Top Lists

10 Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives in 2024

Adobe Lightroom Alternatives: Unveiling Your Perfect Photo Editing Tool

  • X(Twitter) icon
  • Facebook icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • Copy link icon
Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives

Adobe Lightroom has long been the industry standard for photographers who manage and edit photos. It offers a powerful combination of photo library organization, non-destructive editing tools, and a clean interface. However, Lightroom requires a Creative Cloud subscription, which can be a barrier for some users.

The good news is there are plenty of excellent alternatives to Lightroom available in 2024, catering to both budget-conscious users and those seeking different functionalities. This guide explores ten of the best options, including free and paid solutions.

1. Skylum Luminar Neo

Skylum Luminar Neo is a photo editing software designed for photographers who seek a balance between powerful tools and user-friendly interfaces. Packed with cutting-edge AI technology, Luminar Neo streamlines your workflow while delivering exceptional results.

Skylum Luminar Neo

Key Strengths:

AI-powered Editing

Luminar Neo takes advantage of Artificial Intelligence to automate complex edits. This allows you to achieve professional-looking results with minimal effort.

Layer Support for Advanced Editing

For those tackling intricate photo manipulations, Luminar Neo offers robust layer support. This empowers you to build complex edits with precise control.

Exceptional Noise Reduction

Say goodbye to grainy photos! Luminar Neo's AI-powered noise reduction technology effectively removes unwanted noise, preserving image clarity and detail.


Ideal for:

Luminar Neo is a perfect fit for photographers of all skill levels, particularly those who:

  • Want to leverage the power of AI to enhance their photos.
  • Desire a user-friendly interface that doesn't compromise on features.
  • Appreciate the ability to create complex edits with layer support.


2. Skylum Luminar AI

Skylum Luminar AI is a photo editing software designed to make image enhancement effortless and efficient.  It caters to both beginners seeking AI-powered assistance and experienced photographers looking to streamline their workflow.

Skylum Luminar AI

Key Strengths:

Unmatched AI Editing

Luminar AI boasts the most powerful AI editing features available.  These intelligent tools analyze your photos and suggest adjustments, allowing you to achieve stunning results with minimal effort.

Perfect Your Portraits

For portrait photographers, Luminar AI offers a dedicated set of AI-powered tools.  These tools can refine skin tones, enhance facial features, and create a natural, flattering look for your subjects.

One-Click Solutions

Short on time? Luminar AI's one-click solutions are your secret weapon.  With a single click, you can apply presets and adjustments that dramatically improve your photos, saving you valuable editing time.


Ideal for:

  • New photographers: The intuitive interface and AI-powered suggestions make Luminar AI perfect for beginners to learn and grow their editing skills.
  • Experienced photographers: With its time-saving one-click solutions and powerful AI editing tools, Luminar AI helps experienced photographers enhance their workflow and achieve exceptional results.


3. ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 Photo RAW is a powerful photo editing software that goes beyond basic image enhancement.  It offers a comprehensive solution for managing and editing your photos, streamlining your entire workflow.

ON1 Photo RAW

Key Strengths:

All-in-One Powerhouse

ON1 Photo RAW eliminates the need to juggle multiple applications.  It seamlessly integrates photo organization, editing, and processing tools within a single interface.

Master Local Adjustments

For photographers who crave precise control, ON1 Photo RAW provides robust local adjustment tools.  These tools allow you to target specific areas of your image for targeted edits, ensuring maximum creative expression.

A World of Creative Possibilities

ON1 Photo RAW doesn't limit your creativity.  It boasts a vast library of presets and filters that can be used as a starting point for your edits or applied directly for instant visual transformations.


Ideal for:

If you're a photographer seeking a comprehensive solution for managing and editing your photos, look no further than ON1 Photo RAW. It's ideal for:

  • Photographers who value efficiency: Streamline your workflow with a single application that handles both organization and editing.
  • Demanding editors: Take complete control over your images with powerful local adjustment tools.
  • Creative minds: Explore a vast library of presets and filters to unlock a world of artistic possibilities.


4. Capture One

Capture One is a professional-grade photo editing software designed for photographers who demand the absolute best from their images. It prioritizes exceptional image quality, advanced tethering capabilities, and precise color control, making it the weapon of choice for many working photographers.

Capture One

Key Strengths:

Unparalleled Image Fidelity

Capture One sets the bar high for image quality.  Its advanced RAW processing engine unlocks the full potential of your camera's sensor, delivering exceptional detail, clarity, and dynamic range.

Effortless Studio Workflow

For studio photographers, Capture One offers seamless tethering capabilities.  This allows you to connect your camera directly to your computer, enabling real-time image preview and control, streamlining your studio workflow.

Master the Art of Color

Capture One grants you unparalleled control over color. Its advanced color editing tools empower you to achieve precise and nuanced color adjustments, bringing your creative vision to life with stunning accuracy.


Ideal for:

  • Professional photographers: If you rely on exceptional image quality for your work, Capture One delivers the results you demand.
  • Studio photographers: Streamline your workflow with Capture One's robust tethering capabilities.
  • Color-critical photographers: Take complete command over color with Capture One's advanced color editing tools.


5. Darktable

Darktable is a free and open-source photo editing software designed for experienced photographers who prioritize powerful RAW processing capabilities and extensive customization options.  While it boasts a steeper learning curve compared to some proprietary software, Darktable empowers you with unmatched control over your images.


Key Strengths:

RAW Powerhouse

Darktable excels at RAW image processing.  Its non-destructive editing tools allow you to make adjustments without altering the original file, ensuring the preservation of image quality.

A World of Customization

For photographers who crave control, Darktable offers a vast array of customization options.  This allows you to tailor the software to your specific workflow and editing preferences.

The Freedom of Open-Source

As an open-source software, Darktable is completely free to use and modify.  This collaborative development model fosters a vibrant community that continuously contributes to the software's evolution.


Ideal for:

  • Experienced photographers: If you have a strong understanding of photo editing principles and are comfortable with a complex interface, Darktable offers unparalleled power and customization.
  • Those seeking a free alternative: For photographers on a budget, Darktable provides a robust set of features without the cost of proprietary software.
  • Open-source enthusiasts: Embrace the collaborative spirit of open-source development and contribute to the ongoing improvement of Darktable.

6. RawTherapee

RawTherapee is a free and open-source photo editing software designed for photographers who prioritize RAW processing capabilities without breaking the bank.  It offers a lightweight and fast platform packed with advanced tools to unlock the full potential of your RAW images.


Key Strengths:

RAW Processing Muscle

Don't let the free price tag fool you. RawTherapee boasts a powerful set of RAW processing tools.  These tools allow you to make precise adjustments to exposure, white balance, noise reduction, and more, ensuring you extract maximum detail and dynamic range from your photos.

Taming the Noise

For photographers who battle unwanted noise in low-light images, RawTherapee offers exceptional noise reduction capabilities. Its sophisticated algorithms effectively remove noise while preserving image detail, ensuring clean and crisp results.

Lightweight and Efficient

Unlike some resource-intensive editing software, RawTherapee is lightweight and runs efficiently.  This makes it a great choice for photographers with older computers or those who prefer a snappy editing experience.


Ideal for:

  • Budget-conscious photographers: Get powerful RAW processing capabilities without the cost of paid software.
  • RAW enthusiasts: Unlock the full potential of your RAW images with RawTherapee's advanced processing tools.
  • Those seeking a lightweight option: Enjoy a fast and efficient editing experience, even on older computers.


7. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo stands out as a compelling alternative to industry giants like Photoshop and Lightroom. It offers a one-time purchase model, making it a budget-friendly option for photographers seeking professional-grade editing tools.

Affinity Photo

Key Strengths:

Unleashing Your Inner Pro

Affinity Photo boasts a comprehensive suite of editing features that rival those found in pricier software. From advanced layer manipulation and precise masking to non-destructive adjustments and powerful RAW processing, Affinity Photo empowers you to tackle complex edits with ease.

The Power of Non-Destructive Editing

Never fear experimentation! Affinity Photo's non-destructive editing approach ensures your original image remains untouched. This allows you to freely explore edits and revert to previous versions with a single click, streamlining your workflow and preserving image quality.

Affordable Ownership, Endless Creativity

Unlike subscription-based software, Affinity Photo offers a one-time purchase, eliminating ongoing costs. This makes it an attractive option for photographers who value predictability and long-term ownership of their editing tools.


Ideal for:

  • Cost-conscious photographers: Enjoy professional-grade editing features without the burden of monthly subscriptions.
  • Those seeking a Photoshop alternative: Affinity Photo offers a familiar interface and comparable functionality for a fraction of the price.
  • Photographers who value ownership: Own your editing software outright and avoid recurring subscription fees.
  • Unlock the full potential of your photos with Affinity Photo's powerful features and affordable ownership model!


8. Exposure X7

Exposure X7 caters to photographers who crave creative freedom and exceptional noise reduction capabilities. It excels in landscape and artistic photography, offering a unique blend of advanced editing tools, specialized film emulation, and a treasure trove of creative presets and effects.

Exposure X7

Key Strengths:

Bringing Landscapes to Life

Exposure X7 empowers you to transform your landscapes. Its advanced noise reduction technology preserves image detail and clarity, even in low-light shots. Local adjustment tools allow you to selectively enhance specific areas of your image, drawing the viewer's eye to the heart of your composition.

The Art of Film Emulation

For photographers seeking a nostalgic touch, Exposure X7 offers a comprehensive suite of film emulation tools.  These tools meticulously recreate the look and feel of classic film stocks, allowing you to imbue your digital images with a timeless, analog aesthetic.

A World of Creative Possibilities

Exposure X7 doesn't limit your creativity.  It boasts a vast library of presets and effects, providing a springboard for your artistic exploration.  These tools can be used subtly to enhance your images or applied more dramatically to create striking and unique visuals.


Ideal for:

  • Landscape photographers: Ensure exceptional clarity and detail in your landscapes with advanced noise reduction and local adjustment tools.
  • Artistic photographers: Embrace the power of film emulation and explore a world of creative possibilities with presets and effects.
  • Those seeking a unique editing experience: Exposure X7 offers a distinct approach to photo editing, catering to photographers who value artistic expression over purely technical adjustments.


9. ACDSee Photo Studio

ACDSee Photo Studio caters to photographers who value a streamlined workflow. It goes beyond basic editing, offering a robust suite of image organization tools, powerful face recognition, and efficient batch processing capabilities – all within a single, user-friendly platform.

ACDSee Photo Studio

Key Strengths:

Conquer Photo Chaos

ACDSee Photo Studio empowers you to take control of your ever-growing photo library.  Its powerful organization tools allow you to categorize, tag, and filter your images with ease.  Say goodbye to wasted time searching for specific photos – ACDSee Photo Studio puts them at your fingertips.

The Power of Recognition

ACDSee Photo Studio utilizes advanced face recognition technology to identify and categorize photos based on the people in them.  This eliminates tedious manual tagging and lets you effortlessly find photos of your loved ones, friends, or even clients.

Batch Processing for Efficiency

Need to apply the same edits to a large number of photos? ACDSee Photo Studio's batch processing capabilities have you covered. This time-saving feature allows you to automate repetitive tasks, significantly streamlining your workflow and freeing you to focus on creative endeavors.


Ideal for:

  • Photographers with large image libraries: Organize your photos effortlessly with powerful categorization, tagging, and filtering tools.
  • Portrait photographers: Leverage face recognition to quickly find and manage photos of specific individuals.
  • Time-conscious photographers: Batch processing automates repetitive tasks, maximizing your editing efficiency.
  • Those seeking an all-in-one solution: ACDSee Photo Studio combines powerful photo management with essential editing tools, offering a comprehensive workflow solution.

10. Corel AfterShot Pro

Corel AfterShot Pro stands out as a user-friendly and budget-conscious alternative to industry giants like Adobe Lightroom. It caters to photographers who prioritize affordability, ease of use, and core editing functionalities for managing and enhancing their photos.

Corel AfterShot Pro

Key Strengths:

Lightroom on a Budget

AfterShot Pro offers a feature similar to Lightroom at a significantly lower price point. This makes it an attractive option for photographers who want essential editing and management tools without the commitment of a subscription model.

Welcome to Editing Simplicity

AfterShot Pro prioritizes user-friendliness. Its intuitive interface allows you to jump right in and start editing your photos with ease. Whether you're a beginner photographer or simply value a streamlined workflow, AfterShot Pro eliminates the intimidation factor often associated with complex editing software.

Taming the Noise, Expanding the Range

AfterShot Pro empowers you to address common photo challenges. Its noise reduction technology effectively combats unwanted grain, especially in low-light images. Additionally, the software boasts HDR (High Dynamic Range) capabilities, allowing you to create stunning photos that capture the full range of light and detail in your scene.


Ideal for:

  • Value-conscious photographers: Enjoy a feature-rich alternative to Lightroom at a fraction of the cost.
  • Editing beginners: The user-friendly interface makes AfterShot Pro approachable for those new to photo editing.
  • Photographers seeking core functionalities: Focus on essential editing tools like noise reduction and HDR while maintaining a streamlined workflow.
  • Those who prefer ownership: AfterShot Pro is a one-time purchase, eliminating ongoing subscription fees.

Bonus - Free Mobile Lightroom Alternatives

Adobe Lightroom Mobile (Freemium with limited features)

Adobe Lightroom Mobile

Key Strengths:

Essential Adjustments

Take control of core editing parameters like exposure, white balance, contrast, and highlights/shadows. These adjustments are fundamental for correcting common photo issues and achieving a well-balanced look.

Non-Destructive Editing

Edit freely without fear of damaging your original photos. Lightroom Mobile utilizes a non-destructive editing approach, allowing you to experiment and revert to previous versions with ease.

Selective Adjustments (Limited)

The free version offers a taste of selective editing, allowing you to target specific areas of your photo for adjustments. While not as comprehensive as the paid version, this feature provides some creative control over localized edits.

Presets and Profiles

Apply presets and profiles to instantly transform your photos with a variety of styles and effects. The free version comes with a curated selection, offering a starting point for creative exploration.

Snapseed (Free, owned by Google)


Key Strengths:

Intuitive Interface

Snapseed boasts a user-friendly interface that makes mobile editing a breeze. Its intuitive gestures and tools allow you to quickly adjust exposure, white balance, and other key parameters.

Selective Adjustments

 Don't settle for global edits! Snapseed empowers you to target specific areas of your photo with selective adjustments. This ensures precise control over the final look of your image.

Creative Exploration

Unleash your artistic vision with Snapseed's vast library of filters and effects. Explore a world of creative possibilities and transform your photos into unique masterpieces.

Apple Photos (Free, pre-installed on Apple devices)

Apple Photos

Key Strengths:

Seamless Integration

Apple Photos comes pre-installed on all Apple devices, offering a convenient and readily available editing solution.

Basic Enhancements

 While not as feature-rich as some dedicated editing apps, Apple Photos provides essential tools for basic adjustments like cropping, exposure correction, and white balance.

Effortless Organization

Apple Photos excels at image organization. Its intuitive interface and built-in AI features help you categorize and search your photos with ease, ensuring your memories are always at your fingertips.


Finding the Perfect Photo Edit: Comparison

Choosing the right photo editing software can be overwhelming. Fear not! This comparison unveils the strengths and target audience for various options, helping you pick the perfect tool to bring your photos to life.

FeatureBest ForPrice
Luminar NeoAI-powered editing, easy to use

Subscription: $11.95 per month or $99 per year

Lifetime: $249

Luminar AIBeginners, fast editsSame price like Luminar Neo
ON1 Photo RAWAll-in-one workflowSubscription: $7.99 per month or $89.99 per year
Capture OnePro photographers, image quality

Subscription: $24 per month or $179 per year

Perpetual license: $299

DarktableExperienced editors, complex editingFree
RawTherapeeBudget-conscious, RAW processingFree
Affinity PhotoPhotoshop alternative, affordableLicense: $69.99
Exposure X7Artistic edits, noise reductionLicense: $129/$149 (For Exposure X7 Bundle)
ACDSeePhoto management, basic editing

Subscription: $8.9 per month or $89 per year

Perpetual License: $69.95 for Professional /  $89.95 for Ultimate

AfterShot ProAffordable Lightroom alternativeLicense: $79.99

FAQs about Adobe Lightroom Alternatives

1. What are the benefits of using a Lightroom alternative?

There are several reasons why someone might choose a Lightroom alternative:

  • Cost: Many alternatives offer a one-time purchase or free option compared to Lightroom's subscription model.
  • Features: Some alternatives offer specific features Lightroom might lack, like AI-powered editing or advanced noise reduction.
  • Ease of Use: Some alternatives have a simpler interface that might be easier for beginners to learn.

2. What factors should I consider when choosing a Lightroom alternative?

  • Budget: Consider how much you're willing to spend on software.
  • Editing Needs: Decide which editing features are most important to you (e.g., RAW processing, local adjustments, presets).
  • Photo Management: Do you need features like keyword tagging, facial recognition, or cloud storage integration?
  • Skill Level: Consider your level of experience and how comfortable you are with a complex interface.

3. Are there any free alternatives to Lightroom?

Yes, several free and open-source options offer RAW processing and basic editing tools, like Darktable and RawTherapee.

4. I'm a beginner. What Lightroom alternative is best for me?

Some alternatives, like Skylum Luminar AI or ON1 Photo RAW, offer user-friendly interfaces and AI-powered editing tools that can simplify the learning curve.

5. What are some good mobile alternatives to Lightroom Mobile?

There are several free mobile apps offering basic editing tools, like Snapseed and Apple Photos (pre-installed on Apple devices). However, the free version of Lightroom Mobile also offers some basic editing functionalities.


The ever-evolving landscape of photo editing software offers a plethora of alternatives to Adobe Lightroom in 2024, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of photographers worldwide. Whether you prioritize affordability, specific features, or user interface, the options presented in this list demonstrate the richness and depth of the market. From robust free options like RawTherapee to sophisticated professional-grade solutions such as Capture One, there's something for everyone. 

As technology advances and user demands evolve, these alternatives continue to push boundaries, promising exciting innovations and possibilities in the realm of photo editing. Whether you're a hobbyist, enthusiast, or professional, exploring these alternatives can empower you to enhance your creativity and achieve your vision with greater flexibility and control.

Related Articles

Top Lists15 Mins

10 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives in 2024

Don't let subscription fees hold you back! Explore top free alternatives to Photoshop for photo editing, graphic design, and more. Find the perfect software to bring your creative vision to life.


Top Lists5 Mins

10+ Best Canva Alternatives for Graphic Design in 2024

Discover the best Canva alternatives for all your graphic design needs in 2024. Explore free & paid design tools for creating social media graphics, presentations, infographics, and more.


Top Lists18 Mins

10 Best Microsoft Visio Alternatives in 2024

Explore top 10 alternatives to Microsoft Visio for 2024. Discover powerful diagramming tools to streamline your workflow efficiently.