A Comparison of the Best Free Photography Editing Software

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In this article, we will compare some of the best free photography editing software available on the market.


GNU Image Manipulation Program, commonly known as GIMP, is a powerful free photo editing software that rivals some of the best paid options. With a wide range of professional-level features, GIMP allows photographers to edit, retouch, and manipulate images with precision. Some key features of GIMP include:

  • Advanced tools for retouching, cropping, and resizing images
  • Support for various file formats including RAW files
  • Layer support for advanced editing capabilities
  • Wide selection of filters and special effects

One of the biggest advantages of GIMP is its active and supportive user community, which means there are many tutorials, plugins, and resources available. With over 10 million downloads worldwide, GIMP is a popular choice among photographers.


Pixlr is a feature-rich free online photo editing software that offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of editing options. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, Pixlr has something for everyone. Some notable features of Pixlr include:

  • Easy-to-use tools for basic adjustments and enhancements
  • Multiple layers and blending modes for creative editing
  • Extensive library of filters, overlays, and borders
  • Option to save and export images in various formats

Pixlr also offers a mobile app, allowing photographers to edit images on the go. With over 100 million downloads, Pixlr has established itself as a reliable choice among photographers.


RawTherapee is a free, open-source photo editing software that specializes in processing RAW images. It is designed for professional photographers who require precise control over their editing workflow. Key features of RawTherapee include:

  • Advanced RAW processing algorithms for maximum image quality
  • Non-destructive editing with multiple adjustment tools
  • Highly customizable interface and workflow
  • Smart sharpening and noise reduction tools

RawTherapee provides photographers with the ability to fine-tune every aspect of their RAW images, making it a preferred choice for those seeking the highest level of control and quality.


LightZone is a free and open-source photo editing software that uses a unique non-destructive editing approach based on the concept of “”light zones.”” It offers a range of powerful editing tools and features that photographers can use to create stunning images. Some key features of LightZone include:

  • Zone Mapper tool for localized tonal adjustments
  • Advanced black and white conversion options
  • Support for RAW and various image formats
  • Built-in image management and organization

With its innovative approach to editing, LightZone provides photographers with a fresh perspective and unique editing possibilities.


When it comes to free photo editing software, there are several excellent options available for photographers of all skill levels. GIMP, Pixlr, RawTherapee, and LightZone each offer unique features and capabilities to suit different editing needs. Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, these software options provide a range of powerful tools to enhance your images. Remember to explore each software extensively to find the one that aligns with your specific editing requirements.

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