Best Apple Mac For Photo Editing

By | 20/11/2022

After over 100 hours of testing, here are our picks for the best photograph editing software for Mac users this yr.

We tested over 50 costless, paid and online photo editing software to find the apps and tools nosotros’d recommend to anyone who owns a Macbook or iMac.

Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo

Easy to use photo editor with powerful tools for making complex edits ridiculously like shooting fish in a barrel. One time affordable pricing, perfect for Mac users of all standards.

Use code shotkit10neo to relieve 10%

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Apple tree’s macOS is the platform of pick for so many photo editors worldwide due to its stability, lack of viruses and efficient ecosystem.

The default Photos for MacOS app which comes installed on every Mac computer is actually pretty good, so why would you need another photo editing app?

In this guide, we’ll talk over the other options, and explain why using the all-time photo editing software for Mac volition speed up your post-production and improve your epitome editing feel.

(If yous’re a non-Mac user, check this guide if you lot need photo editing software for Windows and other operating systems.)

What is the Best Photograph Editing Software for Mac in 2022?

Image Product Features
shk2-table__image Adobe Lightroom
OUR #i Option
  • Powerful RAW File Editor
  • Like shooting fish in a barrel To Crop Images
  • Artistic Adjustment Tools
  • Intuitive User Interface
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shk2-table__image Luminar Neo
  • Piece of cake To Employ Interface
  • Improved Operation
  • Remove Powerlines
  • Bring Volumetric
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shk2-table__image Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Automated Editing
  • Add Moving Overlays
  • Adjust Facial Features
  • Fun Filters & Effects
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shk2-table__image ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac
  • Navigator Window
  • Improved GUI
  • Add Ratings & Labels
  • Easy Undo/Redo
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shk2-table__image ON1 Photo Raw
  • High Quality Filters
  • Supports Layers
  • Lens Profile Adjustments
  • Face-Tuning Tools
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shk2-table__image Adobe Photoshop
  • Photoshop 3D
  • Pattern Management
  • Elevate & Driblet
  • Custom Brushes
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shk2-table__image Photos for MacOS
  • Focus On Your Best Shots
  • Easy To Apply
  • Fun Filters
  • Share Everywhere
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shk2-table__image GIMP
  • Advanced Manipulation
  • Animation
  • File Handling
  • Powerful Gradient
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shk2-table__image Darktable
  • Cross Platform
  • Filtering and Sorting
  • Tethered Shooting
  • Powerful Export Organisation
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Adobe Lightroom


  • Excellent image cataloging options
  • Colour correction presets work very well
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices
  • Professional photograph editing tools


  • Subscription model only
  • Expensive

Professional photographers accept been using Adobe’south photograph editing software for many years, with their Lightroom package geared towards serious amateur photographers who want to delve into powerful organisational and editing tools.

Budding photographers can take advantage of the intuitive workflow, importing their images in batches and being able to organise and edit them with ease.

Abobe Lightroom’southward simple-looking interface means users can get accustomed to how everything works in a curt menses of fourth dimension, with photos accessed via the software’s cloud-based storage system, offering 20GB minimum when y’all take out Adobe’due south Photography Program.

The library module allows users to arrange their imported photographs, and exploring the software’s various editing tools is handled by switching to the Develop module.

Basic changes including setting colour temperature, tweaking the key exposure, and using Lightroom’s Lens Corrections tools tin can all be made, with software updates calculation additional support for the latest lens releases.

Furnishings tools bring a greater degree of flexibility to the editing table, with tools such as Dehaze assuasive users to bring back contrast to flat photographs, or the Optics tools that can correct chromatic abnormality and baloney.

This combination of essential editing tools with more avant-garde features ways that Adobe Lightroom may be overkill for more than coincidental photographers. but with that said, these avant-garde tools are handled intuitively and could inspire casual photographers to delve deeper into the craft.

Adobe Lightroom is subscription only, and when combined with cloud storage costs has the potential to become quite costly, so this is something to be enlightened of, especially for those who are intending to process high volumes of photos.

The excellent option of photo editing tools combined with the ability to access the software from a range of devices (the iPad photo editing app is particularly excellent) makes Adobe Lightroom one of the best image editing apps for Mac you can buy.

  • Lightroom review
  • How to purchase Adobe Lightroom

Luminar Neo


  • Piece of cake-to-apply interface
  • Superb AI tools
  • Good option of adjustment tools
  • Great value for money


  • Lacks face recognition
  • Some features are a footling on the slow side

Employ code
to save x% from Luminar Neo

Skylum’south AI-powered photo editing software, Luminar Neo, offers users a great option of photo editing tools and filters that help deliver professional-looking results with a quick learning curve.

For those who are relatively new to the world of photo editing, with experience perchance limited to using editing tools and social media apps such as Instagram, Luminar Neo is a user-friendly introduction to more advanced processes and techniques to take your photos to the side by side level.

The interface is intuitive and clear, with options and tools conspicuously marked in layman’s linguistic communication so y’all don’t take to constantly refer to tutorials to remind yourself what’s what.

When importing your photos into Luminar Neo there are several useful options, with the ability to sort by appointment, location, or keyword, as well equally the option to flag and refuse images of your choosing.

The process is limited compared to more avant-garde software, however, and lacks the option to add keywords and captions, too as defective the support for IPTC or EXIF data constitute in professional person suites such every bit Lightroom.

There are three core modes for Luminar Neo which all include basic image editing tools. Itemize allows you to view your images, Presets allows you to apply certain presets to these images, and Edit opens up the software’south built-in tools.

Basic tools such as cropping, adjusting saturation, exposure, and contrast, and applying layers are all easily accessed, so you tin tweak that colour balance and play with noise reduction without any hassle.

In improver to these standard editing tools, Luminar Neo also comes with some excellent AI-driven tools, including Sky Replacement to replace existing skies with more attractive ones selected from the archives, and AI crop, which automatically isolates the subject and crops appropriately.

Indeed, where Luminar Neo stands out is in these and other AI-driven tricks, which can even exist used to remove powerlines from the background of photographs, which extends to the removal of dust spots and other unwanted blemishes.

The Relight tool is a handy feature that allows users to correctly expose subjects against very dark or vivid surfaces, for the well-nigh part delivering great results in a short space of fourth dimension.

Boosted updates to the platform beingness added include Mask AI and a histogram tool, with new features and issues fixes expected as the software continues to be developed by Skylum.

With its impressive choice of AI-powered tools and other editing features, Luminar Neo is a truly attractive package for budding photographers learning the ropes of photo editing.

  • Luminar Neo review

Adobe Photoshop Elements


  • Excellent selection of image manipulation tools
  • Easy to use
  • Good option of automated features
  • Free trial available


  • Limited photographic camera raw tools
  • Missing a chromatic aberration correction tool

A consumer-friendly alternative to Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements brings many of the tools and features found in its professional person counterpart to novice users, without the need to commit to a subscription.

Information technology comes with solid face-tagging and geotagging capabilities, with a great range of image output options that casual photographers should find more than than adequate for their needs.

Adobe Photoshop Elements covers all the bones photo editing tools constitute in the pro version, with tools for tweaking saturation, contrast, and colour rest delivering reliably impressive results, all from a neat and simple user interface.

What separates Photoshop Elements from other photograph editing apps is the option of unique creative tools that have been introduced to the platform in recent updates, and accept advantage of new AI-powered processes.

This includes fine art fashion transfers, which allow you lot to give your photos the look of an artist with a quick click, so you tin can transform your landscapes into modern-day versions of Coin paintings before firing them across to your Instagram folio.

Other contempo additions include a photo warp tool, which allows you to place your images on other objects, and Guided Edits, tweaking your pet photos or landscapes with a content-aware make full that brings the images to life.

Adobe has referred to these new AI-driven updates every bit “Sensei”, and they transcend their potential gimmickiness and bring real value to the software, with some of these tools potentially saving hours of time using traditional editing tools.

Equally with the professional version of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements has a broad selection of filters to play with which can be hands applied to photos, with the Pen & Ink and Graphic Novel filters, in particular, delivering hit results.

Y’all tin as well apply Photoshop Elements to introduce animated elements to your images via the Moving Photos effect, offer a full of xi movement options which are saved as blithe GIFs.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect middle basis for aspiring photographers who want to broaden their photo editing horizons, balancing core photo editing tools with a versatile selection of more than advanced editing features used by the pros.

ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac


  • Dainty and responsive operation
  • Geotagging and facial recognition
  • Good tools for improving peel tones
  • Inclusion of handy “smart” features


  • The menu arrangement tin can exist confusing
  • Chromatic abnormality tools could be better

ACDSee Photo Studio has been available for Windows computers for some time, and it’s only been more recently that Mac users take been able to get their hands on this versatile photo editing software and try information technology for themselves.

The latest version is the first to run natively on Macs with M1-based Apple Silicon, giving Adobe Lightroom a run for its money with a similar roster of photo editing tools, corrections, and raw camera file conversions.

Available as either a 1-off payment or subscription model for multiple users with cloud storage, ACDSee Photo Studio is easy to ready thanks to its quick start guide and magician, importing photos and allowing yous to itemize and edit them with ease.

Photographers who are already invested in Photoshop’s ecosystem tin can apply ACDSee equally a plug-in, which allows them to convert Lightroom catalogs likewise equally integrate with OneDrive for cloud storage.

Novices might find the plethora of buttons and menus initially overwhelming, only again there’south the quick start guide to help navigate through these many options and become accustomed to the diverse programme modes including Manage, Media, View, Develop, and Edit.

Importing and organising photos, including raw photographic camera file formats, is elementary, with a good option of categories that includes the power to file images by lens and photographic camera model bringing a prissy degree of versatility.

Facial recognition tools allow you to process all imported images with faces, switching between Named and Unnamed tabs which can and then to tagged appropriately when you identify the faces manually.

GPS encoding allows users to tie their photos to locations on a map, which can exist a fun way to accommodate and manage your photos, displaying them as thumbnail slideshows with corresponding locations on the map.

The latest version has seen ACDSee introduce a overnice selection of tools to Photograph Studio, improving noise reduction with the Local Racket Reduction characteristic, while too improving lighting and colouring with the Colour Bicycle for Pixel Targeting tool for employ with the edit brush.

While professionals are unlikely to catechumen to ACDSee Photograph Studio any time soon, beginners looking for a comprehensive option of photo editing tools and processes will get plenty of mileage from this package.

ON1 Photograph Raw


  • Superb image quality
  • Great selection of loftier-quality filters
  • Lens profile adjustments
  • Supports layers


  • Lacks confront and geotagging
  • Some functions are ho-hum

ON1 Photo Raw is one of the bottom-known platforms available for photo editing, which is perhaps something of an oversight given its inclusion of some truly powerful tools and a choice of excellent features you won’t detect on other editing apps for Mac.

ON2 Photo Raw’south interface isn’t the most convenient photo editing app, with some features non as hands accessed as they could exist, but with that said the breadth of features and tools is impressive, comparable to those found in Lightroom.

At that place’s a good option of organisation modes for cataloguing your photos, with support for RAW images covering the latest cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony, and Leica.

Standard lighting tools all perform well, from adjusting exposure and contrast to playing with highlights, mid-tones, and shadows, besides as a pleasant structure tool to bring additional clarity through micro-contrast.

Updated in 2022, ON1 Photo Raw has really come up into its own, with improved AI-based tools for resizing images, reducing dissonance, and automatic lens correction, and support for more cameras all putting it on a par with its competitors.

Boosted new features introduced in the latest update include the ability to search metadata, create smart albums based on searches, and the introduction of trackpad gestures.

There’southward too a cracking fourth dimension-lapse video creation tool, taking your existing however photographs while removing flickering, as well as other Photoshop-inspired tools such as the Line Mask Tool, which mimics Adobe’s Polygonal Lasso.

Overall, ON1 Photo Raw delivers a professional level of control when editing photos, with an impressive degree of support for various file types and a nifty choice of high-quality plug-ins to add unique effects to your photos.

  • ON1 Photo Raw review
  • ON1 vs Lightroom: Which photo editor is best?

Adobe Photoshop


  • Incredible selection of tools
  • Intuitive interface
  • A comprehensive selection of new AI-powered features
  • Available for iPad


  • Expensive
  • A step learning curve to primary

Adobe Photoshop has long been the manufacture standard for professional photographers looking for a comprehensive suite of tools, filters, and other features to take their photograph editing to the next level.

Its layer-based image editing tools make it incredibly versatile compared to its closest rivals, assuasive users to include a combination of photos forth with graphics and text to mask and blend together for unique results.

Manipulation tools are also extensive, with the choice to cut, crop, distort, and morph photos in a seemingly endless variety of ways, making it the all-time photograph editing software for mixed media creators and designers.

The latest version of Adobe Photoshop introduces a selection of neural filters powered by the Adobe Sensei AI machine, with skin smoothing improving workflow when editing portraits, along with other automated edits that tin save valuable time and effort.

By using a slider, yous tin change a photograph of a person to make them look happy, sad, older, angry, and a range of other emotions and settings in a unmarried click, and while some of these results exit a lot to be desired, it’s still a cool feature to play effectually with.

Perhaps the most outstanding new characteristic available is the Sky Replacement tool, which gives you a serial of options to update the heaven speedily and easily, detecting and masking your image’south horizon and dropping in a new sky with ease.

Photoshop has ever been most much more than than basic photo editing, and its comprehensive selection of drawing and typography tools, as well as 3D design adequacy, reaffirms its status as a professional photograph editing app with plenty of mileage.

While Adobe Photoshop is expensive, information technology’southward also the nearly complete parcel on the market, offer precision tools, exceptional arrangement options, and high-end features that deliver outstanding results.

  • How to buy Adobe Photoshop

Photos for MacOS


  • Gratuitous to use
  • Slick and easy-to-employ interface
  • Photos and videos synched through iCloud
  • Solid photo editing tools


  • Can’t share outside of Apple tree’s ecosystem
  • Lacks chromatic abnormality

Photos for macOS is a gratuitous photograph editing app that comes preinstalled on Macs, serving as a great introduction to basic photo editing features via an piece of cake-to-navigate interface with hands accessible tools.

Importing photos, including raw photographic camera photos, is nice and simple, including ProRaw format images used past iPhone 12 Pro models, tidily grouped in your Library where yous can organise images by engagement.

Basic editing options can exist accessed such as rotate, share, and auto enhanced can be apace accessed via the photo view system, the additional tools are opened up past selecting Edit to open the tools panel.

Apple’south auto-right tool performs exceptionally well, brightening or darkening images as and when required while showing you what adjustments are needed to enhance shadows and improve your photo’s highlights.

The adjustment sliders in Photos for macOS requite y’all a preview of how your adjustments will look in a handy thumbnail epitome, and while it’due south lacking chromatic aberration and geometry correction, the range of adjustments here is all the same comprehensive.

The software also features some great video editing tricks, with Loop and Bounce offering blithe GIF-style furnishings with transparency furnishings calculation a nice feel to the end results.

Facial recognition technology has been considerably improved in the latest version, correctly identifying faces and allowing y’all to chop-chop tag friends and family and link them to maps with geotagged data.

With additional new features including a useful vibrancy tool and improved gallery view layouts, Photos for macOS delivers a powerful photo editing app for Mac for those non yet willing to invest in a more powerful paid alternative,



  • Free to employ
  • Swell expansion options
  • Feature-rich
  • First-class user interface


  • Defective in-house tech support
  • Steep learning curve

GIMP, which stands for GNU Epitome Manipulation Program, is widely regarded as one of the best free photo editors bachelor, offering users many professional person-level features and tools for fine-tuning images.

Its basic photo editing tools are complemented with a great selection of brushes and filters to aid you lot create stunning artwork, while the community of contributors and developers means at that place are always new tools and features beingness introduced.

With support for a wide range of plug-ins, it’s incredibly versatile, with advanced layer masking, animation tools, and montage features enhancing the options available to users across the basic cropping, racket reduction, and color adjustments.

The downside to this impressive assortment of features is the rather steep learning curve, and mastering GIMP can exist time-consuming, especially if this is the beginning time you’ve experienced photo editing apps.

With that said, the latest version of GIMP has ironed out some of the kinks in the user interface, with the switch to a unmarried window UI helping users to go along track of their tools and accustom themselves to the software’s many options.

The recent upgrade also allows for processing images with 32-bit color channel precision for high-quality TIFF files, likewise equally offer compatibility with a range of standard paradigm files including JPED, PSD, BMP, and SVG files.

Considering it’s completely free, GIMP is a powerful resource that offers much more than just basic photo editing, and for those with the patience to grasp its full potential it opens up opportunities to learn new design and artistic skills.

  • How to edit photos with Gimp



  • Free to use
  • Excellent RAW photos processing
  • A comprehensive selection of tools
  • Open source


  • The learning curve is steep
  • Lacks online and mobile versions

A great gratis culling to Adobe Lightroom, Darktable is another open-source gratis photo editing app that allows for editing and manipulation of RAW photos with a diverse set of advanced features.

Equally with GIMP, the learning curve for Darktable is on the steep side, but those with the patience to navigate the various options volition be rewarded with nifty results through its many editing features.

Managing images is made unproblematic through the light tabular array view, through which y’all can see all your images in one place to easily compare and delete, with additional rating and tag options further helping you lot keep them organised.

As with other photo editing apps, Darktable includes geolocation data for images, and if your camera hasn’t practical GPS data to your photos, information technology’s possible to manually enter this data into the software.

Basic epitome processing is not unlike Lightroom and other similar apps, with the various tools broken into dissimilar groups and controlled by sliders to permit you to manipulate your photographs.

This means you can arrange dissimilarity, brightness, shadows, and highlights, with tools for tweaking the tone levels and curves forth with colour manipulation giving users excellent scope when editing photos.

The latest version has some heady new additions, with the diffuse and sharpen module allowing for easy image sharpening and bloom furnishings, and the new blur module introducing lens, motion, and gaussian blurs.

With the option to modify the module list to friction match your level of experience, Darktable is a great costless Mac photo software which rewards the patience of amateurs while also delivering more complex tools for experienced photographers.

  • Darktable review

What is the Easiest Photograph Editing Software for Mac?

Luminar Neo is by far the easiest photo editing software for Mac users in 2022.

Despite having enough of avant-garde features for experienced photograph editors, Luminar Neo offers the least learning curve out of whatever other app we tested, making information technology perfect for beginners.

Neo uses easy-to-understand terminology for its tools (like ‘whiten teeth’, or ‘replace heaven’), and allows you to perform extremely circuitous image edits in merely i click, cheers to its AI-powered tools.

For bones photo editing, all you need to do is open Luminar Neo and drag in a photo. Then, its clever AI suggests a ‘For This Photograph’ preset style which applies a ‘look’ to your photo.

Often, this is all that is needed for a fast and easy photo edit. However, you can also fine tune the settings and adjust various elements using all the other tools found in Neo.

You can get a 10% discount off Luminar Neo past borer here and inbound the code

How to Edit Photos on Your Mac Without Photoshop

Every Apple Mac computer comes ready-installed with a complimentary photograph editing software called Photos which integrates with iPads and iPhones.

The default Photos app allows y’all to edit photos on a Mac professionally with some surprisingly powerful new tools launched in iOS 16.

It’south not nearly as powerful as Adobe Photoshop for graphic manipulation, but it tin can handle most image editing tasks.

Here are some photo editing basics in Photos on Mac:

  1. Writing or drawing on a photo
  2. Cropping a photo
  3. Irresolute a photograph with a filter
  4. Straightening a photo
  5. Applying filters
  6. Rotating the image
  7. Duplicating a photo
  8. Copying and pasting adjustments
  9. Comparison photos before and after editing
  10. Zooming in and out on a photo

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mac have photo editing software?

When purchasing a Mac, you lot’ll have instant access to their built-in photo editor which volition permit you to perform a range of basic editing tasks.

Apple Photos is their replacement for Discontinuity, which they close down in 2015, which comes with many of the tools you lot’ll observe on more than avant-garde packages such as Adobe Lightroom.

Photos can exist synced through iCloud to all your Apple devices, and using Apple Photos to edit and dispense your images is prissy and unproblematic.

What is like Photoshop only free for Mac?

At that place is a range of photo editing software and tools like to Photoshop which is available for free/includes a costless trial for Mac.

Some gratis photo editing software for Mac worth considering include:

  • Apple Photos
  • Pixelmator
  • Darktable
  • Luminar
  • Fotor
  • GIMP
  • Google Photos
  • Pixlr 10
  • Sketch

Which MacBook M1 for photograph editing?

With a choice of MacBook M1 models to cull from, selecting the best one for photo editing can be a challenge.

A bang-up choice is the MacBook Pro M1, which comes with a 16-inch retina display with True Tone for impeccable prototype reproduction.

While the Pro M1 isn’t inexpensive, its high RAM, Liquid Retina XDR display, and impressive one,600-nit peak brightness for excellent HDR makes this a future-proofed option for high-finish video editing.

Photo Editing Apps for Mac Users: Final Words

With a wide selection of excellent free photo editing apps available for Mac users, in that location’south something to suit all budgets and levels of experience.

Software such as GIMP, Darktable, and Photos for macOS are excellent ways for beginners to accomplish fantastic results without spending any money, with some professional-level tools included to claiming your skills.

More experienced photographers with a larger budget can get professional-level results from Adobe Photoshop, while Luminar Neo offers a prissy residuum betwixt user-friendliness and comprehensive tools and features.

If y’all’ve had any experience with the photograph editing software covered here, or have whatsoever other software suggestions you’d similar to share, let us know in the comments.

Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo

Like shooting fish in a barrel to use photo editor with powerful tools for making complex edits ridiculously easy. One fourth dimension affordable pricing, perfect for Mac users of all standards.

Use code shotkit10neo to save 10%

Go Discount