Edit Like A Pro: 12 Best Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro Alternatives
Adobe is the most famous creative software company with services for any task: photo and video editing, illustration, music production, etc. Their tools are so popular that they have become verbs. When someone says “Just Photoshop it”, they mean to edit the photo. It can be any editing app, even FaceApp or Snapseed.
There are no analogs of Adobe’s ecosystem. In their Creative Cloud, they have apps for almost any purpose. Moreover, all those apps are linked to each other. You can use presents, brushes, and fonts from one app in another. But Adobe’s tools have a significant drawback: price.
Just 8-10 years ago, anyone could buy a perpetual license to Adobe’s app. It means that when users buy it, they can use it as long as they decide to. They got updates for 2-3 years. But when they wanted to update to a new app version, they needed to buy a perpetual license to the new version.
As of now, Adobe provides only subscription-based tools. Single tool prices vary from $10 to $30 monthly, while bundles with 2-4 apps will cost from $20 to $60 per month for a user. Unfortunately, those prices are a hurdle for individuals and small businesses that start their creative journey.
Thus, we’ve decided to gather budget-friendly alternatives to the two most popular Adobe tools: Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Those 12 services help you create high-quality content for any purpose.
It’s one of the most powerful photo editing and illustration tools in the market. Here you can edit any photo, draw raster and vector illustrations, and even work with 3D objects.
It’s a user-friendly service that allows users to edit photos with the latest AI tools. Unfortunately, Photoshop is quite expensive. It costs $31.49/monthly or $20.99 per month if billed annually for a single user.
That’s why we gathered 6 budget-friendly alternatives for it. Some are free, while others are paid but still more affordable than Photoshop. By combining these tools, you can create an app bundle that closes your editing and drawing needs.
If you are looking for an affordable Photoshop replacement, you found it. Here you can edit RAW photos, draw illustrations, and even work with 3D. You can even create your own “actions” like in Photoshop: they are called “macroses”.
Affinity’s user interface is highly similar to Photoshop. You don’t need to relearn. It has almost all Photoshop tools, including Liquify and Warp. You can download and use custom brushes. However, it doesn’t have AI-based tools like the latest Adobe tools.
Affinity Photo doesn’t have subscription plans. As of late 2023, you are buying a perpetual license for each device separately. The desktop version for macOS and Windows costs $69.99. The iPad version costs you $18.49. It’s more expensive than a monthly Photoshop license, but you should consider that it’s a perpetual license at least for a few years.
Usually, Affinity launches major version updates once in 5-7 years, so you’ll get all the latest updates for this period. However, even after the new version release, Affinity developers launched minor and security updates for a year or two for the old version.
This app for iPad can substitute Photoshop for illustration cases. It suits both beginners and pros. Procreate has a customizable user-friendly interface. A massive library of brushes delights even the most demanding artists.
You can even edit photos here. But we should note that this app is not a full-featured photo editor like Photoshop or Affinity, so you’ll get only basic features. However, it will work for artists who like to mix photos with illustrations.
Procreate works with PSD, TIFF, PNG, PDF, GIF, and JPEG formats, so you can save the PSD file on iCloud and continue drawing on another device in another app.
Procreate has advanced blur tools, HSB (hue, saturation, and brightness) settings, and a basic 3D editor. Unfortunately, you can’t build 3D objects from scratch. But you can draw on any three-dimensional object.
It is a paid app with a perpetual license. Once you buy it for $12.99, it stays with you forever. You will get all updates for free, without any additional payments.
It’s a Photoshop web-substitute. Here you’ll get all basic photo-editing features for free and some premium tools for a fair price.
Photopea web apps look highly similar to Photoshop. Some may say that it’s even too similar. But you have nothing to worry about, it’s a fully legal web app. It doesn’t have all Photoshop features. It neither steals Adobe’s app design: while having a similar layout, both apps have different icons.
Even Adobe technicians on their forum prove that you can use Photopea. It doesn’t steal any Photoshop legacy. It’s more “We have been inspired by it” type of story.
Beware that you can work only with lightweight files here. Since Photopea is a web-based app it uses resources from your browser. Its optimization is far from perfect.
You have two account types: basic and premium. In the first option, you’ll get access to PSD import and export, basic editing options, 0.5 GB of PeaDrive cloud, and a 30-step editing history. You’ll also see ads interrupting your workflow from time to time.
Under Premium membership, you’ll get access to all Photopea features, 5Gb of PeaDrive, 60 steps of editing history, and no ads.
It’s not a classic subscription that charges your money regularly. It’s more similar to mobile prepaid services. You can buy premium access for 30, 90, and 365 days. Once this period ends, your profile automatically downgrades to the Basic option. The cheapest single option costs $8 per 30 days or $50 for annual membership (approx. $4.2/month). You can also set team versions for teams of 5,20 and 50 people.
It’s a graphical platform where you can draw vector and raster illustrations, create app elements, and even interactive website and app prototypes. You can draw illustrations for social media and make short animated videos in Figma.
All information is stored on a cloud: you can start drawing illustrations on the phone, save progress in the cloud, and continue to draw on the computer. If you work in a team, another member can access the file. The ability to edit files simultaneously depends on the license.
Under the Free license, there is only one active user per FigJam (Figma’s collaborative whiteboard). You can work in 3 Figma files on 3 FigJam boards, upload unlimited files, and collaborate with an unlimited number of people (not simultaneously). If you need to collaborate under a single file, exit the file and wait until another user edits it.
Under a Professional license, you can work with unlimited Figma files and FigJams. You’ll also get an unlimited version history, so you are free to come back and recover files from any point.
Here you’ll also get a wide range of sharing permissions and share projects with others to work simultaneously. Unlimited team library access makes the work process even easier. It will cost you $12/month per user.
Affordable Photoshop alternative where you can create social media posts, presentations, flyers, logos, invitations, brochures, website elements, videos, and more. It has a web, iOS, and Android versions.
Many think that this is a template-only tool, where users can’t freely modify templates or create custom ones. In reality, it’s quite the opposite: you can create your own templates and use thousands of pre-made elements in the free version.
Canva is easy to use even if you don’t have any graphic design experience. You can edit elements and animate designs even under the free version. You will have fewer elements and settings to choose from, but still, you can create pretty good designs.
Under a free license, you’ll also get 250,000+ free templates, basic AI-powered tools, and 5 GB of cloud storage. It fits individuals and small businesses that are only learning about Canva possibilities.
Under the Pro license, you’ll get access to the whole Canva library, including millions of images, videos, and thousands of songs and fonts. You’ll get brand kit access, where you can upload any font and store all brand-related assets in one place, including logos and brand colors. Store everything you may need for work in the 1 TB cloud storage.
You will also get access to all built-in apps, including AI tools like text-to-image, AI presenter, Dall-e, Murf AI, Sounddraw music generator, and more. It will cost you $14.99/monthly per user or $199.99 annually.
It is a free digital drawing app for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s an open-source application, so you don’t need to pay a penny. It can substitute Photoshop for illustration purposes.
You should understand that Krita updates just once in 2-3 months, which is less frequent than commercial apps. If you are OK with it, you should try it.
It doesn’t have the iPad version. You should connect an external drawing pad to your computer and draw with it. This app supports a wide range of input devices, including Wacom and Turcom tablets and pens.
Krita has powerful features like brush stabilization, pattern maker, layer effects, and animation tools. You can draw in vector or raster, adding and grouping dozens of layers like in Photoshop. Later, you can save your drawing in PSD format and continue editing it in other applications from this list.
Premiere Pro Alternatives
Videos are another vital part of the promo process. That’s why it is important to edit it professionally in apps that support non-linear editing, special effects, and transitions.
Adobe’s Premiere Pro is a great user-friendly app for this task. But it has the same drawback as Photphop: high price. It costs $20/month with an annual membership ($240/year) or $32/month with a regular subscription. It can be overly expensive for individuals and small teams. Thus, we are gathering 6 great alternatives for Premiere Pro.
It’s a professional video editing app for Windows, macOS, and Linux. In the beginning, it was just a color-grading app for movie graders. But over time, it grows into a powerful editing tool.
You can find thousands of custom effects, presets, transitions, etc. There are hundreds of various tutorials on how to use DaVinci most effectively. Everything Happened All At Once, Midsommar, Black Widow, Bloom, Thor, and Doctor Strange movies were cut and color-graded in DaVinci!
Thus, if you are looking for a video editing tool with almost endless possibilities, you should try DaVinci Resolve! This service has 2 versions: free and paid membership. Under the free license, you’ll get multicam non-linear editing tools, color grading, basic visual effects, motion graphics, and audio editing tools.
The editing block is similar to Premiere Pro but with other hotkeys. A color grading block can be complex for beginners, so they often end up using only basic grading features. But even it will be enough to edit a great-looking video. You can edit up to 16 camera angles simultaneously, create custom visual effects in the Fusion compositor, grade videos in high dynamic range (HDR), and use any of 300+ effects for free.
If you want to get advanced edit features, buy a perpetual DaVinci Resolve Studio license for $295. Once you buy it, you’ll get updates as long as you use this app. In the Studio version, you’ll get advanced grading tools like ResolveFX color space transforms and ACES support, professional visual effects tools like 3D particle systems, volumetric effects, and deep learning-powered tools.
You’ll also get advanced motion graphic tools like object tracking and 3D tracking. You can set up the clear audio by using FairlightFX audio plugins, surround sound mixing, and ADR tools.
It is a macOS built-in non-linear edit tool for Multicam editing. It’s free for macOS, so you don’t need to pay a penny to get all the features. It has all the needed tools, like basic color grading, simple visual effects, transitions, and animated titles. User-friendly interface suits beginners’ needs.
It doesn’t have as much custom content (transitions, presets, etc.) as DaVinci or Premiere Pro. At the same time, it has hundreds of custom-made tutorials and user guidelines for beginners.
iMovie has dozens of trailer templates to create professional-looking trailers for your videos. You can share videos directly on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Twitter.
Adobe Premiere Rush
It is one of the few rare affordable Adobe apps. It’s available for free for iOS, iPad and Android. If you want to get in on your Windows or macOS, you can get this app as part of the Adobe Express bundle for $9.99.
Adobe Rush is a non-linear multicam editing tool. It also has basic color grading, visual effects, and audio editing tools. Smart Trim and Smart Sync can ease the editing process making it faster and even more user-friendly.
In the basic version, you’ll also get access to a 2 GB cloud and a library with 100+ visual effects and motion graphics templates. In the paid version you’ll get more effects, 100 GB of cloud, and more sharing options.
This tool suits those who want to create simple videos with basic cuts and color grading. It’s not as powerful as Premiere Pro and DaVinci. Many users complain about the lags while making long and complex videos in Rush.
It is a free open-source video editing software for macOS, Windows, and Linux computers. It’s a pretty versatile software for non-linear editing. Here you can edit up to 6 camera angles, provide advanced color grading, or implement one of dozens of transitions.
It has a user interface similar to Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. If you know how to work with those tools, you will get used to Kdenlive. However, it can be tricky for beginners. Luckily, there are dozens of tutorials from developers and individual users, where they share tips on how to work with this application.
Kdenlive has green screen effects, audio editing features, a color analyzer, keyframe effects, and more. It has an advanced text editor, where you can change almost any text-related aspect. You can use one of 60+ audio effects including equalizer, reverb, echo, bass, balancer, etc.
Unfortunately, Kdenlive doesn’t have GPU acceleration. You may face occasional crashes if you work with heavy projects on weak computers.
It is a non-linear video editing tool for Windows and macOS. Users often call it one of the most versatile alternatives for Premiere Pro. You can find many custom-made presets and transitions. There are also hundreds of tutorials on YouTube for various experience levels.
HitFilm’s user interface is similar to Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve. If you are used to their interface, you can easily switch to HitFilm. In the free version, you get access to 127 visual effects, 10 songs, 25 sound effects, and templates from the service library. You can also export files in FullHD in various formats both on the PC and directly to socials.
You can color-grade videos and set up their depth, distortion, keying, and lighting settings. Imported and rendered 3D models will be watermarked.
Under the Creator license you get more advanced features. You can export videos up to 4K and use more than 180 visual effects from the HitMaker team. You also can use 100 songs, 100 sound effects, and 25 templates from their library. Rendered 3D models will be watermarked too.
Under this license, you’ll also get access to the Imerge Creator app from the FXhome team. This tool is like a mix of Photoshop and Lightroom: you can color-grade pictures, use healing brushes and clone stamps, blur background, set additional lights, and work with green screen keying. It will cost you $7.99/month (if billed yearly) or $12.99 billed monthly.
Under the Pro license, you’ll get access to more than 300 visual effects, 200 songs, 200 sound effects, and 50 templates from HitFilm’s library. You can export unlimited videos in 8K quality and render 3D models without watermarks. You also get unlimited access to the Imerge Creator app. It costs you $12.99/month if billed annually or $19.99 if billed monthly.
Open-source video editing app for basic tasks. Its user interface is simpler than Premiere Pro, having more similarities with Adobe Rush or Sony Vegas Pro. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Here you can export FullHD and 4K videos without buying any extensions. Make sure that your GPU supports OpenGL 2.0 or DirectX 9 or 11. You’ll get basic trimming and joining tools to edit your videos. It even has basic keying features, allowing you to edit videos with a green screen.
The color grading tool has only three color wheels, and Blur applies to the whole layer. You can upload custom LUTs to get proven color effects. You can also edit audio, changing its tone and pitch.
Unfortunately, Shotcut doesn’t support 360 VR or 3D. Also, it doesn’t have a built-in sharing tool for popular sites: you need to save the video to your computer and upload it to the socials manually.
You don’t need to pay $300+ annually to get access to great photo and video editing tools. It’s easy to find affordable or even free alternatives to expensive services. Just ensure that the chosen tool provides you with enough opportunities to scale in the future.
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