The best free photo editor available today is the one that works for you. It doesn't matter if your photography business or personal project calls for tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, or just a few hundred. The best way to get the most out of what you're shooting is to find the best photo editor for you. That's not to say that some of the best editors are free, but they certainly are affordable enough for anyone to afford them. And once you've used one you'll want to use one on a regular basis.
The best free photo editor available today can come from either an open source software developer or an established, high quality hardware manufacturer, it can be a 'standard' tool which does almost everything you require, or a specially effective giveaway from a top software publisher or camera manufacturer. There are hundreds of options on today's market and choosing one that fits your needs perfectly isn't difficult. Here are some of the top features to look for in an online photo editor:
Portability - The fact that photo editing software can be used across multiple platforms has had a huge impact on how widely they're used. Take for example, Adobe Elements, which can be used on both Apple Macintosh computers and PCs. Or, take the newly-announced Photopia, which can be used on all sorts of electronic devices including smartphones, tablets and netbooks, as well as being compatible with Windows Mobile phones and Blackberries. The more portable and versatile a program is, the more people are likely to use it. This means you'll get the most out of it.
Flexibility - Another important consideration when choosing a free photo editor is the ease of editing. After all, you want a program which can make changes to your images without requiring any knowledge of advanced graphic design or Photoshop. This is especially important if you want to repurpose the same image onto another medium, such as print. Most programs have an interface which allows you to change the background, colors, size and other properties of your image easily, making editing them quick and easy.
Compatibility - Many free photo editing programs online have been developed to be highly compatible with all kinds of online services, such as Google's Picasa. This means that even if you use a different online service to publish your product photos (such as Flickr, Picasa or Facebook), the final product will be perfectly fine. Compatibility with popular online services like Google Picasa is essential if you want to ensure that your product photos end up online and available to a wide range of potential buyers. If your product photos aren't compatible with these services, then you'll almost certainly lose out on sales.
Compatibility With The Major Computer OSes - The fact that most stock photos are designed for use on Apple iOS devices or Google Android phones is another important factor when deciding which of the best online photo editors is best for you. Both iOS and Android use very similar systems to publish their images to the web, so if you're going to edit a stock photo that you want to publish on one platform, you'll need to find an editor for that platform. There are some programs that are multi-platform compatible, and the majority of these are also cross-compatible with many of the leading online stock photo services and software. However, there are some photo editors which are only available for iOS or only available for Android. This is obviously important, because you may want to edit your product photos on a device which is not supported by your online service.
Features You Can Access - One feature you absolutely must have in your photo editor is being able to access a variety of advanced editing features. Features such as removing red eye, adjusting focus and brightness are essential for taking great pictures. Another popular feature is the ability to adjust colors. While many programs allow you to change the color of the background, most of them don't let you do anything with the color of the picture itself. To enhance your photos even more, lightroom will also let you adjust contrast and saturation, allowing you to make each image look its absolute best. These features are typically only available in high-end, expensive photo editing programs, but are absolutely necessary to take high quality images that you can share with family and friends.
Additional Features Include customizable interface - The final thing you should look for in an online photo editor is a customizable interface. Most programs offer a fairly standard set of features, such as white-balance compensation, cropping and rotation, and adjustment of focus, but having a customizable interface makes it easier to modify these features for different photographs. You may also want the ability to adjust various backgrounds, such as photos from your digital camera or a still taken from your phone. The final thing you want to look for in an editing program is ease of use, so make sure the photo editor you're considering uses an intuitive interface so you don't have to spend hours trying to figure out how to use it.