Top 8 Best Photo Editing Apps for Mac Owners in 2024

Top 8 Best Photo Editing Apps for Mac Owners in 2024

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful programme that offers all the features and more you could ever want. But do you need them all? Other alternatives may be easier to use and cheaper. Lightroom is a good choice for daily photo editing. You can also find some excellent apps for specific use cases, like editing HDR photos.

We’ve reviewed some of the Top 8 Best Photo Editing Apps for Mac and compared them to see what makes them great.

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What makes for a great photo-editing app?

What works for one photographer might not work for someone else. Professional editors may require more powerful tools, while beginners to photo editing might prefer a simpler and easier-to-understand user interface. The best photo editing software depends on the use you intend to make of it.

What you need to know about?

  • Features It is obvious that you will need the features of the photo editing software you choose. Do you just want to edit photos, or are you interested in playing around with effects and filters? You want to create HDR images that are dramatic. Whatever the situation, choose a photo editing programme that will meet your needs.
  • Usability While powerful photo-editing applications such as Photoshop can be overwhelming to novice users, they are great for experts. If you are new to photography and only require basic features, you should look at entry-level software that is easier to learn. You can then progress, if necessary, as you gain experience.
  • Price Once you have determined what you want your photo editing software to do, you can find the one with the lowest price that will meet your needs. If you need a lot of features, you’ll need to spend more. But if it’s not necessary, you can avoid paying extra for professional apps.

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1. Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop for Mac is the best photo editing software. Photoshop is the ultimate photo editing software for Macs. It has everything you need to edit your photos. Elements 2024, the simplified version of the app (more on Photoshop CC later), has a more friendly interface.

Don’t let its less-than-professional look fool you. Elements 2022 comes with a variety of editing tools, artistic animations, and Adobe’s Sensei AI, which is based on artificial intelligence and helps you edit and analyse your photos quickly. Guided Edits is another feature that helps users select the best modifications.

Photoshop CC is a powerful tool for professional and experienced photo editors. Photoshop Elements 2024 is the perfect tool for anyone else to transform their favourite photos into masterpieces. The price is $99.99 for a single purchase, or $149.99 if you bundle it with Premiere Elements.


Features are extensive and powerful.
Animations and effects that are excellent
Adobe’s impressive Sensei AI technology
Photoshop CC has a simpler interface.


Comparatively expensive compared to competitors
It can be overwhelming for new users.

2. Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is a version of Photoshop that is almost exclusively focused on photo editing. Lightroom CC has everything you need to adjust brightness, contrast, and color. It also allows you to increase or decrease noise and remove unwanted elements from your images.

Lightroom CC’s latest version uses artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest the best edits. It also includes more premium presets and faster editing methods, along with built-in tutorials and tips to help you improve. Lightroom includes a feature called Community Remix that lets you share your photos with other Lightroom users to see how they can improve them.

Lightroom CC, as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud service, requires a monthly subscription. Lightroom CC costs $9.99 per month if purchased alone. You can pay more if combined with other Adobe applications, such as Photoshop CC or Premiere Pro.


Editing app with many powerful features
Adobe Sensei AI for suggested edits and more
New and improved editing presets
Get a monthly subscription for only $9.99.


Subscription models may not be popular with all users.
Image manipulation is not suitable for advanced users.

3. Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop has already been mentioned a few times in this roundup. Adobe Photoshop CC is the most powerful photo-editing application for Mac. It includes all the features Adobe offers. Photoshop CC is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to create a complex work of art or touch up a photo.

Photoshop CC isn’t just for editing photos. It’s great for creating graphics, posters, postcards, and advertisements. Photoshop CC is a powerful image editor that’s perfect for professionals who require the latest tools and features. Photoshop CC’s only downside is that it can be overwhelming for beginners.

Adobe offers a wide range of tutorials that are included in the Creative Cloud subscription. Photoshop CC is priced at $9.99 a month, but you can combine it with Lightroom CC or other Adobe products if you want to pay more.


Photo editor that has everything you need.
It is also great for editing and photo manipulation.
Adobe Sensei AI technology
Get a monthly subscription for only $9.99.


Subscription models may not be popular with all users.
It can be overwhelming for new users.
It may be overkill to perform simple editing tasks.

4. Exposure X

Exposition X7 offers a wide range of “looks” for photos that can be used to instantly transform your images. This application combines them with a variety of professional editing tools, including precise adjustment controls and advanced selection tools.

Exposure X7 has a “catalogue-free” design, which is one of its most unique and convenient features. Exposure will not ask you to import images, but rather, it will allow you to select files and then show them where they are located. You don’t even need to move or reorganise your photos. They’ll remain where they are.

Exposure X7’s many features make it a great choice for both novice and expert photo editors. However, new users may need some time to learn all the features. Exposure X7 can be used as a standalone programme or as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom. The price is $129 for a single purchase. Users of older exposure apps will receive a discount.


Features for both novice and expert users
A large collection of “looks” to edit photos quickly
Plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom


At $129, it is more expensive than the competition.
It may take time to master the full feature set.

5. ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 photo RAW is one of the fastest ways to edit and process RAW images. The new version includes a new processing algorithm as well as a host of tools, including an artificial intelligence-powered “Sky Swap,” a time-lapse maker, the ability to backup and export photos, and a liquify feature.

This is on top of all the features that ON1 Photo Raw’s users are used to, such as advanced effects like dynamic contrast, textures, and split tone, plus the ability to combine images for HDR and panoramas. Like many of its rivals, ON1 Photo Raw also comes with a Photoshop plug-in.

ON1 Photo Raw is unique in that it is available as a single-time purchase or as a monthly subscription. You can choose the option you prefer. The full licence costs $99.99. However, for only $7.99 per month, you can purchase the entire Photo RAW bundle, which includes all plugins, cloud sync, and cloud storage.


AI-assisted advanced editing with AI
A wide range of manual controls
Combine multiple images to create HDR, panoramas, and more.
Pricing models for one-time licences and subscription pricing


The price of the one-time purchase is higher than that of some competitors.
Photoshop is about the same price as Adobe Photoshop and has more power.

6. Topaz Studio 2

Topaz Studio 2 is a powerful photo editor that focuses on “creative” editing. It offers more than 200 powerful filter options, advanced masking features, and non-destructive layers. It is best suited for those looking to create more dramatic, spectacular effects on their photos than the basic editing tools.

Topaz Studio 2 transforms even the most ordinary photos into stunning images. Topaz Studio 2 offers a wide range of colour and light effects. You can add neon and glow finishes to photos as needed. It also has hundreds of texture, tone, and tone effects.

Topaz Studio 2 is also capable of handling the basics, if that’s what you need. It has brush, spot gradient, colour, and luminance tools. Thanks to the non-destructive layers, you can edit your photo as much as you want without destroying it.

Topaz Studio 2 can be purchased as a single purchase for $99.99. The “Creator Bundle” is available for $149.99 and adds some AI tools to the Topaz Studio 2 roster.


There are more than 200 filters and hundreds of effects.
New texture and detail tools
Non-destructive layering


More dramatic photo editing is better suited to this software.
Costs $99.99

7. Luminar AI

The latest and best version, LuminarAI, makes it easy to transform your photos. It uses artificial intelligence. It adds all sorts of stunning effects and finishes to landscape and portrait photos, such as the ability to completely change the sky or relight the scene in just a couple clicks. The software is also very effective at removing unwanted details.

Luminar AI was designed to be an easy-to-use photo editor. It does all the work for you. Professional photographers will find it useful, but novice editors, who need a little assistance from their software rather than be overwhelmed by the large number of manual controls, are more likely to benefit.

Luminar AI is available as a standalone programme but also offers plugins for Photoshop or Lightroom. The full version can be purchased as a once-off purchase for $47.


Easy AI editing for beginners
Easy to use than professional photo editors
A one-time cost of $47 is affordable.
Plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom


Photo editors are not as versatile or comprehensive as others.

8. Aurora HDR

Aurora HDR was co-created with the most talented HDR photographer in the world, Trey Ratcliff. As its name implies, it is a photo editing application heavily focused on HDR. The Quantum HDR Engine, powered by artificial intelligence, creates stunning results free of noise artefacts or chromatic aberration.

Aurora HDR includes over 20 tools that are specifically designed for HDR editing, such as dodge, burn, and tone curve. The software can enhance image clarity by adding contrast intelligently only where needed. Additional features include batch processing, layers, masking, and RAW support.

Aurora HDR is a powerful photo editor that integrates with many other apps. This includes Photoshop, Lightroom, and the Mac’s built-in Photos app. The software comes with five standard licences and a $99.99 one-time fee.


HDR image editing is a must-have for HDR enthusiasts.
Quantum HDR Engine to automatically generate results
Included are tools for eliminating noise, adjusting colour, and more.
Integrates with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photos


This software is primarily designed for HDR photo editing.
Costs $99.99


Photoshop and Lightroom are the best tools for Mac image and photo editing. Adobe has been the leader in the industry for many years, and this is still the case 30+ years after Photoshop’s debut. These tools are expensive, and they might be more than you require if you are not a professional photo editor.

For most editing tasks, you can find more affordable alternatives, such as Photoshop Elements 2022 or Luminar AI. They should cover all your needs (and then some). Aurora HDR, which specialises in HDR editing, is expensive but extremely effective.

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