ACDSee Photo Studio 2020 is a solid, if unspectacular, photo editor. It does come with a broad range of powerful tools for both editing and organizing images and projects, but it lacks some of the deeper features that professionals and advanced users will need. What's more, the interface and design of the app is more difficult to use than the likes of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC, so ACDSee is probably best used by intermediate editors. While it was part of our best photo editing software line-up, we've since removed it from the list, as other editors have upped their game in the past 12 months.
ACDSee Photo Studio review: Features
ACDSee 2020 has standard editing tools, including ones for selection, shape, and painting and drawing. ACDSee accesses the fonts already on your computer and allows you to enhance your photos with a variety of effects. With 60 filters to choose from, you can easily alter the textures and colors in your images. ACDSee also offers impressive editing tools like haze removal for landscape shot and a Skin Tune tool that helps you even out skin tone, restore glow, and smooth away blemishes.
In addition to the basics, the software features advanced tools such as cloning, touch-up and vector graphic tools that can completely transform your photos and eliminate unwanted flaws or background elements.
This image editor also has options that adjust or correct your photo automatically. With batch processing, you can apply those same edits to multiple photos at a time, greatly saving time when you need to apply the same edit to more than one photo.
As a photo organizer, ACDSee Photo Studio 2020 makes it easy to find the image you want to edit, and you can access all the photos on your computer, even ones that you have not imported into ACDSee. You can organize photos by the day, month or year they were taken, or you can organize them by keywords, by ratings you assign, by geographical locations, by the camera you used, etc.
The Professional version doesn’t support working in layers, which is a concerning omission since it’s a relatively standard feature among other 'professional' photo editors. Layers would let you preserve your original image while still allowing you to make changes to the overall look of your project. The lack of layers makes this program frustrating if you’re familiar with other programs and rely heavily on layers in your editing. It also makes it a shaky choice for beginning editors who are wanting to learn professional programs, since it differs so much from the norm. If you're willing to pay more, you can upgrade to ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020, which does offer the ability to work in layers, or opt to subscribe to the Home Pack for $9 per month.
ACDSee Photo Studio review: Compatibility and export options
The program supports over 50 different file formats, including the popular RAW, JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PDF formats. This should cover almost any project, though some competitors offer compatibility with even more file types. With resizing tools, you can optimize your photos for online content so you can post them on the web. ACDSee allows you to post your photos or albums onto social media websites and online galleries, or to send them through emails.
ACDSee Photo Studio review: Price and support options
There's a 30-day free trial, if you want to give ACDSee a try. After that, there are a number of ways to buy. A lifetime license to the Ultimate version, which is the one we'd recommend, has a list price of $225. This is almost always reduced, and at time of writing sits at $75. For the same price, we'd probably recommend Corel PaintShop Pro 2021 instead. You can opt for a subscription service instead, which gives you access to a bunch of ACDSee apps in the Home Pack. This is $8.99 per month and is probably the best value, as it throws in 50GB of cloud storage, which you can use to edit photos across multiple devices. Overall, it's fine for value, although we'd probably spend another dollar per month and get the Adobe Photography Pack instead.
ACDSee gives you access to user guides and support directly from the program. For questions or technical difficulties, you can contact customer service representatives by phone or email. You can also search for answers on the product’s FAQs page or ask a question in the user forum.
Should you buy ACDSee Photo Studio 2020?
ACDSee Photo Studio 2020 is a good editor and organizer, but it doesn't outperform its rivals in any single area. What's more it occupies an uncomfortable middle-ground in terms of usability, and is neither great for beginners or advanced users. If you want to pick this one up, go for the Ultimate version as it has the broadest range of features and doesn't cost a whole lot more. We genuinely like ACDSee, but it doesn't quite get the same results as other comparable software packages.