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Disclaimer: I've seen several similar questions here, but they all ask for a free / open source solutions. I don't mind paying for the software that would make my experience more enjoyable.

I'm an advanced amateur looking for a good piece of software to make the process of photo sorting / editing faster. What I need from the application:

  • Good browsing and cataloging capabilities
  • Fast to use basic editing tools (curves adjustment, straightening, center focus)
  • RAW denoising and development
  • Ideally, an option to quickly save current settings and apply them to another images
  • Available for OSX

I don't require for the software to be free nor cheap, though I'd prefer a standalone price, not monthly subscription. What I need is to make the sorting / editing process as pleasant as taking photos themselves.

So far I've listed four contenders:

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Corel AfterShot Pro
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector

What are the advantages / disadvantages of those? What other options could I consider? Which of them will allow me to browse through my photos and apply similar enhancements fast?

  • I like that you've done some research and aren't just asking for an open question. I've sure you've seen the number that have been flagged as a result of that. – SailorCire Apr 12 '15 at 12:29
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    The answer is.... Lightroom! Why? Personal preference! Want more? Just download some trials, and give them a try for yourself. – dpollitt Apr 12 '15 at 12:50
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    You might have better luck with this over at softwarerecs.stackexchange.com – Please Read My Profile Apr 12 '15 at 14:51
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    @dpollitt I always call the free trial download of Lightroom the Adobe gateway drug. :D Problem will be when the OP enjoys it so much he wants Photoshop CC--but doesn't like the subscription model... – inkista Apr 12 '15 at 18:13
  • Highly personal I think. I'd suggest downloading the free trials and giving each a spin. – MikeW Apr 12 '15 at 19:57
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I use Capture One Pro from Phase One. Opinions differ on this versus Lightroom, but I find that overall Capture One works more like I do. Here's the rub. If you have experience with a different RAW converter, you will need to start unlearning that workflow. Fortunately, Phase One has great instructional videos online.

On the minus side for C1, using it as a digital asset manager is not as effective (in my experience) as using Lightroom for the same.

I feel the process of editing a shoot, which you marked as important, is very effective in C1. Searching a 50K+ image portfolio, not so much. They have a limited time full-featured demo version so you can see how well you mesh with their software.

G'Luck

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