Best Alternatives to Lightroom
If you’re a photographer, you’ve probably used Adobe Lightroom to manage and process your photo catalog. Lightroom is one of the most popular image processing programs on the market. Tens of thousands of photographers use it to manage their workflow, organize photos from a shoot, and make base-level corrections each day.
But even though Lightroom has risen to the top of the market for popularity, you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t necessarily the best option out there. Many users complain that Lightroom is too expensive for its capabilities, too complicated for beginners to learn, and too limited in its photo manipulation options.
Thankfully, dozens of excellent alternatives to Lightroom exist that provide similar features and expand upon Lightroom’s limitations. The best alternative to Lightroom on the market today is PhotoDirector 365, a one-stop photo editing and management program with thousands of incredible features for professional-level editing.
You’ll also find a wide selection of other alternatives that mimic the functionality of Lightroom for a fraction of the cost. Though not as feature rich as PhotoDirector, Capture One, DxO Photo Lab, Affinity Photo, and Skylum Luminar can replace your expensive Lightroom subscription.
With so many alternatives out there, you may have trouble determining which one is right for your needs. We’ve reviewed the best Lightroom alternatives on the market to help you make the most informed decision.
Read ahead to learn more about these programs, then download PhotoDirector 365 to start streamlining your photo management and editing process.
Best Lightroom Alternatives
1. PhotoDirector 365
One of the biggest downfalls of Adobe Lightroom is its limited editing capabilities. Many customers like the program’s organizational features, but they’d rather not have to switch to Photoshop to make more advanced photo manipulations and enhancements.
With PhotoDirector 365 from Cyberlink, you don’t have to choose between a photo editor and a photo management program. PhotoDirector 365 is a powerful image-editing program that features impressive organizational tools to keep your photos organized, assist your workflow, and provide a secure place to store your catalog.
One significant advantage of PhotoDirector 365 compared to Lightroom is its user-friendly, easy-to-learn interface. While Lightroom takes many users weeks or months to master, PhotoDirector 365 uses simple, straightforward tools and sorting features that new users can pick up in no time.
PhotoDirector 365 also includes all of the editing tools, features, and presets you would ever need to produce professional, publication-ready photos. Whether you typically perform simple color corrections to your photos or prefer to zoom in and perfect every pixel, PhotoDirector 365 has you covered.
Along with essential color-correction tools, PhotoDirector 365 also includes a range of extremely helpful advanced editing features, such as:
- AI sky replacement
- light ray effects
- auto-lens correction
- photo animation
Each of these tools is easy to use and doesn’t require any previous experience to master.
PhotoDirector’s organization and management options are just as high-quality as its editing tools. You can tag, rate, and add keywords to your entire photo dump in one simple step, allowing you to arrange an extensive catalog quickly. This program also utilizes advanced features like automatic facial recognition to streamline your sorting process.
Some photographers have trouble using clunky programs like Lightroom because they want to focus more on taking beautiful photos than editing them. If you’d rather not learn how to use complicated editing tools, you can take advantage of PhotoDirector’s guided editing options.
Guided editing allows you to make complicated photo edits, like face beautification and content removal, with the touch of a button. PhotoDirector 365 uses artificial intelligence to make these changes automatically, saving you time and hassle.
However, if you are someone who enjoys spending hours editing each photo, you’ll appreciate PhotoDirector’s Photoshop-style layer-editing options. Adding clipping masks, layer filters, frames, and clip art is a breeze with this program’s intuitive layering tools. There is even a world-class royalty-free photo stock library. Create captivating compositions with unlimited access to Shutterstock’s massive image catalog.
Overall, you can think of PhotoDirector 365 as the perfect blend of Lightroom and Photoshop without the clunky, hard-to-learn interfaces these Adobe programs utilize. Download PhotoDirector 365 today from Cyberlink to start organizing and editing your photo collection like a professional.
2. Capture One
If you’re looking for a direct, feature-to-feature alternative to Lightroom, Capture One is about as close as you can get. This program includes many of the same capabilities as Lightroom.
One of this program’s major perks is that if you currently use Lightroom, you can easily import your photo catalog from Lightroom to Capture One. You won’t have to spend time sorting through your entire photo collection if you decide to try this program.
However, if you’re looking for a program that expands on Lightroom’s features, Capture One probably isn’t the best choice. The two programs are very similar, and although their interfaces look a little different, you can find many of the same features across both software.
Another downside of this program is its expensive price point. While Capture One offers both subscription-based and fixed pricing options, you won’t save much money switching from Lightroom to this software.
A few of our favorite Capture One features include:
- Fixed pricing options
- High-quality output
- Smooth workflow and organization
- Top-notch rendering quality
- One-window interface
3. DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab is another choice if you’re looking for a management program to replace Lightroom. DxO PhotoLab is a photo-editing program that offers RAW processing and lens correction features ideal for making photo edits.
This program includes a limited selection of additional editing features, including seven presets and a range of base-level adjustment tools. It also features a few unique tools, such as its automatic repair options, spot removal tools, and graduated features.
While DxO PhotoLab does include image processing and organization options, we found them to be less user-friendly than other similar programs. DxO PhotoLab organizes your images into a linear list, making it challenging to find a specific photo at a glance or compare images across a photoshoot.
A few of our favorite DxO PhotoLab features include:
- Nik Collection Plugins
- Responsive editing tools
- Automatic lens correction
- Smart lighting adjustment options
4. Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is another alternative to Lightroom that many Lightroom customers have come to like. The program includes a selection of editing tools, retouching features, filters, and unique enhancement options alongside a solid image processing workspace.
Affinity Photo combines Lightroom’s and some of Photoshop’s essential features, making it a possible alternative to both of these programs. However, this program focuses slightly more on photo editing than management, so if you’re looking for a program that excels in organizational tools, you may be disappointed. If you’re okay with settling for its narrower range of features, it may be the most affordable Lightroom replacement you can find.
A few of the best features this program has to offer include:
- HDR merging
- Panorama stitching
- Batch processing
- Non-destructive editing tools
5. Skylum Luminar 4
If you find Lightroom too slow and clunky for your preferred workflow, Skylum Luminar 4 may be the alternative for you. Skylum Luminar 4 is a newer photo editor that features a modern interface. You probably won’t need much instructions to begin using the program— most features are self-explanatory, though more advanced tools might need a little professional understanding.
However, because Luminar is relatively new, developers are still working out its file management system and organizational tools. If image processing is an essential feature for you, you may want to use a more established alternative like PhotoDirector 365 instead.
Our favorite features in this editing program include:
- Image radiance tools
- Layering options
- Affordable price
- Automatic catalog features
- Simple, clean workspace
To Sum It Up
Lightroom is no longer the only high-quality management program for photographers. Dozens of excellent alternatives exist on the web, and finding the right one for you ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If we had to pick a favorite, we’d choose PhotoDirector 365 for its innovation, ease of use, range of features, and intuitive processing tools. However, programs like Capture One, DxO PhotoLab, Affinity Photo, and Skylum Luminar 4 are also solid choices, and you may decide to try out a few programs before settling on a single new addition to your workflow.
In terms of an Adobe Lightroom alternative that also excels in photo editing features, Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector 365 is the best option on the market.
The program includes incredible editing tools along with its intuitive organization options, giving photographers the best of both worlds and eliminating the necessity of a second editing program. Add access to Shutterstock’s photo catalog and there isn’t a better option out there. When comparing Lightroom vs. PhotoDirector 365, PhotoDirector outperforms on several fronts. Download PhotoDirector 365 today to experience the best photo editing software for yourself.