Photo apps for the Mac can be categorized into three groups. Photoshop at the high end; the app that can do almost anything. Pixelmator, Acorn, and others in the mid-range. And a growing number of one-trick pony photo utilities which have a small number of features, don’t cost much, and are easier to use for the non-Photoshop centric Mac user. Here are four which range if price from cheap to free.
Cheap: Mito Show – This is the most comprehensive app in the group and though it’s actually simple to use, Mito Show’s few features have almost limitless settings which make it a straightforward process to adjust exposure, change tint, control sharpness, and mix saturation, hue, and much more with simple slider bars (note to app developers: slider bars are nice but add a numeric option).
Cheaper: Mirrored Photos Pro – Work is involved to mirror objects to create a reflection effect. Mirrored Photos Pro does just that and not much else. Original photos can be flipped and mirrored multiple ways for different effects. And it can take photos with the Mac’s built-in camera.
Free: Reduce Image Noise – Noise and various visual artifacts show up in photos taken in low light situations. Reduce Image Noise, as the name says, reduces the image noise in a photo automatically, but also has slider bar controls for the amount of noise reduction and sharpness.
It’s free with ads, but 99-cents without ads.
Free: HDR Kit Lite – This is more of a free demo of a much more expensive Mac photo enhancement app, but it works. HDR Kit Lite adds HDR-like effects to a photo, including exposure and tone controls, the mandatory Vignette style, plus options to adjust– using sliders that also have numeric counterparts– color temperature, gamma, exposure, shadows, balance, contrast, radius, and intensity.
Every week or so I will browse through the Photography and Graphics & Design sections in the Mac App Store and I’m seldom disappointed by the number of the one-trick pony apps that enhance this or that, or add a special effect that would normally require a more expensive app.