Graphic Design Software

7 Best Photoshop Alternatives: Cost-Effective Substitutes for Abode Photoshop

Are you sick of paying a yearly subscription for Adobe Photoshop? No worries, I got you covered, in this article, you will find out 7 Photoshop alternatives, which are friendlier for your pocket.

If you don’t need a powerful Photoshop substitute and you’re looking for a basic retouching program, you can find 4 easy to work with online replacements in the second part of the article.

You can get various graphic design programs at a fraction of the Adobe Photoshop price and are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems. Affinity Photo, Luminar 3, and GIMP are just a few you can choose among.

Why Should You Consider Switching From Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is the most famous graphic design software, and with the 90% worldwide user base makes him the most popular one. From image retouching to different adjustments, filters, and masks, there is nothing you can’t create with Photoshop powerful tools.

But it has one major disadvantage – its price, which starts at US$239.88/yr. So, if you’re starting your career as a graphic designer, this is quite a sum to pay.

adobe photoshop icon close up

Besides that it’s not the only program you will need for successful design work, except if you only focus on image retouching, so if you want to buy the whole Adobe Creative Cloud bundle, you will end up paying US$599.88/yr.

Even if you’re not a professional graphic designer and you work in marketing, today’s environment demands a basic knowledge of some graphic software so you can create different banners and ads, and Adobe Photoshop requires more skills to get used to it than similar not so advanced programs.

Now that we got that covered let’s check out the Photoshop alternatives you can find on the market

The List of 7 Best Photoshop Alternatives

1. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a fantastic option if you want to switch from Adobe Photoshop, but don’t want to lose its attributes. It also offers HRD Merge, 360 Photo Editing, Panorama Sticking, and other exciting features. Affinity Photo made its debut in 2015, and with the one-off payment of $49.99 is growing its design userbase ever since.

Affinity Photo interface

Even though it’s still a new player in the graphic design arena, it won few awards worth mentioning, such as Apple App Of The Year, Best Software by Photography news, and TIPA Best imaging software.

If you are still on the fence, you can try it for 30 days free of charge and find out if it the right choice for you. It’s available for Apple OS, and if you have a PC, don’t worry, they offer a version for Windows users as well.

2. Luminar 3

Artificial intelligence is creeping in in every industry imaginable, and graphic design is no exception.

If you’re a fan of AI or new technologies and you would like to see how it works when it comes down to image adjusting, Luminar 3 is a perfect choice.

You can choose among 70 different instant looks, or if you want to have more control over the end result, you can adjust image sharpness, denoise the image or add a golden hour temperature to your photos.

image editing of a bird

If you’re not convinced about artificial intelligence, I should tell you that Luminar 3 got and EISA (Expert Imaging and Sound Association) award, and if you’re considering switching from Photoshop to something else, you should think about Luminar.

You can get the Luminar at three different price points: the cheapest one is $69, the middle one is $99, and the most expensive one will cost you $169.

Still not sure? Give it a try for the next 30 days free of charge.

3. Photolemur 3

Photolemur 3 is another excellent photo editing software enhanced with AI technology.

You simply drag and drop the image you would like to correct and advanced computer algorithms will do their magic and make your image look in the best way possible, your job is to chose the preferred style and you’re done.

Photolemur 3 has a bach option so you can upload different pictures at once, and the program will automatically adjust all of them.

Photolemur packaging

It doesn’t give you the ability to change the image manually as Luminar does, so it’s meant for more basic image retouching.

Photolemur 3 comes with a one-off payment of $35, which a bargain compared to other programs, especially the industry leader Adobe Photoshop.

4. GIMP

GIMP is a perfect choice for Mac, Windows, and even Linux users. For the one who is searching for the less expensive visual editing program with all Photoshop features included, GIMP is the best alternative. The UI of this product is like Photoshop, so it will be easy to navigate around its tools.

Because GIMP is an open-source image editor, you can find a lot of plugins that will make your work more comfortable, and if you don’t know how to create something, you can ask the GIMP community, or maybe you can find your answer in the tutorial section of the program.

imp interface

Oh, did I mentioned that GIMP is COMPLETELY FREE! And if that is not the reason why you should try it out, I don’t know what is.

5. Paint Shop Pro

Do you still remember the times when Corel was the main Photoshop competitor? Or am I just that old?

Now the Corel is not giving up the fight, and with the new smart easy to use tools build in new PaintShop Pro 2020 is rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

Corel promises that with the new Refine Bush, you’ll be able to select the smallest details such as hair on your photos, and we all know how difficult is the job of cutting out the hair from an image, and nobody likes to do that dirty work.

Besides new advanced Refine Brush, you can also merge different photos with ease – using the Smart Clone option.

paintshop pro refine brush interface
PaintShop Pro – Refine Brush interface

As we know, migrating from one software to another is a sometimes difficult task, and to make this transition as smooth as possible, Corel offers official tutorials on their site.

Like most of the products on the list, the main advantage of PaintShop Pro is the price. With a price point of $79.99 and $99.99 is a cheaper option than Photoshop.

You can try this old Photoshop contender 30 days for free.

6. Photos Pos

Photo Pos is a picture editing software for beginners and also for experts, and if you are one of the two, you can choose between different interfaces, one packed with tools for beginners and the second one for experts.

Photos Pro interface resembles Photoshop, so if you’re used to it, you will adjust to its workflow in seconds. Like Photoshop, it offers wide assortments of tools that will help you achieve desired results.

Photos Pos is entirely FREE, so if you need a simple photo editor, be sure to check it out and find out if it suits your needs.

7. Acorn

Acorn was launched in 2007, and it was meant to be a cheaper alternative for Photoshop. Effects, filters, and other features are equivalent to the ones in Photoshop.

acorn photo editor interface
Acorn 6 interface

You can get Acorn for a one-off payment of $29.99, but before that, you can test it out for 14 days.

Even though it is an excellent Photoshop substitute, it has one drawback – it’s available only for MAC OS.

4 Web-based Photoshop Alternatives

Online photo editors are not as powerful as Adobe Photoshop, but if you don’t make a high-end photo retouching work daily, and you maybe need a program to create a banner, or you need to enrich your photo before posting it online, those tools can do the trick.

Let’s see what are your options when it comes down to web-based photo editors.

1. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is an online photo editor, so you can edit your photos from everywhere as long as you have an internet connection. So not only it will run on the PC or laptop, but also on mobile.

text over photo

The starting price of PicMonkey is $7.99/month, but it’s not as powerful as Adobe Photoshop, and its meant for more basic picture editing. Also, some key features are missing, such as drag and drop, but hopefully, they will add them in the future.

2. Canva

Canva is not a real alternative to Photoshop like Affinity Photo, but it’s powerful enough so you can edit photos with ease. Canva offers various preset templates you can choose between for your project.

There are three price options you can choose among Canva, Canva Pro, and Canva Enterprise.

The basic one is for free, but you are limited with storage and features, Canva Pro runs for $12.95 per team member/month which gives you access to all elements, templates and unlimited storage for your images.

If you’re interested in pricing for Canva Enterprise, you should contact their support.

3. Fotor

Fotor is not only an online editor, but it’s also a desktop application. Like the previous two apps, Fotor is not as strong as Adobe Photoshop when it comes down to image editing, but it’s more like Lightroom, where you can add different filters to your photos.

fotor interface
Fotor interface

So if you’re looking for a program that can add a bit of flair to your photos and make collages, you should check Fotor out.

There are two different price points. The first one is free, and the second one – PRO version runs for $8,99/month.

4. BeFunky

BeFunky is simple and quick to use editor. It works well if you need to color correct the photo, but it lacks the power for the real photo retouching.

It has an option of drag and drop, which is a nice feature to have, considering some of the other programs on this list don’t offer.

You can choose the free version of the app, and if you want access to additional features, it will cost you $4.95/month.

Final Words on Photoshop Alternatives

As you can see, you have a wide variety of programs available in today’s market, which you can get at a fraction of the Photoshop price, and some are available for FREE!

Don’t think that being cost-efficient means being of lesser quality, because, in this industry, everyone competes with the giant named Photoshop, and all software suppliers want to beat him, so you might find some features and options that are even batter compared to what Adobe offers.

I know switching to another program is a tedious job, but many providers are trying to make that transition smoother by offering their software with Photoshop UI alike.

I suggest you try out different suggestions on this list, and Photoshop might become your tool of the past.

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