When looking for the best cheap photo editing software, price is obviously the most important factor to consider. However, it's also a good idea to think about what kinds of tools you need in your software and what kinds of learning resources are provided by the company. This will be especially important if you're new to photo editing software, but it will be valuable to more experienced users as well because there is always an initial learning curve with any software. If you're still unsure of which product to choose, it's not a bad idea to look for free trials, so that you can really get a feel for what it's like to work within the program before making a purchase. The three companies listed below represent some of the best cheap photo editing software available, and would be a good place to begin your search.
ACDSee 17 is one of the most affordable photo editing software on the market, making it a good choice if you're looking for a quality program but still have your budget to think of. It offers a nice selection of standard and advanced editing tools, and has a clean, user-friendly interface to make navigation within the software easy. Its digital painting tools are rather limited, but its image organization and management capabilities are strong, which is great if you have a large number of photos that you are working with. ACDSee provides several online resources like a user guide and a community forum to teach you how to use the software, which should help out with the initial learning curve. ACDSee 17 also comes with a free 30-day trial, so you can test it out beforehand to see if it is the right software for you before committing to a purchase.
Apple Aperture 3 is another of the best cheap photo editing software on the market. It's missing some drawing and painting tools, but it has a good variety of standard editing tools that are perfect for the average consumer. Organizing and managing your files within Aperture is simple, thanks to the iCloud Photo Stream, which keeps a 30-day backup of your photos, so you don't have to take up a lot of space on your computer with storing images. An online knowledge base and video tutorials should help users transition smoothly over to Apple Aperture 3 no matter what program they were using before. One thing that may prevent some people from choosing Aperture, though, is that it is only available for Mac, so if you own a PC, you'll have to choose a different software from this list.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 is the most expensive product on this list, but you will get some additional features for the extra cost. Photoshop Elements 12 also has one of the best arrays of photo editing tools that you'll find in a software of this price, making it a good choice for advanced and beginning photo editors alike. You'll be able to choose between Quick, Guided, and Expert modes based off your level of experience, which should make working in the software very simple. If you do need a little help, Adobe has several detailed video tutorials to guide you through the different functions of Elements 12. Like ACDSee, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 has a 30-day, full-feature free trial available, which should give you plenty of time to test out all the features of the software and see if it is the right fit for you.
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