4 Best Photo Editing Apps for Mac OS 2021 [Updated]
Today I want to share my personal rating of the best photo editing software for Mac OS X.
Many people continue using Adobe programs but as for me, their high subscription fees may be a problem. Photoshop, Lightroom, and Camera RAW are great photo editing programs, however, there are awesome alternatives. Years pass, new companies arise and they develop revolutionary, full-functional, and efficient photo editing software for Mac. Maybe they will win the 'challenge for the crown' in the nearest future. The most important advantage of all the software I am going to list below is that they cost less and can please you with the same benefits as expensive programs.
In this article, I have gathered the most interesting software for photo editing on Mac from image editors to image processors. All of them have great sets of qualities. So... It's time to get to the action. Read and choose the one you like the most. Choose the photo editor for Mac you need!
1. Luminar - Best Photo Editing App on Mac
Luminar software created and developed by Skylum for simplifying photo-editing on Mac for both pros and amateurs. Making a photo amazing can take you just a couple of clicks. Luminar 2021 is something between so cool and easy as Instagram filters and complex as Adobe Photoshop. This software is somewhere between those two edges. Everybody will find something in it, from beginners to advanced photographers.
The developer says that the 2021 version of Luminar was enhanced to make the performance faster and more efficient. Great results become visible in less time. The set of functions remained the same as in the previous version.
The controls in this program are the same as it was before and is familiar for photographers who use photo editing platforms (Photoshop or Lightroom). It is handy, easy-to-use, and user-friendly, everything can be found quickly.
Of course, Luminar 2021 has essential differences from Adobe programs. It is a powerful platform for processing RAW and ordinary photos and edit photos on Mac using layers and different effects. By the way, the Layers option will be familiar to users who work with Photoshop. You can bring new effects to life, experiment with masks, change layers opacity, and so on. The main advantage of working with layers is the fact that you won't damage your picture if you decide to delete one or two layers. So, if you want to be an expert, I recommend trying how it works in Luminar 2021. Personally, I really enjoy this thing.
The freshest version adds a series of new adjustments and filters. My favorite is the Sunrays filter that brings an additional pleasant glow to your images. Moreover, it looks realistic, unlike similar effects in other Mac photo editors.
Luminar 2021 editor for Mac has customizable workspaces. This gives you a chance to leave only those features that you usually use, and hideaway functions you don't need.
For me, it is the best 2021 photo editor for Mac at the moment. You can try Luminar for free.
2. Try Affinity Photo Editing App on Mac
Affinity Photo is the next best software tool for photo editing on Mac OS. It is not connected to Photoshop and other Adobe products in any way, but it may look a bit similar. Maybe it is so, as such interface was developed throughout long years and is the reflection of usability itself. I don't find it bad, as the price for Affinity Photo is much lower comparing to Adobe Photoshop editor.
As Luminar, Affinity is somewhere between professional and amateur software. It supports CMYK and Lab color space, RAW images from all the modern cameras; it shows us that this photo editor for Mac is made for professionals. What's more, it supports .psd files. So, it would be the best choice for those who are used to working in Photoshop but don't want to spend plenty of money on the subscription.
For comfortable working with the Affinity Photo editor for Mac, you'll need to understand the 'Personas' concept. They switch between different modes, toolbars, menus, and panels. For example, you may use the Photo persona for accessing the main set of tools and Develop a persona for editing RAW images. There are also other personas such as Liquify and Export, but it seems to me that it's not necessary to explain what are they for.
Similar to other popular photo editors for Mac (Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar 2021) this software supports the layers feature. So, you can experiment with adding filters on separate layers and removing them without great losses, if something goes wrong.
In general, I like the simple interface of the Affinity Photo editor for Mac and its variety of different tools.
3. Pixelmator PRO Another Great Photo Editing Software for Mac OS X
Pixelmator is a popular photo editing app among Apple users due to its nice price and a long list of different interesting features.
As in all the previous points, I can't ignore the fact that its interface is influenced by Photoshop greatly. At the same time, it is done along with Mac OS aesthetics and looks pleasantly. If we look deeper at this software, we'll find out that it is integrated with Mac OS even more. It uses OpenGL and Corelmage technologies. They help it to cope with fast applying effects or heavy edits.
As for tools, you won't find here all you used in Photoshop. For instance, here are Heal and Clone brushes, but no History brush or Patch tool. This may be a bit annoying if you need them for your everyday work. However, it wasn't a problem for me when I was testing this software. It is easy-to-use, comfortable, and fast.
It will come along with the interests of amateur and semi-pro photographers. You may be wondering why not for professionals, okay, here is the answer: it doesn't process RAW images.
So, it is just a handy Mac photo editor that can make images brighter, good-looking, and accurate.
4. Capture One Pro
We've come to the last best photo editor for Mac on my list. This one may be a bit expensive for beginners, and as its name says, it's a pro software. It is made by Phase One, which specializes in high-end camera systems, though the program can process images created with the majority of professional cameras. It is an app between a RAW-converter and an asset manager.
Here you can create image libraries, catalogs. This will be a permanent home for them, though you may also edit pictures too. Now, let's get closer to the details of photo editing with Capture One Pro. The program is created especially for professional photographers, so you should just polish your diamond in it. It means that your compositions, lighting, and focusing are already perfect. Yeah, experts usually spend lots of time thinking of all these things just during the process of shooting. When it comes to editing photos on Mac with Capture One, you won't find healing brushes or clone tools. However, it will help you to remove chromatic aberration and other defective moments captured in photos.
For other purposes, you will need different software, for example, one of the described apps.