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Review of the Best 8 Photo Touch-Up Tools in 2024

Detailed review, everything you want to know about AI photo touch-up tools.

By Chloe HuangPublished about a month ago 8 min read
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Photo touch-up, the process of enhancing and refining images, is a valuable skill that can take your photography to the next level. From minor adjustments like brightening a photo to more elaborate edits like smoothing skin or removing unwanted elements, photo editing software and apps offer a wide range of tools to enhance digital images. This article will explore the different types of apps and software for photo touch-ups, understanding the basics and advanced techniques for professional results.

Part 1: Brief Introduction to Photo Touch-Up

Photo touch-ups include various techniques to improve the visual quality of a digital image. These techniques can be broadly categorized into three main areas:

Basic adjustments: Correct fundamental aspects of an image, such as brightness, contrast, exposure, white balance, and color saturation.

Advanced editing: This focuses on specific enhancements like smoothing skin texture, removing blemishes, correcting red-eye, whitening teeth, and other targeted improvements.

Creative enhancements: Applying artistic effects like filters, textures, and overlays to create a unique visual style.

Part 2: The Rise of AI Photo Touch-Up

For many years, manual editing software like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP have been the industry standard for photo touch up. These powerful tools offer diverse features and functionalities, allowing for precise control over every aspect of the image. However, mastering these tools requires a significant learning curve and technical skills. Additionally, manual editing can be time-consuming, especially for extensive edits or batch processing.

But now the rise of AI solutions is changing the situation. Many dedicated AI-powered photos retouching tools are emerging and becoming more sophisticated by the day. Even the PhotoShop, the industry standard for photo touch-ups, also needs to be responsive to the times and integrate AI solutions to make the editing process much easier than before.

So, with this in mind, in addition to the ease of use, price, compatibility, etc, the availability of AI features became an important aspect when testing the photo touch-up tools for this article. Now let’s dive right into it.

Part 3: AI Photo Touch-Up Software

1. AVCLabs PhotoPro AI

AVCLabs PhotoPro AI is a dedicated AI photo touch-up tool that is designed to streamline and simplify the editing process. The basic functions of this tool include: blurring faces and backgrounds, cutting out people or objects, reducing noise and blurriness, colorizing black-and-white photos, adjusting the tone of the whole and partial image, and removing unwanted elements such as watermarks, people, and imperfections, all these tasks are finished with just a few clicks.

With AVCLabs PhotoPro AI, users don't have to put much effort into retouching their photos, they just need to upload the image and choose the right AI model. However, some reviews suggest that such programs are much less creative. To address this, the program recently released a new version that adds a new AI Replace feature. This feature allows users to select any part of an image and then present a textual prompt to replace the selected part, which enhances its creativity.

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Free Trial: Yes, each feature can be tried for free, exported images contain watermarks.

Key Features of AVCLabs PhotoPro AI:

  • Erase and replace objects with text prompts.
  • Enhance photo quality with advanced technology.
  • Upscale photos up to 3x, 4x without losing quality.
  • Remove unwanted objects, people, and watermarks.
  • Colorize B&W photos to make them come to life again.

Pros:

  • It is easy to use and time-saving.
  • Free updates and 24/7 technical support.
  • Functionality and natural results.

Cons:

  • The output quality heavily relies on the accuracy and effectiveness of the AI algorithms, which may not always produce perfect results.

2. HitPaw Photo AI

HitPaw Photo AI and AVCLabs PhotoPro AI are highly similar in terms of product positioning and product functions. HitPaw Photo AI divides its functions into five main sections: AI Generator, AI Portrait, AI Enhancer, BG Remover, and Object Removal. Among them, AI Enhancer is further subdivided into features such as colorization, color correction, and more.

We mainly tested the latter three features that are more commonly used in photo retouching. Although the output quality cannot be fully guaranteed by a program that relies heavily on the accuracy and effectiveness of AI algorithms, overall the results of HitPaw Photo AI processing were all pretty good.

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Free Trial: Yes, some features are allowed to preview with a watermark, but not allowed to export.

Key Features of HitPaw Photo AI:

  • Selectively remove unwanted objects from photos.
  • Remove the background from your photos.
  • Improve photo quality by sharpening details, adjusting colors, and removing noise.
  • Create a new image based on your specifications or by providing text descriptions.

Pros:

  • It is user-friendly.
  • Portrait enhancements are good.

Cons:

  • Not allowed to export images for free.
  • The preview has a watermark.
  • Program performance is unstable and sometimes fails to run when trying out it.

3. Topaz Photo AI

Topaz Photo AI is an advanced photo touch-up tool renowned for its superior quality. It offers various functions within the Add Enhancement board, including Remove Noise, Sharpen, Adjusting Lighting, Remove Objects, Recover Faces, and more. Once a photo is uploaded, users can select any function to apply to the picture, and the chosen enhancements will be displayed on the main screen. Notably, multiple functions can be applied to the same image simultaneously. For those uncertain about how to retouch their photos, the Autopilot feature analyzes the image and applies enhancements to bring out its best quality.

What sets Topaz Photo AI apart from AVCLabs and HitPaw is its compatibility as a Photoshop plug-in, offering users added flexibility in their editing workflows. However, Topaz Photo AI may be slightly more complicated compared to the two programs mentioned above, feeling confused when trying it the first time.

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Free Trial: Yes, users can try all features without a watermark, but a license is required to save the results.

Key Features of Topaz Photo AI:

  • Detect and address problems like noise, blur, and lack of detail.
  • Balance color and automatically adjust lighting by changing brightness and contrast.
  • Preserve text: improve texts and keep them from getting distorted by other filters.
  • Autopilot mode: Analyze an image and apply corrections without user intervention, saving time and effort.

Pros:

  • Supports batch processing.
  • Autopilot mode streamlines the editing process for a faster approach.

Cons:

  • Downloading model files is slow for first use.
  • Mastering the manual controls might require some practice.

Part 4: Online Photo Touch-Up Tools

1. AVC.AI

AVC.AI is a free online AI photo touch-up site offering functions similar to many other AI photo retouching software options. It boasts a total of seven AI models, enabling users to remove unwanted objects, people, and backgrounds, upscale images by 400%, enhance photos by reducing or removing noise, and colorize black and white pictures, each available for separate or stacked use. Among them, AI Remover is free to use, while other AI features require different amounts of credits, depending on the specific feature accessed. New users receive free credits upon registration, and existing users can earn additional credits by completing designated tasks.

Pros:

  • Free and easy to use.
  • Easy to use across devices.
  • Not as demanding on computer configuration as desktop AI programs.

Cons:

  • Limited free credits are offered.

2. Fotor Photo Retouching Online

The features of Fotor Photo Retouching Online, as advertised on its official website, tend to be more towards beautifying pictures, especially portraits. It can be used to remove blemishes such as wrinkles and pimples, smooth faces, get people in good shape, whiten their teeth, and more. However, as stated before, the availability of AI features became a very important aspect when testing the photo touch-up tools. Except for those photo editing features, Fotor also provides AI tools such as AI Enhance, AI Enlarger, Background Remover, etc. Although some effects may not be very stable compared to other AI programs, overall, this program has very comprehensive functions.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive touch-up functions.
  • Built-in AI features to help simplify the process of photo touch up.

Cons:

  • Watermarks on the processed images.
  • Ads disturbance.

3. Befunky

Befunky stands out as the most feature-rich among these three online tools, offering a diverse range of functions organized into 10 sections. These functions encompass basic editing features like rotation, resizing, and cropping, as well as facial enhancement and modification tools, filters, and various AI functions such as automatic enhancement. While its facial modification capabilities surpass those of Fotor, its AI automatic enhancement function is relatively average, primarily adjusting brightness and contrast without significantly improving image quality. However, Befunky excels in retouching facial blemishes, particularly in high-resolution images.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive touch-up functions.
  • Excels in retouching facial blemishes.

Cons:

  • The effects of AI enhancement are not satisfactory.

Part 5: Photo Touch Up Apps

1. Remini

Remini is a mobile app powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that specializes in enhancing photos, especially older, blurry, or low-resolution ones. Its key features include sharpening blurry images, improving resolution, and enhancing overall clarity. The app also offers a specific function for enhancing facial details in portraits, as well as the option to add color to black-and-white photos. With regular updates introducing new features like video enhancement, Remini ensures users have access to the latest in photo editing technology.

Pros:

  • Improves low-quality images very well.
  • The operation process is simple and fast.

Cons:

  • The results aren't always flawless.
  • Limit the number of photos you can enhance per day under the free version.

2. Snapseed

Snapseed is a powerful and versatile photo touch-up app available for free on both iOS and Android devices. It features editing tools for adjusting brightness, contrast, and more, along with creative filters customizable to suit any style. With selective adjustments, users can target specific areas for editing, while the healing tool effortlessly removes blemishes. Snapseed also allows users to save editing presets for easy application to multiple photos, streamlining the editing process.

Pros:

  • Free and feature-rich.
  • Clean and intuitive interface.

Cons:

  • Mastering the full potential of Snapseed's tools might require some practice and exploration.

Conclusion - How to Choose a Suitable Photo Touch-Up Tool

This article introduces eight photo touch-up tools categorized into two main groups: AI image repair tools and comprehensive image editing software. The analysis below offers a summary to help readers identify the suitable category.

The first type, AI-based photo touch-up tools, excels in restoring old photos or tackling tasks beyond the capabilities of normal editing software, such as AI replacement, image enhancement, blur removal, or depixelation, etc. Despite some editing apps integrating AI functions, specialized AI software still outperforms them. These programs typically require minimal user intervention, making them suitable for inexperienced editors. However, they demand higher computer configurations and lack cross-device compatibility. Users concerned about this can try similar online AI tools like AVC.AI.

The second category encompasses comprehensive image editing tools, including online platforms and mobile apps, ideal for optimizing everyday life photos and enhancing portraits. These versatile tools excel in beautifying portraits. But honestly, no need to have high expectations for their built-in AI features.

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About the Creator

Chloe Huang

Dedicated to sharing a variety of useful technical tips~

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