Everything That You Need To Know About Affinity Photo

Everything you need to know about Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is part of a suite of three apps: Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher made by Serif Europe Ltd. Each serves a different purpose, and combined, they offer a rather complete set of photo editing, graphic design, and desktop publishing tools. Their capabilities rival Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign respectively.

I’ve been exploring Affinity Photo (AP) as a replacement for Adobe Photoshop (PS), and I’d like to answer some of the questions that I’ve seen being asked quite often on the internet. If you have questions that I have not addressed here, please ask me in the comments. Let’s get started.

Which Platforms Do The Affinity Apps Work On?

The Affinity Suite of apps works on Windows, macOS, and iPad.

Is Affinity Photo Free?

No, it is not. However, Affinity Photo does come with a 14-day trial period, so you can try it out extensively before deciding whether to buy it or not.

Is It Easier To Work With, Than Photoshop?

Affinity Photo is different from Photoshop, but not really any harder to use. Photoshop has the advantage of familiarity and has been around for a long time. This means that many photographers are already used to using it.

However, AP isn’t any harder to use than Photoshop. In fact, some features are actually more innovative, and easier to use. At the same time, others are not as full-featured as PS.

Is It Better Than Photoshop?

‘Better’ doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Affinity Photo is a very capable application and can do a lot of what Photoshop can, but not everything. It’s also a newer application, having launched just 6 years ago, in 2015.

Affinity Photo isn’t the same as Photoshop, so it’s probably best that you try using it for 14 days and then evaluate whether it suits your needs.

Is Affinity Photo Cheaper Than Photoshop?

Yes. Affinity Photo is cheaper than Photoshop. It costs approximately as much as 5.5 months of the Adobe Photography Plan (Photoshop + Lightroom), as much as about 2.5 months of the Adobe Photoshop Single App Plan, or just over the cost of the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan for just over one month.

Is It A One-Time Purchase?

Affinity Photo is only available as a one-time purchase. It is not available as a subscription. It is only available for purchase at US$54.99 for the Desktop App and US$21.99 for the iPad App.

Does Affinity Photo Support Vector Graphics?

Yes, Affinity Photo does support Vector elements and graphics. However, you’ll have to keep the vectors in a format that retains vector information.

Does Affinity Photo Support PSD files?

Yes, it does import PSD files quite well, but for export, there are a few restrictions as some people have found out. Usually, it doesn’t export grouped layers all that well.

Affinity Photo PSD Export Settings
The PSD export menu in Affinity Photo

Does Affinity Photo Support Layers, Groups, and Blend Modes?

Yes, it does have these features. These are relatively standard features now, and a tool that doesn’t support it would actually feel like it was very far behind. Here is a full list of features that Affinity Photo has.

What Does Affinity Photo Do Better Than Photoshop?

In my experience, Affinity Photo handles focus stacking, live filters, live effects, frequency separation, and some types of retouching (this surprised me) better than photoshop. I have been impressed by the focus stacking output, which is often almost as good as Helicon Focus. I also like their batch processing tool so much that I wrote an article about it.

Batch Job in Affinity Photo Vs Image Processor in Adobe Photoshop
Batch processing in Affinity Photo vs Adobe Photoshop

Is Affinity Photo Faster Than Photoshop?

This is a tricky question to answer. Overall, Affinity Photo does not seem slower than Photoshop, and quite a few processes are actually GPU accelerated as of version 1.10, so those features ‘could’ be faster than Photoshop. However, it would depend on the exact system, its specs, and the images being used, layers, etc., to determine whether it’s faster.

You should try it out to see if the features that you use often are faster for you. Is Affinity Photo slow? No, it is not.

Does Affinity Photo Use The GPU As Much As Photoshop?

I think it does use the Graphics Card (GPU) as much as Photoshop… In fact, I think some tools that are not accelerated in PS are actually accelerated in AP.

Is Affinity Photo Like Lightroom?

While Affinity Photo has a RAW image converter built into it and is quite powerful. It is not geared towards managing and processing a large number of RAW image files from ingest to output in the way that Lightroom or Capture One is. Affinity Photo is like Adobe Photoshop and is made for editing individual image files.

Is Affinity Photo As Stable As Photoshop?

The Affinity apps are remarkably stable. Serif isn’t the multi-billion dollar company that Adobe is, but they’ve done well to make the Affinity Suite relatively stable to use. When you find the app crashing frequently, there’s usually a good reason, and a fix.

How Many Computers Can I Install Affinity Photo On?

Serif sells Affinity apps based on platform. So, if you buy Affinity Photo for Windows, then you can install it on all the Windows PCs that you personally own.

Is Affinity Photo A DAM software?

Affinity Photo is not a Digital Asset Mangement (DAM) software, and doesn’t have file management capabilities. A good DAM would be expected to have the ability to organise files, create folders, collections, read and write metadata and more. This is more in line with the abilities of programs like Adobe Bridge, Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, Photo Mechanic, Luminar, etc, and not Affinity Photo.

Do You Have Any More Questions?

Please leave a comment, or send me an email and I will be happy to answer your questions as best I can.

If you have tried Affinity Photo and have some feedback, do let me know.

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Featured Image: @crystalmariesing via Twenty20

Published: September 25, 2021 | Last Updated: September 30, 2021

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