Pixelmator Pro: The perfect Photoshop replacement

Give it a try and you just might find that Pixelmator Pro is the perfect Photoshop replacement.

Pixelmator Pro is the perfect Photoshop replacement
Pixelmator Pro 1.5.4 Avalon features ML Super Resolution upscaling

Final Cut Pro X users are not used to subscriptions for creative software. For fcp.co, Oliver Peters takes a look at the new $40 Pixelmator Pro and sizes it up as a Photoshop replacement.

Oliver Peters for fcp.co:

If you are an experienced Photoshop user, then switching to Pixelmator Pro might take a bit of relearning; but if anything, the app is faster, more fluid, and more logically designed. Not to mention a steady stream of updates through the App Store mechanism since its introduction. As a Mac-only application, Pixelmator Pro is cleanly-written with optimized code – designed to take full advantage of Metal and Core Image.

I’ve been using Pixelmator Pro more these days instead of the knee-jerk reaction to head to Photoshop first. Each time I open it I discover more things that I really like about it. While you can’t do some of Photoshop’s more exotic functions, like video animations, Pixelmator Pro covers the bulk of what an editor needs from a graphics tool. Even advanced workflows, like batch actions, can be automated through Apple’s Automator app. Furthermore, if you use Apple Photos, Pixelmator Pro is also supported as an extension and through Photos’ “edit with” function.

MacDailyNews Take: Pixelmator Pro now has an end-to-end Metal pipeline for rendering and editing and a new asynchronous zoom engine, which brings some big performance improvements. Zooming and scrolling is now at least 10x faster and always responsive, effects are up to 2.7x faster, and painting is up to 2.4x faster!

We’ve been using Pixelmator, Pixelmator for iOS, and now Pixelmator Pro for many years now, replacing Photoshop, and we highly recommend Pixelmator, Pixelmator Pro, and Pixelmator for iOS.


  1. Honestly, there’s no substitute for Photoshop. Users whose needs are met by Pixelmator, which is indeed great by the way, probably didn’t need Photoshop in the first place. As a user that bought PS outright at least eight or nine times in yon olden tymes, I have to say Creative Cloud sub is actually cheaper than buying the software annually used to be. I love Pixelmator for mobile stuff, but it would not suffice for other work, and I often still run my Pixelmator material through Photoshop at some point in the workflow.

    1. What kind of stuff do you work on that needs Photoshop? I am still using CS6 and although I have the original Pixelamator I never bothered to learn it. Yes, the Creative Cloud is a good deal if you wanted all those apps, as I used to spend close to $600 to upgrade CS each year jfor the Creative Suite. On the other hand I don’t want to support the subscription model of software and it doesn’t matter how many great apps it has. If a brunch has 25 gourmet items and 6 world class deserts I still don’t want to pay whatever, when all I really want or need are two eggs, toast and an espresso and don’t each sugary dessert items. Which goes back to your comment and the article about it all depends on needs. But still curious where you find you require Photoshop?

  2. I use both Pixelmator Pro and Affinity Photo. Both excellent photo editors, no subscriptions required and less than $50 each.

    Affinity is very close to Photoshop in power. Pixelmator Pro is bit easier to use. Recommend both.

  3. Affinity actually does focus stacking better than Photoshop. I’ve seen ghosting with Photoshop but not with Affinity when stacking the same sequence. However, Affinity won’t import video frames to layers while Photoshop will. That’s a deal breaker for Affinity because my Panasonic FZ2500 takes a series of 4K frames as an .mp4 file.

  4. I have Affinity Photo in the background should my Photoshop simply croak. The biggest thing no one is mentioning is all the Thousands of Photoshop Plugins, Custom Brushes, Action Sets, and Vast Templates that no “Replacement” has… Imagenomic Portraiture, Exposure’s Eye Candy, Topaz Labs Filters are just a few of many Professional Plug-Ins that many photographers rely on, as I do. Any customer I consult with or go to on-site, has Photoshop on their computers, so If I need to edit something onsite or do training seminars… Photoshop is there and everywhere I go. Asking someone if they want a photoshop replacement that is far cheaper is always met with a “no thanks” because there’s a comfort level and decades of experience that simply can’t be replaced.

  5. The others are all lacking somewhat, although Photoshop is not only overkill but no way do I buy into the subscription model. I bounce around with a few apps, including the underrated Graphic Converter.

  6. Hoped to replace with Affinity but there was practically no useful pen in it which is 80% of my need and it’s not at all easy go use either with awful Icons so gave up. So put off I haven’t tried Pixelmator yet even though I downloaded a trial. Hopefully it might be a better bet but not counting on it.

  7. hello, I’m trying to use pixel pro gear but unfortunately I’m stuck because I don’t speak English and can’t find an explanation of the software in French. will anyone have a solution for law thanks in advance

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