If you are looking for the best free photo editor which is a good alternative to Photoshop or Lightroom, this article will be useful for you. I’ve collected 5 best free photo editors that perform basic photo editing and color correction as reference softwares. Moreover, you can get them absolutely for free.
1. GIMP Photo Editor – For Portrait Editing
Alternatives: Paint.NET, Pixlr, Photoshop
Platforms: Windows, Linux
- Open source
- Many filters
- Works with various file formats
- Developer support
- Basic portrait retouching tools
- Online and mobile versions don’t work properly
GIMP is a professional free image editor. It is the first good Photoshop alternative because it provides many features similar to Photoshop and has almost the same looking interface.
At the same time, this picture editor has an extensive base for learning, which makes it one of the best free photo editing apps on the market. GIMP is an open source software. This means that you can adjust the program according to your preferences, fix different errors and failures and upload custom tools or plug-ins.
The software is capable of working with the RAW format files, which is probably the biggest advantage if you photograph with DSLRs. Before you start using this program, you need to download all the required updates. It is essential to do in order to open all image formats.
It is easy to enhance photos with GIMP because it has all the necessary tools, such as custom brushes, layers as well as various color filters and Photoshop-like actions. In addition, the program supports numerous plug-ins, which let you use even .psd files.
2. Paint.NET – For RAW Files
- User-friendly image editor
- A large number of features and filters
- Various plug-ins
- Supports different file formats
- Brushwork needs improvement
- Doesn’t include the Burn and Dodge tool
- Doesn’t perform text correction after applying other effects
PaintNet is the best photo editing software for beginners who don’t want to perform complex photo manipulations. The program doesn’t support RAW image format, but you can still work with JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF files.
With Paint.net, it is also possible to convert from one file format to another. Each new user will be pleased with the interface as it is incredibly simple. It reminds me the previous Photoshop releases.
This free photo editor offers a great variety of tools and you can also work with layers. However, its functions are not very wide-ranging. Nevertheless, it is possible to perform basic photo editing, eliminate skin blemishes, remove background and remove the red eyes effect just in several clicks. If you use a graphics tablet, this is definitely the best free photo editor that is very easy and customized to tablets.
3. PIXLR – For Beginners
Alternatives: GIMP, Photoshop, Paint.NET
- Portable/Mobile software
- Works with layers and masks
- A simple user interface which is easy to adjust
- Opens images from PC or URLs
- The program requires Flash Player
- Annoying advertising
There are three versions of Pixlr: Pro, Editor and Express. Pixlr Pro has numerous positive features and its interface and tools are very similar to those included in Photoshop. This program supports RAW files, which is the biggest advantage.
Still, Pixlr Pro has a substantial drawback – this version is paid. However, the subscription costs only $5 per month, which is half the price of Photoshop – $10 per month. That is why I will consider only free versions of Pixlr in detail.
Pixlr Editor is a simpler version of Pixlr Pro. 20% of the whole image editing space is advertising, which distracts you from the workflow. The Editor release isn’t capable of opening RAW files.
Nevertheless, it comprises almost all Photoshop features, but they are not so convenient. The biggest issue with this free image editor is to move along the picture while performing photo post-processing since the synchronization with the browser is very bad.
As a way out, it is possible to use a navigator. Combinations in the mobile app work worse than they do in the browser, so it doesn’t belong to the list of the best photo editing apps for Android .
The same problem is with the secondary mouse button. This free photo editor carries out even complex portrait editing so it will be suitable for enthusiasts who want to enhance their pictures taken on smartphones for posting in Instagram.
4. Photo Pos Pro – For Bloggers
Alternatives: PhotoScape, Pixlr
- Adjustable interface
- First-rate tech assistance
- Various tutorials
- Works with different image formats
- Is available with a monthly subscription
- Rather complicated for amateurs
Photo Pos Pro includes almost everything to perform pretty good photo editing. This free photo editor offers an incredible collection of tools, various layers, actions and effects. Moreover, it supports RAW and PSD file formats.
Photo Pos Pro’s functions are similar to Adobe products. This photo editor has a modern design of user interface which is rather intuitive. It is possible to save the pictures in any format even in hardly used EMF and WMF.
There is an opportunity to convert images to HTML and insert them in a webpage. My favorite feature is interface selection based on experience level (beginner, advanced and pros). This is a great function which helps understand all the peculiarities of the program.
5. iPiccy – For Online Photo Editing
Alternatives: BeFunky, Ribbet
- Dodge & Burn
- Clone tools
- Works online
- A wide range of color correction tools
- Slow performance
- A lot of bugs
Among the best photo editing apps, iPiccy takes a worthy place. This photo editor is very easy to use which makes it extremely popular among photography fans.
There are three versions of this photo editor: Editor, Collage, and Designer. This set is similar to BeFunky picture editor, but iPiccy has an easier interface. In spite of the fact that the program has an out-of-date design, it includes an impressive set of tools such as Dodge & Burn, Clone Tool and Erase Background.
Also, you can correct the exposure, saturation and sharpness as well as perform light image editing and color correction. I like the way iPiccy copes with it, but I am slightly disappointed by the slow color correction process.
The Painter field is nice. With its help, you can perform the classic picture editing, using brush, sponge, and dodge & burn tools. It is possible to work with layers and use 48 brushes. Having tested all these awesome functions, I can say that it is undoubtedly the best free picture editor that you may use online.