I Edited a Photo in Every Program.

Harrison Tong
9 Jun 202325:28

TLDRIn this video, the creator explores various photo editing software, challenging the industry's reliance on Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop. They test alternatives like Capture One, which offers a powerful color module and a perpetual license, Luminar Neo with its AI-focused features, and Sony Imaging Edge, which lacks an HSL tool. The review also covers Apple Photos, Affinity Photo, Photolemur, DxO PhotoLab, and ON1 Photo RAW. Each software is evaluated for its editing capabilities, ease of use, and unique features. The summary encourages viewers to try different programs, emphasizing that good results can be achieved with any of these tools if one takes the time to learn and master them.


  • 📷 Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards, but many photographers haven't explored alternatives due to the ingrained use of these tools.
  • 💻 Lightroom offers all-in-one editing, organization, and cataloging, with AI-based tools that expedite photo editing processes.
  • 🎨 Photoshop is a raster-based editor with a vast array of options for image styling, creation, and editing, including an unparalleled removal suite.
  • 🔍 Capture One stands out for its tailored raw engine for each camera and sensor, providing professional-grade editing tools and a color module that outperforms Lightroom.
  • 🌐 Luminar Neo emphasizes AI, offering presets and editing modules that simplify the editing process for beginners, though its AI presets can be overbearing.
  • 📚 Sony Imaging Edge, despite being the default software for Sony Alpha cameras, lacks advanced features like HSL adjustments, making it less versatile.
  • 🖥️ Apple Photos is user-friendly and has robust editing features, but it is limited by iCloud storage requirements for exporting photos.
  • 🏆 Affinity Photo is a strong Photoshop alternative with a similar interface and capabilities, lacking only in advanced removal tools.
  • 🌟 Photometer is a powerful, albeit iCloud storage-dependent, Lightroom competitor with a smooth user interface and promising future updates.
  • 🚫 Raw Therapy, despite being a free and open-source option, is not recommended due to its complexity and lack of essential features like HSL adjustments.
  • 🌐 Photopea is a surprisingly capable online Photoshop alternative that offers a powerful layer-based editor within a browser.
  • 🧐 DXO Labs provides a good editor with strong lens corrections and noise reduction, but may not be as user-friendly or exciting as other options.
  • 🤖 OnOne is an AI-focused editing program with a large file size and competitive features, though it may not be as polished or intuitive as Luminar.

Q & A

  • How much does it cost annually to use Lightroom and Photoshop?

    -It costs two hundred and forty dollars every year to use Lightroom and Photoshop.

  • Why do photographers tend to use Lightroom or Photoshop exclusively?

    -Photographers tend to use Lightroom or Photoshop because they are the industry standard and most tutorials and discussions revolve around these programs.

  • What is the main advantage of using Adobe Lightroom for photo editing?

    -Adobe Lightroom offers an all-in-one solution for editing, organizing, and cataloging photos with AI-based tools that speed up the editing process.

  • What feature in Photoshop is considered the best by the video's author?

    -The Removal Suite, particularly content-aware fill and the generative fill in the beta version of Photoshop, is considered the best by the author.

  • What alternative to Lightroom did the author look forward to trying the most?

    -The author was most looking forward to trying Capture One because it is often discussed as a compelling alternative to Lightroom.

  • What is a notable feature of Capture One's color module?

    -Capture One's color module includes an HSL adjustment tool with the ability to fine-tune specific ranges of HSL as well as a skin toning tool for selective modification of skin tones.

  • Why is Luminar Neo heavily emphasized on AI?

    -Luminar Neo is heavily emphasized on AI because it uses AI to detect what's in your image and suggests presets accordingly, aiming to simplify the editing process for beginners.

  • What is the main drawback of Sony Imaging Edge according to the video's author?

    -The main drawback is the lack of an HSL adjustment tool, which limits the software's capabilities for advanced color editing.

  • Why did the author find Darktable to be a disappointing experience?

    -The author found Darktable disappointing due to its complex and programmer-oriented interface, which is not user-friendly and lacks intuitive features.

  • What is the appeal of Apple Photos for the average person?

    -Apple Photos is appealing for the average person because it offers a simple and intuitive interface with basic editing tools that are easy to use, and it integrates well with the Apple ecosystem.

  • How does Affinity Photo compare to Adobe Photoshop in terms of features?

    -Affinity Photo is a raster-based editor with features very similar to Adobe Photoshop, including layer-based editing and various adjustment tools. However, it lacks advanced removal tools like content-aware fill.



📷 Industry Standard Software: Lightroom and Photoshop

The paragraph discusses the dominance of Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop in the photography industry, despite the annual cost and lack of exploration of alternative software by photographers. The speaker shares their experience of trying out various editing programs, starting with Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom is praised for its all-in-one editing, organization, and cataloging features, as well as its AI-based tools. Photoshop is lauded for its layer-based editing capabilities, extensive options, and powerful removal suite. However, the healing tool in Lightroom is criticized, and the lack of AI smarts in Capture One is noted.


🌟 Capturing the Alternatives: Capture One and Luminar Neo

The speaker evaluates Capture One for its perpetual license and professional editing tools, noting its superior performance and color module but also its subpar healing tool. Luminar Neo is criticized for its overcooked AI presets but appreciated for its editing module, responsive interface, and useful features like Autumn glow and skin retouching. The limitations of Sony Imaging Edge are discussed, including its clunky interface and lack of an HSL module.


🖥️ Programmer-Designed Software: Darktable and Apple Photos

Darktable is described as a programmer-designed, free, and open-source alternative to Lightroom that is complex and not user-friendly. Apple Photos is praised for its ease of use and iPhone-like editing experience but criticized for its dependency on iCloud storage, which can limit exporting options if storage is full.


🏆 Award-Winning Alternative: Affinity Photo and Photometer

Affinity Photo is highlighted as a strong Photoshop alternative with a similar interface but lacking in raw editing features like HSL. Photometer is noted for its seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, powerful editing features, and potential as a Lightroom competitor, despite current limitations with iCloud storage.


🌐 Online Option: Photopea and DxO Labs

Photopea is commended as a free, ad-supported online version of Photoshop that offers powerful editing tools and a user interface nearly identical to Photoshop's. DxO Labs is recognized for its technical aspects, lens corrections, and noise reduction features but is not as impressive overall.


🤖 AI-Focused Software: ON1 and Raw Therapy

ON1 is presented as an AI-focused editing program with a large file size and features similar to Luminar, but with a less polished interface. Raw Therapy is warned against due to its complexity and lack of essential features like HSL, making it unsuitable for users without high-end machines.

🚀 Conclusion: Encouragement to Explore Alternatives

The speaker concludes by encouraging photographers to try free trials of alternative editing programs, emphasizing that good results can be achieved with any program if one takes the time to learn it. They express their intention to keep an eye on the development of certain programs in the future.




Lightroom is a photography software developed by Adobe that provides a comprehensive suite of tools for photo editing, organization, and cataloging. It is considered an industry standard and is often the first choice for photographers due to its extensive features and compatibility with various file formats. In the video, the creator discusses Lightroom's capabilities, such as basic adjustments, AI-based tools, and its integration with Photoshop.


Photoshop, also by Adobe, is a raster-based editor renowned for its extensive editing capabilities. It is often associated with advanced photo manipulation and is frequently requested by individuals even for simple edits, as indicated by the phrase 'can you photoshop that for me?'. The video highlights its powerful layer-based editing, the removal suite, and AI features like content-aware fill.

💡Capture One

Capture One is an all-in-one editing and organizing software that is often mentioned as an alternative to Lightroom. It is known for its tailored raw engine for each camera and sensor, providing high-quality image processing. The video emphasizes its powerful color module, responsiveness, and the option of a perpetual license, which is a one-time purchase as opposed to a subscription model.

💡Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is an AI-focused photo editing software that emphasizes ease of use and powerful editing features. It is designed to be accessible to beginners while still offering advanced tools. The video discusses its AI presets, editing modules, and the convenience of quick adjustments for users, although it also mentions some of the AI presets being overly processed.

💡Sony Imaging Edge

Sony Imaging Edge is the default software that comes with Sony Alpha cameras. It is intended to be user-friendly for Sony users, but the video points out its shortcomings, such as a clunky interface and the lack of an HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) adjustment tool, which limits color editing capabilities.


Darktable is a free and open-source alternative to Lightroom, designed with a focus on advanced features and customization. However, the video describes it as being complex and less user-friendly, with a steep learning curve due to its programming-oriented design and terminology.

💡Apple Photos

Apple Photos is a photo management and editing software for Apple devices. It is praised in the video for its similarity to editing on an iPhone, with a straightforward interface and essential editing tools. However, it is criticized for its reliance on iCloud storage, which can limit users without sufficient storage space.

💡Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a raster-based editor positioned as an alternative to Photoshop. It offers a similar interface and toolset but lacks some advanced features like content-aware fill. The video commends it for being a strong contender as a Photoshop alternative, especially for users who do not require the advanced removal tools.

💡AI Masking

AI Masking is a feature in some photo editing software that uses artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately create masks around subjects or objects in an image. This technology is highlighted in the video as a time-saving tool that enhances the editing process by simplifying selection and adjustment tasks.

💡Content-Aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill is a feature in Photoshop that uses AI to automatically fill in selected areas of an image with surrounding content, making it appear as if the selected area was never there. The video praises this feature for its effectiveness in removing unwanted elements from photos without extensive manual editing.

💡HSL Adjustments

HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) adjustments are a set of tools in photo editing software that allow users to modify the color, intensity, and brightness of specific colors within an image. The video discusses the importance of HSL adjustments for professional photo editing, noting the lack of this feature in some software as a significant drawback.


Investing $240 annually in Lightroom and Photoshop due to industry standards.

Photographers rarely explore alternatives to Lightroom and Photoshop due to ingrained habits.

A challenge to edit a photo in every available program to compare features and usability.

Lightroom praised for its all-in-one editing, organization, and cataloging capabilities.

Photoshop lauded for its extensive editing options and powerful content-aware tools.

Capture One noted for its tailored raw engine and superior color module.

Luminar Neo's emphasis on AI and its beginner-friendly editing presets.

Sony Imaging Edge's lack of HSL adjustment and cumbersome download process.

Darktable's complexity and unintuitive interface despite powerful features.

Apple Photos' user-friendly interface and powerful editing tools marred by iCloud storage dependency.

Affinity Photo as a strong Photoshop alternative lacking advanced removal tools.

Photometer's potential as a Lightroom competitor with advanced features and fast performance.

Raw Therapy's free and open-source appeal overshadowed by its complexity and lack of user-friendliness.

Photopea's surprisingly powerful online Photoshop alternative with content-aware features.

DXO Labs' strong technical aspects and lens corrections, but underwhelming overall experience.

ON1's heavy AI emphasis and large file size with a user interface similar to Luminar.

The conclusion that with knowledge and time, good results can be achieved in any editing program.