Adobe’s Creative Suite (now called Creative Cloud) is the most popular graphics, video and web editing software on the planet. It is the “go-to” software for many professional graphic designers and photographers. However, it not necessarily the “right” choice for everyone.
First of all, a yearly subscription to the Adobe Suite will cost $600. Second, most users encounter a high learning curve when starting out with the software. Finally, the plethora of features can be overkill for basic projects. Fortunately, there are many other options on the market. Here, we’ll examine the top 5 alternatives to the Adobe Suite line of products.
Top 5 Alternatives to the Adobe Suite
Gimp is one of the most commonly used alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. It allows you to edit non-vector digital graphics and photos. At first glance the user interface somewhat resembles that of Photoshop. GIMP also has a large community of contributors that produce plug-ins and filters for free. GIMP can produce professional quality digital art, but updates and support can take a while.
Inkscape is a free replacement for Adobe Illustrator. It can be used to create logos, illustrations, diagrams and other types of graphics. Files are created in the SVG format but Inkscape can import/export as AI, PS, PDF and EPS. The user interface is more plain than Illustrator but most of the same tools are there. Extensions can be added to customize the features of the program.
- Affinity Designer
Designer is a great option for even the most diehard Illustrator fans. It is an excellent vector editor that puts numerous drawing tools at your disposal. The user interface is is like a cleaner, more modern version of Illustrator’s. It supports four LAB, grayscale, CMYK and RGB color profiles. It also provides smooth and fast scrolling at 60fps. This program is available for a one time fee of $40.
Lightzone can be used by digital photographers in place of Adobe’s Lightroom. It allows you to edit and enhance digital negatives in a software based darkroom. Lightzone has a ton of powerful features such as blemish correction, spot healing, filters and manual color adjusting. This program is compatible with a wide array of digital images from cameras such as Panasonic, Canon, Olympus and Nikon. It also allows you to batch edit projects for maximum efficiency.
- DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve 14 is intended to provide features similar to Adobe Premier Pro. As such, it offers editing, color management and audio post-production. Some of the editing features include context sensitive trimming, multi-camera editing, speed changes and transition effects. Perfect color correction can be achieved through a YRGB color process, curve editors, primary correction and targeted correction. Resolve 14 also includes Fairlight Audio software to mix over 1,000 channels at once. Resolve is clearly a feature packed program that might even exceed the capabilities of Premier Pro.
A Summary of the Alternatives
Those who have used Adobe products exclusively are likely to continue doing so. However, if you are just getting into the world of digital art and photography there are many options that can suit your need. The best news is that most of the alternatives are either free or low-cost, and thus you have nothing to lose by giving them a try.