Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Photo Editing Software

Refine your work with these top programs.

Shoot Like a Pro: Cameras | Photo Editing Software | Exposure | Wildlife | Night | Action | Summits | Portraits | When to Shoot What | Landscapes - Water & Snow | Landscapes - Wide Angle, Zoom, & Macro | Composition | Photo Survival Guide | Shoot Like a Pro: Editing Digital Photos


Picasa and Apple iLife 09

Pros Let you organize photos into albums; easy, one-click editing and resizing; manually geotag shots in Google Earth; great for sharing photos with friends (iLife links to Facebook and Flickr); can be used to buy prints and posters; iLife also edits movies and burns DVDs

Cons Allow only basic editing adjustments

Best for Casual photographers who want hassle-free editing and easy photo-sharing features Picasa: Mac/PC; free; picasa.google.com. iLife: Mac only; $79 (comes with most Macs); apple.com/ilife

Corel Paint Shop Pro PhotO X2

Pros Processes some RAW files; can do basic edits as well as more advanced fixes, such as changing perspectives to eliminate converging lines and combining different images to get the perfect exposure (HDR photos); auto-saves original files

Cons PC only; doesn’t support RAW files from all cameras

Best for Advanced enthusiasts who want more editing control at a bargain price PC only; $99; corel.com

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

Pros Includes basic editing tools as well as advanced; handles RAW files; allows you to create panoramas, correct skin tones, change perspectives, and merge photos of pals by combining the best individual portraits into one image (Group Shot); saves editing history of each shot so you can dial back if you turn the sky green

Cons More complex to learn; no batch processing; compresses files every time you save, which slightly reduces quality. (Need more organization and searchability, better photo quality, or to process lots of files? Upgrade to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, $261.)

Best for Serious photographers Mac/PC; $99; adobe.com