?> Phototheca: Zoner Photo Studio vs ACDSee comparison

Zoner Photo Studio vs ACDSee vs Phototheca

Photo editing tools are essential for amateur and pro photographers alike. There’s a wide range of products that allow you to retouch, merge, or sort through pictures. It’s crucial to distinguish professional feature powerhouses like Photoshop or Lightroom and basic tools like Canva that help beginning designers create visuals in a matter of minutes.

Today you’re going to find out more about the tools that lie in the middle of the spectrum — ACDSee photo studio and Zoner. We’ve provided a review on each of these products and compare them based on the interface, the collection of features, pricing, and so on.

Features and Capabilities of Zoner Photo Studio

Zoner Photo Studio combines the features of a file manager and an editing tool. The tool has a wide range of sorting and management instruments, and you will also be able to retouch pictures and export them to social media.

User interface

All the editing features of Zoner Studio are split into two tabs.

The Develop module contains all non-destructive editing features — filters, brightness adjustment, etc. It’s common to refer to this panel as the Lightroom of Zoner Photo Studio.

The Editor module is comprised of more invasive tools like cropping, masking, drawing, erasing, and more. To improve user-friendliness, Zoner has embraced presets in the latest versions.


  • Tool actions, color, and black and white preset.
  • AI-enabled auto-editing.
  • Advanced labeling: sort pictures by adding dates, locations, ratings, or color-coding them.
  • Image maps that show the specific location where a picture was taken on an interactive map.
  • Importing EXIF and other metadata formats.
  • Users can create backup versions of pictures.
  • Basic video editing features: trimming.


Zoner has two pricing plans, along with a free version:

  • Basic license (a one-person version for personal use) $4.99/month.
  • Site license (used by educational institutions, governments, and businesses) — customized pricing.

You can get access to the tool with a single down payment of $89 as well.

Zoner would not be the best easy-to-learn photo management system for beginners in editing. It’s jam-packed with features and might feel too cramped for photographers with little experience. On the contrary, professional retouching specialists will miss the plethora of features offered by Adobe.

A typical Zoner user is an intermediate photographer who’s looking forward to managing and adding a final touch to pictures in 5-10 minutes.

Features and Capabilities of ACDSee

ACDSee is one of the frontrunners in technology adoption among photo organizing tools. The platform developers have added face recognition and detecting, improving the efficiency of sorting through photos.

ACDSee feels a lot like a one-stop-shop where there’s a wide range of features yet no unique ones.

User interface

ACDSee has an intuitive layout, with all features grouped into different tabs.

  • Manage. This tab helps users find an image on the hard drive, view photos as thumbnails, create EXIF labels, and histograms. You will be able to color-code files for improved navigation.
  • Photos. A tab that allows PC users to view files from the hard drive.
  • The view is a mode for full-screen photo slideshows. Here, you can use basic editing features as well.
  • Develop mode is for RAW file editing.
  • Edit mode helps users handle an advanced, layer-based retouch.


  • Built-in macros — the software will record the editing process and repeat it automatically.
  • Skin editing tool — no more manual precision repair tasks or colorwork.
  • Dehaze the image to restore the contrast and the level of detail.
  • Support of 40+ RAW file formats.


Depending on the type of tasks a photographer is using ACDSee for, they can choose one out of three available packages:

  • Ultimate — $79.95;
  • Professional — $59.95;
  • Standard — $29.95.

Free trials are available for all software packages.

ACDSee is a cut above other tools when it comes to automation. That’s why it’s a good fit for photographers to deal with a large number of pictures daily. As an editor, ACDSee is slightly less promising — while it lacks advanced retouching features, users will benefit a great deal from built-in filters and macros support.

What Is Better: Zoner or ACDSee?

If you’re confused when considering Zoner Photo Studio vs ACDSee, take a look at the comparative table to make an informed decision.

Features ACDSee Zoner
Pricing $29.95 $89.00
Brushes Yes Yes
Shape tools Yes No
Color pickup Yes No
Brush removal No Yes
Quick selection No Yes
Healing brushes No No
Filters Yes Yes
Teeth whitening No No

While both tools work as a functional Adobe Photoshop alternative, the lack of retouching features shows when working on portraits and using advanced editing. A couple of basic tools — like teeth whitening, correcting lens distortions, and a few more — are missing.

Why Phototheca Is Better Than ACDSee

As a professional photographer, you might feel that Zoner or ACDSee aren’t tailored to your creative needs. If that’s the case, another option is always on the table. Consider trying Phototheca — a user-friendly photo editing tool with an impeccable reputation.

Here’s why Phototheca is better than ACDSee vs Zoner:

  • Organize pictures efficiently — look for duplicates, import photos from memory cards, etc.
  • Fixing timestamps if a camera had the wrong setup settings.
  • Fully customizable thumbnail sizes.
  • A free plan with an extensive pack of features.
  • Able to access shared folders from another device.
  • Integrations with Google, Flickr, Twitter, and other popular sharing platforms.

In terms of system resources, Phototheca trumps Zoner and ACDSee in CPU usage. The tool will have little-to-no impact on the way your computer is running.

Here’s a full comparison chart for Zoner, ACDSee, and Phototheca.

CriteriaZoner Photo StudioACDSee Phototheca
AccessibilityWindows, AndroidWindows, Mac OS, Android, iOS Windows
Free versionYesYesYes
Level of experience Upper-intermediateIntermediateBeginner
IntegrationsFacebook, Twitter, Zonerama serverFiles can be exported as XMLGoogle, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook
Supported formatsPhoto: ZPS, PSD, PSB, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, BIMP, PCX, TGA, and more;
also includes all typical video and audio formats
most RAW formats, RGB Bitmap,
SMIL Presentation, video, and audio formats
Over 100 typical video, audio, and
RAW formats
Pro package cost$89$29.95$54.95

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