10 photo editing apps that aren’t Photoshop

Don’t want to give Adobe any more Photoshop money because you’re mad about Creative Cloud? Pick one and move on.



  • Kriztyan

    I still need Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver to a lesser extent. I could use QuarkXpress that I already own, Sketch and Coda/Expresso, but Xpress is very quirky. Dreamweaver has some very useful features not found on any other software, and I am not sure how Sketch compares to Illustrator as a real substitute. I am really pondering if I will jump in to Adobe rent a software model. It look like I might have to.

  • http://twitter.com/DumaStudetto Duma Studetto

    A reasonable list of choices. The comments section lists a few good ones that were omitted too.

    I myself have wasted thousands of dollars on Adobe Creative Suite software over the years. My limited use of all the products in the suite never ever justified the money I wasted on it. It was only seeing the monthly subscription fee added to my credit card bill that really forced me to take a proper look at the expense and seek out viable alternatives. For image editing my choice is Pixelmator. So I for one am now very thankful towards Adobe for the wake up call this new licensing model gave me.

    Professionals and business users will probably carry on regardless and rightly so if Adobe tools allow them to turn a healthy profit with their work. It’s the enthusiasts and up and coming creatives who Adobe will lose – the very people who are posting comments on the site you linked to. Short term probably won’t hurt Adobe at all, longer term when the next generation of creatives start joining the workforce and wants to bring their tools with them – that’s when the bleeding begins for Adobe.

    • DanielSw

      Horse puckey. “Wasted thousands of dollars. . .”? Now whose fault is that?

      So maybe it IS Adobe’s fault, after all. So they’re making up for all those years of deception by doing you dilettantes a favor by scaring you off from their subscription model.

      After all, they weren’t making much from y’all NOT upgrading in any form or fashion, anyway, were they.

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        Ah, the “bad customer” argument. Because the business model must be based upon selling every new release to everyone, every year.

      • Gaussian Blur

        I don’t believe he was pushing blame on Adobe at all. S/he took responsibility for the limited use of the suite describing it as “money I wasted on it”. It’s fair to disagree with the thesis but your snarky tone does nothing for your counterpoint.

        • DanielSw

          The only thing I hate is stupidity. And I think it’s really stupid for anyone to expect Adobe or any company to pander to these maudlin sentiments about “poor young artists”. The commercial art business is tough, but not impossible to master with honest hard work, discipline, practice, a “can do” attitude, and at least a little talent. If there are alternatives to Photoshop or any Adobe app, great. Go use them. Adobe will not suffer from any loss of sales to those who go elsewhere. Quite the contrary: they’ll prosper (and so will its customers) quite a bit more with this new CC system.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

    Kind of surprised that list didn’t include Acorn alongside Pixelmator.

    • Peter Cohen

      I was too, but my guess is the author hadn’t had time to get familiar with the major new release that just dropped.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD

    Wow. A collection of 10 apps, only a few of which are actually image editors. That’s freaking brilliant. Just because an app has something to do with photos doesn’t make it a competitor to Photoshop.

    With the exception of Pixelmator, not a single one of the apps is even in the same ballpark as Photoshop, and even Pixelmator is marginal competition beyond the blogger/amateur photographer crowd.

    GIMP? Give me a freaking break. GIMP stands for Gosh I’M Pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/pdjudd Paul Judd

    What made me interested was that the premise seemed to be targeting people who didn’t want to keep giving Adobe money. Of course they then mention two products from Adobe under the photoshop family.

    They also seem to be taking about different types of apps. They mention Lightroom and Aperture, but those apps aren’t supposed to be image editors and aren’t intended to totally replace Photoshop. Those tools are photography tools and are not meant for general image editing. I suppose they might be useful if you were using photoshop purely for photo editing, but they would be useless for most other things that serious Photshop users would need.

    I suppose it was inevitable though since Photoshop is so versatile as an application and such an article would inevitably have gaps where somebody might have somebody say “this app would be useless – I’m not a photographer”

  • CAugustin

    Nothing there a professional could use as a real alternative to Photoshop (photographers excluded, they can use Lightroom etc. and may be happy, or not …). Does GIMP have the CMYK color model by now? 16 and 32 bit per channel? No? Then – forget it!

    (I read on Wikipedia that CMYK, Lab, 16 bit per channel and 32 bit floating point are planned features for GIMP; no word on GIMP’s feature page though. Let’s see and hope …)

    • 11thIndian

      CMYK is only essential for print. There’s a large base of video professionals who work in RGB prepping files for motion graphics work.

      Ultimately I think Pixelmator and others will get there. Most people don’t need the deep toolset that Photoshop provides- even if they’re doing high end work.

      And I say this as a Creative Cloud subscriber.

      • CAugustin

        You’re right, CMYK is for print – and therefor still important for those in the graphics business. The problem is not that it is always needed, but needed nonetheless. And Photoshop is still the best for pixel oriented work – you can’t do that with Pixelmator (or I would’ve gladly switched by now).

        • 11thIndian

          If Pixelmator’s developers are smart- they’ll focus development this year on the top 20 features which are keeping people from jumping on their platform. Adobe has given them an opportunity to grab a segment of the market; and they’d be crazy not to throw whatever resources they can to try and seize it.

  • Andrew

    Camera+ on iPad. I take the photo properly and don’t need bloat/expense ware.