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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.