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Affinity Photo vs. Affinity Designer - Affinity Revolution.Affinity Photo vs Photoshop: which is right for you? | Creative Bloq
In this article, we will dig into which advanced photo editor, you should choose: Photoshop vs Affinity Photo in We will look at the image editing software apps head to head. Most of the questions I get as a photographer is about post-processing, even from non-photographers. The first question I often hear is: You use Photoshop , right? Many are surprised, when I answer, well yes and no. I use both quite a lot. Affinity Photo :. Let us begin by looking at the price difference and whether they can justify the difference in price.
The subscription also includes Lightroom. In the version of Photoshop, the iPad version is included in the monthly subscription.
I bought Affinity Photo from version 1. For instance, I think that Capture One has a lot of advantages over Lightroom. Affinity Photo is probably the photo editor that comes closest to being able to battle Photoshop in terms of functionality. That is not to say that Affinity Photo is better than Photoshop. To be honest, Affinity Photo lacks a few features, but most of these features are not even used by the majority of Photoshop users.
So from that perspective, it is more than capable for replacing Photoshop. And on some points even better than Photoshop, and at a fraction of the price. And often it is not that complex. So what it all comes down to is whether you can build a solid photo editing workflow in Affinity Photo , that gives reliable results.
Let us look at some of the areas where Affinity Photo is different from Photoshop and where it can take a little getting used to when going from Photoshop to Affinity Photo. The main questions when switching from using Photoshop to an alternative, like Affinity Photo, are:. How will this affect my photo editing workflow? Do I have to start from scratch and learn everything again? Where are the differences? Will photo editing become faster or slower? They use it because it is an extremely powerful photo editor.
This is the same for Affinity Photo. Your workflow will not become faster, and it will not get slower either. However, you get a very powerful photo editor, just like Photoshop. The right side panels are also very much like those you find in Photoshop.
You have the layers panel, history panel, adjustments panel and all the other things you already know from Photoshop. Working with masks and selections is also almost the same as in photoshop. The adjustment panel in Affinity Photo takes up a bit more of the user interface in the right side, but many of the adjustment layers you can add are the same as in Photoshop and with similar options for each adjustment layer.
One of the differences you will notice is that Affinity Photo is divided into personas or workspaces, that is accessible through buttons at the top bar. The difference personas group related features together and only shows it when you need it. For instance, the export and slicing features are only visible from the Export persona, and not when you are just editing an image.
This is equivalent to Adobe Camera Raw. Just like working in Adobe Camera Raw, keep your edits in the Develop Persona to basic exposure corrections and for preparing your Raw file for further enhancements. When you press the Develop button you are taken to the Photo persona , which is where you will do most of the enhancements like adding adjustment layers, working with advanced selections and applying filters. For instance, in Lightroom just select the image you want to edit, right-click and select Edit In… and select Affinity Photo.
Just like you would if you wanted to take your image to Photoshop. You cannot open multiple images as layers in Affinity Photo.
If you need to open multiple images as layers you need to do this manually, by opening all of the images and copy the layers of each image into a single image with all the layers. While most image library apps can read tiff and other file formats, not many of them can read the. Older plugins like Nik Collection Plugins can only be installed by using a workaround , but it is doable.
Once installed most plugins work without issues, but with the difference that you apply the plugin effect to the active layer, and not to a new layer, as you might be used to in Photoshop. At least this is the case with Nik Collection plugins. If you just adjust your workflow and duplicate the active layer before using the plugin, you will feel barely feel a difference. In Affinity Photo, this is called macros instead of actions.
However, you cannot import your existing photoshop actions into Affinity Photo. There are still some limitations to what you can record as macros in Affinity Photo v. You can edit the stack and remove ghosting from the focus stack using the stamp tool in combination with the source panel, but only to a certain point. The panorama feature suffers from the same failure to show a layer mask of which part of each image layer was used to create the panorama, so you can add finishing touches to the panorama stitching yourself.
You have to do this in the stitching process and cannot edit it after you applied the Panorama stitch to a pixel layer. I must admit though that the initial panorama results that Affinity Photo outputs, is often much better than the results I got from Photoshop.
Another feature that you might miss, if you are used to working in Photoshop, is the lack of ability to use luminosity masks in Affinity Photo. Well, you can actually create luminosity masks, but it is a bit different than in Photoshop, where it is also a quite complex process.
So if you prefer manual exposure blending over the more automatic HDR merge feature in Affinity Photo , you need to change your workflow a bit. Instead of using luminosity masks, Affinity Photo relies on using blend ranges for blending images and limiting adjustment layers to only affect pixels with a particular luminosity value.
Blend ranges are like Photoshops Blend-if feature but on steroids. It is extremely powerful, but you still need to get used to working with it. By using blend ranges you can set how a layer or adjustment layer should blend with the underlying layers. In the above example, you can see the blend range options for a saturation adjustment layer. At least for landscape photographers using blend ranges instead of luminosity masks, is one of the major changes in workflow to get used to.
However you can still use luminosity masks, by using the approach, I teach in the advanced video course. Yes, you can import and use Photoshop brushes in Affinity Photo.
There are a few settings and features that are not available with brushes in Affinity Photo, but it is possible to import both your own brushes or professional brushes that you bought online. In the video below, you can see how to import brushes mins. You can both open.
You can also choose to save your work in. It plays well together with Affinity Photo, and Nik Collection. I used it for half a year before settling on Capture One. The newest version of Photoshop includes some really cool features based on artificial intelligence AI , but also some that makes the difference between a photographer and a creative painter very blurred.
Otherwise, you are just another digital artist and not a photographer, in my opinion. Besides sky replacement filter, Photoshop also includes neural filters, for skin smoothening, smart portraits, and colorizing.
Furthermore, you can save some time on blurring background, or completely removing background from images using the new Quick actions in Photoshop. These are quite useful in many situations, if you need them. The choice between using Affinity Photo is often linked to which other apps from Adobe you might be using. Adobe has become the industry standard in many workplaces. Are you willing to switch away from these as well? Do you also work with graphic design?
The Affinity Suite currently these three different app types and has true seamless integration between Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher. So the complete trio might enable you to switch to Affinity from Adobe software and save even more money than the cost of Photoshop if you are able to skip multiple pricey subscriptions from Adobe.
But it depends on your needs. Photoshop Elements in more in the ballpark of Pixelmator for instance, if you are looking for an alternative for Photoshop Elements. Despite these few lacks that might be crucial to some photographers, Affinity Photo is more than capable of taking over for the editing needs for the majority of Photoshop users.
From what I hear from other photographers, it is not actually a matter of whether they are attached to Photoshop.
They would love a similar and cheaper alternative that could give them the same professionally looking results. Instead, many photographers stick to their pricey subscription with Adobe. I wonder if this will change when more and more photographers begin the explore the growing number of capable image management applications in the market, like On1 Photo RAW, Luminar and Capture One.
Coupled with Affinity Photo for your more advanced image editing needs, you might soon be ready to loosen yourself from the grip of Adobe. Follow this link for a free trial for Affinity Photo. Alternatively you can get a free trial of Photoshop here. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography.
Initially I was using the free Capture One that came with my Sony but paid for the upgrade. Then, I got stung because a new version came out and the upgrade price was the same as an annual subscription to Photoshop. Then I noticed Affinity and decided to give that a try.
Hi Jeff, Thank you for sharing your thoughts.