Affinity Photo 1.4
This subscription-free image editor is being heralded as a Photoshop killer. We find out if such claims are true…
This subscription-free image editor is being heralded as a Photoshop killer. But are the bold claims true?
Price £40 Company Serif Web www.affinity.serif.com
Serif has recently mounted a major challenge to Adobe’s dominance of creative software. Its first release, vector tool Affinity Designer, was aimed squarely at pro users of Illustrator. Now its second, raster tool Affinity Photo, is aiming to take on the might of Photoshop.
So what does it have to offer digital artists? Well, if you’re a Mac user and Photoshop is part of your workflow, the answer may be: quite a lot. That’s because Affinity Photo doesn’t just ape Photoshop’s interface and features in a way that makes it easy to pick up and run with. In many ways, it offers a better performance.
Named by Apple as the number two Mac app of 2015, the most striking difference it offers is speed. In Photoshop, you often have to wait a few
seconds for a changed setting to take effect. But using Affinity Photo on an iMac, every time we made tweaks they appeared instantly. In practice, that means you’re likely to get more ‘in the zone’ as an artist, without having your creative buzz interrupted by spinning wheels, frozen screens and the like.
We also love Affinity Photo’s nondestructive scaling, something absent in both Photoshop and cheaper rivals such as Pixelmator. Even if you downsize an image layer, Affinity Photo still stores its full resolution, so you can increase its size later if you’ve made a mistake. This is handy, for example, when adding objects to images in illustrations. There’s also the muchvaunted million per cent zoom, which is breathtaking to see in practice.
It’s a young product, of course, and not quite as feature-rich as Photoshop – lacking the latter’s animation and 3D printing smarts, for instance. But new features are being added all the time and for now, updates are free. Panorama stitching, for example, was absent from the first release but has arrived in version 1.4.
Affinity Photo uses its own file format, but you can also import and export a range of file formats, such as PSD, PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF, PDF and so on. As such, it’s more sensible to think of Affinity Photo as a companion to Photoshop than an alternative to it.
With a low price and no subscription, it isn’t a big financial burden, and its speed and unique features will save you time and effort with some tasks. A few clients might get nervous about you not using the industry standard, but as long as you choose the right export options, who’s to know?
It’s a young product, of course, but new features are being added all the time and for now, updates are free
The Affinity Photo interface is similar to that of Photoshop, so
it’s easy to pick up.
Adjustment Layers include Hue/Saturation, Black and White, Posterize, Channel Mixer, Exposure, Curves, Gradient Maps and more.
You can work in a range of colour spaces, including RGB, CMYK, LAB and Greyscale. Daub Brushes has created 12 free blender brushes to download for the software. See http://ifxm.ag/daubb.