Lightroom Alternatives?

I just upgraded my hard drive on my Mac desktop and installed the latest OS. When trying to reinstall Lightroom 6 standalone it says it’s not compatible and I would need to either reinstall an older version of the OS or move to the subscription for LR. I’d prefer not to get the subscription because I don’t use it daily or even weekly to edit photos. I don’t need the power of full CC LR or PS with what I do. I use PS Elements and it works great for what I need it to do. So trying to find a LR alternative with a similar organizing function as well.

I’m wondering if anyone is aware of a good LR alternative that will import the Lightroom catalog without many issues. I’ve read a little bit about ON1 and Luminar but wanted to talk to the experts! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

If I were you I would experiment with the trial versions of OnOne Photo Raw and Luminar AI. OnOne is probably the closest match to Lightroom and a little bit of Photoshop. Luminar AI has some of the most innovative creative tools on the market right now. Either should be more than adequate as a Lightroom Classic alternative without the need for a monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

David Marx

Photo Mechanic just release Photo Mechanic Plus. It has the organizing bits I think you are looking for. Speedy program. I use for all my images, especially for my sports. I think it is worth a look at and you can get a trial version before buying and it is not a subscription model. And you can still edit in PS Elements. For a MAC it does required 10.15 or higher to run.

Thanks David - Do you know if either of them can bring LR catalog (with the edits) into their program? Also have you heard of CYME Avalanche migration software to migrate LR catalog? If so, do you thing it’s necessary? Really appreciate you taking the time to help me!

Thanks, David - I read a bit about the program and it looks like it might work for me. I’m curious if it can migrate my current LR catalog into the program. Appreciate your help!

I’m in the same boat - still using the non-subscription version on my older Macbook, but upgraded to a M1 Mac. I’ve installed CaptureOne (C1), which can be purchased as either a subscription or a perpetual license. I’ve bought the perpetual license and if you upgrade it every year or every 2nd year (they update around November time) then you can get the upgrade at a discount using your existing license. If you upgrade after 3 versions, they typically don’t give you the discount price - something to think about if you regularly buy new camera gear. They also run occasional upgrade specials during the year.

Phase One has stated they are going to make C1 version 20 and 21 native code for M1/Big Sur.

C1 has the facility to import a Lightroom catalog. The tethering capability of C1 is far superior to Lightroom v6.

They also have versions that are cheaper for use with Fuji, Sony or Nikon camera’s or the full version for all camera brands.

Dear Kim Langley,

I had not heard of the Avalanche Migration software before. It looks interesting but not something where I have any experience (yet.)

OnOne Photo Raw offers it’s own Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic migration utility. See

My experience with the OnOne migration utility is that it works pretty well but it’s definitely worth paying attention to the “fine print.” There are tools that Lightroom Clasic offers like the Transform Panel, or the Point-Tone Curve, that OnOne cannot match. Other lesser features of Lightroom Classic too, like Stacks, also have no equivalent in the OnOne world but the vast majority of what most Lightroom Classic users do has a close match.

It is also important to note that this tool is intended for one-time conversion and not continual “syncing” so I only recommend using it when you are truly ready to commit.

I am afraid that my experience with Luminar is more limited so I have no advice for you there either.

Hope this helps and please, please back everything up before you make any big moves so that you are ready in case anything goes terribly wrong or if you change your mind.

David Marx

Just an update for anyone that might read this announcement from Capture One (C1):

Capture One has announced that it will stop offering versions of its software that are limited to supporting only one camera brand. Capture One for Sony, Fujifilm, and Nikon will be eliminated starting on the afternoon of January 18.

Capture One Announcement on Camera Brand Only Versions