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PCMag Australia Feb 14, Affinity Photo includes many of the editing tools we associate with Photoshop, at a more attractive price. But Adobe still leads when it comes to polish and advanced capabilities. Its Affinity line, which started with Mac-only apps in , even garnered an Apple Mac App of the Year award that year. Its Affinity apps are now also available for Windows, and the company is starting to make some inroads on Adobe's firm grip on the media and design software category. Its low, non-subscription pricing is no doubt a factor, but the company's photo editing software , though feature-packed and powerful, is often slow and cloaked in an unfriendly user interface. Some of its tools, too, fall short of Adobe's state-of-the-art software.
Download Affinity Designer for macOS or later and enjoy it on your Mac. is the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available. After much frustration I decided to try Affinity Designer as the cost the of the auto flattens/outlines the fonts whereas it doesn't destruct the original working file. While taking inspiration from Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer is still its own product. With a beautiful, simple, and elegant layout, it's hard to ignore that this product was developed as a direct competitor to Adobe Illustrator. At a frim one-time purchase price of $, it is hard to ignore this. Nov 22, - Huge discounts on Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer, plus special brush Serif has slashed the price of its creative software, brushes and Missing: Original.
PCMag Australia Feb 14, Affinity Photo includes many of the editing tools we associate with Photoshop, at a more attractive price. But Adobe still leads when it comes to polish and advanced capabilities. Its Affinity line, which started with Mac-only apps in , even garnered an Apple Mac App of the Year award that year.
Its Affinity apps are now also available for Windows, and the company is starting to make some inroads on Adobe's firm grip on the media and design software category. Its low, non-subscription pricing is no doubt a factor, but the company's photo editing software , though feature-packed and powerful, is often slow and cloaked in an unfriendly user interface.
Some of its tools, too, fall short of Adobe's state-of-the-art software. I like desktop software that's available via the app stores, as it simplifies updating and installing on multiple computers. View All 13 Photos in Gallery When you first run the program, you see a Welcome panel offering samples, tutorials, and links to Twitter and Facebook content. A New Document link opens a dialog where you set image properties like size and type. Serif doesn't include an automated tour of the interface like those offered by several competing photo apps, including Corel PaintShop Pro , Lightroom, and Skylum Luminar.
An Uneven Interface The interface is industry-standard very dark gray, but its many colorful icons are less understated than most of the photo editing apps of today. As with Photoshop, the interface shows a toolbar row across the left side of the program window and an info panel to the right for things like layers, histogram, swatches, adjustment, transform—25 undockable modules in all.
Above the main image view, there are buttons for five Personas—what most programs call modes. Panorama is another persona, but it's only visible when you're stitching multiple images into a panorama. Personas equate to workspaces , but I had a hard time resetting the workspace to the default after removing some panels.
A simple workspace reset option under the main View or Window menu would be preferable. You can customize the workspace, but you can't save your custom workspaces, as you can in Adobe Photoshop.
You can zoom with the mouse wheel plus Ctrl, but double-clicking doesn't switch you back and forth between zoomed and unzoomed views, as it does in Lightroom and others. One Affinity Photo interface feature I do approve of is that double-clicking a control slider sets it back to its original state. Another is the side-by-side and split views to show your image before and after edits. Unlike most photo apps, there is no full-screen view, though.
Affinity Photo supports a decent selection of keyboard shortcuts, but not much in the way of right-click context menus. You can undo and redo actions up to the limit you set in Preferences, but there's no clear Reset button, which I like to see in photo apps. A nice History panel with a slider lets you take your work back to earlier states, however.
That means there are no importing or organizing tools. It's more along the lines of Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro—that is, it's intended for photo retouching; image merging for panoramas, HDR, and focus stacking; and drawing. Lightroom and other true workflow solutions save your edits without requiring you to specifically save to a new format—your edits are saved regardless of whether you export.
When you open a raw camera file in Affinity Photo, the program switches to the Develop Persona. I appreciate that this raw conversion happens in the main program window, rather than a separate dialog the way Photoshop forces you though Lightroom doesn't. You can only do lens corrections for chromatic aberration and geometry distortion at this stage , not after opening the photo in the editing workspace—a limitation not found in most pro photo software.
I later discovered that you can revisit Develop Persona if you want to go back and use its tools again. Nor do you get a choice to develop profiles as you do with Lightroom and Luminar or even an auto-tone option in this mode. Noise reduction is also only available in the Develop Persona; it works well, though as with many programs' similar tools, tends to blur details. You can also open vector images in. SVG and. AI format, and save to the former, but not the latter. You can combine vector and raster image layers in the same file, and work on both, though as you'd expect, vector editing is limited compared with what you get in Adobe Illustrator.
The program supports batch operations and macros, useful for converting multiple files, stripping their metadata, or rotating them. Adjusting Your Photos In Photo Persona, you see a stacked group of tabbed panels on the right side of the program window. The top one shows a histogram, color picker, swatches, and brushes. The central panel has tabs for adjustments including lighting, colors, curves, LUTs, and gradients, but no detail options like noise reduction, sharpness, or chromatic aberration.
The lower panel offers a photo navigator and sections named Transform, History, and Channels. On some photos, these work fairly well, especially for levels and white balance. On one dark image, they did nothing. On a wide shot with narrow objects against a bright sky, the program's chromatic aberration reduction didn't do anything, but its Defringe check box did a nice job of removing purple fringing. The same panel's Layers tab shows you which edits are associated with which layers, and the Effects tab offers glow, blur, outlines, and overlays.
There's even a Stock tab that lets you find images from Shutterstock to license and use in your image. There are, however, no templates to get you going like those you find in Adobe Photoshop and PaintShop Pro.
The Tone Mapping mode lets you select regions of your photo using an overlay paint tool or an overlay gradient tool. The paint tool offers an Edge Aware option that worked well in my testing. You can also create a mask layer based on a color or luminosity range—but not in the Tone Mapping Persona.
You need to go back to the Photos Persona, add a new layer, choose Selection from Layer from the Select menu, and then Layers panel, click on the layer's thumbnail with the Shift and Ctrl keys pressed. Then, you click Mask Layer in the Layers tab on the right panel.
Other programs make it much easier to create and edit luminosity masks. The selection tool works well, with options to snap to edges and adjustments for feathering, smoothing, and anti-aliasing. The healing tool requires you to select a source area to replace a blemish or unwanted object.
It's not as sophisticated as Photoshop's content-aware patch and move tools. Liquefy gets its own Persona, but you have to select a layer or mask before you can use it. In this mode, you get 10 tools that let you push and swirl the image's pixels.
One of the uses for these, as highlighted by Affinity's help page, is for remodeling faces. But Adobe's Face-Aware Liquify tools are far better targeted for this, since they actually identify parts of the face and offer sensible editing options. With the Affinity tools, you're on your own. Photo Merge Tools The Panorama tool wasn't able to stitch a pair of test images shot with a fisheye lens that Lightroom Classic was able to merge. Affinity also lacks Lightroom's cylindrical, spherical, and perspective merging options.
It did successfully merge three adjacent iPhone X photos shot in portrait orientation in my testing, though.
The HDR merge tool is impressive, though it took a long time to complete on my test images—much longer than Lightroom's HDR merge tool. The process includes denoising as well as tone mapping and alignment. The program can also combine images for focus stacking—of particular interest to those who shoot microphotographs.
Text and Typography Affinity Photo let me open a PSD file from Photoshop, and I could select, resize, and move a text box, but not actually edit the text. The program has its own text tools, Artistic Text and Frame Text. The former is for display type, and the latter for longer text entries. Very detailed formatting is possible, with thousands of OpenType fonts at your disposal.
You can control ligatures, but you don't get the level of glyph editing that Illustrator offers. Kerning and tracking are as detailed as you could wish, however. Note you can't export as Illustrator.
AI format, however. The program offers soft proofing and color management including ICC profile importing. Performance and Help The program was mostly responsive during testing on my reasonably powerful test PC, a 3.
But some adjustments took a lot longer than in other software, like Chromatic Aberration correction, and even more so, switching to tone-mapping mode. To its credit, it never crashed during testing, something that can't be said for a surprising number of media software titles.
I appreciate that Affinity includes an actual help window that details all the program's features: Adobe also has an annoying habit of sending you to user forums, rather than official and relevant help resources.
Lots of Tools, Low Price, But You Pay in Other Ways Affinity Photo is a powerful, low-cost image editing program, but it is miles behind Adobe's products in terms of both usability and advanced capabilities. If it does what you need—layers, color manipulation, it could be a way to save quite bit if Adobe's apps are beyond your means.
We don't recommend it as a raw photo workflow tool, since it includes nothing to organize your digital assets, and there's no companion organizing tool like Adobe Bridge.
The ability to edit vector and raster images in the same program is another plus, but again the tools are limited. Serif Affinity Photo.