Are you seeking a worthy Lightroom alternative for editing images and managing files? Get acquainted with the most popular and functional options to help you process your pictures and organize them in libraries.

Although Lightroom is leading on the market nowadays, the alternatives described below will not disappoint you. Of course, you can learn how to get Lightroom for free or pay for a subscription, but in some cases, it is better to use one of the affordable options for improving your photos.


1. Luminar 4 – Offers AI Features



  • Does not require a subscription. You need to pay only once
  • Multiple layers
  • Various filters

Skylum Luminar has tools for managing and editing pictures without affecting original RAW files. Many users appreciate this program’s high speed in importing and organizing pictures. Luminar also has culling tools, like flags, stars, and color labels. However, it doesn’t allow you to add keywords to each picture.

The strong side of Luminar 4 is its editing capabilities. With paid and free Lightroom presets, you can edit material with one click. Its editing tools are fully AI-powered, enabling you to enhance images without any previous experience in this field quickly. By using functional masking tools, you can optimize your workflow.

Many photo editors appreciate Luminar’s sky replacement tool. It is convenient for fixing flat skies. The portrait enhancement option allows for improving skin, getting rid of various imperfections, and brightening faces quickly and easily.

However, this software lacks the HDR option, focus stacking, and merging tools for creating a panorama. If these features are important to you, you had better select another alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

2. ON1 Photo RAW – Best for Photo Management



  • Outstanding presets
  • Portrait editing tools powered by AI
  • HDR, Focus Stacking, and Panorama merging features

On1 Photo RAW is one of the most powerful Lightroom alternatives. It is a comprehensive image management solution for organizing files and searching for photos. Like Lightroom, this software offers a map view option that identifies the position of GPS-tagged pictures on the map.

You can perform an advanced search by image size, keywords, metadata, and more. On1 Photo RAW provides users basic photo editing and masking tools for quick image enhancement.  You can also use an intelligent retouching option to delete unnecessary elements from a picture.

Multiple features in On1 Photo RAW are similar to or even better than the functions offered by Lightroom. For instance, it includes excellent editing options, allows incorporating text into images, has focus stacking and retouching options, and supports HDR and panorama stitching.

The program has a great number of filters and presets.

Besides, you can choose what edits to apply. With the handy resize tool, you can easily increase the dimensions of a picture by printing it at larger sizes.

3. Capture One Pro – For Studio Photographers



  • A great variety of customizable features
  • Excellent processing capabilities
  • Superior color reproduction

Capture One Pro is one of the best Lightroom alternatives, providing users with even greater control over image editing processes. Color correction capabilities make this program stand out from other similar tools.

However, its UI differs from the interface of Lightroom. The program has a different photo editing approach, so you must get used to it. Besides, Capture One has extensive photo editing and management features, most of which can be easily customized.

The great thing is that this software allows you to configure shortcuts. Capture One offers basic tools for processing images and enables you to work with various styles, presets, and layers. However, this program doesn’t support HDR effects and doesn’t have panorama tools.

Capture One has two advantages over similar programs: advanced color control and tethered capture options. The first tool allows you to achieve the optimal color scheme of an image. The second one is a handy option for studio photographers using the Visme Social Media Graphics Tool to enhance their photos.

4. RAWTherapee – Best Free Lightroom Alternative



  • Supports RAW files
  • User-friendly
  • Non-destructive editing

RawTherapee is probably one of the most popular Lightroom alternatives. It is free, supports batch processing, and has various features for enhancing workflow.

Besides, RawTherapee supports non-destructive editing, meaning you can restore the original file no matter how many edits have been already applied. It has advanced photo processing features for customizing sharpness, adjusting the color scheme, and removing noise quickly and easily. If you already have some experience working with Lightroom, you will notice that RawTherapee has a very similar interface.

The software is one of the best solutions for working with RAW files and compressed pictures. Fitted with a 96-bit processing engine, RawTherapee has a great variety of color correction tools for adjusting white balance, saturation, etc.

With tonality and exposure tools, you can easily handle color toning to enhance your image. You can achieve an HDR-like effect with tone and lab curves, shadow, and tone mapping tools. RawTherapee is fitted with a multilingual user interface available in 25 languages.

5. DxO PhotoLab 4 – For Noise Reduction



  • Lens correction
  • Processes RAW files
  • Speedy performance

DxO PhotoLab 4 has effective photo editing and management features. For better image organization, this software supports keywords and ratings. It also allows filtering files, although this feature is less powerful than other Lightroom alternatives.

The program has both automatic and manual tools for successful photo enhancement. It allows improving the image in just several clicks and gives a user full control over the editing process.

The main advantage of DxO PhotoLab 4 is its noise reduction algorithm called Prime. This is an advanced feature that lets you get clean and high-quality photos. Besides, it has smart lighting tools for correcting the exposure and local adjustment tools for processing particular image parts.

You can edit a picture in just a few seconds using various presets. Although the program has multiple benefits, it doesn’t support HDR merge, focus stacking, panoramas, or layers.

6. Darktable – Similar Interface



  • Batch processing
  • Local adjustments
  • Tethered capture support

Darktable is a free alternative to Adobe Lightroom, allowing you to enhance photos and organize them in libraries. You can add tags to pictures, use ratings, arrange files in folders, label them by color, etc. The program can also process RAW files and supports tethered shooting.

Although Darktable is free of charge, its functionality is impressive. Besides, it is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It has a user-friendly UI, which makes it quite similar to Lightroom. This program comes with convenient photo management and image adjustment tools. It supports non-destructive editing, thus letting you restore the initial picture without problems.

Darktable offers great masking tools and can create HDR images. Besides, the developers provide users with free and detailed tutorials. Editors can receive help on forums, watch video tutorials, educational posts, etc.

You can customize its UI by choosing the photo enhancement tools you need. Using automatic scripts allows you to streamline your workflow to perform similar tasks faster and more effectively.

7. Сorel AfterShot Pro – For HDR Editing

Сorel AfterShot Pro


  • Supports layers
  • Imports images quickly
  • Convenient image editing in one window

Corel AfterShot Pro is a popular Lightroom alternative that offers both effective photo organization and editing options at an affordable cost. When categorizing images, you can use various features that easily sort and filter pictures. Like Lightroom, the program lets you quickly find photos shot with a particular camera, lens, or specific camera configurations.

The program has a handy watermarking tool that allows you to adjust watermarks when exporting your photos for printing or other purposes. Besides, it has a basic toolkit for processing files.

Using automatic features, you can improve an image with several clicks, whereas manual options allow you to edit each photo detail. The intuitive layers are perfect for selective image adjustments, but they are ineffective when editing several pictures.

The HDR module has multiple customization options. You can use it for HDR merging. The stitching tools are more powerful than similar options in other Lightroom alternatives.

8. Exposure X6 – For Artistic Editing



  • A customizable workspace
  • Swift and effective image masking
  • Excellent presets

Although Exposure X6 is less popular than other Lightroom alternatives, its toolkit includes many photo management and editing tools. Its UI is similar to the Lightroom interface so that users won’t experience any difficulties.

This program is an optimal solution for experienced users. You can use various presets to emulate a classic film look, adding bokeh, blurring, and light effects.

It supports layers and comes with portrait retouching tools. However, the program doesn’t support HDR, focus stacking, and panorama stitching.

9. Lightzone – For Black and White Processing



  • Supports local adjustments
  • Fixes lighting issues
  • Limitless layers

Lightzone is probably one of the best Lightroom alternatives. It has advantages and disadvantages. For instance, this photo editor allows rating pictures without adding keywords or categorizing files.

This is an optimal solution for beginners as its toolkit lacks advanced options that can be found in Lightroom. The program can process RAW files and B&W photos. By using tonal adjustment tools, you can make black-and-white images look stunning.

Thanks to the Zone Mapping feature, you can adjust the parts of your images using a unique layer-based system. Lightzone can automatically identify the areas that should be improved. This option is quite handy when processing images with similar lighting issues.

You can move and stack an unlimited number of layers. Besides, Lightzone supports various blending modes, thus allowing photographers to implement original ideas.

10. Irfan View – Lightweight Alternative for Any Laptop



  • Supports various formats
  • Batch conversion and image resizing
  • Convenient slideshow feature

IrfanView is an optimal Lightroom alternative for users looking for a functional photo editor for Windows OS. The program has a great variety of basic image adjustment tools, is capable of RAW image rendering, and allows easy application of filters and various effects.

IrfanView can process any image format and handle music and video files. Besides, the program supports batch editing, which allows you to enhance a hundred images in about sixty minutes.

IrfanView stands out from similar products, as it does not take up much space on your PC. As it does not use many system resources, the program quickly processes large images.  Moreover, IrfanView supports batch editing and allows you to work with metadata.

The program supports plugins and slideshow creation. It has customizable toolbars. You can discuss any issue with other members of a forum community. This software receives regular updates. By using a standard paint tool, you can draw or write on photos. However, IrfanView has an outdated user interface.

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