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.
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.
Some people simply want a Photoshop replacement without the subscription payments, some want an image cataloguing tool that can also carry out photo enhancements, some primarily want an image effects tool for crafting a very particular 'look'. Most of us want a bit of all of these things.
• Always download the trial version if there is one. My best guess at what photographers need is not necessarily right for you.
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.
I don't review every program out there, only those which I personally consider add something significant to the image-editing process. There are some notable and quite possibly very popular programs not in my review list but that's because – and I don't want to upset any publishers out there – I don't think they're different enough, interesting enough or just plain good enough.
Verdict: 4 stars Lightroom is Adobe’s bold vision of a cloud-based photo organizing and editing tool where all your images can be organised, edited and viewed anywhere on any device. For mobile users and content creators it’s a clever and effective proposition, but for regular photographers, while its editing tools continue to impress, its restrictions, the closed nature of its editing ecosystem and its cost remain a major barrier.
Choosing the best image editing software can be complicated. It all depends on what you look for most in your photo editing software. Here are 12 programs with their own distinct strengths.
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: 4.4 stars ON1 Photo RAW 2022 is a terrific all-in-one photo organizing, editing and effects tool with just about the widest scope of any single program, even if some tools lack finesse and depth. For value and versatility it’s just extraordinary, and its creative presets are great too.
Verdict: 4.4 stars PhotoLab 5 is a significant step forward for DxO’s flagship software. The big news is that it now supports Fujifilm X-Trans RAW files! PhotoLab 5 is not really aimed at beginners and it’s fairly pricey too, but in terms of results you really do get what you pay for.
The name is the same, but despite the apparent similarities, these are two very different programs. So what are the key differences between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC, and how do you choose which one to use?
Verdict: 3.8 stars Viveza is a great tool for making fast and effective adjustments to colour images, but even with the improvements in version 3 it still feels less useful than the other Nik plug-ins.
Verdict: 4.5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. Version 3 improves the Control Point masking, but moves the sliders to the sidebar, which isn’t necessarily an improvement.