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Snap happy: seven of the best online photo editing tools

Discover some of the best apps, websites and tools to help make your photos look like they were taken and produced by a pro. 

Over the past few years, popular social media sites including Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook have encouraged the rise of the amateur photographer.

Combined with advancements in smartphone camera technology like face mapping, optical image stabilisation, and better autofocus, snapping off high quality photos is easier than ever.

Yet with an average of 80 million photos shared each day on Instagram alone, it can be challenging to make your images pop.

Luckily there’s a plethora of apps, tools and websites available.

Check out our top seven picks below:


Image courtesy: Fotor on the Google Play store.

Dubbed as the ‘2nd generation of digital image enhancer and designer after Photoshop’, Fotor offers an extensive photo-editing suite for amateur photographers, with the ability go beyond editing images with exclusive tools, filters and effects.

You can also create collages, add graphics, take high quality photos with the app’s built in HDR feature and retouch elements of the image with tools like red-eye and blemish removal.

Available on iPhone, Android, and on your friendly neighbourhood browser.


Image courtesy: Pixlr on the Google Play store.

For those looking to go into more advanced detail including working in layers, warping or transforming objects, and changing colours – or if you simply want to throw on a quick filter – Pixlr offers both options with Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express.

Also included in Pixlr is the O Matic tool, which allows you to add cool retro effects, and warm, rustic filters to turn your ordinary photos into a vintage photo album.

Available on desktop browser and mobile (Apple App Store and Google Play).


Image courtesy: BeFunky on the Google Play store.

Preserving and editing memories is made easy with online photo editing tool, BeFunky.

Beyond the usual filters and editing options, the app offers the unique Cartoonizer® effect, as well as oil painting and pop art options.

Creating collages is more exciting than placing a few images in pre-set grids. You can choose bespoke layouts, text, patterns and graphics too.

Available on desktop browser and mobile (Apple App Store and Google Play).

CameraBag 2

Image courtesy: CameraBag2 press centre.

CameraBag2 is an award-winning app for good reason.

Bringing a simple and fresh approach to photo filtering, CameraBag 2 provides users with an easy way to apply and refine filters across your photos.

Tools you won’t necessarily find on other editing apps and sites include the app’s advanced exposure and colouring tools, multiple types of tone curves, sharpening and cropping just to name a few.

Just be warned: this app isn't free, although there is a limited free trial.

Available on Mac and PC.


Image courtesy: VSCO Cam on the Google Play store.

Beyond editing with bespoke VSCO filters and tools that allow you to do things such as add highlights, shadows and sharpen images, this photo editing app is best known for social sharing and artist connectivity.

Signing up to VSCO provides you with a platform to create your own profile and publish edited images, as well as explore, follow and connect with others.

Also included in VSCO is a ‘shop’ option, which allows users to purchase additional and limited edition presets.

Available on desktop and mobile (Apple App Store and Google Play). 

Photoshop Express 

Image courtesy: Photoshop Express on the Google Play store.

Photoshop Express is designed for editing on the go, with the ability to easily touch up and enhance photos, and quickly share these images onto social channels like Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.

Forget about trying to teach yourself regular Photoshop skills, Photoshop Express can help make your photos to pop in a few seconds!

Available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store.


Image courtesy: Instagram on the Google Play store.

Last but not least, Instagram: the platform that has championed the rise of the amateur photographer since its inception, and has made photo editing more accessible and simple.

Recent app updates include the ability to share 15 second video content and the introduction of Boomerang – a video app that takes a series of photos and turns them into a mini video which plays both backward and forward.

Photo editing available on the iOS and Android apps.

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