Verdict: 4.8 stars Capture One 23 is a professional Lightroom rival that offers a step up in both image quality and editing tools, and supports a greater variety of professional workflows. The RAW processing is excellent, the editing tools are powerful and the new Cull view, layered Styles and improved Variant handling alone make the upgrade look worth it. Capture One is not cheap, but it’s designed for professional, quality-orientated workflows.
Life after Photoshop software reviews
Choosing the right software isn't easy and you often have to try quite a few different applications to find the ones that suit you. We're all looking for different things, and quite often a single piece of software won't do everything that we need.
So these reviews are designed not just to see whether the software out there is any good or not, but to explain exactly what it does and how it might fit into your workflow.
- Always download the trial version if there is one. My best guess at what photographers need is not necessarily right for you.
- This is an archive of all Life after Photoshop review content. There is also a curated guide to the best photo editing software.
Verdict: 4.5 stars ON1 Photo RAW 2023 is probably the closest thing there is to a photo editor that does absolutely everything. This version adds AI subject recognition and masking features. ON1 Photo RAW’s scope and ambitions are impressive, though the AI doesn’t always work perfectly and ON1 Photo RAW 2023 can sometimes feel sluggish.
Verdict: 4.5 stars Affinity Photo 2 is not a huge leap forward from version 1 for photographers, but more a major refresh and rebranding for Affinity. It remains an extremely powerful professional Photoshop rival at an exceptionally low price. Its tone mapping is superb, its RAW processing can now be applied non-destructively and its central Photo personal is hugely powerful.
Verdict: 3.3 stars $199 is a lot of money to pay for a simplified AI photo fixer and there’s not even a trial version, just an ‘unconditional’ money back guarantee. When it works, Photo AI is good, even spectacular, but the image and its problems have to fall within its window of fixability. Photo AI is also slow, over-aggressive with noise reduction and can only fix the right sort of blur.
Verdict: 4 stars Radiant Photo sounds like countless other ‘magic’ photo apps and plug-ins that use the power of AI to make your photos perfect. The difference is that it works. Not every image will be transformed equally, but the dullest, most difficult and downright impossible images are the ones that get the most benefit.
Verdict: 3.8 stars DxO ViewPoint 4 takes distortion and perspective correction to a new level, with Volume Deformation correction, a new ReShape local warping tool and more. But its core perspective correction tools will likely already exist in any host application you choose to launch it from. For ultimate perspective and distortion control, it’s hard to fault – as long as you do actually need what it does.
Verdict: 4.5 stars PhotoLab 6 has important improvements over version 5 which make it even better for quality fixated photographers. The PhotoLibrary organizing tools are catching up at last and the new DeepPRIME XD processing is superb. Add in the excellent editing tools and local adjustments, and you have perhaps the best RAW processor of all.
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 . Color Efex Pro 5 has been modernized and streamlined as part of the Nik Collection 5 update, and when I thought it could hardly be any better – well it’s even better. Color Efex Pro 5 is a big collection of photographic and digital filters which can be used individually or in combination for an almost limitless range of effects. Color Efex Pro 5 replaces the old and somewhat dated interface, adds more controllable control points and DxO’s ClearView contrast enhancement. It was brilliant before, and it’s even more brilliant now.
Verdict: 5 stars Analog Efex Pro 3 is a new and revamped version of the analog effects plug-in in the DxO Nik Collection. It goes way beyond most analog photography tools, offering not just film styles, grain effects and borders, but creative vignetting, bokeh, lens blur, lens distortion, double-exposures, motion blur and more to simulate a huge variety of ‘old camera’ looks. There are other good vintage/analog tools out there, but none that go as far as Analog Efex Pro, and version 3, introduced with Nik Collection 5, is streamlined, updated and even better.