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The Affinity Photo FAQs

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 app 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 OS Does Affinity Work On?

Affinity Apps (Photo, Designer, and Publisher) are available for Windows, Apple macOS, and Apple iPadOS.

Affinity Apps are not available for Android, Chrome OS, and Linux. However, there are reports that it can be run successfully on Linux/Chrome OS using Wine.

Is Affinity Photo 2 Free?

No, Affinity Photo is not Free. However, Affinity Apps do cost less than their Adobe equivalents, and the Universal License makes it even cheaper and more affordable, without a subscription plan.

Affinity Photo has a 30-day trial period, so you can try it out extensively before deciding whether to buy it or not.

Is Affinity Photo Easier To Use Than Photoshop?

Affinity Photo is different from Photoshop. It is difficult to say whether it’s easier to harder to use than Photoshop because that depends upon your level of familiarity with Photoshop. For those who have used it for a long time, there can be a period of learning and adaptation that is necessary, but Affinity apps are not really any harder to use.

For most people, Photoshop has the advantage of familiarity and has been around for many years. This means that many photographers are already used to using it, and switching to a new app will take a while.

I would say that some Affinity features are actually more innovative, and easier to use than Photoshop. At the same time, others are not as full-featured as Adobe’s.

Is Affinity Photo 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 in 2015. Photoshop, on the other hand, has been around since 1990, and is 25 years older than Affinity Photo.

Affinity Photo isn’t the same as Photoshop, so it’s probably best that you accept Serif’s 30-day trial offer to evaluate whether it suits your needs.

Is Affinity Photo 2 Cheaper Than Photoshop?

Yes. Affinity Photo is cheaper than Photoshop. It costs approximately as much as 7 months of the Adobe Photography Plan (Photoshop + Lightroom), as much as about 3 months of the Adobe Photoshop Single App Plan, or just over the cost of the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan for just about 1.5 months.

Is Affinity Photo 2 a One-Time Purchase?

Affinity Photo 2 is only available as a one-time purchase. It is not available as a subscription. It is only available for purchase at US$69.99 for the Desktop Apps and US$19.99 for the iPad Apps. The new Universal License gives you access to all their apps, including the iPad apps, for a very reasonable one-time purchase price of $169.99. At the time of updating this article, Serif is offering a 40% discount making all the apps even more affordable for graphic designers and photographers.

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. Of course, Affinity Designer and Affinity Designer also do support vector graphics.

Does Affinity Photo Support PSD files?

Yes, it does support the import and export of PSD files quite well. However, there may be some restrictions when exporting PSD from .afphoto files. Usually, it doesn’t export grouped layers, all that well.

Affinity Photo 2 Export PSD Dialog Box
Affinity Photo 2 Export PSD Dialog Box

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

Yes, Affinity Photo does have Layers, Liquify, Content-Aware fill, actions, batch processing, presets, layer groups, blending modes, brushes, and much more. These are relatively standard features now, and software that doesn’t support it would actually feel like it was very far behind. Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher all feel really full-featured, and on par with their Adobe counterparts, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

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 2 Use The GPU As Much As Photoshop?

Affinity Photo does have many GPU-accelerated tasks. So, I think it does use the Graphics Card (GPU) as much as Photoshop… In fact, it feels like some tools that are not GPU accelerated in PS are in fact GPU accelerated in Affinity Photo 2.

Is Affinity Photo 2 Like Lightroom?

Affinity Photo has a RAW image converter built into it, called the develop persona. This is actually quite powerful and incorporates some very interesting features like RAW embedding or linking in Affinity Photo .afphoto files (allowing you to change your RAW processing settings later on in the editing process).

However, Affinity Photo is not a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool geared towards managing and processing a large number of RAW image files from ingest to output like Lightroom or Capture One. Affinity Photo is like Adobe Photoshop and is made for editing individual image files.

Is Affinity Photo 2 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?

We’ve answered that question in detail here. Serif sells Affinity apps based on the platform. So, if you buy Affinity Photo for Windows, then you can install it on all the Windows PCs that you personally own, but will not be able to install it on macOS.

Serif’s new Universal License allows you to install all their apps on either Windows or macOS computers with a single one-time purchase.

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 organize files, create folders, collections, read & 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,

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: November 22, 2022

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