Another Photoshop Alternative – CameraBag 2020

If you have spent any time at all following me, you should know the following.

1. I think photo editing should be quick and easy.
2. I’d rather spend my time with my finger on the shutter button than the mouse button.
3. I love using presets to either start or finish a photo because they save time.

Here’s one more thing you should know. I am sick and tired of paying rent to Adobe in exchange for using their photo/video editing tools.

I used to be okay with their subscription model because I did the math and the monthly costs usually amounted to less than I would have spent on their upgrade path.

But lately, I do not believe the updates Adobe have offered warrant continued subscription. And while I know they make lots of money using that subscription model and they aren’t going to abandon it, I think their approach is arrogant and it leaves open an avenue for other companies to innovate and offer software for a standard, one-time, license fee.

There is a program called CameraBag 2020 that I think warrants your consideration.

While it’s maker bills it as a Lightroom replacement, it doesn’t offer a catalog feature so I think it’s better considered a Photoshop replacement.

It also might serve those who need basic video editing since CameraBag is available for either photo editing or photo and video editing.

Watch this teaser video if you just want an executive summary of what CameraBag 2020 has to offer.

What I really like about CameraBag 2020 is that it offers the combination of power and simplicity. It lets you instantly apply one of hundreds of beautiful presets to your photos (and videos with CameraBag Pro), and then dive deeper with intuitive professional adjustments and custom presets. CameraBag’s focus on intuitive tools and workflows isn’t about dumbing down image editing, it’s about working smarter and faster.

If you read the first few paragraphs of this review, you know that resonates with me. Here’s something else that resonates with me. The price and the business model.

CameraBag 2020 comes in two versions – CameraBag Photo ($30) for working with photos only, and CameraBag Pro ($50) which lets you use the same toolset on both photos and videos.screen3.png

There are tons of cool presets and you can make your own, either working from scratch or modifying the existing presets.

There are presets specifically designed for portraits, different landscape scenarios, faithful emulation of analog film stock from the past, popular modern photo styles, and more.

If you don’t want to learn how to use the program’s power features, you will still get more than your money’s worth from the presets.

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CameraBag Pro is particularly great for anyone who needs to apply the same style to both photos and videos – especially with batch processing for large sets of media (including watermarks/branding, resizing, and cropping).

The ability to easily add branding and watermarks sets CameraBag apart from many of its competitors. I know people who use Photoshop JUST because they can add the branding part. If that is the only reason you use Photoshop, you should really try CameraBag.

If you are a power user, there are tools you can access to do more professional-level edits. These include unique curve tools, adjustment re-ordering and layering, and large precise controls let you do things you simply can’t do in other popular software.

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Following are some ways CameraBag is perfect for specific groups of users.

Wedding Photography
Easy batch filtering and watermarking
Use the exact same adjustments and filters on videos and photos (Pro only)
Quick comparison tools for large sets of photos
Tons of useful presets for wedding photography

Social Media Marketing
Custom image-based borders for consistent aspect ratios and branding
Easily save video frames as image files (Pro only)
Super fast filter-finding workflow
Batch resizing

Portrait Photography
Smoother, bigger, better tone curves than in other software
Special portrait-focused presets
Extremely natural and adjustable film grain

Pro Photographers
End-to-end high-bit-depth RAW workflow
Fast intuitive file navigation
Workflow built for developing a personal style
Unique, advanced tools for subtle adjustments

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CameraBag has been around for a while, but the new improvements have propelled the product from a fun app to a real, professional editing tool.

Nevercenter (the developer of CameraBag 2020) told me that the following features are new in the latest CameraBag release:

  • New spot heal tool
  • New interactive white balance adjustment
  • New auto exposure adjustment
  • Dozens of new presets
  • Portrait: Freckles BW 1-2, Portrait Curve 1-5, Gentle Focus, Portrait Shadows Green
  • Landscape: Autumn 1-3, Beach 1-4, Landscape BW 1-2, Sky+Earth, Sky+Foliage
  • Architecture: Interior 1-5, Exterior BW, Building Detail, Sky+Buildings, and more
  • New image info window for viewing image resolution, bit depth, and file path
  • Totally reworked rendering engine for improved speeds on hi-dpi/retina displays
  • Added option to reset any adjustment tile to default settings
  • Added Hue color method to Coloring and Coloring Curve adjustments
  • Added interactive placement tool for Dead Pixel adjustment
  • Added saving of 16-bit pngs and tiffs
  • Resizable viewports when working with multiple simultaneous tabs
  • Added ability to auto-load LUTs located in your default filters directory
  • In-app notifications when new versions are available
  • Support for loading .exr and .hdr images (Mac-only)
  • Various interface updates and improvements
  • Bug fixes (especially on hi-dpi/retina displays)

CONCLUSION

I have used CameraBag 2020 since the product was in Beta. I keep coming back to it because it is so different than anything else I use. I plan to spend more time with it and will let you know if my opinion changes, but right now, for a one-time fee of $50 or less, it’s a no-brainer.

You will still need to find a catalog alternative to Lightroom, but if you do, you can stop paying rent to Adobe and enjoy a full-featured set of tools that will make photo/video editing fun and easy.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


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