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5 of the best AI photo editors in 2024

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Written by Esther C

Published Feb 22, 2024

Wish you could spend less time manually editing your images and spend more time taking photos and growing your photography business? Then it's time to start utilising the power of an AI photo editor.

It's pretty easy to call any kind of automated image editing feature AI now, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but there’s still a big difference between a few one-click options that brighten and sharpen a photo and tools that genuinely help speed up your editing process by making intelligent suggestions and adjustments.

That's why in this article we share 5 of the best photo editors using the most advanced AI photography technology.

Contents

  1. What does an AI photo editor do?
  2. Things to consider when using AI photo editors
  3. Best AI photo editors:
    • Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
    • Pixlr
    • Lumina Neo
    • ImagenAI
    • Topaz Photo AI 
  4. Final thoughts

What does an AI photo editor do?

image of laptop displaying editing software and DSLR camera on a table
Photo by Leeloo The First

Manual editing is a time-consuming process, especially if you need to retouch faces, fix blemishes and removed unwanted background elements. 

After a sports event or a wedding photoshoot you may have several hundred to several thousand photos requiring culling and editing, which can mean at least a few weeks turnaround time before being able to give the final images to your client.

Here’s where AI photography tools come in to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

Most AI image editing features are based on iterative updates of older technologies, which is why they haven’t received the same attention as more recent advances like AI art generators. But they have developed some very smart machine learning features. 

Here are just some of the helpful features you can find in AI photo editors:

  • Brightening eyes, smoothing skin and other face retouching
  • Removing your subject from the background with one click
  • Replacing the sky and matching the lighting in the rest of the image
  • Automatically detecting a landscape or portrait photo and suggesting appropriate tools
  • Colourising or repairing old and black and white photos
  • Masking your subject ready for you to make manual edits
  • Making automatic adjustments to colours, contrast and light levels

Things to consider when using AI photo editors

image of a laptop open on a desk and displaying photo editing software
Image by Caio

AI tools aren’t foolproof

Although they can achieve spectacular results, you may not always be able to achieve your desired result using only AI, so be prepared to step in with some manual editing. As features improve over time you can expect to do this less. 

AI tools vary

Although most AI photo editors offer the same tools, for example background removal, they don’t necessarily perform these tasks to the same standard. You will often notice a difference between the output of free and paid AI photo editors. 

Retain original copies

Always save your photos before applying AI photography edits so you have original versions to revert back to if you don’t like the results or want to start again for any reason. That said, the best AI photo editors work with layers so that you can keep track of changes and turn layers on and off. 

Don't rely solely on AI tools

Of course relying on AI photography tools to a certain extent is amazing for streamlining your editing process, but relying solely on them can be at the detriment of your own editing skills in the long term, so make sure to keep working on your skills and putting your own style on your images. 

Quality of input will affect output

There are tools to help blurriness and lighting etc but a low quality image won’t get you the best results even with advanced AI photography tools. 

Consider data privacy

If you are concerned with AI photo editors that require uploading photos to their servers, make sure to review the privacy policy and understand how your data is handled. 

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Best 5 AI photo editors:

1. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for a powerful all-in-one editing package

A fantasy image created in Adobe Lightroom
Image from Adobe Photography

Even before integrating AI tools, Lightroom was firmly established as one of the best photo editors. Through the power of Adobe Sensei, you have access to adaptive presets that do exactly what they’re called: enhance clothes, whiten teeth, texture hair, etc.

Pairing seamlessly with Lightroom is the powerful image manipulation tool Photoshop, which offers new AI image editing thanks to Adobe Firefly.

Generative Fill is one of these powerful new AI tools. It takes Adobe stock images, openly licensed content and other public domain content without copyright restrictions and allows you to generate new backgrounds and content from inside Photoshop with only a text prompt. 

It means you’re really only limited by your own creativity — you can add, extend or remove content from your images non-destructively, simply by typing what you want. Generative Fill even matches the perspective, lighting, and style of your image automatically, making complex edits a breeze.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop pricing: Get the photography subscription bundle starting at £9.98 per month. 

2. Pixlr for an affordable online AI editor

A cartoon image of a fox created in Pixel
Image from Pixlr

What’s great about Pixlr is you can use it online in a browser without needing to download any software, or even create an account when you are working with the free version (although this version limits your AI features). The software is also divided up into six apps so you aren’t overwhelmed with features in one tool.

  • Pixlr Express is a template based design tool similar to Canva with an AI image generator. 
  • Pixlr Editor is an image editor with AI features like automatic subject selection and object removal. 
  • Pixlr Designer is a design tool with templates and animations
  • Remove BG is a quick and easy one-click automatic background removal tool.
  • Batch Editor is a simple batch editing tool allowing you to make the same edits to a series of images.

Pixlr pricing: Free with limited AI features, from US$7.99 per month for Premium with all features. 

3. Luminar Neo for a subscription free AI-powered photo editor

A mountain landscape image being edited in Luminar Neo
Image from Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo was one of the first photo-editing software to go all in on AI, and you can tell there is deep AI integration across the whole app. Some of its highlighting features include:

  • Sky replacement — perfect for photos with blown out or dull grey skies
  • AI crop — cuts out irrelevant elements without getting too close to your subject
  • AI face and skin adjustments — automatically focuses in on relevant areas so you can make your own touch ups. 

Luminar Neo is made for photographers because you get a huge amount of control over how the effects are applied. There are no one-click tools, instead each one has a slider to control the strength of the edits applied. 

Luminar Neo pricing: From US$9.95 per month for the Explore plan; from US$14.95 per month for the Pro plan that includes additional AI-powered features like noise removal and upscaling. 

4. ImagenAI for bulk editing large volumes of photos

A wedding photo being edited in ImagenAI
Image from ImagenAI

Imagen is an AI photo editing solution for Adobe Lightroom Classic that learns your personal editing style. By giving it a selection of your previously edited images, AI creates your personal profile which it uses to edit future images. It is a great option if you shoot in high volumes or already outsource your editing. 

If you would prefer to simulate the editing styles of other industry-leading photographers you can select a number of pre-built talent profiles. 

A huge benefit of using the Imagen Cloud is it automatically handles your project backups as you cull and edit. It keeps high resolution while compressing each photo by 75% when downloaded and providing you 4X storage cost savings.

Imagen also uses the power of AI to simplify the culling phase of your workflow, removing duplicate images, blinks, blurry results, or photos with poor composition. These are all set aside automatically so Imagen can start working on only the best images.

ImagenAI pricing: US$0.05 per photo on pay as you go or annual subscriptions from US$67.50 per month.

5. Topaz Photo AI for creating complex AI edits 

An image of a monkey being edited in Topaz Photo AI
Image from Topaz Photo AI

Topaz Photo AI is a layer-based image enhancer, not a complete photo editing software, so it can work well as a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop.

If you’re looking to enhance your photos only and want AI technology to do all the heavy lifting then Photo AI is an excellent choice. This package includes all three of its popular apps: DeNoise AI, Gigapixel AI and Sharpen AI.

Some of the tasks Photo AI can perform include sharpening burred images, enlarging photos without losing quality and cleaning grainy images. There’s very little manual work required, although you can fine tune the settings once AI has enhanced the photo.

Topaz Photo AI pricing: Purchase Photo AI for US$199 (including one year of free upgrades). 

Final thoughts

AI photo editors might not get as much recognition as other AI technology, but for photographers these tools are a game-changer.

As a professional, you can benefit significantly from using any of the AI photo editors we mentioned in this list. These tools streamline the editing process, offering automatic enhancements, intelligent object recognition, and creative options like style transfer.

They save time, enable precise editing, and empower you to achieve professional-looking results in much less time. It's a no-brainer.

Just remember AI can only do so much, so you still need to focus on taking high-quality images in the first place. You can avoid the need to fix things like blurry subjects and blown-out backgrounds by choosing amazing photography backdrops and finding the best photoshoot locations.

Explore Tutti's range of top-quality photo studios for hire to be sure you get the most out of your photoshoots.

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