When it comes to photo editing software, it’s hard to beat Adobe’s one-two punch of Photoshop and Lightroom. The former is the reigning heavyweight champion of image manipulation, while the latter has attracted amateur and professional shutterbugs alike with its robust palette of photography tools and library management options.
However, both products have become increasingly intertwined with Creative Cloud, Adobe’s subscription-based platform that treats software as a service you’re required to pay for each month, rather than the traditional “buy once, keep forever” scenario PC owners are used to. Thankfully, there is an alternative available that doesn’t have to keep dinging your wallet for $9.99 (or more) every single month.
ACDSee Ultimate 10 combines the power of Adobe Photoshop with a familiar Lightroom-style user interface that will immediately feel at home to digital photographers. Best of all, there’s no need to juggle multiple applications — Ultimate 10 is the world’s first all-in-one digital asset manager and layer-based image editor for Windows.
For starters, ACDSee offers a better value, with a lifetime license key priced to match Lightroom’s standalone cost of $149.99. Buy once and use it as long as you’d like, or receive free upgrades, a suite of companion software, web access, and 10GB of cloud storage by enrolling in an annual subscription starting at only $69 — nearly half the price of a comparable Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan membership.
Of course, money isn’t everything, especially if the software can’t match or exceed features offered by competitors. That’s why ACDSee Ultimate 10 provides a highly customizable user interface to fit any workflow — users can tear off, move, stack, or dock toolbars and panes, positioning them almost anywhere they’d like. There’s a full complement of familiar selection tools (brush, lasso, magic wand, and more), integrated RAW editing, and parametric (better known as non-destructive) image manipulation so you always have the freedom to experiment.
Ultimate 10 also provides the tools necessary to quickly and easily add text and borders or apply 80 different special effects, ranging from Instagram-style filters like Blue Steel, Grunge, and Purple Haze to more specialized artistic looks, distortions, lighting, and much more. Photoshop-style adjustment layers allow photographers to edit, tweak, and revise without ever actually modifying the original image.
More impressively, ACDSee Ultimate 10 uses patented technology known as Light EQ to pinpoint “picture perfect” exposure in as little as one click. Actions allow users to record edits made in one image, then apply them to others individually or in batches of two or more at once, an industry-leading feature that frees up valuable time which could otherwise be spent out taking pictures.
For fine-tuned adjustments, Ultimate 10’s smart auto masking technology makes applying changes to a specific image area as easy as a single brush stroke. Best of all, longtime Adobe users won’t have to leave their investment behind by switching, since ACDSee Ultimate 10 supports existing Photoshop plugins as part of the Edit mode workflow, and even allows you to create your own filters and use them in combination with the existing best-in-class editing tools.
Last but not least, Ultimate 10 doesn’t slow down the creative process by requiring photographers to import or export images — edits are made separately from the original photo, and the software taps into the PC’s existing GPU for increased speed and performance while viewing or editing.
Adobe may have pioneered image editing on personal computers with Lightroom and Photoshop, but if you’re a Windows PC owner in search of powerful, layer-based tools and digital asset management in a single piece of software, it’s time to download a free trial version of ACDSee Ultimate 10 today and dive into a more immersive photography experience.