The best raw editor is the one that you are comfortable using.

Raw editors come in many flavors. The right raw editor for you will depend on your needs and your skill level. Infrared photography complicates this by requiring features less commonly used in visible light photography, such as unusual white balancing and color swapping. Here is a summary of raw editors to help you find the best raw editor for you.

Desktop Mobile Color Swap Methods
Name License Mac Win Linux Android iPad iPhone White Balance Channel Mixer Invert Hue LUTs Video Notes
Adobe Lightroom subscription Needs DCP profiles via XMP profiles Great ecosystem, leading masking
Adobe Lightroom Classic subscription Needs DCP profiles via XMP profiles LR plus better catalog, printing, import, & export
Adobe Photoshop subscription Needs DCP profiles Yes Industry standard for desktop, IR Actions, iPad app bad for IR
Affinity Photo 2 separate license each platform Yes Great non-subscription PS alternative
Canon Digital Photo Professional desktop free, mobile subscription Limited For Canon pixel-peepers making large prints
Capture One license or subscription Pass for IR unless you already own C1
darktable free open source Yes Excellent free open source
DxO PhotoLab license & DCP Yes Easy to use, but need Elite edition
ON1 Photo RAW license or subscription Yes Easy to use, IR Presets
Photomator license Yes Great Mac-only solution cross-device
Pixelmator Pro license Yes Great Mac-only solution with layers
RawTherapee free open source Yes Excellent free open source, great for monochrome

Reviews Coming Soon


  • DCP profile - A custom digital negative camera profile can be used to adjust the color temperature slider to set a good white balance in infrared. The Infrared Profile Pack includes custom profiles for hundreds of cameras.
  • Channel Mixer - The ability to assign different red, green, or blue values to pixels. A common color swap is to assign blue to the red channel and red to the blue channel which results in a blue sky.
  • Invert - The ability to invert the hues or colors of an image via an invert adjustment layer, curves invert, or levels invert.
  • Hue - The ability to globally rotate hues by 180 degrees.
  • LUTs - Color lookup table files with a .cube extension. Free LUTs are availlable at Updated Color Infrared LUTs v2.
  • XMP - Adobe Enhanced profiles that can combine DCP files and LUTs. Build or buy enhanced profiles at Lightroom Infrared Color Swap Profiles.

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