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icoola > blog > The best photo processing apps
12 February 2021

The best photo processing apps

Top 10 best photo editors according to ICOOLA.

Eleonora Rusanovska

When a person sees something beautiful, he definitely wants to capture it in his memory.  A smartphone camera is often at hand.  Imagine the disappointment when the desired pictures come out dull, inexpressive, blurry.  No matter how hard you try to guess the lighting, position, and frame, remember that no professional photographer is complete without photo editors.

You don't need a state-of-the-art DSLR camera to get quality photos.  Modern phones are equipped with various photo modules and a system of automatic selection of functions depending on conditions.  You no longer need to worry about sharpness.  Despite this, careful handling and correction of some points are always necessary.

If you have a company store, blog, or regular Instagram profile, you definitely need beautiful, eye-catching photos.  Below you will find applications that are sure to help you achieve your goal.

Apple's built-in editor

The most commonplace way to process photos for iPhone owners.  What is the best you can get from it?

Pros:

  • Affordable and easy to use. Free.  No need to download additional programs.
  • Tied to Apple and allows you to quickly synchronize processed images between system devices without third-party manipulation. At the same time, the quality of the photo is preserved.
  • You can edit a photo with many options. In the access, there is a setting for exposure, light, shadow, saturation, sharpness, black point removal, detail, and noise reduction.
  • Processes files with RAW, TIF, HEIC, and JPEG formats.
  • Available filters let you change the temperature of your photos or give them tints of black and white.
  • In the editor, you can crop the photo to the selected aspect ratio, rotate the photo, or make a mirror image.
  • Also, it allows you to draw and write on pictures using the built-in tools: marker, pen, eraser, etc.

Cons:

  • When editing RAW files, flaws become visible. For example, shadows become unevenly brighter.  The editor is having problems retrieving parts.
  • Compressed files look better, but even here the algorithms are weaker than in special programs for photo retouching.

However, Apple's photo editor is sufficient for the undemanding user.

Snapseed

One of the most advanced applications.  Imagine, you are sitting in a restaurant, in a beautiful outfit, pleasant lighting and you feel like a million.  You removed all unnecessary things, created a composition on the table, and ... The man in the background right behind you ruined the whole frame.  It's a shame.  Now imagine the same picture without this person.  Nothing complicated.  And all these thanks to the "repair" tool, which allows you to remove unnecessary items.

Another useful tool is portrait.  It allows you to correct the face - remove imperfections, lighten, darken it, smooth it, increase the expressiveness of the eyes.

Pros:

  • Has a large number of tools and templates that you can customize for yourself.
  • Each subsequent change creates one layer that can be undone again.
  • The biggest advantage of this application is the ability to lighten, darken, change the exposure, temperature, saturation only the selected area of ​​the photo.

VSCO

This app is mainly known for its database of various presets divided into categories.  These are categories based on a given filter. The settings in each category are different.  Differences are visible in color, subject matter, and saturation, even in letters and numbers that can be added to the image.  The user can adjust the intensity of the preset as desired.  VSCO is most appreciated for the fact that you can take a photo in the application itself and edit it at the same time.  Otherwise, it is similar to the other apps on the list.  It can also be used to adjust brightness, temperature, exposure sharpness.

Adobe Lightroom CC

Known for PC users, Adobe Lightroom is also available in a version adapted for the phone.  Most of the options in this app are free.  Even if you need to play with the selected colors or cut out a certain object from the photo, you can use the paid version.  However, this is not necessary, because there are many more useful applications on our list.  A characteristic feature of this application is the processing of one given shade in photographs.

Photoshop Express

Another application from Adobe and another mobile version of the well-known software.  As it turns out, it offers even more options than Lightroom.  Photoshop Express allows you to fix exposure, sharpen photos, and remove fog or noise.  The user also has the ability to remove unnecessary elements from the photo.

Benefits:

  • Ability to crop a photo to the most popular formats - Facebook background photos, YouTube thumbnails, or Twitter posts.
  • An extensive database of creative filters that are freely available.
  • Interesting effects can be obtained by applying textures built into the application to photos. For example, raindrops or various types of lightning.  Thanks to this, we can add natural effects to the photo, which in fact were not there.

Darkroom

Darkroom is an app that tries to challenge Adobe.  Similar in name and function, it is intended for editing photos, and more recently also video materials with the purchase of Darkroom +.

Pros:

  • The basic functionality of the application is available for free, while the rest can be unlocked by paying for a subscription or paying the full price right away.
  • Darkroom has a lot to offer even in the free version. From processing through a wide range of tools and useful functions such as optimizing highlights and shadows, to extensive export options for JPEG, HEIF PNG, TIF formats.
  • As part of additional options, the user, among other things, gets access to premium filters, video editing.
  • It is possible to create and place your own watermark on photos.

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, Darkroom looks pale compared to Lightroom. When processing light areas, shadows, or increasing contrast, the editor makes objects flat and noticeably reduces brightness.
  • Paid features are available in other free applications.

Instagram

It would seem that there are so many special tools for processing photos, and many users still process photos here, just before publishing.  Instagram has a lot of good options and filters that are pretty easy to use.  So when you take a beautiful photo that doesn't require too much correction, you can easily change it right here.

Pros:

  • No need to use other applications, it will save you time.
  • The base of interesting filters built into applications, plus, as in most cases, adjusting their intensity.
  • Using the same filters will help us maintain the integrity of the overall look of the profile.
  • If you don't want to add a photo to your profile, but just want to edit it, just turn off mobile data and Wi-Fi on your phone, click “Add”, then “cancel”, and the photo will appear in your gallery.

  Cons:

  • Processed photos can hardly be called professional because of their import from the application. Their format is suitable for posting on social media, but not for reuse or printing.

Facetune

The name speaks for itself.  The application was created mainly for face enhancement.  Regardless, you can use its tools for any purpose.  The whitening option, which is used to whiten teeth, can be used to whiten selected portions of the photo.  And the "paint" option can be used to change the color of a given area.  For example, the frame does not convey the saturation of the tree bark and beats in green.  The app will help you change it to brown.  Besides, there are many different filters.

Prisma

Prisma turns ordinary photographs into real works of art.  Not only the basic parameters change - color, saturation, temperature, but also the appearance of the photo.  You can choose from a variety of designs inspired by famous artists such as Picasso, Munch, or Salvador Dali.

The free version of the app offers access to many filters, but to unblock the rest and save photos in HD quality, you need to purchase a subscription. Prisma, like VSCO, offers a built-in photo editor, but its work is somewhat questionable. For example, trying to compensate for highlights or shadows may cause unnatural effects.

Remini

Last but not least is the Remini photo editor.  An application that literally enhances blurry photos by using special algorithms.

Pros:

  • Its functionality will increase the resolution of your photos and videos.
  • The application will "revive" old photos. It can remove scuffs and cracks from the frame, as well as color a black and white photo.
  • There is access to photo and video effects.

Cons:

  • When used for free, some functions are hidden. You can process up to 5 photos per day.
  • In low light conditions, the application can sharpen details, make them larger, or overdo the background.
  • The processed photo cannot be modified or controlled by the level of enhancements.

Photo processing does not have to be done in one editor.  Check each one, try the one you like the most.  Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.  Many of these apps have similar settings: brightness, compression, saturation, etc. The truth is, each one is different and will make your photo better in its own way.  Good luck creating your own masterpieces!

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