A good Mac photo editor can help you get the most out of your images. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, you need powerful digital editing software to make your photos stand out in the most creative light.
There are all kinds of photo editing software for Mac computers. Some have comprehensive features and functionality, but they cost an arm and a leg. If you want a budget-friendly option, you can always use free photo editors.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at three amazing Mac photo editors.
Check our coverage, if you are looking for a free photo editor for windows.
Top 9 Photo Editor Software for Mac
We’re sharing some of the best Mac photo editing software that can help you adjust and enhance images.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements
- Affinity Photo
- Fotor Photo Editor
- Pixelmator Pro
- Luminar 4
- Google Photos
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1. Adobe Photoshop Elements
Even today, Adobe is still the gold standard of photo editing software. Although it offers quite an extensive set of features, it is simple and easy to use. It can automate photo editing for you so you can spend more time on other creative endeavors.
Thanks to Adobe Sensei AI, you can make collages, wall art, mugs, phone cases, and more with a few taps of your finger.
Not to mention, Adobe Photoshop Elements comes with 53 Guided Edits, which you can use as a guide for creating anything from fun memes to multi-photo texts.
All of Adobe Photoshop Elements’ editing features don’t come cheap. It has a one-time fee of $99.99. If you upgrade your software to the student and teacher edition, it will cost $149.99
- Built-in photo organizing system
- Automated slideshows and collages
- Guided edits
- Very expensive
- Requires large disk space
2. Affinity Photo
The best photo editor for Mac for photographers on a budget is Affinity Photo. Equipped with a huge toolset, Affinity Photo is designed to meet the needs of professional creative artists.
It has a complete kit for retouching photos, as well as an extensive collection of non-destructive adjustments. Since it can support countless layers, you can leverage their entire library of filters, effects, and adjustments to create complex photo compositions.
Affinity Photo has pro-level editing tools and charges only half of what Adobe charges. It has a 10-day free trial period. Make the most of it so you can decide whether or not Affinity Photo is the right one for you.
- Supports a wide array of image files
- Extensive, varied library of brushes, filters, adjustments, etc.
- Short trial period
- Lacks a photo organizing system
- Lacks printing project resources
Gimp is the best free photo editor for Mac. It is an open-source program with an extensive set of beginner-friendly and advanced tools. Not only that, it is expandable through third-party plug-ins, including ones designed for Adobe Photoshop.
Gimp’s interface for Mac devices isn’t the most user-friendly. It might take you a while to get to know your tools and be comfortable with them. Still, the program should be worth it especially if you’re on a budget.
If you need a powerful editing tool but don’t have the budget for a premium one, you should consider Gimp.
- Simple interface
- Extensive, varied library of brushes, filters, adjustments, etc.
- Lacks tutorials or guides
- Lacks intuitive workflows
- Steep learning curve
4. Fotor Photo Editor
Fotor is an online photo editing app with over 450 million users. It’s a comprehensive program with a wealth of basic and premium features, such as adding text, rotating a photo, creating a collage, and removing a background. It enables its users to manipulate photos with relative ease.
It also has a wide range of editable templates that let users design their own Facebook covers, posters, and photo cards, among other categories. Fotor provides a lot of room for creativity. With it, you can add filters, choose from hundreds of fonts, retouch a photo, and more.
Fotor Basic is free and lets you edit photos, albeit with limited features. Meanwhile, Fotor Pro can be used for $8.99 per month and is ideal for small businesses, freelancers, and designers. There’s also Fotor Pro+, which costs $19.99 per month, and gives users access to all its advanced editing tools and to a regularly updated roster of stock photos. It’s a great choice for startups, agencies, and corporate marketing.
Fotor is compatible with Mac and Windows and smartphones as well and is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
- Vast resource of tutorials and guides
- User-friendly interface
- Great for beginners and pros alike
- Limited design resources for the basic version
- Basic version has ads
Lightroom is an online photo editing software from Adobe that’s a cross between Photoshop and a dedicated photo editing app. It gives users access to a wide range of photo manipulation tools and allows them to import, organize, and manage their images.
One of Lightroom’s best features is its auto-save function. All edits done are automatically saved in a catalog, which doubles as a database for your edit history. Other features include white balance, exposure adjustment, spot removal, noise reduction, and lens profile corrections.
For photographers who work with raw photos, it’s a great photo editing software to have on your device, whether you’re using a PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
There are three plans available for Lightroom, all with varying features: the Lightroom plan, which costs $9.99 per month and provides 1TB of Cloud photo storage, the 20GB Photography plan, which costs $9.99 a month and comes with Adobe Photoshop, and the 1TB Photography plan, costing $19.99 per month and also with Photoshop access.
For those who want to try it out first, a free trial is available.
- Easier to use than Photoshop
- Clean interface
- Comprehensive editing capabilities
- Only available through a subscription
- Unlike Photoshop, it doesn’t let you add layers
6. Pixelmator Pro
A dedicated Mac photo editing software, Pixelmator Pro is a powerful and nondestructive Mac photo editor that enables user to edit RAW photos. Its photo adjustment features include levels, curves, lightness, selective color, and replace color.
It also comes with a full set of vector tools that let you illustrate designs, allowing you to create resolution-independent designs.
For designers, this photo editing app enables you to do layer-based editing. It also has smart guides that help make designing more convenient. With its Pro 2.0 version, this photo editor for Mac is compatible with the all-new M1 chip and macOS Big Sur. It has a one-time fee of $39.99.
- With support for graphics tablets
- Advanced alignment tools
- Fast performance
- Navigating the software may be tricky
- Can be a bit difficult to control
7. Luminar 4
What makes Luminar 4 unique among other photo editing software is its functionality. It can be used as a standalone photo editor and browser or as a plugin for Adobe and Apple products. It has a unique AI Structure slider tha
Luminar 4 makes great use of AI, giving users access to features, such as the AI Accent and AI Sky Enhancer, that make editing a breeze. It’s free to download for Mac and PC users.
A Luminar membership, however, will give you access to Luminar and photography tutorials and to exclusive templates and sky textures, among other added features.
Membership costs $99 and is billed annually.
- Improved Erase Technology
- Enables you to browse photos without importing them
- With integrated camera catalog
- No option for smartphones
- No option for exporting photos
While not exactly the best free photo editing app, Preview is perhaps the best free photo editor for Mac. With Preview, you can apply basic changes to your photos, such as rotating, cropping, or adjusting the exposure and color of images, using your Mac device. This Mac editing software also lets you edit videos and Live Photos.
Unlike other photo editors, Preview keeps the first version of the image, so you can quickly revert to the original photo. It also lets you duplicate a photo, whether a still or a Live one, so you can work on the duplicate instead of on the original.
You can also compare your photos or videos before and after editing them. Aside from letting you view images, you can also view PDFs on Preview.
- Easy to use
- Completely free
- Let you copy and paste any adjustments
- Limited photo editing functionality
- No tools for drawing or illustrating vector images
9. Google Photos
Google Photos is an online photo editor that automatically organizes your photos and makes it easier for you to share them online. With it, you can also create thematic videos, animations, or collages. With Google acquiring the photo editor Picknik, you get a range of photo editing and enhancement tools, such as light and color adjustments and a vignette editor.
If you’re not too keen on making several adjustments, it has the Auto button, which automatically adjusts your photo’s lighting and color. You’ll also have access to a number of photo filters and basic functions, such as Crop and Rotate.
Another fun and functional feature is its Assistant Lab, which automatically enhances photos, organizes your pictures, and lets you create thematic videos such as a “Selfie Movie” or a “Doggie Movie”.
It has 15GB of storage that comes free with your existing Google account. If you need more space for your photos, you can get an additional 100GB of storage for $1.99 per month, 200GB for $2,99 a month, or 2TB for $99.99 annually.
Google Photos is downloadable from Google Play or the App Store. You can use it to back up your photos on your phone.
- Simple and clean interface
- Facial detection feature
- Photos are synced across all your Google-enrolled devices
- No blemish and red-eye removal features
- Free unlimited storage is only until June 1, 2021
With the advent of Photoshop, which was released almost 30 years ago, and other photo editing software, people can now digitally manipulate photos using their laptops, PCs, and even smartphones.
Choosing a mac photo editor that works for you, among so many editing tools, can be quite exhausting. It’s a big decision, especially since premium software isn’t cheap.
If you only need basic tools, you ought to consider alternatives such as free image resizer apps or filter apps. Our picks of the best online photo editor are here for you as well.
Pair the right editing software with the best free project management software for mac, and you can complete all your content creation endeavors without a hitch.
Also read our article about how to remove background from picture—the easy way.