Verdict: 3.3 stars Luminar Neo uses Skylum’s latest AI tech for results that can be spectacular, variable or, occasionally, somewhat pointless, though there’s no denying its ability to transform regular photos into more ‘idealized’ versions of reality. But its constant updates, complex bundles, extensions and paid add-ons don’t inspire a lot of confidence.
Verdict: 5 stars Only a modest amount has changed here from Nik Collection 4, but it was already so good there was little room left for improvement. If your photography needs an injection of inspiration, style, or creativity, this is where you’ll find it. Even if you already have version 4, the new Color Efex Pro 5 and Analog Efex Pro 3 could make it worth upgrading.
Verdict: 3 stars Paint Shop Pro 2023 offers a lot for the money, but in use it’s clunky, dated and often counterintuitive. The image organization and RAW processing tools are adequate and no more, and while the editing and effects tools are all right, it’s clear that Corel is pitching Paint Shop Pro at a fairly basic ‘crafting/project’ user.
Verdict: 2.5 stars ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac 8 is the MacOS version of ACDSee’s all-in-one Photo Studio application. From its features, it looks like a strong rival to Lightroom or ON1 Photo RAW, for example, but the reality is very different. It’s both basic and technical at the same time, it’s missing features many might take for granted, and it looks like a Windows program ported on to the Mac, even if it isn’t.
Verdict: 4.6 stars: DxO PureRAW 2 is a raw ‘pre-processor’ which applies DxO’s bespoke lens corrections and unmatched noise reduction to RAW files – and it now integrates with a Lightroom Classic workflow and processes Fujifilm X-Trans images too.
Verdict: 4 stars: DxO FilmPack 6 is a powerful film simulation tool, but its main strength – technical accuracy – is offset by its lack of local adjustment tools.
Verdict: 4.5 stars Exposure X7 is a great all-in-one program for cataloguing your images, enhancing and retouching them and adding a huge range of evocative analog film effects
Verdict: 4.6 stars CameraBag Pro is an effects tool with a wide range of great-looking preset effects and useful manual adjustments too. Best of all, it works with video as well as stills.
Verdict: 4 stars: Pixelmator Pro is Mac only and has fairly lightweight photo editing features, but it’s very fast, unexpectedly clever, and blends in text, vector and paint tools to turn your photos into posters, illustrations and more.