I am trying to find a good cross-platform photograph retouching tool that's not as powerful, expensive and complicated as Photoshop. It doesn't have to be free, but over 100€ starts to hurt too much.

Useful - kind of "must" - features include

  • White balance picker
  • Brightness and contrast control
  • Good crop tool
  • Clarity, vibrancy and saturation
  • Noise reduction
  • Presets for different settings

Things like cataloging, slideshows and lens profile corrections are entirely optional - something simple is preferred. As this is for editing photographs, vector support is obviously not needed.


3 Answers 3


As a cross platform (Windows/Macintosh/Linux) solution, I would suggest Corel AfterShot Pro which is fast, compressive and responsive photo retouhing tool. AfterShot Pro is not free but costs $99.99. Note that on time of writing this special offer with AfterShot Pro priced at $49.99 is available. Good thing is there is trial version available too so software can be checked prior buying.

Upgrade from different other re-touching software is available at moment of writing for $39.99 - To purchase the upgrade version of this product, you must own a previous licensed version of: Bibble Pro or Lite 5, Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 or higher, Adobe® Lightroom® or Apple® Aperture®.

AfterShot Pro UI

AfterShot Pro offers different presets and tools among others the usual:

  • hue,
  • luminance,
  • contrast,
  • exposure,
  • saturation,
  • highlights,
  • sharpness,
  • crop,
  • rotate,

Worth mentioning software also has specialized presets/tools as Noise Ninja, a powerful noise reduction system and Perfectly Clear a kind of one button/action to adjust white balance, exposure, and contrast. In my opinion Noise ninja is a very good noise removal tool if not the best one I played with. Perfectly Clear is similar to auto function seen on different photo re-touching software (note that Aftershoot Pro offer auto color, auto level functions too) but it adjust several presets in one step, and often offers a great starting point for re-touching a photography, speeding up its development I found it very useful.

Update; Since Aftershoot Pro version Noise Ninja was removed from software

System Requirements Windows®:

Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP with the latest service packs installed (32-bit or 64-bit editions)
Intel® Pentium® 4 or later or AMD Athlon™ 64 or later
250 MB hard drive space
Mouse or tablet
Minimum display resolution: 1024 x 600
CD-ROM drive


Mac OS® X 10.5, 10.6 or 10.7
All Intel® Mac® models are supported
250 MB of free hard drive space
Minimum display resolution: 1024 x 600
CD-ROM drive


Fedora® Core 10 or Ubuntu® 8.04 or later (32-bit or 64-bit distributions)
Intel® Pentium® 4 or later or AMD Athlon™ 64 or later
250 MB of free hard drive space
Minimum display resolution: 1024 x 600
CD-ROM drive
Dependencies: GLib 2.4, KDE or GNOME recommended
Enable desktop compositing recommended
64-bit distributions require 32-bit compatibility libraries (ia32-libs)
  • 1
    Whoa! Looks neat, and is cross-platform. Quite nice discount too. They have free trial, I'll test that first.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 19:55

GIMP is awesome

GIMP UI with Change Foreground Color Editor open

Overall, I love GIMP. It's been the only photo editing program I've used for years (because I can't afford PS).

  • 7
    It's also unbelievably complicated to use for any simple task. But I agree, it's awesome compared to price tag of PS.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 23:59
  • I don't think it's complicated, but that's probably because I'm used to it.
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 0:00

Pinta may do what you want. It was last released September 27, 2012, which is okay (but not great) for an open source project, and it isn't stale enough to suggest that it's completely abandoned. It is supposed to be a virtual clone of Paint.NET.

It seems to have a very good crop tool and layer support, saturation, brightness, etc. so it may be up your alley. I can't speak to its bugginess or reliability on any particular platform; you'll have to try it. It's FOSS, so you have nothing to lose.

  • 1
    Thanks! I'll try that and comments after I know more.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 23:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.