How we tested this photo editing software
All of the photo editing software featured here were tested on a dual-core computer with 8Gb RAM in order to achieve a level playing field for speed and performance comparisons.
Lightroom 4, Aperture 3.4.3 and DxO Optics Pro were run under Mac OS X 10.8, while Elements 11, PaintShop Pro X5 and PhotoPlus X6 were tested with Windows 7.
The applications were evaluated using a range of criteria:
- Range of tools compared to Photoshop
- Additional options that are missing or less advanced in Photoshop
- Ease of use and interface design
- Range of effects and quality of results
- Suitability for users of different levels
The brief was principally to find which program(s) are genuine alternatives to Photoshop, but also to highlight new advances or ideas in image-editing that Photoshop users may not have considered.
We use reviewers with long-standing experience in their respective fields, both with the products being tested and their previous versions. Our reviews also allow for the latest trends and developments in the marketplace.
PAGE 1: Why you might want a Photoshop alternative
PAGE 2: The photo editing software we tested
PAGE 3: How we tested this photo editing software
PAGE 4: Best photo editing software – our top Photoshop alternative
Blend modes: the 10 best blends for photographers (and how to use them)
Photoshop Layers Demystified: a beginner’s guide to smarter photo editing
Best computer for photographers: Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite review
Photoshop Curves Tool: 6 techniques every photographer must know