What to Consider Before Buying Photo Editing Software?

article by Arya A. author
Courtesy of the best photo editing software, today it’s possible to totally transform an ordinary digital image into a ‘wow’ shot within minutes. Some editing tools are standard across all the top programs, but there are distinguishing factors that can lead prospective buyers to one or another.

How expensive is it?

Price is always one of the most important variables when it comes to selecting the best photo editor. Top editing programs, like ACDSee or DxO Optics Pro, can range from $59.95-$129.00. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, which at times offer substantially reduced prices. We’ve seen some top brands, including CyberLink Photo Director, offer discounts as high as 65% off the standard price. But if you see an option that seems incredibly cheap, and it’s outside a sale period, beware that it might have very limited features. The old ‘if it sounds too good to be true…” adage certainly applies in this case.

Cross-platform functionality

Not all photo editing software has been developed for use on all operating systems and devices. Before purchase, make sure that the software is compatible with your OS (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.) If your computer or device is on the older side, check to make sure you meet the product’s hardware requirements. If not, there are other options out there that your hardware and OS will likely be compatible with.

User-friendly interface

Ease-of-use is always one of the most important considerations when picking the best photo editing app. Some of the questions that should be asked include the following: Can anyone, including inexperienced editors, operate the software? Do the features and functions gel with my personal needs and interests? If I struggle to locate a feature I need within the program, is there sufficient support, FAQ articles, etc. for the program that can help me out?


Photographers have multiple photo editing requirements that need to be completed, and often need to be done quickly while on a shoot. Ask yourself what your critical uses of the software will be, and if the software provides some level of automation for that need. For instance, if you shoot a large number of portraits, does the software offer automated tools to help correct skin tone and remove red eyes? If not, you will find yourself going through a lot of manual, time-consuming workflows to fix these issues.

Read Before You Buy

Extensive details on price, compatibility, ease of use and tool sets can be reviewed online for any editing software you might consider. If something is unclear or information is missing from the program’s website, take a minute to email its sales team. If you feel overwhelmed with options, take two programs that are appealing to you and compare them side by side. Taking time before you make a purchase will reduce the chances of buyer’s remorse.