For quite a long time, users of Mac OS relied on the built-in iPhoto for all their photo management needs. The software was great at helping non-professionals manage their piles of photos into easy-to-navigate albums. Similarly, Aperture was a great software that aimed to provide much more than iPhoto’s basic features to professionals. Not only was this a good photo manager, but boasted some excellent photo editing tools as well. However, since Apple recently pulled the plug on both these programs, mac users have been searching for a worthy alternative.
If you are one such mac user, or a windows user looking for a good photo editor, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best iPhoto and Aperture alternatives you can use today:
- Apple Photos – if you want to stay with Apple’s software
- Luminar – for a very capable and easy to use photo editing experience
- Adobe Lightroom – for editing RAW files
- Capture One Pro – an alternative to Lightroom
- Pixelmator – for Photoshop’s features in a cheaper package
As you can see, there are a good number of programs you can use as alternatives to iPhoto and Aperture. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
If you use Apple products exclusively, like a MacBook and an iPhone, and don’t like using anything else, chances are you’d want to stick with Apple’s own replacement app for both iPhoto and Aperture. This new ‘Photos’ app comes with features borrowed from both its predecessors. It allows you to manage your photos in catalogues as well as provide a suite of editing tools that you can use to tweak your images. While it does not come with every feature the previous Aperture had, it’s still worth considering if you want to use something that provides basic image editing prowess with quite good photo management solutions.
Luminar is a newcomer to the photo editing world, but the speed with which it is making waves in the community is staggering. Coming in at an affordable price, Luminar merges a highly intuitive interface with extremely useful photo editing tools, making it a very good alternative to Aperture. You can not only adjust the basic settings of your images like exposure, color, saturation, and details, but also dive into RAW image processing and make non-destructive edits. Luminar also gives you access to advanced editing features, and improves on its already excellent usability by providing plugins for both Photoshop and Lightroom. You can even use Luminar as an extension for Apple Photos, giving you the best of both worlds.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
Anyone familiar with RAW photography has to be familiar with Adobe’s Lightroom. This is one of the most used RAW processing software in the world. A lot of the people using Aperture used it for its RAW processing capabilities, which makes Lightroom a very worthy replacement for the discontinued program. Lightroom is also known for its cataloguing system which makes it an iPhoto alternative as well.
With Adobe Lightroom, you can edit your RAW images to your heart’s content. Having easy control over the exposure, color, white balance, highlights and shadows, among many other options, is what Lightroom is famous for. You can adjust almost anything in your image with sliders, or use Lightroom’s automatic enhancing features to get a balanced look for your RAW images.
One of the biggest advantages of using Lightroom, however, is its direct integration with Photoshop. You can take an image into Lightroom, tweak it, and then bring it straight to Photoshop for further editing. Photoshop gives you access to countless settings that you can play with if you want to get some serious photo manipulation done. When both these programs’ features are used as one, this highly robust photo editing suite becomes very hard to beat.
Photoshop’s image manipulation prowess is hard to beat
Capture One Pro
Capture One is not as popular as Lightroom is, but with each new version it’s getting up there. A lot of photographers already prefer this software over Lightroom because they find that the image quality is overall slightly better. Whatever your preference, however, Capture One Pro is one of the best RAW processors around. It has an interface based on sliders like Lightroom, and you can alter much of your image right from the first tab with its quick settings. If you want to take your editing further, Capture One gives you control over selective areas of your photos through masks as well. You can selectively alter the hues of certain colors, change the exposure of the certain part of the image, or make it softer. However creative you want to get with your image editing, Capture One allows you to do just that.
Other than its stellar image quality, the program also offers a cataloguing system just like Lightroom. So not only is Capture One a great alternative for Aperture, but becomes a very good replacement for iPhotos as well.
For a detailed comparison between Capture One and Lightroom, head on to this article, or just watch the following video:
If you need something more powerful than an average online photo editor but do not wish to spend much money, then give a shot to Pixelmator. It’s a very inexpensive photo editor that can help you move on from Aperture and iPhotos, if you need something light and casual. The program itself is easy to understand and operate. It bundles selection tools, a collection of drawing and painting tools, and many other advanced editing options in a cheap package.
While many people used Aperture and iPhotos as serious photo editing and management tools, many others just needed them for basic fixes. For those people, Fotor might be a great alternative. It comes completely free, and gives you control over many aspects of your image like exposure, saturation, white balance etc. Other than this, Fotor also boasts some very nice filters to give your photos that extra kick before you send them off to Facebook.
Speaking of filters, however, Tiffen Dfx 4 is a program you cannot beat if you want to use award-winning filters for your photos. You can just slap a filter on top of your photo to give it the look you want, or dive deeper and make selective adjustments or tweak the curves. All in all, if you need something quick and simple that is going to give you more than just regular filters, this may be the best way to go.
Whether you were an avid user of Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture, or just used them casually to store your excessive image collection and tweak the look of pictures now and then, it’s time to move on. The most logical choice for many people is to just rely on Apple’s new Photos app since it’s already installed on their systems. However, if you want more control over your images or need a more robust photo manager and editor, these options can be very easy replacements for your discontinued programs. Of all the mentioned, we personally recommend Luminar for its simple interface, focus of productivity and ease of use, and excellent array of features and compatibility with other programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, and even Photos.