Adobe Lightroom has always been a very useful and functional piece of software. Over the years its got better and easier to use and is continually improving. So ,why then would anyone wish to replace it? Well , the switch to a monthly subsciption has surely been the most controversial move ever and has photographers in particular, amateur photographers up in arms and searching for a more economical solution to their editing needs. So now here is a huge ready made market ripe for the picking for the company with the right software! But who, has the right software waiting to mop up this rich swathe of ex adobe users? Read on! I had my lightroom subscription at the bargain price of £7.99 it worked ,it was fast and was easy to use and, as a bonus you get the one and only Photoshop in with it! But as an amateur and mostly for fun photographer it grated me to keep paying over and over for the software so, I decided to look for a viable alternative that would be a one off purchase. And so the search began! To date I have tried Affinity photo, Fast raw viewer,Alien skin exposure x3,Corel aftershot pro3,Graphic convertor 10, Picktorial,Photolemur,On1 photoraw.Capture One 11, Cyberlink photodirector 9, Dxo photolab, Photomechanic 5, Athentec Perfectly Clear, Gimp , Darktable, Lightzone and Digikam and a few besides. Some of these are open source, some I purchased and some I tried as a free trial. I will write a review for each of these as and when time allows and add to this column so check back to see the results. To be clear, I mainly use Mac osx sierra, followed by a spot of Linux (Ubuntu and Mintlinux Cinnamon edition) . A one time windows user but eventually driven to change before insanity took over, so now I only use windows in the virtual world on my Mac. I have a high spec pc with an i9 7900x processor 32gb of fast memory, two Samsung 1tb nvme drives three samsung ssd and numerous external drives. Graphics provided by nvidia GTX1080. I triple boot mint,ubuntu and Osx high Sierra (hackintosh). I started by searching for Lightroom alternative, as you do. After much deliberation I decided to try Graphic convertor 10 by Lemke software.de. People raved about it and the developer saying how good it was and how helpful he was. I certainly dont dispute this and after asking nicely he even added a graduated filter to the software at my request. But it was slow opening and slow to respond and no matter how hard I tried it just could not replace Lightroom. It took too long and lacked the basic functionality of lightroom. Although I had been using it and trying desperatley to get on with it I had by now had to purchase it as the trial had expired! To be fair it is a very useful piece of software and I have kept it for future use, but it lacked a library function a core component of Lightroom, the dehaze was uncontrollable and the graduated filter did not work as expected. But in all honesty Graphic convertor was probably never designed to edit and library as Lightroom does but initially as a convertor as the name suggests. And it is described as the swiss army knife of photo editing so still a useful tool.So I decided to try another. Next up was Picktorial a well written piece of software (Mac only)which I believe is from Israel. This really is a great bit of software and has just about every tool for editing you could possibly want patch tool , skin smoothing , linear and radial gradients , highlights and shadows, curves ,frames, Luminosity masks it has it all.It does not slow the operating system at all and works with most cameras raw files and all jpegs. It has a limited selection of presets which work fairly well. It integrates with photos to work as an extension and so makes life for the average user very easy. I was so impressed I bought it before the trial ran out and thought this is a marriage made in heaven , but alas it was not meant to be.As an avid amateur photographer I have, and keep adding to, many thousands of photos. So as a consequence I tend to store them on network drives or usb attached drives and therein lies the problem. Having to navigate through gigabytes of photos searching for particular ones soon wears you down. And Picktorial has no library function but shows a navigation tree of your Mac as in finder and you have to search away! It does have a catalog free smart library where it monitors chosen folders. This works great but really is not suitable for large collections.But for the average user this is a great and powerful piece of software that truly integrates into the Mac ethos.So another I love and still use but not quite there. After Picktorial I decided to try Corel Aftershot pro 3 . This is a well written piece of software and its main claim to fame is its speed. Its a lightweight installation and is very fast and nimble. The import is lightning and editing quick also. Importing is a lot easier than lightroom as you can just bring in individual files, browse them off disc as a file structure in windows explorer or mac finder etc.So you can chose to use it with library or without. Ps It also works on Linux. Its neatly laid out and all features are in one window making it possibly a little more cluttered looking. It features non destructive editing meaning edits can always be undone, you can catalog and sort your images by star rating flags and colour coding. After shot pro automatically sorts your photos by the usual standard, date time, name or tags you add. You can also sort by iso, shutter speed and aperture. So its fast, can library or just use file system tab, it has most features for editing your photos and has some presets, some free, some chargeable. It does nearly all that Lightroom does for a one off price. But there are a few features it doesn't have that for my needs (mainly landscape) that made it not quite fit the bill. No dehaze control and the big one no graduated filter, but I do believe the graduated filter has now been added as a plugin. So this is so nearly the replacement for Lightroom but not quite for me, so look out Adobe serious competition snapping at your heels. CaptureOne Pro11. Definetly needs no introduction and is respected throughout the world as as a high end product for Pros. It covers all bases, it has asset management of various sorts to cover all scenarios and you can label and rate your photos add keywords and search using endless criteria, for a Pro its the ultimate competitor to Adobe. Its fast importing and scrolling through vast libraries of large photos is fast and simple. In editing it has all tools needed to bring out the best in your work.It is well worth a try but for many may seem to complex and costly, its around £200 (English pounds), but is worth it if you need the best. If you have the time and money it really is worth investing your time and money in Capture One. Once you figure out the shortcuts and ease with which you can make your pictures look their best it all becomes clear. It flows smoothly and never slows you down or holds you up, keystone corrections , colour corrections,tonal corrections and spot removal are all straightforward and work flawlessly. Images shine in their natural beauty and dont look over processed in any way. I will upload photos to this site and to my flickr site so you may view and compare from each program. https://www.flickr.com/photos/aaggett/ DXO photolab. Another well known program thats been around for a long time and as with many others keeps improving but never seems to catch up with the Adobe crowd. Its reasonably priced and a new version has just been launched. With new and upgraded features. Its simple to use and has Dxo clearview which is the same as dehaze in other softwares. Its optical corrections have been perfected over many years and as such are excellent.Dxo prime denoising is another proven excellent feature.You have graduated filter, brush tool, automatic repair and of course all the standard tone, colour highlight shadow tools etc. So, all in all a great package and east to use but, there is no real dam (digital asset management tool, or library) Although the just released version has a search fuction which looks like a library or indexing of sorts.But for me its not quite so smooth to use as some others and it can at times be painfully slow trying to scroll through a folder of my raw files. Although they are each in excess of 40mb. Maybe for other file types or smaller this may not be a problem but as they seem to get ever larger this is an issue not likely to go away anytime soon. Cyberlink Photodirector 9. Again a software suite thats been around for quite some time and version 10 has just been released.I tried the demo of version 10 but all of my raw files had a really pronounced pink tinge to them. So I contacted customer support and gave them full details of my camera,computer , lenses and files.All I got back was a generic response saying to try updating graphics drivers etc! And if this did not help contact them with details of my computer , camera etc which I had already done! So a big fat zero out of ten for customer service. I checked the forums to find others with Sony cameras had suffered the same issues. A pity as at the price of around £100 the software covers all bases . It has a library feature and all the editing features you could possibly want and more, it truly is staggering and for some people I am sure this software would be the bees knees as it were. It has presets , templates, 360 photo editing , motion stills from video, portrait or face beautification content aware editing, layers and more. The list is endless. But again with my large raw files it is painfully slow to the point of being almost unuseable. But if you have a smaller camera give it a try for sure as it has ALL the bells and whistles.