Best Photo Editing App for Mac

Best Photo Editing App for Mac: The Complete List

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Best Photo Editing App for Mac

Which is the best photo editing app for Mac?

Yes, it is challenging to give the right answer to that question.

Why?

Well, which is the best photo editing software for MAC depends on a few criteria.

First, what types of editing workflow you are going to do to determine which software you should use.

For example, if you need to do basic photo editing including crop, resize, and rotate photos, then the mac photo editor built-in app is perfect for you.

On the other hand, for doing extensive retouching, you need to have a robust photo editing app.

There is a huge difference between robust and basic photo editing app. Robust image editing tools give you more power and precision on every work you do.

Second, the expertise level of you in editing also helps you to select which photo editing app you should use.

For example, a beginner photographer always looks for an editing app that is easy to use.

In contrast, a professional photographer finds an app that allows us to perform extensive photo retouching workflows.

Third, budget is another factor that impacts on choosing photo editing software. Obviously, a beginner including me always looking for a free or affordable photo editing app.

As we are on a budget, it matters a lot to consider what’s in the box.

In this guide, based on your need, I have made a list of photo editing software for mac that includes both the free and paid apps.

The best part of this guide is I personally tested each of the apps. I have also described the features, pros, and cons of each of them.

As a result, you can easily compare each of the software with one another and pick the right tool you need to use.

So, let’s dive in.

14 Best Photo Editing App for Mac

Here is the list of best photo editing software for Mac.

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Affinity Photo
  • Luminar 4
  • Capture One Pro
  • Pixelmator Pro
  • Snapheal
  • On1 Photo RAW
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Aurora HDR
  • GIMP
  • Photoscape X
  • Fotor
  • Darktable

Related Article: Best PC Photo Editing Software

01. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most used image editing software by professionals around the globe.

Millions of graphic designers and photo editors around the world use Photoshop to create stunning photos and artworks.

There is hardly a thing you can’t do with Photoshop. From basic photo editing to extensive retouching, you can do everything precisely.

The best part of Photoshop is it is the best tool to do core editing workflows including detailed retouching, color correction, and adjustments.

The layer system is the backbone of Photoshop’s power. With it, you can do non-destructive editing workflows without affecting the main photo.

On top of that, you can use layers to blend multiple images to create artistic and sophisticated photos.

However, on this fast-growing online-based world, Photoshop is vastly used to remove background from photos.

The advanced Photoshop pen tool lets you select the objects precisely and remove the background. Note to add that, there are also other automatic background remover tools out there. But the quality Photoshop offers is beyond compare.

For advanced retouching, it offers a healing brush tool, clone stamp tool, patch tool, and color replacement tool.

Using these tools, you can remove blemishes, acne, and other skin defects to give a clean look to your portrait.

The downside of this app is its editing interface is complex. But it is not so messy comparing other photo editor apps.

However, the beginner can find it a little bit difficult to understand. Luckily, there are a million tutorials on the web you can follow to master on it.

Key Features

  • Advanced layer tool
  • Clone Stamp Tool
  • Healing tool
  • Upgraded brush tool
  • Advanced content aware-fill
  • Upgraded Selection tools
  • Enhanced Pen tool
  • Pro masking tools

Pros

  • Perfect for pro retouching workflows
  • A lot of tools and features included to perform basic to pro editing
  • Well organized interface
  • Let you make 3D design
  • A lot of tutorials out there to learn Photoshop

Cons

  • The price of Photoshop is high
  • Difficult to understand and use for beginners
  • Confusing interface

Operating system: Mac and Windows

Price: $9.99 (photography plan)/ $20.99 (individual plan)

02. Adobe Lightroom

When it comes to choosing the best photo editor, the list will remain incomplete without mentioning Lightroom.

Adobe Lightroom is one of the powerful photo editing apps on this list for Mac. For image editing, it comes with every tool and feature you need.

With it you can blend, merge, adjust color temperature, exposure, and tint of a photo. Also, you can add details, remove the blurry object to give a clean and crystal look to your photo.

On top of that, I love Lightroom for its slider-based tools that let you fine-tune the exposure, color grading, and light of a photo.

Moreover, Lightroom comes with a lot of presets to give an artistic look to your photo with a single click. The best part is you can customize each of the effects and save them for bulk use.

Most importantly, Lightroom is the best photo editing app for photographers who need to manage the biggest photo catalog. If it is the feature you are looking for, then Adobe Lightroom is the best choice for you.

Lightroom doesn’t only manage a large number of photos but also lets you access to the cloud storage. That means you can edit or organize photos from anywhere.

The only cons I find on Lightroom is its subscription-based pricing model. You need to pay Lightroom $9.99 per month.

I recommend you try the 30 days free trial before purchasing Lightroom. After the end of the trial, if you like this app, you can use it. Otherwise, you can cancel the subscription.

Features

  • Creative enhancement tools
  • Come with digital management tool
  • A ton of presets and effects
  • Design with advanced photo editing tools
  • Advanced layer and adjustment tools
  • Slider-based image editing option

Pros             

  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy to use
  • Offer non-destructive image editing workflows
  • Batch image processing
  • Perfect for color correction

Cons

  • A little bit pricy photo editing software
  • Subscription-based pricing plan

03. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is one of the best photo editor apps for Mac on our list. From basic retouching to advance editing, it covers everything you need.

With Affinity Photo, you can develop raw photos, do color correction, enhance portrait images, and apply innumerable effects to your images.

Both for basic and detailed retouching, it gives you a set of tools to help. The frequency separation tool, dodge & burn tool, and blemish removal tools help you to make the portrait skin smooth.

Besides, it has come with a ton of incredible effects and filters to enhance photos with a few clicks. I love the live effects to use as they are non-destructive. That means you can edit, reedit, mask, and blend them anytime.

For creating complex composition, it comes with a group of tools, effects, and layers.

The refine adjustment tool of Affinity gives you extreme precision on selecting, masking, and blending. Even you can select the edge of hair precisely using Affinity.

The surprising fact that you can get such kind of robust photo editing apps at $24.99 for a lifetime using. You can also try the free trial to test it before making a purchasing decision.

Features

  • HDR Editing
  • Advanced refine selection tools
  • Flawless photo stitching
  • Advanced layer, mask, and clipping tools
  • Raw developer
  • Come with a group of photo retouching tools
  • Featured with numerous effects and filters

Pros

  • Support almost every file format including jpg, png, PSD, raw, and others
  • Easy to use
  • Offer customizable effects and layers
  • Batch photo processing

Cons

  • Difficult to learn for newbies
  • Don’t let you make custom workspace
  • Doesn’t offer enough profile-based correction tools

04. Luminar 4

Are you an amateur photographer? Do you want to give a stunning look to your photo but lack of sufficient editing skills? Then, Luminar 4 is the ultimate solution for you.

With minimum photo editing skills, you can now enhance the look of your portrait or landscape photo. Luminar 4 has come with AI enhancement tools that let you edit photos with a single click.

To give a stunning look to your portrait, it has an AI skin enhancer and portrait enhancer tool.

The Portrait Enhancer has a lot of slider-based tools to remove red-eye, blemishes, dark circle, and whiten eyes. What you need to do is just moving the sliders from left to right to enhance the portrait photos.

Thanks for its AI Skin Enhancer tool that lets you improve the details and make the portrait skin smooth.

Landscape Enhancer is another special Ai tool that lets you improve the landscape photo with a few clicks.

The Landscape Enhancer comes with four different sliders including Dehaze, Golden Hour, Foliage Enhancer, and Foliage Hue.

You can adjust depth and color moving the Dehaze slider left to right. To add a warm look to your portrait photo, just move the Golden Hour slider.

The Foliage Enhancer lets you improve the color of trees, plants, and flowers.

Also, you can remove noise from any part of the images using the Denoise tool.

With Details Enhancer, now you can add depth, details, and warmth to your photo. Moreover, you can edit raw photos, apply batch processing, and so on with Luminar 4.

Features

  • AI enhancement tools
  • Portrait skin development tools
  • Landscape photo editing tools
  • Lens correction tool
  • Raw photo development
  • Advance layer and color enhancer tool

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Let you enhance photos with a single click
  • Offer a ton of effects and presets
  • Offer non-destructive image editing

Cons

  • The AI tools slow down the editing workflow
  • Need to improve library functionalities

Operating system: Mac and Windows

Price: $89

05. Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro designed to edit photos precisely with ease in mind. It gives you complete control over to do every aspect of editing, recovering, preserving, and organizing photos.

To correct photo color, it comes with exposure, contrast, and saturation tools. To achieve the best result, it also offers curves and clarity tools.

You can also apply pre-designed presets and effects to enhance photo quality with a few clicks. Besides, you can install third-party presets and styles to get the best result.

To make local adjustments precisely, it has come with advanced layers and masks. The layer gives you complete control over every part of an image and lets you enhance it.

It doesn’t only let you perform photo editing workflows but also lets you organize photos. Now, you can store and manage photos perfectly.

If you are a photographer who looking for a photo organizer and photo editing tool, then Capture One Pro is the solution for you.

Let’s check out some special features of Capture One Pro.

Features

  • A set of image editing tools
  • Photo organizing tool
  • Advanced layer and mask tool
  • Upgraded color correction tool
  • Improved lens correction and noise reduction tool

Pros

  • Customizable editing interface
  • Advance raw converter tool
  • Offer a lot of adjustment tools
  • Spot healing tool

Cons

  • Difficult to learn
  • Absence of HDR editing
  • Insufficient third-party plugins
  • History Panel unavailable

Operating System: Mac and Windows

Price: $20 (any camera), $9.99 (FujiFilm and Sony Camera)

06. Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro is solely designed for mac users in mind. It accesses you to powerful photo editing tools to create an aesthetic photo.

With a full spectrum of tools, it lets you create a design, draw art and painting, edit photos, add attractive effects to your photo.

The Color Picker tool helps you save and manage color smartly ever you do. Now, you can save colors as well as sample colors from your photo with the eyedropper tool.

Using Pixelmator Pro, you can replace photos smartly preserving their layer, effect, color adjustments, and so on. That clarifies, Pixelmator is a non-destructive photo editing app.

To accelerate the editing workflow, it has come with a lot of keyboard shortcuts. For example, if you need to replace a photo, you can do this pressing Shift + Command + R.

The arrange tool of the Pixelmator is non-destructive. With it, you can resize, rotate, and replace photos with complete freedom.

Therefore, Pixelmator Pro has designed with advanced painting engine that lets you create innovative and beautiful art and painting.

Besides these features, it also offers a wide range of retouching tools, color adjustment tools, stunning effects, and much more to create stunning artwork.

Indeed, it is an all in one photo editing app for photographers and graphic designers.

Features

  • Advanced color adjustment tools
  • A ton of effects and styles
  • Improved Arrangement tool
  • Magic repair tool
  • Come with a lot of keyboard shortcuts
  • AI enhancement tool
  • Content-aware fill
  • Layers and filters

Pros

  • Offer non-destructive image editing workflows
  • Let you create stunning effects and drawing
  • Simplify photo editing
  • Smart layouting capabilities

Cons

I don’t find any significant cons of this editor. So, if you find the above apps intimidating, then you can try this app.

Operating System: Macs

Price: $39.99

07. Snapheal

Snapheal is a breathtaking photo editing app for beginner mac users. It is the easiest and fastest image editing software on our list to remove unwanted objects.

The process of removing unnecessary elements from a photo is fast that takes merely 30 seconds.

What you need is just upload photos, erase people or other things, and then enhance the photo with advanced photo editing tools.

You can give a clean and crystal look to your photo enhancing the portrait skin and color using editing and color adjustment tools.

Once you complete the retouching workflow, you can export the photos in various file formats including JPG, PNG, and others.

Features

  • Support multiple file formats
  • Includes pro retouching tools
  • Color adjustment tools
  • 3 erasing modes
  • A wide range of editing tools
  • Can be used as a plugin in Photoshop or Lightroom

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Simple editing interface
  • Perfect for basic retouching
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Not a full-featured photo editing app
  • No windows version
  • Not perfect for detail retouching

Operating system: Mac Only

Price: $8.99

08. On1 Photo Raw

Do you hate subscription-based pricing model? Looking for lightroom alternative? Then, On1 Photo Raw is the ultimate solution for you.

Like Lightroom, you can organize photos smartly, process raw files, retouch portrait, apply effects, and edit layers on On1 Photo Raw.

On1 Photo Raw offers a wide range of image editing tools for doing basic editing workflows with efficiently.

Also, it comes with a spectrum of single-click presets that let you enhance the look of the photo you want to achieve.

The interface of On1 Photo Raw is simpler than Lightroom. On top of the panel, it has four modules including Develop, Effect, Portrait, and Local.

The Develop panel of this photo editing app has all the tools you need to edit photos. You can customize each of the sliders to adjust the color tone efficiently.

Effect module consists of a ton of effects and presets to give a striking look to your photo with a single click.

Thanks for its Portrait module. It helps the portrait photographer to give an aesthetic look removing blemishes, acne, and help to smooth the skin.

For accelerating editing workflow, it has three AI enhancement tools including AI Mask, AI Match, and AI Auto Tone.

The best part I like about On1 Photo Raw is it gives a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Features

  • HDR Editing
  • Photo Stitching
  • A ton of effects and presets available
  • Smart photo organization
  • AI enhancement tools
  • Advanced layer system

Pros

  • Customizable presets and effects
  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy to use
  • Let you organize photos
  • Let you print photos
  • Offer money-back guarantee

Cons

  • AI Quick Mask fails to do the basic task precisely
  • Can’t back up your photos and files
  • Lack of advanced selection tools

09. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements is one of the simplest photo editing app for mac on our list. The auto-generated and smart tools of this app makes image editing simple but enjoyable.

With Photoshop Elements, you can create fascinating effects, artistic photo collages, slideshows, and so on. Even you can share your favorite photos on social media.

The most important part is it has come with AI technology known as Adobe Sensei that automates photo editing workflow. As a result, you don’t need to do everything and give you enough time to concentrate on artistic editing.

55 Guided Edit helps you to remove blemishes, unwanted objects, and apply lots of pattern to your photo with a single click.

Besides, it has an auto colorize tool that lets you make the photo vibrant.

A smart photo organization is another positive side of Photoshop Elements. Now, you can organize photos using tags and face recognition technology powered by Sensei.

So, if you are a beginner and look for an easy-to-use mac photo editor, then you should use Photoshop Elements.

Noticeably, it is not a subscription-based software. That means you don’t need to pay per month for using it. You can get this software for a lifetime after one-time purchasing.

Features

  • AI photo editing tools
  • Numerous effects and presets to enhance a photo with a single click
  • Innumerable collage layouts and grids
  • Smart photo organizer
  • Auto-selection tools

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Let you erase background with a single click
  • Allow you to share photos on social media
  • Not a subscription-based image editing software

Cons

  • Doesn’t let you correction chromatic aberration
  • Absent local support system
  • Don’t let you access cloud storage

Operating system: Mac and Windows

Price: $99.99

10. Aurora HDR

Aurora HDR is one of the best HDR photo editing apps for mac. It gives 20 plus image editing tools to enhance color, temperature, and look of your HDR photos.

You can add vignette effect, details, remove noise, and adjust color tone using this most advanced HDR photo editor.

Thanks for its AI tools that quicken the editing workflow and let you improve photos with a single click.

HDR Denoise tool of Aurora HDR helps you to detect the noise of your photos and smartly erase them. To get a stunning depth, noise-free result, it has an AI tool called HDR Smart Structure.

With HDR clarity, now you can boost up clarity adding contrast where need to include. Exclusively, you don’t need to touch the entire photo to add the contrast.

Interestingly, it has 80 plus looks that let you give a stunning effect to your photo with a single click.

For professional editing, Aurora HDR offers advanced layer & masking tools, batch processing, and advanced raw processor tools.

Note to include that you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Features

  • AI HDR photo enhancer tools
  • Layer and Masking
  • 80 plus instant looks
  • Raw processor
  • Smart HDR Denoise tool
  • 20 plus tools to improve HDR photo

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Let you enhance a photo with a single click
  • Offer money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only let you improve HDR photo
  • Lack of upgraded selection tools
  • Doesn’t support cr3 file

Operating System: MAC and Windows

Price: $99.00

Best Free Photo Editing App for Mac in 2020

Here are the top five free photo editing apps for Mac.

  • GIMP
  • Photoscape X
  • Fotor
  • Darktable

11. GIMP

Don’t have enough money? Are you looking for a free photo editing software for mac like Photoshop? Then, you are no longer away from fulfilling your dream.

Gimp is the ultimate solution for you to do basic photo editing to extensive retouching. If you have ever used Photoshop, then you can find no difference between the interface of Photoshop and GIMP.

Like Photoshop, Gimp also offers advanced brush tool, pen tool, layers, and other features. That’s why it is considered as the best free alternative to Photoshop.

Let’s check out some features Gimp includes.

Features

  • Come with advanced photo editing tools
  • Advance brush tool and pen tool
  • Perspective correction tool
  • Healing tool
  • Support various types of file format including JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, and so on

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Completely free to use

Cons

  • Difficult to learn

12. Photoscape X

If you find GIMP difficult to use and looking for the easiest photo editing software, then Photoscape X is just for you.

With it, you can edit, create collage, add effects, cut out photos, and combine them efficiently and precisely.

Not only that you can also process raw photos and apply batch processing using Photoscape X.

Indeed, it is an all-in-one photo editing software that you get without spending a single buck.

Here what features Photoscape X delivers.

Features

  • Includes thousand plus effects and filters, perspective crop tool, resize crop, and brush tools
  • Come with three different cut out tools including Lasso tool, Magic eraser, and Brush tool
  • Featured with a lot of frames to create a photo collage
  • Batch photo editing tools

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Simplest editing interface

Cons

  • Lags happened frequently
  • Limited features in the free version

Operating System: Mac and Windows

Price: Free and Paid

13. Fotor

Fotor is another free image editing tool both for Mac and Windows users. You can also use this app online.

The interface of Fotor is simpler than any other apps on our list. Fotor categorizes its module into three including Edit, Collage, and Design.

Edit is the backbone of Fotor Photo Editor. In this module, you can find all the tools you need to enhance the photo look.

The Edit module gives you a wide range of tools including 1-tap enhancement, blemish remover tools, crop & resize tools, and so on. Also, it offers a ton of effects to give a stunning look to your photos.

The collage module lets a lot of layouts and grids to create stunning collage photos.

Finally, the design module helps you to create personal projects including birthday cards, business cards, and presentations.

Features

  • 1-tap enhancement tool
  • A wide range of basic editing tools including crop & resize, rotate tool, and cut out tools
  • A ton of effects and filters
  • Blemish remover tools
  • A lot of collage templates
  • Magic eraser tool

Pros

  • Let you enhance photos with a single click
  • Intuitive editing interface
  • Completely free to use

Cons

  • Not perfect for advanced retouching
  • Shows ads that is annoying 

Operating System: Mac, Windows, and Online

Price: Free

14. Darktable

Are you looking for free Lightroom alternatives that let you organize, edit photos, and process raw files? Then, Darktable is the ultimate choice for you.

Darktable is a free open-source image editing software. This free image editor lets you organize photos smartly. Also, it lets you process and develop raw files.

To get the stunning look, it offers a plethora of presets to enhance photos with a single click.

With Darktable, you can import photos smartly using tags, folders, and user names. To perform basic editing, it has come with a plethora of image editing tools.

Using these tools, you can crop, cutout, rotate, and resize photos on Darktable.

Features

  • Slider-based photo editing tools
  • Advanced photo organizing software
  • A wide range of photo enhancement tools
  • Support multiple file-formats including JPG, GIF, TIFF, and PNG
  • Advanced exporting system

Pros

  • Offer non-destructive retouching workflows
  • Free to use
  • Intuitive interface
  • Bring new features frequently

Cons

  • Performs slowly comparing Lightroom
  • No mobile version app
  • Styles should be improved

Operating System: Mac

Price: Free

Conclusion

Again, I want to note that the following criteria help to determine which the best photo editing app for mac is.

  • The types of editing workflow you are going to do
  • The expertise level of you in editing
  • Budget

If you are looking for a software that lets you adjust white balance, level, batch processing, convert raw files, and so on, then Mac photo editor built-in app is best for you.

Based on your requirements, I have listed some free and affordable photo editing apps again here for your convenience.

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Affinity Photo
  • Luminar 4
  • Capture One Pro
  • Pixelmator Pro
  • Snapheal
  • On1 Photo RAW
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Aurora HDR
  • GIMP
  • Photoscape X
  • Fotor
  • Darktable

So, which app on this list you are going to use? Or Have I missed any software that I should include on this list?

Let me know to leave your comment below.

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Sohel Rana is the founder, content crafter, and SEO's at Pic Editor Review. He has grown his passion over years about writing on software, how-to guide, and product description.

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