Photo Editing Manually vs. Editing With AI, Which is Better?

When running an online store, photo editing is a necessity and a time suck, so does photo editing with AI make sense, which is better?

Photo Editing


Photo editing is one of the most outsourced services in high demand. This is due to the enormous use of images on the internet. Social media, eCommerce, online photography studios, marketing, web design, and a lot more online businesses need great photos for presentations and to stand out from a plethora of other similar-looking images. 

Photo editing involves background removal, cropping and resizing, noise reduction, contrast and exposure adjustments, white balance, color adjustments, and even adding more elements to a photo. As the demand grows for this service, the number of professionals capable of delivering outstanding photo editing results in such a fast paced manner are also dwindling. With this need, many automated software applications emerged in order to give a solution that is faster, more effective, and even lower in costs. 

However, there is no doubt that enormous progress remains to be made until machines can see and operate like humans do.

So, can we trust automated photo editing tools or is it better to continue entrusting this task to humans? 

To guide you with this dilemma, we’ll help you by listing the benefits of both manual editing and editing with an automated tool or with AI. Let’s start with manual photo editing first.

What are the Advantages of Manual Photo Editing?

  • There are no restrictions.

Manual editing is preferred for images that need specific client guidance. If you want fast improvements and modifications, it is best to outsource a manual background remover or manually edit your photos since humans have total control over the end results. So whether you want an outrageous edit or add more elements to blend well with your photo, you will almost find no restrictions as long as you provide your exact specifications to your editors.

  • You can be creative

No machine nor any technology can ever be creative. Creativity is innate in humans and this is one of the advantages in manual photo editing. You can add elements as you want, remove and even design some elements together to make up an entirely new image. If you are creating images for social media or managing a creative studio, then manual photo editing is your best choice.

  • You can demand perfection

Unlike running your images with an automated software programmed to perform specific tasks, humans can work with given instructions and can customize edits as you need. Your standard of quality can only be understood by humans, who innately, are capable of discerning and understanding your concerns. Whether the edit is good enough, it will be up to you and you can have your photo edited again if you’re not satisfied.

Manual photo editing offers a lot of benefits but it has for sure, downsides as well. 

The Disadvantages of Manual Photo Editing

  • It can be time consuming

When it comes to manually culling and editing pictures, many photographers are primarily concerned with the amount of time it takes. After each photography session, regardless of the type of photography you enjoy, you will need to go on to the next phase, editing. 

Unless you outsource editors to do the job that promises a 24-hour turnaround, you must prepare for the tedious hours sitting and painstakingly culling and editing your own photographs. 

  • Manual Editing can be more expensive than automated editing

You need to pay for one’s labor when editing your images. Manual editing is usually more expensive compared to paying for a photo editing tool subscription. The price for manual editing can range from $0.50 to $5 per image which is more expensive than paying for a one time annual fee of $50 to $100 subscription of a tool.

  • Emergencies or unexpected circumstances can cause delays.

Deadlines are crucial to keep the business going. However, just like the unexpected pandemic, delays are inevitable. If you are not an expert in photo editing and are dependent on outsourcing professionals to do the job, you will need to expect delays from time to time because emergencies happen. Although this will not happen so frequently, it is good to be prepared and find alternatives even before it occurs. 

  • Inconsistency

There is always the possibility of human mistake when performing physical labor. One of the common mistakes done especially by amateur photo editors is being inconsistent with their edits. Not having a good judgment and always changing their editing style can affect the results of the edited photos. 

Is Editing With AI a Better Solution?

Understanding what AI does

With its applications and algorithms, artificial intelligence has changed the world, making our work easier and faster. It has not only enhanced software but has also contributed to the transformation of the field of digital photography and post-production, which was formerly time and labor-intensive.

Computer vision is one of the fields of Artificial Intelligence that studies and develops practical applications with functions akin to a human eye. Some of the applications of computer vision technology include facial recognition, object detection, blind assistance, surveillance, and movement analysis. 

In photo editing, a strong object detection application will create a good foundation to the overall function and efficiency of the program that a photo editing tool needs to perform. This will enable the tool to identify your image subjects and apply the necessary edits.

The advantages of Editing With AI

  • It is Fast

There is little question that machines are quicker than humans and, in some cases, smarter than us. An expert editor typically takes a week to edit 500 photos using image editing software such as Photoshop. When it comes to manual picture editing, faster TAT is a pipe dream, but it is made feasible by employing AI image editing technologies, which allow a client to have thousands of photographs altered in a day.

  • It does not cost a lot

One of the most crucial cost-saving features of AI picture editing solutions is smart automation, which not only relieves our financial restrictions but also assists companies in having photos altered faster. It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy for professional manual editors to edit photos, which forces them to demand a premium fee for the job. Using machines and software that generate the same result with less human interaction, on the other hand, becomes highly cheap, saving both money and time.

  • You can do bulk photo edits at once

When it comes to scalability, no matter how competent an image editor is, they will fail miserably. This is where artificial intelligence can help. You may complete your task in a matter of hours by utilizing AI photo editing tools. For example, would an eCommerce merchant rely on manual editing to have his bulk product photos changed in order to update his inventory? Not at all. AI image editing – utilizing tech-based solutions may be utilized to speed up the post-production process without sacrificing quality or accuracy. A merchant can receive image editing at a low cost and effort by using AI image editing approaches.

  • You can integrate software with your workflow

API is an abbreviation for “Application Programming Interface”. An API is a program interface that allows two programs to communicate with one another. In other sense, an API seems to be the courier that transmits your query to the source and then returns the result to you. An API specifies capabilities that are independent of their respective implementations, allowing those implementations and definitions to differ without interfering with one another. As a result, by giving the building pieces, a good API makes it easy to construct a program.

For instance, the Removal.AI background removal API has made it easier than ever to use Artificial Intelligence technologies specializing in background removal. You may include this innovation into your app with only a few lines of code. The API can theoretically handle up to 500 pictures per minute. In actuality, this figure is significantly influenced by both your picture quality in megapixels and your network connectivity.

  • Consistency and Accuracy

Whether it’s eliminating the backdrop, changing the colors, adding shadows, or increasing the brightness, editing demands your undivided focus. During the procedure, an editor must exert significantly more work in order to get the desired outcomes. However, when manual editing is used, there is a chance of human mistake, which might result in inconsistency in the modified photos.

However, AI image editing tools are an excellent method to ensure uniformity throughout post-production. As the given parameters are fed into AI-tech algorithms, which finally produce pictures based on the same parameters with few or no mistakes. Because there is less human interference, the characteristics such as brightness, saturation, sharpness, focus, clarity, and so on in each image stay consistent – regardless of volume.

Take away…

Based on your line of business and its needs, your choice of a photo editor may vary. Images for eCommerce, web design, marketing and even for individual use can make use of photo editing tools effectively especially for bulk image processing. For photography businesses, it’ll be better to outsource professional photo editors so you can get the best out of their services and quality that your portfolio needs.

However, there are no limits as to how you want to have your images edited. Whether you want to outsource or subscribe for tools, it’s all up to you and how you use these resources that are available.