7 of the Best RAW Image Editors for Photographers

March 26th, 2023

As photographers, we are constantly trying to capture the highest quality images possible. RAW image files are a crucial part of that process. They contain all the information that your camera sensor captured, providing you with maximum flexibility when it comes to editing your images. However, editing RAW files can be a challenge without the right tools. I spend quite a bit of time trying out new software and here I’m outlining 7 of the best RAW image editors for photographers.

In compiling this list, I’ve taken into account several factors, including the features offered, user-friendliness, compatibility with various operating systems, affordability, and popularity among other photographers.

  1. Adobe Lightroom
    Probably the most well known RAW editing software available, Adobe Lightroom is a RAW image editor that offers a vast range of features. It includes tools for organising, editing, and sharing images, making it an all-in-one solution for photographers. Its user-friendly interface, along with its ability to work with a wide range of image file formats, makes it an excellent choice for photographers of all levels. Checkout my Lightroom editing workflow in this video.
  2. Capture One Pro
    Capture One Pro is another popular RAW image editor that boasts a range of advanced features. Its intuitive interface and ability to produce high-quality edits make it a top choice for professional photographers. Like Lightroom, it also supports a wide range of cameras, making it a versatile tool for editing RAW images.
  3. DxO PhotoLab
    DxO PhotoLab is a RAW image editor that is known for its powerful noise reduction and lens correction tools. It provides a streamlined workflow and a user-friendly interface, making it an excellent option for photographers who want to edit their images quickly and efficiently.
  4. Luminar Neo
    Luminar is a relatively new player in the RAW image editor market, but it has already gained popularity among photographers. Its interface is easy to get to grips with and features powerful editing tools, such as AI Sky Replacement. This makes it a unique option for photographers who are happy to augment and enhance their images with the latest artificial intelligence tools. Check out my overview video of Luminar Neo.
  5. RawTherapee
    This software is a free and open-source RAW image editor that offers a range of advanced features. Its interface may not be as user-friendly as some of the other options on this list, but its powerful tools, such as demosaicing and sharpening, make it a popular choice among many photographers.
  6. Darktable
    Darktable is another free and open-source RAW image editor that offers a range of advanced features. Its interface is a little more user-friendly than RawTherapee, making it a good option for photographers who want to edit their images quickly and efficiently. There can be a bit of learning curve when it comes to workflow, but it’s a very powerful tool once mastered. Check out my first impressions video of Darktable.
  7. Affinity Photo
    Affinity Photo is a professional-grade RAW image editor that offers a range of advanced features. Its interface is user-friendly, and it supports a wide range of image file formats, making it a versatile tool. Its powerful tools, such as batch processing and live previews, along with its very affordable price make it a top choice for a lot of people. Check out this Affinity Photo video.

Editing RAW images is an essential part of photography for many people, and having the right tools can make all the difference. The seven RAW image editors listed above offer a range of features and capabilities, making them excellent options for photographers of all levels. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced photographer, there will be a RAW editor that suits your needs and helps you to take your images to the next level.

One size fits all with the H&Y REVORING!

January 28th, 2023

I recently made a video in which I featured the H&Y Revoring. This device is a variable step adapter that features self retracting blades with threaded ends to secure on the front of your lens. This means that it can fit multiple lenses, and saves you having to buy various different sizes of each filter you may want to use.

Additional parts of the system can then be magnetically attached to the Revoring, allowing the use of different filter types, from neutral density filters to polarizers and more.

The main three lenses I use for landscape photography are:

  • Nikkor Z 14-30mm F4
  • Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4
  • Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3

The Revoring that H&Y sent me perfectly covers the filter thread size of each of these lenses, so I just need one of each type of filter to cover all three lenses. This is great because it saves space and money and the innovative design of the system makes it really quick and easy to use too.

I was also impressed with the quality of the H&Y filters. They seem well constructed, really tough, didn’t pick up too much dirt when being handled and didn’t produce any significant colour cast in my images.

I’m definitely going to be using this system going forward, and I can absolutely recommend checking it out.

My best photos of 2022

January 2nd, 2023

Happy new year everyone.

In my recent video; My Top 10 Best Photos of 2022, I run through my top 10 favourite images of last year.

If you’d like to see the images in a bit more detail, here they are.


Is Snapseed Better than Lightroom for Mobile?

November 26th, 2022

I have been using the Lightroom mobile app for a few years now. It comes absolutely free so long as you’re happy to pay a small fortune for one of Adobe’s subscription packages! It does work very well though, and has a number of very powerful features for editing images on a smartphone. The selective masking tools in particular, are very capable. There is a free version of the app, however it doesn’t include some of the best features, such as the healing brush, geometry tools or selective editing tools. It can’t even edit RAW images!

In a recent video I decided to take a look at Snapseed. I took a RAW image captured with my Pixel 4 phone camera, and used both Snapseed and Lightroom mobile to edit it directly on the phone.

Snapseed’s interface is attractive and intuitive to use. Instead of moving sliders around with your finger, you choose your parameter and simply move your finger left and right across your image. It’s a small thing, but saves screen space, allowing you to see more of your image. All of the options you expect are available under the RAW development category; Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Blacks, Whites, etc. In place of Lightroom’s Texture and Clarity sliders, Snapseed has one parameter called Structure. It works in a very similar way, allowing the user to sharpen and define their image, or instead, soften it. I like to use the latter with woodland scenes like the one I demonstrate in the video. I did feel that some of the RAW development tools didn’t seem to have as much effect on my image as they do in Lightroom, but there are many more tools available once RAW development is finished. It’s possible to crop an image, fine tune tone, white balance, detail level and add a vignette, amongst others. There are also more creative tools available, such as vintage, grunge, noir and retrolux effects, which work more like Instagram filters than the more subtle tools I’m used to using in Lightroom. Glamour Glow, I found to be particularly effective in creating a soft, ethereal look in my woodland scene. What I did miss were colour tools, that allow changes to hue, saturation and luminosity for individual colours.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Snapseed and the premium version of the Lightroom app, is the lack of selective editing tools in the former. There is a tool called Selective in Snapseed, with which the user can tap to choose a colour range within the image. The brightness of this selection can then be adjusted. There is also a brush tool that allows techniques such as dodging and burning to be applied to the image with a finger tip. They’re not really comparable to Lightroom’s selective features however, and I find this to be one of the major drawbacks of Snapseed.

Let’s not forget though, that the free version of the Lightroom app doesn’t include selective editing tools either. It does include organisational features and will remember the settings applied to an image, so that it can be opened up and worked on at a later date. But the lack of RAW editing abilities makes it inferior to Snapseed.

Lightroom and the data it saves will use up lots of storage space on your phone. It’s currently using up about 750mb on my Pixel 4. Snapseed is much lighter in comparison (partly because it doesn’t save image data), taking up approximately 55mb.

In conclusion, Snapseed needs to be compared to both versions of Lightroom separately. It has many advantages over the free app, but trails behind some of the features that comes with the high costs of the premium version. If you already have an Adobe subscription, the Lightroom mobile app is a no-brainer, but for everyone else, Snapseed is a great, free alternative that can produce some high quality results.

Is Vero a Good Platform for Photographers?

October 22nd, 2022

It surprised me to learn that Vero was officially released way back in 2015. I must admit, I have only been aware of it in the last year or so. In case you’re also not familiar, it is a social media platform that markets itself as “ad-free & algorithm-free”.

It’s also pleasantly surprising to find that these two things (at the time of writing) appear to be true. The latter means that, unlike competitors, a user’s newsfeed isn’t currated by a set of code instructions. You may not even know it, but when using platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you don’t see everything that is posted by the accounts you follow. Only what the algorithms deem to be relevant is shown to you. They also feature lots of sponsored posts and advertisements which many people find frustrating.

By contrast, Vero shows you all the content posted by those you follow in a chronological feed. If you leave the app and come back to it, you will see the last thing you were looking at, and then be able to start scrolling up, through the new content posted since then. It’s a good to way to ensure you don’t miss anything. The company also boast that you won’t see ads because they “don’t use your personal data to make money”.

Another good thing about the app is how it shows photographic content. Large images can be uploaded and it’s possible to zoom in and easily see the finer detail. This is a marked improvement over Instagram, where enlarged images automatically snap back to their smaller size when the user releases their fingers from the screen. Not being able to upload images directly from a desktop computer was one critisism previously aimed at Vero. This has now, however, been addressed, with dedicated applications for both Mac and Windows.

Overall, Vero seems pretty good, and there’s very little to find fault with. Some people have expressed scepticism about the company’s policy on data protection, believing the policy does not implicitly state that data will not be sold on and that the app could be monetised in the future. The platform is also missing some of the features of its competitors, such as Facebook’s events system or business pages, and the stories feature present on many social media platforms these days. The latter points, however, will probably be of little concern to photographers who just want an environment in which to share their images.

Perhaps the main drawback of Vero is the relatively small user base. To date, I’ve only been able to connect with 8 other people on the platform, so if you would like to help me increase that figure, you can find my own account here:

So in conclusion, I’d say yes! Vero seems like a fairly good platform for photographers. Hopefully the company maintains the best features of the app as the user numbers continue to grow.