10 Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners in 2024

by Cutting Edger / Last Update: July 08, 2024 10 Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners in 2024

10 Best Photo Editing Software for Beginners in 2024

There is no limit to the visual optimization of a photograph by editing it to its best. You can make a simple photograph come alive by retouching it using compatible photo editing software for beginners. In contrast, untouched or un-edited photographs may not be visually appealing to human eyes. It is also true that over-editing ruins an image's natural aesthetics.

For a beginner, it is tough to find out the fine line between effective and over-editing. But when you choose the best photo editing software that complements your skill and creativity, it amplifies the possibilities of success many times. In this guide, we will discuss the 10 best photo editing software for beginners and their advantages and disadvantages. In addition, we will discuss the prices and the efficiency of photo editing softwares. Stay tuned and ensure a furious head start to transform your editing goals into success.

How to Choose Photo Editing Software?

Choosing the right software for your photo editing work becomes time-consuming and laborious with a cumbersome collection of editing software available in the market. But, if you consider some factors in this selection process, it will become way easier. Consider 4 factors mentioned below before you start or restart your selection process.

Know Your Goals for Photo Editing

Whether photo editing is a hobby or a full-time career, your goals are the driving force when choosing photo editing software. You definitely need professional photo editing software when you plan to start a career as a professional portrait photographer or photo editor. However, at the beginning stage, starting with free photo editing software is a wise choice. The magic starts when you start understanding the limitations and can decide how much you can fairly pay to overcome these limitations using paid software.

Level of Your Editing Expertise

Being an expert is a magnificent journey. You do; you commit mistakes, and you correct them. Eventually, you become an expert photo editing company. It is undeniably true that, as a creative process, photo editing needs lots of experiments, experience, and commitment to bring out the best of yourself. For instance, If you have a clear concept of common photo editing terms, you may not use AI-enhanced options of software; rather, you would be looking for manual fixing tools in software. But if you still have many things to explore in photo editing software, automated options may help you keep a tight hold on the flow for a while. 

Paid or Free Photo Editing Software

The good news is most of the photo editing softwares is free. Paid photo editing softwares may cost you from $6 to $600 per month. If you are still learning and not making money through editing, this range can be very expensive. Starting with free software and gradually learning about the limitations of free versions will prepare you to invest in paid editing software.

Popular or Relatively New Ones

In any industry, being popular with a product isn’t easy. The photo editing industry is no exception. Popular photo editing software has evolved through years of innovative experiments and user interactions. The photo editing community has welcomed the positive aspects of image editing software. At the same time, critics have never missed a chance to discuss the drawbacks of editing software.

Additionally, the financial investments, marketing, and creative teams behind the software have made it undisputable in price. But that doesn’t mean that only popular photo editing software deserves to be in the limelight; new market players have no option but to focus on providing the best photo editing tools at a competitive price. As a result, newer software often offers better tools at a fraction of the cost.

10 Best Photo Editing Software

In a thrilling journey of over 2 decades, Cutting Edger boasts an impressive track record of experience in the visual and image editing industry. We have retouched 10000+ images in this ongoing voyage. Our team of experts has used many photo editing and retouching softwares in this ongoing celebration of image editing. 

The list we are sharing here is nothing but a collection of accumulated experience and our devotion to photo editing and retouching. Whether you are a seasoned editor or just an enthusiastic beginner, this 10 best photo editing software list will help you choose the best software for reviving your career.

Adobe Lightroom Classic: Best for Usability

Adobe is the biggest market player in the photo editing software industry. There is a large range of photo editing software launched by Adobe. Adobe Lightroom Classic is the best photo editing software for PC among a large variety of editing softwares presented by Adobe. 

This photo editing software is prominent for user-friendliness. While being suitable for all ranges of users, it offers intuitive photo organization and editing tools and enhanced workflow efficiency with features like presets and batch processing. You can purchase Lightroom with an annual plan starting at $12.99/mo or $155.88/yr. 

CyberLink PhotoDirector 365

CyberLink PhotoDirector 365 is a top-notch AI-enhanced photo editing software. Ideal for beginners with integrated AI features. Streamline editing works like removing objects from the background, styling can give the creative editors a tremendous amount of blooming opportunity. A notable setback of the tool is the frustrating segregation of categories. 

Additionally, too many glitches and crashes for an app that’s up to version 14 can downline the user experience. The monthly subscription charge for CyberLink PhotoDirector 365 is $14/month, while for an annual subscription, it will cost $43.99. PhotoDirector Essential is the free version of CyberLink’s photo editing software. 

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

ACDSee Photo Studio version 2024 offers a selection of organizational features that won’t pose any challenges even to beginners. The key feature of ACDSee is that it’s a fantastic 2-in-1 suitable for editing and managing your photos at the same time. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate offers advanced editing tools like layers and batch processing. 

The cons of this tool are the correction tools are less effective than Adobe Lightroom. Pricing starts from $8.90 for a 15-day free trial version. A yearly purchase will cost you $89, and a single-time purchase starts from $149.95. The free trial period has been reduced to 15 days from 30 days recently. Consider purchasing before it has been narrowed further.

Corel PaintShop Pro

PaintShop Pro is a photo and graphic editor that is not subservient to its main competitor, Adobe. This photo editing software is helpful and easy to use with diverse tools. Corel Corporation has excellent customer support service.  All you need to use this software is just enter the activation key and get a trial version of the program for 30 days. 

During this time, you can experience all the advantages of this photo editing software. PaintShop Pro 2023 is available directly from Corel for $79.99. Corel will charge $59.99 for an upgrade of an existing version.

Capture One Pro

The simplest reason for using Capture One is that it provides functionality above and beyond Lightroom. It will allow you to edit with full control. Capture one has proven abilities to perform editing works not possible to the same extent with Lightroom’s tools, layout, or workflow. Such as editing portrait photographs. Hence, Capture One has been a top choice for professional portrait photographers. Though it is less effective in editing wildlife or landscape photographs, it is widely used in product photography and other studio works such as white balance, deblurring, and enhancing the edges in an image. You can buy Capture One Pro outright for $299 ($199 upgrade) or subscribe for $24 per month or $179 per year.

DxO PhotoLab

DxO Technologies is one of the leaders in noise reduction with integrated PureRaw software. PureRaw uses advanced machine-learning algorithms to edit a Raw file and gives you a denoised Raw file. Additionally, DxO PhotoLab 7 has an easy-to-use moiré reduction tool. The tool does a perfect job of removing false colors, but the “moiré pattern” still persists in a few locations. DxO PhotoLab Essential edition costs $139, but it lacks some newer and more powerful features. The full-featured Elite edition costs $229.

Affinity Photo

For beginners, graphic artists, and photographers, Affinity Photo is an attractive alternative to Adobe Photoshop. In terms of essential functions, Affinity Photo 2 hardly differs from Adobe software. However, beginners will need some extra time to get to know the interface before fully implementing all the possibilities of Affinity Photo. With all that, Affinity Photo editing software fairly costs $69.99.

Skylum Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo by Skylum is a photo editing software that proudly echoes a user-friendly interface and powerful AI-driven features. It excels in quick and effective enhancements, offering AI Sky Replacement and AI Portrait tools. They focus on simplicity and provide easy-to-use tools for beginners and professionals to effortlessly elevate their photos with innovative editing capabilities. 

Luminar Neo is available directly from Skylum's site. It will cost $11.95 for a monthly subscription and $99 per year. As much as $249 for a lifetime license. Skylum also has a free online photo editor, but it doesn't have the same powerful features as Luminar Neo.

Movavi Photo Editor

Movavi Photo Editor is a simple-to-use app with an intuitive interface. All the editing tools are easy to find on the vertical toolbar to the left and easy to use for a user of any skill level. Also, you can view the 'Before-After' photo transformation at every step by pressing the 'B' key on your keyboard or holding the mirror icon at the bottom of the window. It will allow you to see how the editing has turned out and help you choose the path further. With all these easy, user-friendly features, Movavi Photo Editor costs only $100 annually.

Photopea Photo Editing Application

Photopea is a full-featured web-based application. It has been regarded as a strong competitor of Photoshop. You can use most of its features for free. However, a $5-per-month subscription gets you generative AI image-creation tools, more steps in your editing history, and 5GB of online image storage.


As has been demonstrated, choosing the best photo editing software for beginners at the beginning of your career largely depends on continuous and deep-dived research. Try to keep the discussed factors in mind when choosing a photo editing software. It will help you choose the best tool for your editing work within a competitive budget. To wrap it up, let’s employ a quote by Yusuf Karsh, the famous portrait photographer, “Character develops in darkness like a photograph!


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