit compared to many other solutions. As a negative aspect we find the only availability for Windows and the lack of some tools that users, even beginners, could find very useful.
Pixlr is a multiple solution available for different devices. The most used version, Pixlr X, is available to everyone thanks to the fact that it can be used directly from the browser, without the need for download and installation. Usable from any device, it is a solution that works well, particularly suitable for beginners and those who have to do limited graphic processing.
Excellent as it can always be used immediately, it suffers from the (sometimes) excessive slowness in the image upload and download phases. For lovers of privacy then (despite the producers' reassurances) it may not be the ideal choice, as the uploaded files must necessarily be uploaded to the network in order to be processed.
Along the same lines as the previous one we find the online application Photopea. Also in this case we are faced with a graphic editor that can be used by browser. As with the previous application, we are faced with an excellent product, usable from the browser and therefore not affected by the "problems" of the operating system. Also available in Italian, Photopea is a complete application, which for registered users also allows online saving of ongoing projects.
Since it works on the network, it is obviously subject to the presence of the same for its execution.
Considered by many to be one of the best photo editing software for beginners, PhotoScape X is a complete and free solution available for Windows. Equipped with all the basic photo editing tools, this Windows-only software can be a good solution for those who are not looking for very advanced tools.
For these last two reasons, we have in fact positioned it in the middle of our ranking.
It's not really a graphic software but slowly Canva has started to include more and more image editing and correction tools. What this software still lacks compared to those that came higher in the ranking is balanced by the variety of models and examples that probably make it the best choice when the processing is designed for an online publication or on social networks.
Not really a program to download but something that is already available on our computers. We are talking about the Photos application, which has gained more and more functions over the years and versions both in the Windows and Macintosh environments. The most recent versions of this app in fact allow photo editing, at least for the basic commands, such as resizing, cropping and color correction.
If you don't already have other software solutions, it's really worth giving it a try with the Photos app.
Although it is not as powerful in terms of functions as other apps already presented, Photo it is a complete software solution that pleases and wins over those who try it also thanks to its "hybrid" mode which on the one hand makes it resemble Adobe Photoshop and on the other borrows layout options for social networks from Canva.
Available for both Windows and Macintosh, Fotor is perfect for those who need to do basic graphics processing. It also features a Pro version, which currently costs $40/year.
Other online application, Befunky it works very well for all those basic functions much appreciated by those who have to do simple editing. There are also advanced features but they are only available for the Plus version, for a fee.
Another open source program after Gimp, Darktable is a free photo editing software that can be used online or downloaded for Windows PC or Macintosh. Like Gimp, Darktable is driven and maintained by a community of programmers and enthusiasts who create new features, fix bugs and create all available documentation.
Available for Windows and Mac, Polarr it is highly appreciated by beginner users as it comes with an excellently crafted tutorial, which illustrates all the basic functions of this software. Among the points in favor of this software we can find some "exclusive" filters designed by professional photographers. The lack of a traditional Photoshop-style menu system divides users, between those who love it and those who could no longer do without it.
It is not very famous in our country and when using it it is not clear why. Made with an interface similar to that of Photoshop, Fell is a complete editing solution, in Italian, available for Windows, Linux and Mac. It's really worth giving it a chance.
This is an application available only for PC, whose main function is to do editing for publishing images on various social networks. In our test EnPixio it worked well but some users in various forums reported slow installations and slow execution.
Simple and free software with a good group of followers and enthusiasts, Photo Pos Pro is a free and easy to use photo editing application. It is at the bottom of our list only because it is not currently available in Italian but only in English. It is currently only available for Windows.
We couldn't not complete this list without also taking a look at the alternatives for mobile devices. For Android and iOS our choice obviously goes up SnapseedApp created for photo editing from mobile devices, it is equipped with all the features necessary for this type of processing.
We have analyzed and tested what the internet was offering, trying to find simple but effective solutions that would also allow non-professional users to try photo editing, now it's up to you to choose one of these applications and let us know your opinion.
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