Best Lightroom non-Subscription Replacement?


Mu-43 Regular
Aug 22, 2019
Adobe emailed me saying they reset their software trials, so I gave new LR another try. I am not a fan of subscriptions, but the LR + 1TB cloud for $9.99 seemed like a tempting deal. Problem is, that plan is not for LR classic, and “new” LR seems to be missing some things. I’ve decided to stick to LR 6 for now. I no longer have a Mac, so I’m trying to figure out if I want to stick to iCloud and Photos for my exports. I still have an iPhone, so it makes for easy sharing. I like the idea of at least a JPG in the cloud to cover catastrophic local loss.
The $9.99 plan includes Classic.

I use the iOS version extensively, have at least a dozen online albums loaded at all times and it’s my only device when I travel months each year taking lots of stills. No video, I cull aggressively, but the 20 gig of included cloud space on a 128 gig iPad has never left me remotely close to the limits. You do not have to use the cloud. All I keep up there are some online albums and the last import.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Nov 27, 2015
SilkyPix Developer Studio Pro 10 is on sale at the moment. $86 USD for the full supported camera manufacturers version. Noise reduction is much improved over earlier versions, and it now has 6 different compositing modes. Fake background blur is much better, and there's a few other new additions. I bought it, and like it a lot. Been using SP since Pro 8, getting better all the time. Can install it on 3 computers, so all good there. Give it a try.


Mu-43 All-Pro
Feb 26, 2014
Consider On1 Photo Raw. On1 will soon be releasing a companion Mobile app that is a camera app and editor for IOS and Android devices.
Jan 19, 2018
Columbus, Ohio, US
Real Name
I'm going to say that, if the goal is Lightroom without the subscription, then darktable is probably the best option. It's VERY Lightroom like. The user interface and the workflow are extremely similar. It's also free which is another thing in its favor.

The documentation is good but Bruce Willams' YouTube playlist is how I learned most of what I know. (Put the speed on at least 1.5x - he's a slow talker :)).

My biggest problem with darktable at the beginning was that Lightroom does more to get you an initially "acceptable" image so you're starting from something that looks a little better. Set up some presets and then use the "auto apply" feature of them so that they are applied to every image imported. My automatically applied presets include lens correction, base curve (Olympus-like alternate), sharpen, and local contrast (similar to Lightroom's Clarity slider). This gets me something much more in line with where Lightroom starts an image. Since I've set the presets up I don't really miss Lightroom at all.
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