What is Affinity Photo?

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Affinity Photo is a competitive photo editing app that raises questions whether it can challenge Photoshop’s dominance. How does Affinity Photo work? Continue reading to find out.

Editor’s Note

Affinity Photo is one of the aspiring photo editing apps, offering plenty of features to accommodate both entry level and professional users. The program is smooth, yet it costs less than Adobe’s photo editing program. With users presented with an opportunity to tune their images using simplified processes to accomplish tasks that require advanced editing technique like HDR, the software surely deserves your time with its free trial.

Affinity Photo ranks high among the small brands that put a strong game to give the giant Adobe Photoshop a run for its money. The software has the potential of giving Adobe sleepless nights, thanks to its latest update Affinity Photo 1.8.

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There is no doubt that Affinity Photo ranks high in our books. The app is unique in appearance and allows the processing of raw image files before editing, merging, as well as manipulating them to your liking. What makes the program more intriguing is the list of features planted in it. The functions attached to the program are essential and sufficient for professional-level editing tasks. Moreover, the software is packed with amazing features such as Live Filters that let the user utilize filters non-destructively.

One thing you will notice that distinguishes the program from its dominating competitor Photoshop, is its low, fixed price for a perpetual license. Affinity Photo requires users to make a one-off payment and enjoy the software for many years without incurring more costs. This approach is more than welcome, especially to professional photographers who are not fond of Adobe’s subscription model. The app is compatible with the Windows platform, Mac, and iPad.

Affinity Photo Essential Features

With Affinity Photo only half a decade old, its updates bring a fresh breath to the forever improving platform, speeding up processes, as well as providing new functionality accompanied by fixes. Ever since its launch, the software has gone on to become a house brand delivering enhanced tools and features to make life easier for professional photographers. The platform also plays well with other foreign kids by managing to integrate smoothly with third-party file types, as well as plug-ins.

As a photographer who values time, you will be pleased to learn about the easy layout of tools that promote productivity. In addition, it has excellent features, such as end-to-end Metal compute, that allow users to get the most out of their Mac’s discreet GPU. This feature promotes accelerated processes, and Windows platform fanatics should expect this upgrade in the near future. The latest update of the software is more concerned with the compatibility, as well as enhanced functionality. Thus, users that have been with this software can attest on how fluent and flexible the platform has become. The major upgrade that enabled the program to support HDR / EDR monitor worked as a game-changer.

Key Features

  • Digital lens corrections
  • A cost-effective perpetual license
  • Edit Smart Objects
  • Enhanced manual control
  • Compatibility with many file types

Affinity Photo is a software that continues to address what professionals require. With its latest update, users can now manually apply lens corrections; a move implemented by the brand to enhance quality results. The metadata section also offers a much-improved interface with all thanks pointed towards Affinity Photo’s latest update. This improvement allows users to add copyright data, tags, as well as descriptions. The program also supports the latest Canon CR3 raw files which displace CR2 raw file formats.

Affinity Photo also supports editing of PSDs containing Smart Objects Layers, which comes as a great feature to those willing to import various file types. The program does not support the use of Smart Objects, but that’s due to its capability of lossless Layer resizing. However, an introduction of Smart Objects will be a welcome move, especially to those working parallel with Photoshop.

The new document dialogue, which breathes out a fresh look packed with a great number of pre-sets, is also amazing. The dialogue is complemented by thumbnail previews, as well as the ability to make your own. However, the major issue in this area is that the dialogue fails to offer a clipboard document option to drop into when the user makes a screen grab.

Affinity Photo Handling and Interface

Affinity Photo interface is unique and provides various features that have proven useful. The interface is split into Personas; work spaces created to enable the user to execute certain tasks. These work spaces are self-explanatory, featuring titles such as Photo Persona, Liquify Persona, Develop Persona, Tone Mapping Persona, as well as the Export Persona. Personas are automatically selected in most cases, based on the type of file you opened.

The interface is excellently set up with all necessary tools placed where you expect them to be. If you’re an experienced photo editor, then it will take you less than 10 minutes to get fully acquainted with the layout. The Develop Persona works as a default workspace, featuring all editing tools to process a raw image. Multiple raw files are launched in various tabs, making it easy to switch between files.

How is the Quality of Results?

Photos that are processed raw tend to have milder results, making it necessary to sharpen utilizing the Unsharp Mask. While other programs such as ACR and Lightroom automatically apply the sharpening, Affinity Photo offers this process manually. This is ideal to photo editors who prefer putting their imagination to practice.

With everything put into consideration, the image quality that can be achieved using Affinity Photo is impressive. You can achieve even high-quality results by applying either basic or advanced editing skills.

Pros and Cons of Affinity Photo


  • Cost-effective pricing format
  • Less-intrusive Live Filters
  • Feature-rich software similar to Photoshop


  • Quirks when saving or exporting files
  • Image catalogue is not available

Affinity Photo Review

Affinity Photo software is a strong competitor to Adobe’s Photoshop despite lagging behind in terms of clientele base size. Even though Photoshop takes the cake in providing better overall performance, Affinity Photo’s low-cost price provides great value for money. Most of the features presented in this platform are quite similar to Photoshop, making it a better alternative instead of Adobe’s dominating software.

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