Serif software just released a professional photo editing program for Mac called Affinity Photo. Built as a high-end alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC, Affinity Photo offers a sophisticated tool set for editing and retouching and a beautiful, intuitive user interface.
During its beta period, which had been going on since February, Serif gathered input from thousands of trial users and worked to refine the app into a rock solid performer. Reviews of the beta version noted it’s speed and reliability.
Five years in the making, Affinity Photo offers full file compatibility, RGB, CMYK, LAB and Grayscale color spaces, with full ICC color management, Adjustment Layers, RAW editing and a huge selection of creative tools, filters and customizable effects.
Best part about Affinity Photo is the price; only $49, available at the Mac App Store. Flat fee. No subscription. Obviously, this will be music to the years of everyone who’s unhappy about Adobe’s Creative Cloud pricing model, which has left a bad taste in the mouths of more than a few photographers.
Although I haven’t tried Affinity Photo yet, I’m really excited by its release, because the world needs competition. Photoshop has been the only game in town for professional photo editing for a long time and they need someone to keep them honest. In turn, they have set the bar for other companies who want to bring something new to the table. Either way, competition leads to innovation, which only makes things better for everyone.
Even though I’ve been a Photoshop user for many years, my loyalty only goes so far if I find a system that works better for my workflow. Photoshop does offer a very powerful solution when I need to go beyond Lightroom, and although I’m not necessarily ready to ditch Adobe right now, I’m always open to options, and so should you be.
It’s true, there are a number of other image editing programs out there, but nothing as full featured as Affinity Photo. Most of them do a few things really well, they just don’t do everything, or else they have limitations, like only being able to work in RGB color space, or not being able to work with 16-bit raw files.
Affinity Photo is not dumbed down in any way, it handles any task you could do in Photoshop, some better, some not, although keep in mind that is only version 1, and if they did this good right out of the gate, it will only improve.
If you’re not happy with Adobe, or if you’re looking for a viable alternative to Photoshop, check out the Serif website and see what Affinity Photo is all about- they even have a free ten-day trial period. You can also read this early review by a beta user.