As good as Photoshop, and for keeps?
January 30, 2019 5:47 PM   Subscribe

What is the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop/Elements out there these days, that I can buy and just have? "Best", meaning: most features, easiest to learn (i.e. most similar to Photoshop), most intuitive interface. Need not be free, prefer a download to a browser app. I have Elements, want something beefier and non-Adobe. Thanks!
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I only used Affinity Photo for the length of its trial period, but it's very good and $50. It's much more similar to Photoshop than, say, the GIMP. The trial period is probably long enough for you to get a sense of it.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:58 PM on January 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

If you've got a Mac, Pixelmator is hands down the best Photoshop replacement there is. If you don't have a Mac, buy a Mac and use Pixelmator. It's that good.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:00 PM on January 30, 2019 [6 favorites]

Seconding Pixelmator.
posted by ejs at 6:05 PM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

This article 27 Free Alternatives to Adobe's Expensive Apps, recently on Lifehacker. Just FYI in case you didn't see it.
posted by forthright at 6:06 PM on January 30, 2019 [8 favorites]

Thirding Pixelmator, but Affinity Photo is also very nice.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:16 PM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use Affinity Photo (and Affinity Designer as an Illustrator alternative, with similar UI to Photo). It runs on Win10, Mac OS, and iOS (for iPad specifically). Fifty bucks and it's very much not a subscription.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:22 PM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Perhaps obvious but have you tried the GIMP?

It can do 95% of the main tasks people use photoshop for, and with similar workflow.

There are abundant tutorials and guides across the very welcoming (and free/open source) community.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:27 PM on January 30, 2019 [9 favorites]

I use GIMP and I mostly like it. Steeper learning curve than Pixelmator but significantly cheaper.
posted by jessamyn at 6:35 PM on January 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Affinity Photo is great and if you're used to photoshop the menus etc are almost exactly the same.

Note, it's a good pixel level editor, I would not and do not use it for processing my RAW photos.
posted by smoke at 7:24 PM on January 30, 2019

If you're looking for something to do photo processing, DxO PhotoLab is very good. Non-subscription, non-Adobe, but not cheap (though fairly priced, I think). It doesn't do all of the pixel-level editing that Photoshop can do, but it's great for processing and adjusting raw files (including lens correction, noise reduction, etc. etc.). Perhaps a bit closer to Lightroom than Photoshop, so it depends on what Photoshop features you're looking for.
posted by klausness at 11:04 AM on January 31, 2019

posted by mcbeth at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2019

Response by poster: Affinity Photo knocked my socks off! Holy cats it's better than Photoshop, for what I do. Thanks everyone!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 4:28 PM on January 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

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