What is the best image editing software tool for Mac?

The choice of Pixelmator or Adobes Photoshop depends on what the application is being used for.

The Pixelmator team created the cheaper of the two and is used by people who like to design and do photo editing as a hobby. Photoshop is a better option for professional designers.

Many built-in effects contained in Pixelmator make it a great Photoshop alternative. It is simple to learn. Making color changes and adding filters is easily accomplished.

The clarity and shadowing may differ between Photoshop and Pixelmator images.

interface of mac pixelmator pro software

The difference in image quality is due to different features of the programs.

Four real-world tests were performed by Nathan Greenstein, who dabbles in graphic design and photography. He spent much time using graphics-oriented apps.

Evaluation of Designed-Focused Features

Pixelmator and Photoshop

mac user with Pixelmator vs Photoshop comparison

Photoshop can easily replicate a logo with all of its 3D effects.

Nothing is lost to mutability. Pixelmator can re-create a drop shadow of a logo and retains vector object shape. The logo has to be reverted to a rasterized symbol and a uniform border.

Greenstein rated the designed-focused features of each app on a scale from one to ten regarding

  • Shape and text capability
  • Styling and effects capability
  • Ease and speed of use

The Pixelmator scored ten in both the shape and text capability and ease and speed of use compared to Photoshop’s own nine and eight ratings. Styling and effects earned Photoshop a score of ten.

Pixelmator pro review rated only a five in that category. While Pixelmator rated higher in two of the three categories, Photoshop had a higher overall rating.

Retouching Photos with a photoshop alternative

Spot Healing Brush, a one-click tool that employs Content-Aware Fill, is used by Photoshop. It performs well, and most photo editing corrections and different layers can be made with one click.

Photo editor corrections are smooth and powerful. The editing tool is nondestructive. All blemish corrections and adjustments are separate from the original and can be changed at any point.

editing photos in photoshop

Example of an edited image


The Healing Tool of Pixelmator photo editor is also a one-click process.

The performance is similar to Photoshop.

The result around the edges is slightly better with the use of the Pixelmator tool. Mr. Greenstein reported having to resort to the Clone Stamp tool fewer times. Pixelmator’s apparatus also has a nondestructive editing capability with different layers. The image correction gives the photo a bluish tint.

The ten-point system was used again to compare the two retouching tools. The different elements were:

  • Healing capability with the selection tools
  • Image editor correction capability
  • Learning curve, ease, and speed of use

Pixelmator again received ratings of ten in two of the three category elements. They were the healing capability, ease, and speed of use. Photoshop was rated nine and seven in the respective categories Photoshop received a ten rating for image editor correction capability compared to a score of seven for Pixelmator. Pixelmator was the winner in this test.

Editing RAW Images As a Mac User

Photoshop has a RAW processor that is more advanced than any seen by Greenstein. The results of localized and global corrections are superb. Nondestructive RAW file formats are automatically processed.

Making further edits to processed images can be done quickly without causing harm to the original.

Editing raw images pixelmator and photoshop

Global and local adjustments are more straightforward with this app than Pixelmator.

RAW files are not processed with Pixelmator. The format cannot be taken full advantage of. However, the global corrections of Pixelmator are easy to use and powerful.

A beautiful result is achieved by doing basic editing without the use of a dedicated processor. Local corrections are effective, quick, and easy. Pixelmator only has nondestructive editing features for local adjustments. There are none for global changes.

Rating categories for RAW editing were

  • RAW processing
  • Global adjustment capability
  • Local adjustment capability
  • Core Imaging
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Ease and speed of use

Neither program received a ten rating in a category. Both received equal scores of eight, nine, and eight in the categories of global and local adjustment capabilities and ease and speed of use. Photoshop received a nine rating compared to a five rating for Pixelmator in RAW processing. Photoshop is the winner with a higher overall score.

Head Swapping Lasso Tool

Mr. Greenstein credit’s Photoshop tools for swapping heads as the best he has used.

Selecting heads is fast and easy. The selection that handles hair refining is also easy. The speed of Photoshop is fine, but the process was not as fluid as Pixelmator.

editing images interface from the mac app store

User interface with painting tools

The smart selection tools of Pixelmator were described as hit-and-miss. The lasso tool was used to make selections.

Pixelmator was faster and finished the job more quickly than Photoshop.

The categories rated for head swapping were

  • Selection capability
  • Color Adjustment
  • Red Eye Reduction
  • Ease and speed of use

Selection capability for Photoshop was nine, and six for Pixelmator. Ease and speed of use were eight for Photoshop and ten for Pixelmator. Combined scores were 17 for each.

There was no apparent winner for this test.

Summary: Photoshop vs Pixelmator Review

The standard features, of both products rate equally well. Photoshop has better pro features and quality of results.

The most significant disparity is in the price with Photoshop being the more expensive.

The price causes the general score of the two programs to lean toward Pixelmator. If all scores are combined, Photoshop comes out ahead. The overall winner is Photoshop with Pixelmator coming in as a close second.

If all scores are combined, Photoshop comes out ahead. The overall winner is Photoshop with Pixelmator coming in as a close second.

Conclusion, So What Is the Best Image Editor For the Mac?

Pixelmator is suggested for

  • Amateur photographers looking for basic color adjustment
  • Amateur designers who do not need advanced painting tools
  • General users

The app is available in the app store, and was rated as the best iPad pro photo editor. The selection of pro-level image editing features is also decent. Pixelmator is a fast working app.

Photoshop is recommended for photographers and professional web designers. All the professional features lacking in Pixelmator are available in Photoshop. It provides an acceptable user experience.

Though it is great for image editing, one limiting factor of Pixelmator is that cannot be used with Windows, as it is designed specifically for the Mac operating system and the latest version is available from the Mac App Store.

Users who only have Windows need to choose Adobe creative cloud that includes Photoshop or some other alternative. The information presented here covers four crucial differences, but keep in mind there are other software alternatives.

Use the information to choose the one that best suits your needs. Mac-based designers describe Pixelmator as Photoshop but a lot cheaper.

YouTube has a video that shows how the Content-Aware of Adobe Photoshop and the Healing Selection of Pixelmator compare. The video clip points out the difference in price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed