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Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

Adobe is known for producing likely the most popular photo editing tools on the planet, their professional-grade Photoshop software. However, they also cater to the beginner crowd with a simplified version called Photoshop Elements 12. Elements 12 offers all the basic photo editing and manipulation tools along with many of the advanced tools you'd find in it's older sibling. What I like best about the Elements 12 software is that it offers three different user interfaces which cater to users of all skill types. For most of you reading this article, the ‘Quick' and ‘Guided' modes will offer the basic editing tools and even run you through how to use them without any confusion. However, if you're someone who already knows their way around an image editing software then the ‘Expert' mode should be well suited for your needs.
MSRP: $99.99 (Click To See Current Price)
Supported Platforms: Mac & PC
Read Our Review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 Review

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Arcsoft PhotoStudio 6

Arcsoft's PhotoStudio 6 software is another great option for beginner photographers or photo editing enthusiasts. Within PhotoStudio 6, you'll find both basic and advanced tools along with many simplified tools for editing the perfect portrait. These include repairing skin blemishes, removing red-eye, teeth whitening, and more. In addition, Arcsoft has included pre-set photo filters and effects to give you the look you're aiming for without any tedious editing efforts.
MSRP: $79.99 (Click To See Current Price)
Supported Platforms: Mac & PC

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Corel PaintShop Pro X7

Corel is a well-known name in the digital media world for offering consumer-grade photo and video editing suites at an affordable price-point. Their latest release is PaintShop Pro X7, and it offers the most efficient photo editing capabilities from the company to date. One of the biggest selling points for the X7 version is their new “Magic Fill” integration which allows you to seamlessly remove unwanted objects from photos. PaintShop Pro X7 is developed on a 64-bit architecture which means those of you who are running a 64-bit OS will be able to utilize increased performance as the software will make full use of your system's components.
MSRP: $79.99 (Click To See Current Price)
Supported Platforms: PC Only

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

I was hesitant to include this in the list as it can also be considered a more advanced photo editing software although I'd argue that it is great for beginners as well. The interface is clean and straight-forward with the basic editing elements easily found in the side toolbars. It also has great “auto” tools such as auto-tone and auto-white balance which often these two clicks can take your photos from good to great. What I like about Lightroom 5 is you can start off small with basic editing tasks and work your way up to the more advanced tactics as you learn and progress your photo editing skills. I'd say 98% of my photo editing for this website is accomplished solely using this software.
MSRP: $149.99 (Click To See Current Price)
Supported Platforms: Mac & PC
Read Our Review: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Review