I’ve written quite a bit about Adobe Lightroom (including this book, if you didn’t know) and one common thread over the past few years has been backlash to Adobe’s subscription pricing plans. For some people, paying for software on an ongoing basis just doesn’t sit right, and so they want alternatives. (It doesn’t seem to be hurting Adobe, which just announced a $2 billion quarterly profit.)
That’s created an opportunity for third-party developers to appeal to photographers who want a similar editing and photo-management experience, but without the subscription. It’s also meant that I get to try a lot of great software and write about it.
The latest entry is Alien Skin Exposure X3, which was just updated to version 3.5. It’s a good alternative, with most of what you’d want in a photo application. I did find some quibbles, such as a surprisingly poor shadow recovery tool, and a performance lag with Fujifilm raw files.
The latter, in particular, stumped me, because I’d heard that Exposure X3 was a good choice for Fuji shooters (I own a Fujifilm X-T1). Fuji’s main cameras use X-Trans image sensors, which record light data different from most cameras, and tend to be more difficult to process. When I threw some large images from a Sony A7R III at Exposure X3, it barely blinked. It’s not terrible performance, mind you, but it was enough that I found myself re-testing to make sure I was seeing the same results.
If you’re looking for a Lightroom alternative, do check out Exposure X3, which offers a free 30-day trial. But first, go read my review at DPReview: Alien Skin Exposure X3 review.
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