Finding a truly decent and powerful image editor is a rare event. Especially if you want it to be free on top of that. Enter Fotor – the image editor is one of those noteworthy exceptions. It’s not only free, but also available for all platforms: There are excellent smartphone apps for Android and iOS, respectively, and the desktop versions work with Windows or Mac. The mobile app is especially interesting for all the smartphone photographers out there because its image enhancing features work really well. No doubt there’s enough reason to have a closer look at the Fotor app group here.
Fotor’s Photo Editor – the Smartphone App
The smartphone app is really appealing because it’s packed with features, while the simple handling provides a user-friendly experience at the same time. Fotor doesn’t stop at post-shoot editing, but contains a bunch of additional features. There is, for instance, the camera feature with six different modes: Grid, Big Button, Burst, Timer, Stabilizer and Square. Afterwards, just go ahead with using one of the many image editing tools and photo effects.
The technical quality of your pictures will get a significant boost by just one click. This is especially true for photos taken under poor light conditions. Take a look at some of Fotor’s features:
- 13 different scenes settings to match the conditions of when the photo was taken
- Editing images with dozens of simple and advanced tools
- More than 50 filters and effects, you can apply multiple effects to each picture
- Applying text, sticker or frames to the images
- Adapting depth-of-field
- Pixelating images with a pixel brush tool
- Creating collages (classic): use up to nine photos in a collage with several available templates
- Creating collages (magazine): design a collage using one of the magazine templates
Fotor App: Camera, Gallery View with selection and enhancements section
The app provides a user-friendly handling even though it contains tons of features. So I felt quickly at home. The camera releases slower than my actual smartphone camera (Galaxy Note 3), but delivers good pictures given sufficient light conditions. With poor light I would prefer the Samsung camera app, though.
But if it comes to enhancing pictures taken in poorly lit conditions, the Fotor Photo editor is really the one to beat, delivering truly outstanding results.
An enhanced photo, the mosaic feature, a collage frame
The app’s starting page displays the three buttons „Camera, Editing, Collage“ by default. However, you can change this and just make the camera of the app the start page. The settings also give you options regarding the storage path and the image resolution.
A Closer Look at the „Enhance“ Feature
Left: The original image. Right: Enhanced with Fotor.
Even using simple to use low-level enhancement tools will satisfy you with pretty nice results. You can try out any feature you want, and go back to the original anytime. To give you a better idea of the level of enhancements I link to two images here. They were taken under poor light conditions with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 camera. Compare the original above with the one below, enhanced with Fotor.
Clicking the image opens the full-size photo.
Fotor Desktop Application
Fotor’s desktop application is available for Windows and Mac. The start screen displays three main features: editing a photo, create a collage, and the batch editing feature.
The app’s interface looks trendy: darkish and uncluttered. Somewhat surprising, but only slightly distracting – an ad is displayed at the bottom to the right. Maybe it’s a (comparatively restrained) way how Fotor derives its funding.
Fotor works with all important file formats, like JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, and offers converting features for RAW files.
Fotor for Desktop Features
Fotor is an easy-to-use image editor enabling you to edit pictures without being a Photoshop pro. Image processing works swiftly. You can adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness/blur, and white balance. Features also include cropping, straightening, rotating, adding text, red-eye removing and more. Let’s have a closer look at some:
Batch processing saves you a lot of time and effort if you need to process many images at once. Apply scenes, effects, or frames to the photos, resize or rename them, perform file conversions.
Applying batch effects
The collage feature gives you a lot of options to be creative. You can choose from 80 different templates, integrating up to nine images. Using the „Freestyle“ tool enables you to mash up your photos with more than 20 different backgrounds.
After adding images on the left, drag and drop them into the template
The Tilt-Shift Feature
Though not that newsworthy anymore, the tilt-shift feature is still pretty interesting. It enables you to change depth-of-field and put sharpness to any detail you want. This way, you also can create those funny „miniature worlds“ (in case you don’t remember, search for „tilt-shift examples“).
Image processed with tilt-shift feature. Aperture f/8 was used. Clicking the image opens a hi-res version of the image.
Enhancing Images Using Specific Scenes
Most of the images you shoot are not taken under perfect conditions. And rarely will you take the time to change the camera’s settings when the conditions change. „Scenes“ offers 13 different 1-tap enhancements simulating specific conditions, like cloudy, night, flash, sunset, portrait etc.
Effects, Text, and Borders
Fotor offers a huge range of effects and borders. According to the company these features have been developed using the expertise of pro photographers and designers. The app provides more than 90 effects, including classic photo effects, Lomo, black-and-white, artistic effects, and vignettes. Furthermore, there are 30 different borders and you are able to add text to the images. You can adjust the font, size and color of these texts, you can rotate and resize them a bit, and you can apply transparency and shadows to your texts.
Fotor Web Application
There is also a web application, but it comes with less features than the smartphone and desktop apps. It’s sufficient enough for a quick retouching, though. You are also able to share the images directly to social networks. Which makes the most sense for a web app: quickly enhancing your images to share them on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ afterwards.
If you want to edit your images very fast, very simple and sufficiently effective – there’s hardly anything like Fotor. The easy and intuitive workflow and the editing results will make you stop thinking about alternatives. Add to it the many features for beautifying your photos. Sure enough, Fotor cannot and will not replace Photoshop or even Affinity Photo, both of which offer way more features and application areas. But if you look for a mere efficient and very effective image editor, you need to look no further.
- The Fotor Smartphone Apps: for Android | for iOS
- Fotor for Desktop: For Mac OS X | for Windows | for Windows 8
- Fotor Web Application
- Fotor Documentation for Mac
- Fotor Documentation for Windows
- Affinity Photo Beta: The First REAL Alternative to Photoshop?