Another "Which PP Software is Best" Thread.


Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
Hi all, and thank you in advance for your input.

I use Adobe CC, mainly Lightroom. I would love to use Photoshop and be a ace with both, but the learning curve is steep, and maybe I am getting too old for the aggravation.

So I just saw another add for Macphun Luminar, for another "$69.0". Anybody use this and have an opinion? Any comments on the software you use vs. Adobe?

Thanks again.


Feb 15, 2015
If you think that PS is too complicated, Luminar may, indeed, to the trick. You can download a trial version for 30 days. I did that when it first came out. It has a lot of pre-canned, one-click recipes, that you then can tune a bit more. If this is what you like, go for it. I prefer to add alterations/effects one by one, so Affinity Photo is my go-to application. But as you mentioned, learning curve is steep.

Re Adobe, since they've gone subscription, I've abandoned them. Used them from v3 through CS 5.5 for everything for about 15 years, but now use AP and DxO for photo and QuarkXPress for layout. Haven't found a good replacement for Dreamweaver yet, so still use the one from CS5.5.

AP does everything I need that PS does, some even better. Eg. heavy layered files are much more responsive in AP than in PS. Stacking in AP is leagues above PS, though Zerene is still better. Batch processing is more logical than in PS. Just to give a few examples. AP is adding significant features like pano stitching for free, while Adobe apparently has not done much with PS lately. It's a bit like driving a Tesla (which I do): it is new, has a few quirks, but it is a revolutionary leap in the right direction, and service is outstanding.


Mar 23, 2016
I just downloaded AP and it does look promising. The layout is familiar to photoshop but so far it seems to respond quicker when making adjustments and just about everything you would want is there. I can't give a full assessment since I haven't had time to fully check it out yet but it is worthy of consideration and the one time price is right. It used to only be available for Apple but the 64 bit Windows 10 copy I used ran well. The only downside I found is no 5D mk4 RAW support. I posted a request on their support forum asking when that might happen.

PS I found out the raw files will open but there is no thumbnail when you select them. When I opened 80D raw files, I could see the thumbnail. For the OP, at $50 you can't really go wrong.

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
For Free, you can get a permanent license to DXO Optics Pro 9. It does well out of the box, and you still have the ability to manually tweak things.

Give it a try, the price is right. The deal is good until feb 28.


Feb 15, 2015
Labdoc: If you are familiar with the ins and outs of PS, AP has pretty much everything, just occasionally they approach it differently. For instance, soft proofing is done with an adjustment layer, not a View option. If you think why does it not have x, google it, and you will most likely find a bulletin board entry on it. Have fun!

Not sure whether your screen name refers to laboratory or Lab color space. If the latter, AP does it beautifully, Luminar lacks in that department. I love Lab color space, so that was a serious flaw of Luminar.


Oct 16, 2010
I'm a Lightroom and photoshop user myself (with a lot of Nik software use, too). As a Fuji shooter, Adobe isn't the most optimal for me as their raw conversion is a little behind the competition, so I continually trial other software. But I keep coming back to Adobe. On balance, I think it is the best overall.

For alternatives, On1 Photo Raw is new and is getting a lot of positive comments. If you have a Mac, Irrident Developer is also worth a look.

It's more complex than LightRooom (and more expensive) but Capture One Pro is a very good alternative. It seems a little better at getting good skin tones for portraits. In fact, it seems better at everything.


EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
For the cameras you have I think as suggested above AP and DXO 9 are a great combo, the raw editor in AP is a work in progress not the finished article there is also no form of cataloging but that will come. If you photograph people AP and C1 is a top combo, my personal favourite although I found C1 a bit quirky to get into, loved it once the penny's had dropped!


EOS 60D, G5X
Aug 8, 2012
I've been using ON 1 Photo RAW, and it's a great all in one solution. It was released with a lot of bugs, but is is usable now. I still use Dxo Optics 11 as a raw converter, and I haven't done any comparisons between ON1 and Dxo yet for raw conversion.
Any stand alone program, such as Dxo or Nik Collection, can be used as a plugin with ON1 photo raw.