Lightroom Alternative: 6 apps for editing & managing images

Lightroom Alternative: 6 apps for editing & managing images

While programs like Photoshop are the measure of all things for larger image edits, many users rely on Lightroom to manage their images. But if you are looking for a Lightroom alternative, we have put together six suitable programs here.

Capture One

With the paid software you can edit, convert and manage images – all of course in lossless RAW format. Originally developed by camera maker Phase One, the tool primarily targets photographers who shoot with high-quality cameras, especially in medium format.

Over time, however, the software was developed for a wider audience. The program scores, among other things, that changes based on the RAW file are made without first converting the file to JPG – resulting in better image quality.

Price: from 349 euros

DxO Photolab

You can use the tool to edit and manage photos in raw data format, but you can also edit JPG files to a limited extent. Camera and lens characteristics are taken into account during post-processing and optionally loaded as additional packages – around 23,000 combinations of housing and lens are currently available. Optical errors of a combination are thus corrected automatically.

Price: from 100 euros


The tool works with RAW files and can be run as a stand-alone application or as a plug-in. You have various filters available, which can then be combined with each other using layer processing and masking. The software always follows a solution-oriented approach when editing, since there is a filter for almost every image problem that only needs to be adapted individually.

Price: 70 euros


With RawTherapee you get a RAW converter to handle raw data from cameras and popular image formats.

While RAW files are read in via DCRaw, the algorithms used for image development are used. The software scores with advanced settings and, among other things, a white and black balance at the RAW level.

However, as the software can not categorize and manage image assets, the tool is often used as a secondary program for difficult edits.

Price: free



Darktable contains more than 60 function modules for image processing.

Darktable is an open source program that allows you to edit and manage images in RAW format, and the program is also compatible with other files from compact cameras or even smartphones.

The user interface is divided into two parts: With "light table" you can organize your collections of images in collections, categorize, rate and sort with file filters. A metadata and a tag editor are also available. In the "darkroom" everything revolves around the image processing – more than 60 function modules for white balance, sharpening or color corrections are on board.

Price: free

Exposure X4

Exposure X4 comes with a smart picture categorization: recordings are completely automatically arranged according to certain criteria, which are determined by you. At your disposal are keywords, ratings or even data such as ISO or shutter speed. For editing RAW photos, you can use powerful tools such as noise reduction, sharpening, and white balance. Brightness or saturation can also be edited in no time at all.

Price: from 119 US dollars

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