Affinity Photo A Photoshop Alternative?
If you are looking for a fully featured photo editing application you could do worse than consider Affinity Photo by Serif, a Europe-based software developer.
Priced at only NZD$75, it is a bargain compared to Adobe Elements (retailing at over $120), and is also way cheaper than the Adobe CC subscription model at $13 per month for 12 month or as long as you are prepared to pay. In terms of features, Affinity is a closer match to Adobe CC than Elements. Affinity Photo is compatible with RAW, JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PDF files. The interface is very easy to use and is similar enough to Photoshop that you can work it out pretty quickly .
Affinity Photo uses 5 different persona rather like Adobe Workspaces:
For developing raw files head to the Develop persona. This persona has a plethora of tools arranged in tabs including exposure, black point and brightness adjustments, contrast, clarity, saturation and vibrancy, tint tools and white balance, shadows and highlight adjustments.
The Photo persona has a very Photoshop like tool palette arranged down the left-hand side, most of which have further pop-out options. You can create mask layers, rearrange layers and choose between vector or raster layers just as in Photoshop. As with Photoshop there are many filters that can be applied. In addition, Affinity photo also features image stacks, focus stacking and photo merge functions .
The Liquefy persona is where you head to really mangle your pixels. There is an array of tools - pinch, push, twirl and turbulence.
The Tone mapping persona seems to have a comprehensive set of tools for working with HDR and creating that love or hate garish look so favoured these days.
Affinity is not a replacement for Adobe Lightroom, as it has no asset management features. However it integrates reasonably well with Lightroom and as a photographer I feel it meets my needs very well.
I think if you are in the graphics and publishing area it may fall short in features but for a photographer it really seems to be great value.
I look forward to getting better acquainted with it and will be posting some follow ups about my experiences with it.