Best Photo Editor for Mac in 2020

Editing your photos on your iPhone is one thing, but editing your photos on your Mac takes your photography and photo editing skills to a whole new level. So in this article, we present you the Best Photo Editor for Mac.

Many people still keep their main libraries on their Macs because of: 

  • Faster processors
  • Larger storage
  • All-rounder bigger computing and power. 

The Mac is always the best device for professional photo editing, so you need some great photo editing apps to make a stunning impact.

The built-in Photos app of Mac offers several useful photo editing tools. You can do the basic adjustments like crop, adjust lighting and color, set the white balance, add filters, remove unwanted blemishes, and a few more things. 

However, to be honest? It’s not the best editing app. If you want your photos to look good, you need to start looking at third-party photo editors that offer more features and control. So If you are looking for something for finishing your photos right, we’ve got a list of the best photo editing software for Mac right here in this article. Some are paid whereas some are free.

Let’s go!

Best Photo Editor for Mac

Affinity Photo 

The Affinity Photo app features several professional tools and supports all known file formats including JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PDF, PSD, and RAW photos

It comes with all the expected basic photo editing tools such as: 

  • Red-eye removal, 
  • Cropping, 
  • Selection, 
  • Painting and 
  • Drawing tools, 
  • Colour correction tools, 
  • Masks, 
  • Filters, 
  • Layers. 

It also features an uncluttered UI with clearly marked tools that are both easy to find and use. Affinity Photo also comes with extensive keyboard shortcuts which makes photo editing more enjoyable. It makes your editing process faster once you go through the learning phase.

While there is a bit of learning curve, the developers offer tons of tutorials which is more than enough for anyone to get started. It has a non-destructive photo editing approach ( original image is intact throughout the editing process ). It keeps the original photo intact until you manually override it with your edited photo. 

There’s also a feature of extensive history where users can undo/redo changes up to 8000 steps. Pretty amazing, right?

Finally, it also offers an Apple Photos plugin allowing you to do minor adjustments right inside the Photos app. If Digital Asset Management or DAM is not a concern for you, I can recommend this app without any hesitation. It misses out that feature!

Luminar 4

Luminar 4 is a full-fledged professional photo editing tool for Mac. It comes with a set of more than 60 filters. Some of which has artificial intelligence, to enhance your photos with just a click.

So, switching from Affinity Photo to Luminar 4 saves more than half the time you spend on photo editing without any drop in image quality. 

The filters use a set of pre-configured edits ( presets ) that change depending on the subject of your image. Luminar 4 works best for portraits and scenic shots. 

Luminar 4 also allows you to adjust the presets if you don’t like the final results. You have access to all basic and advanced photo editing tools such as masks, layers, gradients, and many more. 

You can use them to make manual modifications to your photo just as you do with any other pro photo editing app. The filters allow you to get quite near to your result with just one click. From there, you can make the minute adjustments to get your desired product. 

One of the favourite features of Luminar 4 is it’s before and after slider. You can instantly visualise the changes that you made and compare the edits to the original image.

Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro is another pro photo editing tool for Mac which you should definitely try!

The app not only brings an extensive collection of tools for editing and retouching photos but also allows painting, creating graphic design, adding effects, and doing so much more. 

We will keep our interested limited to the photo editing features only. It has everything that you might need from a photo editing software. The new update of Pixelmator Pro also brings a ton of other features that you won’t find on most other photo editing tools on this list.

The new ML-Enhance mode uses artificial intelligence to automatically fine-tune 37 individual colour adjustments. Just like Luminar, this feature gives you a great starting point for making fine-tuned adjustments. 

That said, the ML-Enhance, only has one pre-set. The new ML Denoise feature is pretty impressive which removes noise and image compression from photos. Not many photo editing apps can boast of this feature. If you don’t like any of the above-mentioned software, you should give a chance to Pixelmator Pro!

Photolemur 3

This app technically doesn’t allow you to edit photos. Did it felt awkward? Still, I know that there are a lot of users who want their photos to look decent but don’t want to spend much time. To use, Photolemur, all you need to do is drag and drop. You can do it in batches or one by one. After dropping the images on it, it will apply AI to identify scenes, faces, and colours and enhance them automatically.

The drawback is that it won’t allow you to retouch the edited image. However, the app produces desired images in 90% of the cases. The one place it fails 100% of the time is when you already have high-contrast images. Or in images having popping colours. Apart from that, it works fairly well. 

I should repeat that it’s not a photo editing app which you can use for total control over the editing. However, If you don’t want to spend even a minute on learning to edit and editing your photos, this is your best option. Just like Instagram on your mobile. A more ground version is this one!

Aurora HDR 

If you are working with High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, AuroraHDR is the best app you can ever get. 

Best Photo Editor for Mac

What is HDR?

HDR combines multiple images (low exposure, medium exposure, and high exposure) to create an image with a better, and a vast dynamic range. It means that your photos will have a better ratio of highlights and shadows. However, In a more traditional sense, a photographer takes three photos in different exposures and combines them in an HDR photo editing app to get the best results. Interesting, isn’t it?

For that work, AuroraHDR is the best tool out there. AurorHDR is made by the same developers who make Luminar. As a consequence, both apps have more or less the same user interface. The difference lies in different photo editing styles. 

Remember, if you don’t work with HDR photos manually, you don’t need this app. That being said, I used it with some photos that I use on other photo editing apps and the results were quite impressive. This app is not for everyone, but some of you might enjoy using this.

Darktable

You will know that all the pro photo editing apps that I mentioned above, including Luminar, Affinity Photo, and Pixelmator Pro support RAW files. So it isn’t necessary to create this section. 

Especially if you are a professional photographer who works only with RAW files, you must be already using a quite amazing RAW photo editor. Still, this platform turned out to be so impressive. Especially because it’s completely free to use.

The interface of its website describes things about this app far better than we could. It says, “darktable is an open-source photography workflow application and raw developer. A virtual light-table and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable light-table, and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.” 

They demand “darktable edits your images non-destructively through its pipeline. Your original image is never modified! Professional colour management features ensure fidelity all the way to print and GPU accelerated processing means you can speed up your workflow using your video card”. Clearly, there are lots of features!

If this is something you need, you should definitely try this out. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 

Best Photo Editor for Mac

Conclusion

All of these photo editing apps are amazing. You will find that some of them suit you better than the other ones. You should always choose the one that fits your editing style and needs irrespective of other choices. 

Comment below to tell us which photo editing app you found to be the best for you!

Happy Editing!

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