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Best Photography Apps for Mac: A Comprehensive Review of the Top 10 Options

Best Photography Apps for Mac: A Comprehensive Review of the Top 10 Options

Adobe Photoshop (Score 5/5)


A staple in the world of photo editing, Adobe Photoshop is easily one of the best photography apps for Mac. With its impressive range of features and flexibility of use, from making quick edits to creating complex digital art, Photoshop has you covered. 😍 However, it does come with a steep learning curve for beginners and its subscription-based pricing model might not sit well with everyone.

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Has a massive range of features which would satisfy both beginners and professionals
  • Regular updates provide new tools and improved existing ones

🥺 Cons

  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Subscription-based pricing model may not fit within everyone’s budget

Lightroom (Score 5/5)


Another gem from Adobe, Lightroom is a fantastic app for photo editing and management. If you often work with raw files, its range of non-destructive editing tools would surely impress you. That said, it also suffers from a hefty learning curve and a subscription-based pricing model. 🙁

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Fantastic non-destructive editing tools
  • Great for managing and organizing photos

🥺 Cons

  • Hefty learning curve
  • The subscription-based pricing model might be too expensive for some users

Affinity Photo (Score 4.5/5)


Affinity Photo is a powerful image-editing app with a lower cost than Adobe’s offerings. It features an intuitive interface and a set of fantastic editing tools. However, its reduced cost comes with a lack of regular updates. 😔

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Features a less steep learning curve than Photoshop or Lightroom
  • One-time purchase model provides a cheaper alternative to Adobe’s subscription model

🥺 Cons

  • Does not receive as many updates
  • The lack of official tutorials can make learning more challenging

GIMP (Score 4.5/5)


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source alternative to Photoshop. It might not be as feature-rich as its paid counterparts, but it offers solid editing capabilities, making it a good pick for hobbyists or anyone on a tight budget. Yay for the freebie! 😄

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Free and open-source
  • Does not require a powerful machine to run

🥺 Cons

  • Not as feature-rich as the paid options
  • Interface might not be as intuitive to some users

Capture One (Score 4/5)


If you’re after high-quality raw file editing, Capture One could be a great choice. It offers excellent color grading tools and a sturdy file managing system. However, its complex interface and expensive pricing model might be off-putting to some. 🤑

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Amazing color grading tools
  • Excellent for raw file editing

🥺 Cons

  • Complex interface may not be beginner-friendly
  • Has a high price tag compared to other options

Pixelmator Pro (Score 3.5/5)


Pixelmator Pro is an image editor exclusively for Mac, known for its beautiful interface and easy-to-use tools. However, its focus on easy usability hampers its capability to handle complex editing tasks. So, it’s a yes for beginners, but a no for professionals. 😐

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Excellent for beginner photographers
  • Native Mac app with a beautiful interface

🥺 Cons

  • Lacks advanced features required by many professionals
  • Designed exclusively for Mac, limiting its user base

ON1 Photo RAW (Score 3/5)


A raw processor and photo editor, ON1 Photo RAW offers a decent set of editing tools and a robust file management system. However, its interface can be a bit overwhelming for beginners and it struggles with performance issues on older computers. 😓

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Excellent set of editing tools
  • Robust file management system

🥺 Cons

  • Can be a bit overwhelming for beginners
  • Performance issues on older computers

DxO PhotoLab (Score 3/5)


An excellent raw photo editor, DxO PhotoLab offers a unique tool known as Control Point Technology which greatly simplifies localized adjustments. However, it lacks a catalog system and is a bit pricey for its feature set. 😕

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Unique Control Point Technology
  • Excellent raw photo editing capabilities

🥺 Cons

  • Lacks a catalog system
  • Bit pricey for its feature set

Darktable (Score 2.5/5)


Another free and open source option, Darktable is a great raw developer and non-destructive editor. However, it can be a bit daunting for rookies and has a steep learning curve. Also, it lacks some features found in its paid counterparts. 😟

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Free and open-source
  • Non-destructive editing

🥺 Cons

  • Can be a bit daunting for beginners
  • Lacks features found in paid counterparts

ACDSee Photo Studio (Score 2/5)


A relatively new entry, ACDSee Photo Studio is a photo organizer and editor. While the interface is easy to navigate, the application is plagued with performance issues and lacks the sophistication and robustness of its competitors. 😖

Official Website

🥳 Pros

  • Easy to navigate interface
  • Decent photo organizing and editing tools

🥺 Cons

  • Plagued with performance issues
  • Lacks the sophistication and robustness of competitors

🏁🏁 Conclusion 🏁🏁

In this article, we reviewed the top 10 photography apps for Mac. Our top picks were Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for their extensive features and professional-grade tools. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the free alternatives like GIMP and Darktable are also worth considering. For a cheaper one-time purchase that still offers plenty of features, we recommend Affinity Photo. Choose the one that suits your needs and budget best, and happy editing! 🎉


What are the top 10 photography apps for Mac?

In this article, we reviewed the top 10 photography apps for Mac, which include Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Capture One Pro, DxO PhotoLab, GIMP, Pixelmator, Luminar, Darktable, and Corel AfterShot.

What is the best app for photo editing on Mac?

While Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are the gold standards in the industry for photo editing, other options like Affinity Photo and Pixelmator are also highly regarded.

Are there free photography apps available for Mac?

Yes, apps like GIMP and Darktable are completely free to download and use.

What is Adobe Lightroom used for?

Adobe Lightroom is a comprehensive photo editing and organization software. It’s great for enhancing images, correcting exposure and colors, and managing a vast library of photos.

Which app is good for professional photographers?

Professional photographers would likely appreciate the capabilities of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Capture One Pro or DxO PhotoLab.

Are these apps beginner-friendly?

While some of these apps like Adobe Photoshop or Capture One Pro might have a steeper learning curve, others like Adobe Lightroom or Luminar are known for their user-friendly interface making them suitable for beginners as well.

Do these photography apps require a subscription?

Some apps like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are available through a subscription model, but others like Affinity Photo or Pixelmator can be bought with a one-time purchase.

Is there an app available for RAW photo processing?

Yes, several apps on this list, including Adobe Lightroom, Capture One Pro, and DxO PhotoLab, offer powerful RAW photo processing options.

What are some unique features of Luminar?

Luminar is known for its AI-powered editing tools, like sky replacement and skin enhancer, which can significantly speed up the editing process.

Is GIMP a good alternative to Photoshop?

Yes, while GIMP doesn’t have all the advanced features that Photoshop offers, it’s a powerful and free alternative for basic photo editing.

What app would be best for batch photo editing?

Adobe Lightroom is highly praised for its batch editing capabilities, allowing photographers to quickly process lots of images with the same settings.

Can I use these apps to print photos?

Yes, these apps can prepare your photos for printing by allowing you to adjust the resolution, color management, and sizing options.

Are the apps compatible with other devices beyond Mac?

Most of these apps are also compatible with Windows. Some like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are also available as mobile apps.

What’s the advantage of using Capture One Pro?

Capture One Pro offers robust color editing controls, advanced masking tools, and overall high-quality image editing capabilities, which makes it an excellent choice for professional photographers.

Can these apps help with Photo management?

Apps like Adobe Lightroom and DxO Photolab not only allow you to edit photos but also include features for organizing and managing your library of photos.

Which app could I use for creating graphic designs?

Adobe Photoshop is typically used for more advanced tasks such as graphics designing, whereas apps like Pixelmator also offer some graphic design options.

Which app is the best for detailed retouching?

For detailed retouching, professional photographers often turn to Adobe Photoshop for its powerful and precise editing tools.

Can these Apps handle large file sizes?

Most of these apps are capable of handling large file sizes typical for professional photography. However, software like Adobe Photoshop and Capture One Pro is especially known for its ability to handle heavy files.

Do these apps have cloud storage options?

Adobe Lightroom offers cloud storage options to save and synchronize photos across multiple devices. Some other apps may also offer some form of cloud storage or be compatible with cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Are these apps regularly updated?

Yes, apps like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro are regularly updated with new features and improvements. Regular updates can also be expected from most other paid photography apps.