The Difference Between Photomator and Pixelmator Pro

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

I keep hearing people asking what the difference is between the just-updated Photomator and Pixelmator Pro. The company has a comparison page that might help, but people keep asking, so let me try to explain it two different ways.

If You Know Adobe Creative Cloud

Photomator is an alternative to Lightroom. Pixelmator Pro is an alternative to Photoshop.

The Long Version

Photomator is for people who take photos and want to edit things like exposure, saturation, sharpness, and those sorts of things. Maybe you want to repair some imperfections or change some colors, but in general, you want to touch up real life photos you took so that they look how you want.

If you shoot photos on a dedicated camera, then this is the app for you, as you can import your photos and start editing them directly in the app.

Photomator also syncs with your iCloud Photo Library, so every image (no videos) from the Photos app is going to show in Photomator and can be edited in the app.

Pixelmator Pro is generally for making bigger changes to images (of video, but we'll focus on photos here). If you wanted to add text to an image or draw with a digital paintbrush, you could do that in Pixelmator Pro. If you wanted to draw some shapes or add a picture of you on top of Mount Everest for fun, you'd do all that here as well.

You can edit single photos, and there are similar tools to those in Photomator, but it's really not the same workflow. Editing one photo: it can work. Editing a whole bunch of photos: nah, not meant for that.

For some context on my use cases for these apps, I use Photomator to edit photos I take with my iPhone and Canon R6. Those photos will get tweaks to exposure, colors, and detail, and I'm usually editing a whole "set" at once. As an example I was recently at a family event where I was the unofficial photographer and I took 300 photos that day. I used Photomator to see all the photos, select the ones I thought were best, and then edited those choice shots before I shared them with the family.

But my use case for Pixelmator Pro is totally different. I use this app most often to create thumbnails for my YouTube videos. Here's the file that I had for the thumbnail I made for my Photomator video:

As you can see, this has several layers of images and text that I've arranged to create an image.

I hope this helps!