With macOS Big Sur set to be released later today, we wanted to take a look at some of the most popular photo editing applications and make sure they were compatible.

With a totally refreshed design, macOS Big Sur has a lot going for it. But if your favorite photo editing software can’t run on it, you might want to wait a bit.

Updated: November 21, 2020, 5:00 p.m. ET with updates from Capture One, Drobo and DxO.


The verdict: Fully supported with updates, except for Adobe Bridge and Adobe Animate

Adobe has announced that current versions of its apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic are fully supported under Big Sur, as are Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush and After Effects.

The only Creative Cloud apps that are still undergoing testing are Adobe Bridge and Adobe Animate. So if you rely on Bridge to manage your photos, you may want to hold off on upgrading to Big Sur for the time being.

If you’re using older versions of Adobe software, your experience may vary. For those of you who have been holding on to Lightroom 6 for more than five years … it may finally be time to switch to the Photographers Plan.

Adobe has also confirmed that the 2021 versions of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are fully supported.


The verdict: Fully supported with updates

All Affinity apps, including Affinity Photo, were updated for Big Sur in August 2020, and should work without issue.

Capture One

The verdict: Full support coming soon

While Capture One warns against upgrading to Big Sur immediately, if you’re using Capture One 20 for only photo organization and editing, you shouldn’t have a problem.

However, if you rely on Capture One for tethering, note that it may not work until an update is prepared.

The company has also announced that the upcoming Capture One 20.1.4 update will officially support Big Sur, as will Capture One 21 when it was released.


The verdict: Fully supported with updates

Drobo has reported issues with Thunderbolt connections with Big Sur. It recently released an update to Drobo Dashboard to fix these issues.

DxO PhotoLab and the Nik Collection

The verdict: Fully supported with updates

With DxO’s PhotoLab 4 software released just last month, it’s ready to go in a Big Sur environment without problems.

In terms of Nik Collection, Big Sur is now supported with version 3.3. This release also added support for the latest versions of Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.


The verdict: Fully supported with updates

Skylum recently released updates for both Luminar 4 and Aurora HDR, making them fully compatible with Big Sur. Previously, users experienced crashes upon exporting in both applications, and crashing while batch processing in Aurora HDR.

Users should be prompted to update when launching the software.

Other software

For the most part, your software should work, as long as it’s been updated recently. But you might encounter a few bugs along the way. The big thing I’m seeing is with camera manufacturer software that supports tethering or Live View shooting.

If you rely on these applications, I recommend you check with the manufacturer or wait a while to see if an update arrives.

Additionally, if you’re planning on running any firmware updates for your cameras or lenses, it’s strongly recommended you wait. These programs are often lagging behind mainstream applications.

What about Mac Silicon machines?

Most companies have been quiet about their support for Apple’s new Silicon-based machines. Adobe has come out and said that Lightroom will be supported in December, with Photoshop support coming in early 2021. Lightroom Classic will also get a Silicon release next year.

Skylum has stated their plans to support it with the upcoming LuminarAI, but no time frame has been given.

Affinity has also announced full support for Apple Silicon with the macOS Big Sur release.

Are you experiencing any bugs with any of the applications mentioned above after upgrading to macOS Big Sur? Let us know in the comments below!