Adobe Photoshop has been the grand daddy of the imaging world for years and its blend of tools make photo retouching, image creation from scratch and straight-up image editing the complete package for keen amateur photographers and professionals.But although the cost of using Photoshop has come down, you have to pay a subscription for Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
Get the best tech deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable tech news and more! Even the most basic digital cameras will often produce very detailed photos with great colours.
Below we’ve rounded up 11 of the best free photo editing software that you can use to make meaningful edits to your images.
Just shy of 20 years old, GIMP (aka the GNU Image Manipulation Program), gets regular updates and is widely known as a great and fairly powerful free photo editor. With this program you can make corrections to colours, enhance contrast, brightness and much more.
Use the paint tools for lots of different effects, while there’s also support for layers and ways to extend the program. Luckily, there’s support for layers which means you can apply edits to only certain parts of an image. A simple but effective editing program, PhoXo is a useful editor which has some great fun applications as well as more serious uses. Probably one of the more dated looking options on the market, don’t dismiss Photo Pos Pro immediately. There’s also a degree of support for layers and masks, configurable effects (and lots of them), and a tool which allows you to automate editing tasks. Keep an eye out for some of the fun features too, like the “Magical” effects which allow you to add fireworks, stardust, bubbles and the like to your photographs. If all you want is something quick and easy to add a special effect to a photo, PhotoScape could be the tool for you. Here you’ll find hundreds of clipart images, the ability to add custom speech bubbles, great special effects and even the chance to create animated GIFs. You can even get a little bit creative with the options, with the ability to customise some of the artistic styles on offer.
If you’re looking for something to retouch your photos, then PhotoFiltre gives surprisingly impressive results. If you want something to make basic, but useful, edits, then PixBuilder Studio has a fair amount to offer. Edit your photos directly from the web from any computer (installed with Chrome) or on your Android phone using Google+. There’s also frames to choose from and you can create a miniature scene using the tilt-shift simulator.
Best of all, edits are non-destructive so you can go back to your original image at any time. For more free downloads of everything from recovery software to antivirus and video editing programs, visit our sister site TechRadar’s Free Downloads page! Lexis Audio Editor is a professional app which comes packed with audio processing features, far more than you get with most of the Android competition (plus this program is also available as a Windows 8 app).It opens with the usual waveform display, and you can select sections, cut, copy or paste them. Audio Editor Tool is a straightforward iOS app with such a familiar interface that you'll immediately feel at home.Open almost any audio format and the waveform will appear right away.
Hokusai Audio Editor has been around for a long time, and so it's no surprise that even the free edition has plenty of features.There's recording via your mic, line in or USB, as well as the usual audio imports.
These affordable video editing software tools are a step above of those free video editing tools that are very simple to use for basic video editing purposes, but are far away from professional solutions like the AVID suite or Final Cut which allow you to customize every single detail of the video editing process.
These video editing software tools are aimed to all those people who have played around a bit with timelines, video formats, transitions and other effects and now want to gain greater control on how videos are imported, encoded and presented to their audience.
Just like other video editing solutions, video editing software tools are based on a timeline interface where portions of the video, or "clips", are laid out in sequence and played back. Where these video editing software tools stand out compared to free video editing tools, is in their ability to manage many different video formats (including popular types like MP4, WMV, MOV or AVI), have different encoding options, and also support pro video editing features like chroma-key, slow motion, subtitling (text and audio synced) or direct video upload to popular social media destinations like YouTube or Facebook. Special effects: Enhance and personalize your video with lots of transitions types and filters.
Audio import and editing: Utilize and edit one or multiple audio tracks from your computer to create a soundtrack for your video. I have also prepared a set of comparative tables and individual reviews to put all video editing software tools through their paces. Free trial: Evaluation period offered free of charge to test the video editing software tool. Price: Price of the retail copy or digital download of the video editing software tool (applies to what is less-priced). Adobe Premiere Elements 8 is the entry-level solution of the professional video editing Premiere suite. Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 is a commercial video editing software tool priced at $49.99, with a 30-day free evaluation period available.
Vegas Movie Studio HD is the entry-level product from Sony for semi-professional video-editing. Nero 9 - Reloaded is an enhanced version of the Nero 9 burning suite which supports Windows 7 and imports AVHCD content from SD cards or USB sticks without the need of an optical recorder. Originally prepared by Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on November 2nd, 2009 as "Video Editing Software: Comparison Guide To The Best Consumer Video Editors Under $100".
You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. We’ve rounded up 11 of the best free photo editing software for you to try out, with links to download each app directly. However, you might still find that there are issues with white balance, red-eye, lighting or perhaps the odd cropping problem which need to be corrected. You can also sharpen or blur images, fix perspective problems, remove red-eye, add special lighting photos and experiment with effects such as making a photo look like an oil painting.


You can customise images with cartoons and the likes, while the ability to add a custom watermark to a group of images can be useful for edits in a hurry. If you spend some time experimenting with what it has to offer you’ll find plenty of options including paint tools, colour corrections and selection tools. For instance, you can rotate and resize and image as well as tweaking colours, brightness and contrast, add text captions and watermarks, sharpen your photos, remove red-eye and even apply a range of special effects. You’ll find quite an extensive set of painting and drawing tools, support for layers, smart special effects, the ability to adjust colour and lighting, Photoshop plugin support and more. And when you want to get a bit more creative, you can add special effects to give it an HDR look, make it look vintage or add lighting effects. Open a file, its waveform is displayed, and you can select sections, cut, copy or paste them, maybe export the selection as some other format.Audacity's big plus is its wide range of effects. There's none of the dated clutter you get with most of the competition, just a few key buttons and an area to drop your target files.Despite this apparent simplicity, there's a great deal of power here. It's a mere 289KB download for Windows, with no adware or installation required, yet still comes packed with tools to edit, process, record, analyse and convert audio files.There are problems here though. That means there's no loss in sound quality, no matter how many edits you make.The program is seriously stripped back, and there are none of the high-end extras you'll see in the competition. It can open MP3, WAV, AAC, MP4, 3GPP and AMR files, extract the chunk you need, then save it as a ringtone, alarm or notification, or even assign it to a contact.Despite the narrow focus, this Android app also has a solid set of more general audio editing features. But there are also options to fade in or out, change pitch, tempo or speed, normalise audio or reduce noise. Once video clips are imported to the software tool from your camcorder or your computer hard-disk, you can access a broad spectrum of features to customize your movies. Just move your clips around the timeline, then re-order and trim to get the output you desire. You can test the product for 30 days on your Windows XP, Vista or 7 machine before evaluating the purchase.
Priced at $99.99, Premiere Elements 8 works on any Windows machine running XP, Vista or 7 and you can evaluate the product for 30-days before purchase. Though priced at $199, Final Cut Express is the only choice for those who have moved past iMovie, but are still not ready for a professional video editing suite like Final Cut.
There’s also drawing and paint tools along with image transformations, effects and more. There are tools to reduce static, hiss or hum, adjust volume, change pitch without adjusting the tempo (or vice versa), remove vocals and more, as well as plugins to extend the program even further. File format support is limited (mainly MP3, OGG and WAV), and even then you'll need to install something like the LAME encoder to save MP3s. No spectral view, no lengthy list of filters and effects, video import, VST rack, or anything else.Of course that also means mp3DirectCut is much easier to use, and there are still options to cut, copy, paste, trim and crop your samples, fade in and out, normalise audio and more. You'll be cutting, copying and pasting within seconds.Capable filters allow you to fade tracks in or out, adjust gain, normalise, generate white noise and more. In this MasterNewMedia comparison guide you will find the best consumer video editors on the market under $100. Import video formats available include: ASF, AVI, SWF, DV, FLV, VOB, HDV, MOD, TOD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MOV, WMV, 3GP and 3GP2. HD movies, 16:9 video aspect ratio and DolbyDigital surround sound are all fully supported. Fully compatible with HD standards and movies produced in 16:9 video aspect ratio, the Pinnacle software has also support for AVHCD camcorders, DolbyDigital surround sound and a large gallery of custom-made templates to personalize your home-produced movies. To export your edited videos, you can instead choose among AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, OGG, MOV, RM, WMV and FLV video file formats. Once imported, you can save your movies and video projects to a wide range of output video formats, including: AVI, DV-AVI, HDV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG2-HD, WMV, WMV-HD, AVC, MP4, 3GP and FLV. Inside the suite, there is Nero Vision which allows video editing before burning your high-quality video projects to a DVD or Blu-Ray discs.
It connects to Picasa Web online albums, making it easy to share photos with others straight from your desktop, but you can also use it purely as a desktop application. The program hasn't been updated since 2013, either, so any bugs you find aren't likely to be fixed in the near future.Still, Wavosaur's core operations are easy enough to use. But you do get all the same editing features, as well as the ability to save your files as WAV, FLAC or WMA, and we think there's more than enough processing power here to be useful. And this free version has ads, which can get in the way.Audio Editor Tool handles simple tasks well, though, and if you're only looking for simple splicing or trimming then it's a good place to start.
There's also an option to edit left or right channels individually, and you can export to WAV or AAC.Paying to upgrade gets you an array of extra filters and effects, but there's more than enough here for most purposes, and this iOS app's excellent interface ensures you'll be productive right away. Besides basic video editing features, PowerDirector 8 has full support for managing and upscaling SD movies to HD quality, optimizing video surround sound, handling 16:9 aspect ratio and importing video files from AVHCD compatible camcorders.
Support for HD movies, 16:9 aspect ratio and AVHCD camcorders makes for just some of the basic characteristics of Corel VideoStudio Express 2010. Once your project is completed, you can upload and share your videos to YouTube, create compatible video formats for iPods and PSPs, or also burn your videos to DVD or Blu-Ray discs. Once your movie is completed, you have several sharing options: you can burn a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, save your video in a format compatible with iPods, PSPs and the Nintendo Wii gaming console, or you can upload your clips directly to YouTube. Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD fully supports AVHCD camcorders, HD-quality video formats and movies produced in 16:9 aspect ratio. HD-quality, DolbyDigital surround sound and 16:9 aspect ratio support come as a standard, as well as the compatibility with AVHCD camcorders.
Video input formats supported are: DV, HDV, MJPEG, MOV, MP4, iMovie projects and all compatible QuickTime formats.
Picasa can display all your photos in one place, linking to any or all of the image folders on your computer via its Folder Manager. There is also a set of built-in custom video templates to help you personalize your videos.


You can also take advantage of one-touch adjustments of lightning, noise reduction and image stabilization, and even utilize the touchscreen capabilities introduced by Windows 7 to edit videos using only your fingers.
Several templates are available to customize your movies while editing or to enhance your DVD and Blu-Ray disc menus. Special feature is the so-called "Ken Burns effect", which is the embedding of still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming, panning effects and fading transitions to create the illusion of movement when no motion graphic is available. Built-in video tutorials are also available to guide you through the whole video editing process. Video export is instead allowed to all the following formats: DV, HDV, MOV, MP4 and, again, all compatible QuickTime formats. You can create albums ('labels'), add keywords and apply a range of non-destructive image effects and adjustments – in other words, Picasa doesn't modify the original photo, it just shows 'virtual' changes which you can undo at any time.
What is more, a set of free built-in video templates is available to save you time and effort when editing your clips. Also, built-in video tutorials are available at any time to guide you through the video editing process. A special feature allows you to manage your TiVo shows using Roxio Creator 2010: you can archive your movies, remove commercials and then downscale your TiVo content to export your shows to any portable device or physical support like a DVD.
The Mac software has full support for HD-quality movies and 16:9 aspect ratio, as well as AVHCD camcorders.
When your project is finished, you can burn it to a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, save your video in a compatible format with iPods and PSPs, or share your clips directly to YouTube and Facebook.
When your work is finished, you can burn your videos to DVD discs, export your clips to iPod and PSP compatible video formats, or upload and share your movies directly to YouTube. When your video is ready to go, burn it to a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, export to PSP or share your clips online using YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. Created projects can either be burned onto DVD and Blu-Ray discs, exported to mobile devices like iPods or PSPs, or uploaded directly to YouTube. The built-in VoiceOver technology helps you create a narration audio synced with motion graphics to produce video tutorials, documentaries or e-learning material.
Video templates are available to customize your clips and you can also use custom menu templates to create navigation menus for your optical discs. It looks completely different from Apple's old iPhoto app – in particular, the organizational tools are effective but take a little getting used to. If you've got a Mac, then you should take a long, hard look at Photos before you even consider any other free app. The effects are particularly impressive, and not just in terms of variety – you can simply click an effect to apply it, then use a slider to adjust the strength. Fotor is essentially a cloud-based photo editor, but you can still use it as a desktop tool, opening images your computer, editing them and exporting new versions. Perfect Effects 9 Free offers 170 one-click photo effects, and also offers Perfect Brush and Quick Mask tools for more advanced image manipulation. You can 'stack' effects using a layers palette on the right side of the screen and use the layer masking tools to control how they're blended. You can use Perfect Effects Free as a standalone program, but it also installs as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. You can restore and retouch your photos, crop them into new shapes and sizes, add a range of photo effects and more.
You can create a completely blank canvas, open an image from a computer or specify an online location where the photo you want to edit can be found. It's impressive how many tools Pixlr Editor has to offer with a huge range of filters to change the look of the image, a sidebar chocked full of all the tools you've come to recognise in Photoshop, and layering options that are up to the same standard.
GIMPOpen-source image-editor that's powerful but technical, so it requires some effortPlatforms: Windows, Mac, LinuxWhat you get with GIMP is an extremely powerful program that does anything you'd expect from a powerful image editing app without costing a penny. Perhaps you need to crop out the ex from your Facebook profile pic and turn it into black-and-white?
GIMP can do all that and even more.What GIMP doesn't offer, however, is a particularly intuitive interface and it's handy to have a guide at hand in order to get the best out of it.
It does help that the editing options on the left hand side are represented by icons and a description comes up when you hover over each one, giving even more information on the chosen tool. The editing tab is where most of the action takes place through a variety of options that ranges from adding new effects or changing the way it looks to cutting it down to size or adjusting the brightness. It's just as easy to group images together using the 'page' or 'combine' tab and the experience lets you create perfect social media posts in just seconds.
Another nifty feature is a dedicated tab to create GIFs from a group of images and further tools include screen capture, RAW-to-JPG, batch editor, image splitter, renaming tool and colour picker.
It's not just an image-editor – it's also a file viewer and batch conversion tool and can capture screenshots too. Compared to Photoshop and GIMP, IrfanView is incredibly lightweight and, although it doesn't have quite as many options, the set of features included is enough to make it a legitimate entry on the list. After opening the image you want to edit all you need use is the image menu at the top to take advantage of the program's features. The program takes most of its cues from MS Paint yet offers some extra features that weren't available in the old classic Windows program.
If you're looking for high-powered image-editing tools then you're probably best off going for one of the options further up the list, however, for adding effects and making minor adjustments this is a nice lightweight option. There's a small sidebar with a quick shortcut to some of the main editing options such as fill, erase or add text, and the more detailed ones are located in the adjustments and effects menu at the top.



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