In the realm of digital photography, the journey from capturing a moment to presenting it as a polished masterpiece often involves photo retouching. For PC users, the abundance of photo retouching software can be overwhelming. This article aims to guide you through the top contenders, ensuring you make an informed choice when selecting the best photo-retouching software for your PC.

  • Adobe Photoshop CC: The Gold Standard Adobe Photoshop CC stands tall as the gold standard in photo retouching software. Renowned for its unparalleled versatility, it offers a vast array of tools for retouching, color correction, and advanced editing. From basic touch-ups to intricate manipulations, Photoshop is the go-to choice for both professionals and enthusiasts.
  • Affinity Photo: A Powerful Alternative Affinity Photo has emerged as a formidable competitor, offering a comprehensive set of tools akin to Photoshop but with a more budget-friendly price tag. It supports advanced retouching techniques, and layer-based editing, and is lauded for its performance and user-friendly interface.
  • Lightroom Classic: Streamlined and Efficient Lightroom Classic, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, is renowned for its efficiency in photo retouching. While not as feature-rich as Photoshop, Lightroom excels in organizing and enhancing large batches of photos. Its non-destructive editing approach is ideal for photographers seeking a streamlined workflow.
  • Capture One Pro: Perfect for Raw Editing Capture One Pro is tailored for photographers who prefer working with raw files. Recognized for its exceptional raw processing capabilities, it provides advanced color grading tools, making it a preferred choice for professionals working in the realm of commercial photography.
  • GIMP: The Open-Source Gem The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a powerful open-source alternative, offering a wide range of tools for photo retouching. While it may lack some of the advanced features found in premium software, GIMP is a robust option for those on a budget or looking for open-source solutions.


Is Adobe Photoshop CC available as a one-time purchase, or is it subscription-based?

Adobe Photoshop CC operates on a subscription-based model. Users pay a monthly or annual fee for access to the software and regular updates.

Can Affinity Photo open and edit Photoshop files?

Yes, Affinity Photo supports the PSD file format, allowing users to open and edit Photoshop files seamlessly.

Does Lightroom Classic have features for retouching portraits?

Yes, Lightroom Classic includes a range of tools for portrait retouching, including skin tone adjustment, blemish removal, and gradient filters for enhancing specific areas.

What are the system requirements for running Capture One Pro?

Capture One Pro has specific system requirements, including a compatible operating system (Windows 10 or macOS), sufficient RAM, and a fast processor. Check the official website for the most up-to-date requirements.

Can GIMP be used for professional photo retouching?

While GIMP may lack some of the advanced features found in premium software, it is a powerful tool suitable for professional photo retouching, especially for those on a budget.


Selecting the best photo retouching software for your PC is a crucial decision that depends on your specific needs, budget, and skill level. Whether you opt for the industry-standard Adobe Photoshop CC, the budget-friendly Affinity Photo, or the open-source flexibility of GIMP, each software brings its unique strengths to the table. Explore, experiment, and find the software that aligns seamlessly with your creative vision and enhances your photo retouching endeavors.

This page was last edited on 27 February 2024, at 6:09 pm