Software for Photographers
=== by Bob Sutherland ===
My old computer recently overheated causing internal damage. Many of the programs that I have been using for years will not run on a modern, brand new computer. Therefore while shopping around researching my options I created this list of available software for photographers.
Photo Editing Software
- Adobe Photoshop for Macintosh and Windows
Adobe Lightroom for Macintosh and Windows
Adobe Lightroom Classic for Macintosh and Windows
Adobe Photoshop Elements for Macintosh and Windows
- Adobe has created many computer programs. Their Photoshop, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic programs are fairly easy to find on their Canadian web page. To find their current version of Photoshop Elements look for the word "Elements" in their site menu at the bottom of their web page and follow the link.
- ON1 Photo Raw for Macintosh and Windows - This is a program for professionals. There are educational resources available with the program to teach advance photography and photo editing skills.
- Capture One by Phase One A/S for Macintosh and Windows - This is a program for professionals.
- Affinity Photo by Serif for Macintosh, Windows and iPad - This is a program for professionals. There are educational resources available with the program to teach advance photography and photo editing skills.
- Luminar by Skylum for Macintosh and Windows
- Topaz Studio by Topaz Labs for Macintosh and Windows
- Pixelmator Pro by Pixelmator Team for Macintosh
- Photo Studio by acdsee for Macintosh and Windows
- PaintShop Pro by Corel for Windows
- DxO PhotoLab for Macintosh and Windows
- Exposure by Exposure Software (formerly Alien Skin Software) for Macintosh and Windows
- Zoner Photo Studio X for Windows
- PhotoScape X by Mooii Tech for Macintosh and Windows - There is a free version available with the option to upgrade to their paid version.
- RawTherapee for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program. There is no documentation to teach you how to use RawTherapee so you will probably need to learn how to use other professional photo editors such as Photoshop before attempting to use this program.
- darktable for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program. There is no documentation to teach you how to use darktable so you will probably need to learn how to use other professional photo editors such as Photoshop before attempting to use this program.
- Gimp for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program. The Macintosh version of Gimp requires that either RawTherapee or darktable be installed on your computer if you want to open and process camera raw files. Gimp is a complex program that is often compared to the programs for professionals on this list. There is very limited documentation and resources available to teach you how to use Gimp. Therefore you would be wise to learn how to use some of the other photo editing programs on this list before attempting to use Gimp.
- Acorn by Flying Meat Inc. for Macintosh - This program has a lot of tools, user documentation and video tutorials. The website gives the impression that it is going to be a very labour intensive program to use without any automated tasks or Artificial Intelligence built in. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded the program and found I was getting better results while processing camera RAW files than many of the other photo editors on this list.
- RAW Power by Gentlemen Coders for Macintosh, iPad and iPhone - If you have used the discontinued Aperture program by Apple on Macintosh computers then this is an attempt by a former Apple employee to create a modern, updated version of Aperture.
- Photos by Apple for Macintosh, iPad and iPhone - Photos is a free program that is factory installed with the operating system on Apple products. It can be used to perform some photo editing tasks such as straightening a photo, cropping and colour improvements.
- Preview by Apple for Macintosh - Preview is a free program that is factory installed with the operating system on Macintosh computers. It can be used to perform some photo editing tasks using a different user interface and controls compared to Apple's Photos program.
- XnView MP by XnSoft for Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers. - A shareware program that you can try before buying. Free for some users. The website also has simular software for mobile devices.
- IrfanView (pronounced "EarfanView") for Windows - A shareware program that you can try before buying. Free for some users.
- GraphicConverter by Lemke Software GMBH for Macintosh - A shareware program that you can try before buying. There are German, English and French language versions of this website. If you accidentally wind up on the German page there should be a link near the top right side to switch languages.
- VueScan by Hamrick Software is compatible with nearly any scanner that is connected to a Linux, Macintosh or Windows computer
I have been using VueScan for a few years. It is better than the software that many manufacturers provide with their scanners for the purpose of scanning printed photographs, film negatives and 35 mm slides. It is also useful for scanning business documents.
Panorama Photo Stitching Software
- DoubleTake by Echo One for Macintosh
- AutoStitch by Matthew Brown - A demo version for Macintosh and Windows
- Hugin for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program.
I have been using DoubleTake, AutoStitch and Hugin for a few years. DoubleTake is a program I purchased over the Internet from the Echo One website. It has been the most reliable of the three programs. Some functionality of the AutoStitch program was intentionally disabled when it was released as a demo version. A new version of Hugin is released approximately once per year. Some years the Macintosh version of Hugin worked great and some years it crashed as soon as I tried to run it.
ON1 Photo Raw and Affinity Photo are two photo editing programs listed up above that include panorama photo stitching as part of very large comprehensive programs. I tested the demo versions of those programs and found the panorama photo stitching was a completely automated task that either worked or failed for each pair or group of photos I tried. In contrast the user interface of DoubleTake, AutoStitch and Hugin programs give you some control over the process and a chance to correct any problems that occur.
Video Editing Software
These video editing software programs can take a folder of photographs and convert it into a slideshow. Drawings, paintings, sound and video files may optionally be included. After a bit of editing the slideshow is saved in a video file format ready for display on the Internet.
- Shotcut by Meltyech, LLC for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program.
- OpenShot Video Editor by OpenShot Studios, LLC for Linux, Macintosh and Windows - This is a free, open source software program.
- Photopia Director by Photopia ICT B.V for Macintosh and Windows
Photopia Creator by Photopia ICT B.V for Macintosh and Windows
- Former employees of Photodex Corporation that were involved in creating the now discontinued ProShow program for Windows and an online version for any computer or mobile device have now created these new replacement programs.
- Movie Maker by V3TApps for Windows 10 - You have a choice of a free version or a pro version with added features
It was when I tried downloading and playing around with Shotcut and OpenShot that my old computer went up in smoke. It just did not have enough processing power and RAM memory to handle the resource intensive demands of these programs.