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Affinity Photo vs Photoshop: Which is the Best Match for You

In this article, we will dig into which advanced photo editor you should choose: Photoshop vs Affinity Photo in 2021. We will look at these image editing software apps head to head. Can Affinity Photo replace Photoshop as the industry leader?

Quick Comparison: Affinity Photo vs. Photoshop

1. Features:

There are a bit more features and tools in Photoshop, but only marginally. You will find that both apps include all basic image editing tools, as well as what else you can dream of from any photo editing software, as a photographer. Both apps offer limitless layers, can import most raw image formats, pen tools, and whatever your need. Most users won’t notice this in their day-to-day workflow, but still, Photoshop leads when it comes to features.

Winner: Photoshop

2. Price:

Affinity Photo is a low one-time payment of $49.99. Photoshop on the other hand is a subscription and comes bundled with Lightroom in the Adobe Photography plan for $9.99 per month. If you don’t mind paying for a Photoshop subscription, then this isn’t an issue for you, but many hate the subscription fees.

Winner: Affinity Photo

3. User Interface:

Both apps are similar when it comes to the user interface. Photoshop has a more sleek dark gray design, making buttons seem a bit similar, while Affinity Photo for some features requires a few extra clicks. But these are small issues, and both are identical in their approach to photo editing.

Winner: Tie

4. Workflow

They are similar in workflow; however, Photoshop has more options for automating the workflow. While Affinity Photo’s personas keep the workflow divided into what you need when you need it, Photoshop is more customizable overall.

Winner: Photoshop (by a margin)

5. Compatibility:

You will find that most plugins are designed for Photoshop (but may work in Affinity Photo). However, when it comes to deep integration, then 3rd party plugins like Nik Collection have only developed this for Photoshop, so far. If we look at compatibility the other way, more apps support reading Photoshop files, while only a few apps support Affinity Photo’s native format (.afphoto).

Winner: Photoshop

6. Learning Curve

If you have never used similar programs you will have an equally steep learning curve, no matter which program you choose. Luckily, you can find video tutorials and courses for both apps on Photography-RAW.

Winner: Tie

Quick Verdict:

Photoshop is overall the best photo editor if you don’t mind the subscription-based pricing. You can do more with Photoshop, and it is a more professional tool for specific tasks.

However, Affinity Photo is a close competitor and at only a fraction of the price. Most users can do perfectly well with Affinity Photo.

Which app is the for you depends on your needs? Read on to dig deeper into the differences between the two apps.

Download our Free ebook: Quick Start Guide to Affinity Photo

What are the Difference Between Affinity Photo vs. Photoshop CC:

Let us begin by looking at the price difference and whether they can justify the difference in price

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How much does Affinity Photo Cost?

You can get Affinity Photo desktop version from the Mac App Store / Microsoft Store in Windows 10, or you can download it directly from Serif’s website for a one-time price of $49.99.

If you also want the iPad version of Affinity Photo it costs you $20.

How much does Photoshop CC Cost?

Photoshop is subscription-based and comes with Lightroom at a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, which is the cheapest option. The subscription also includes Lightroom. In the 2021 version of Photoshop, the iPad version is included in the monthly subscription.

Photo Editing: The Adobe Photoshop vs Affinity Photo Battle

Affinity Photo is probably the photo editing software that comes closest to being able to battle Photoshop in terms of functionality.

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 what it all comes down to is whether you can build a solid photo editing workflow in Affinity Photo, that gives reliable results.

Affinity Photo vs Photoshop
Affinity Photo vs Photoshop: The user interface is 95% identical, so you will quickly learn the robes with Affinity Photo

Differences in Workflow: Photoshop vs Affinity Photo

The logic behind Affinity Photo is just the same as Photoshop, however, you might have to look for a few things in other places, even though 95% of the features and menu items will be in the same spot in the top menu. In my experience, if you are already familiar with Photoshop, then you won’t have a steep learning curve.

Adjustment Layer Panel in Affinity Photo

The adjustment panel in Affinity Photo takes up a bit more of the user interface on 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.

Affinity Photo’s User Interface Is Divided Into Workspaces

One of the differences you will notice is that Affinity Photo is divided into personas or workspaces, that are accessible through buttons at the top bar.

The personas are:

  • Photo persona for most photo editing, like in Photoshop with similar retouching tools
  • Liquify persona for image manipulation
  • Develop persona for RAW editing like Adobe Camera RAW and fixing distorted photos
  • Tone Mapping persona for HDR-processing
  • Export persona to export images in slices.

This makes the interface slightly less cluttered and a little more user-friendly than Photoshop.

Photoshop also has workspaces, but from a normal user’s point of view, you don’t often switch between them as part of your standard workflow in Photoshop.

When first opening RAW photos, Affinity Photo will open up in the Develop persona.

Develop persona equals 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.

Integrating Affinity Photo With Other Apps

Integration with image library applications like Lightroom, Luminar, Capture One Pro, or ON1 Photo RAW is quite easy. For instance, in Lightroom just select the image you want to edit, right-click and select Edit In…, and select Affinity Photo.

Affinity Photo integrates well with other digital asset management  apps

There are a few issues to be aware of for Lightroom users:

You cannot open multiple images as layers in Affinity Photo. While most image library apps can read tiff and other file formats, not many of them can read the .afphoto file format.

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Using Affinity Photo With Your Photoshop Plugins

There’s a big chance that you can continue to use most of the Photoshop plugins you own as Affinity Photo supports this. Older plugins like Nik Collection Plugins can only be installed by using a workaround, but it is doable. The 2.5 version of Nik Collection from DXO supports Affinity Photo.

Choosing Nik Collection from the menu in Affinity Photo

Can you open Photoshop files (.PSD format) in Affinity Photo?

You can both open .psd files in Affinity Photo. You can also choose to save your work in .psd. This is quite useful if you need to send your files to a colleague or a friend who doesn’t have Affinity Photo.

Photoshop Actions vs Affinity Photo Macros

Affinity Photo Macros vs Photoshop Actions

I often get the question: “Can I create Affinity Photo actions?” If you are used to using Photoshop actions in your workflow you will be happy to know that Affinity Photo also supports saving a series of steps into a workflow.

In Affinity Photo, this is called macros instead of actions. However, you cannot import your existing photoshop actions into Affinity Photo.

Affinity Photo Focus Stacking and Panorama Stitching Could Be Improved

From a macro photographer’s viewpoint, focus stacking could be improved, as it is not quite up to speed.

For instance, Affinity Photo doesn’t show the layer masks and which part from each layer was used to create the focus stack. 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.

Panorama stitching in Affinity Photo

Serif Vs Adobe

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. Adobes Creative Cloud Suite opens up a whole range of other Adobe programs related to graphic design and photography. If you do video editing and want integration with your photo editing, then the Serif Suite is currently not able to match this.

All Creative Cloud solutions within the Adobe subscription model come with cloud storage, which might allow you to cut down on other cloud storage expenses. Plus using Adobe Photoshop offers access to a huge library of assets like Photoshop brushes, font sets, that you have to pay for as add-ons to Affinity.

If you are a fan of creating digital art, then you might discover that you might to need to pay extra to get the add-ons. However, if raw image editing tools are all you need, then the add-ons are irrelevant to you.

The Affinity Suite currently these three different app types and has true seamless integration between Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher. So the complete trio might enable you to switch to Affinity from Adobe software, like Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign, and save even more money.

Why Not Compare Affinity Photo vs Photoshop Elements 2021?

Photoshop Elements is a much-simplified version of Photoshop, and to a degree that I don’t believe it should be compared to Affinity Photo. Photoshop Elements is more in the ballpark of Pixelmator for instance if you are looking for an alternative for Photoshop Elements.

Why you might want to go for Photoshop

  • You can do more with Photoshop actions than you can with Affinity Photo macros.
  • While Affinity Photo is quite capable and fast, there are times where it lags in terms of speed.
  • There are a lot more tutorials and video courses available for Photoshop than there are tutorials for Affinity Photo. A few of the few video courses available for Affinity Photo are available here on Photography-RAW. Serif also offers a workbook for Affinity Photo, however, our tutorials and video courses on Affinity Photo already cover most of the content in the book.
  • There are more Photoshop plugins available and custom panels that you can use to extend PS. Scripting is also not available in Affinity Photo yet.
  • If you use smart objects a lot in your workflow, you might find it more difficult to adapt to a little different workflow. While Affinity can import a PSD files with a smart object, it doesn’t support smart objects as such.

Reasons why you would want to go for Affinity Photo

  • One of the primary reasons for choosing Affinity Photo vs. Photoshop is that you get almost the same for a lot less. 
  • Most photo editing tools only work in raster formats. However, you can also create vector shapes in Affinity Photo by using the pen/node tools or the shape tool.
  • It has a live brush preview. This allows you to see the effect of brush strokes before you apply them. This is very useful for photographers. Especially when creating masks or dodge and burning using the brush tool.
  • Affinity Photo saves your undo history even after you close the image. It saves the undo history with the image. You can revert to any undo stages no matter where in the editing process you are.
Photoshop vs Affinity Photo

Affinity vs Photoshop: Is it worth the switch?

Both Affinity Photo and Photoshop are designed to be pure photo editors and don’t include photo management tools.

Affinity Photo is more than capable of taking over the editing needs of the majority of Photoshop users. Even some professional photographers have switched. Other photographers are perfectly fine with a subscription that gives you the top-notch and highly professional Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom bundle.

Serif hasn’t created an Affinity program that fits as an alternative to Lightroom yet. So Affinity users need to find other software to cover their need for photo management tools (basic importing of raw files from SD-cards, and quick raw image enhancements, keywording, culling, and so on).

Since Photoshop and Lightroom are bundled together into a single subscription, it doesn’t make sense for them to switch from Photoshop to something else.

I hope this Affinity Photo and Adobe Photoshop comparison help you make up your mind about which to choose.

Follow this link for a free trial for Affinity Photo. Alternatively, you can get a free trial of Photoshop here.

What’s your experience of using Affinity Photo vs Photoshop – pros, and cons? What do you think: Is Affinity as good as Photoshop?

45 thoughts on “Affinity Photo vs Photoshop: Which is the Best Match for You”

  1. My own “journey” was from Apple’s Aperture into Capture One Pro. 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.
    Capture One lacks much compared to other products – for example you can’t put a border round a print.
    Then I noticed Affinity and decided to give that a try. Yes, it’s substantially cheaper than either alternative and it does all that I’ve wanted to do in the last six months, however ….
    There’s a marked lack in support material – Serif have a number of videos, several independent people post material but it’s nothing compared to what’s available for Adobe. Serif have published a Workbook and much as I like that it’s just one English language publication.
    Overall I’m pretty pleased with the combination I have – Fast RAW Viewer, Capture One and Affinity but I’m left with the feeling that sooner or later I’ll want to make the jump to Photoshop and perhaps I’m wasting my time now trying to lear Affinity.

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
      It is true that there are not as many videos and tutorials about using Affinity Photo. On the other hand, there are almost too many tutorials about Photoshop. Sometimes it confuses more than it benefits to have a very wide choice of tutorials.

      In my opinion, what matters is to get the basic editing workflow right. However, because of the tutorials available it can be diffucult to find out what it is exactly you need to learn to process an image from start to finish (from importing it until making it ready for print). This is what I teach in the video course available here in the website.

      If you watch/read the individual videos/articles on the web, it will not benefit much, no matter whether it is for Photoshop or Affinity Photo, if it is not placed into a workflow context.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting, always appreciated.

      Reply
    • I have a similar “Journey.” I moved from Apple’s Aperture to Capture One because I did not want to go to a subscription model and Capture One is used by a lot of pros. I was using PC most of the time and had a license for Corel Photo Paint which did the few things I needed that Capture One can’t do. But in the last year I’ve gone all Mac and Corel makes me pay a fairly large sum to convert to Mac so I tired Affinity Pro and am satisfied with the results.

      Insightful comments are in this article. Including 80% of work can be done in Lightroon or Capture One and only 20% of the time do you need to use a photo editor. I agree with that. However I’m not sure about the comment of not finding a good alternative to Lightroom. I’ve never tried Lightroom but my understanding is Capture One covers much of what Lightroom does and some things better than Lightroom. This begs the question have you done a Lightroom vs. Caputure One comparison? I’d like to read your thoughts on that.

      Reply
  2. I’ve spent much more time learning Affinity Photo than PS and it’s proved easier to find a way round different tasks. With Lightroom being my main editing format, the need to complete a workflow always requires extra help and so far AF has gelled effectively. The problems I’ve encountered have only been solved through the generosity of the members of the Affinity Forum. Of the many questions needing an answer this has been the only place offering sufficient feedback to stop me giving up. Recently I set about teaching myself composing skills and AF proved effective and less complicated than PS however, with my next project of digging deeper into B&W editing, the lack of luminosity masking is proving challenging. Despite the issues mentioned I have no plans to move away from AF and Serif are to be praised for offering a non subscription, excellent alternative to the unreasonable, costly and ongoing monthly fee; they have needed a challenger for a long time.

    Reply
  3. Hi Peter,

    I’ve been working with Affinity for a while and have found it excellent for more in-depth re-touching. Frequency separation world really well and Affinity in-painting brush tool is awesome.

    I’m frustrated that Nik layers are essentially locked after use in Affinity… There is no way to apply them as live filters. In PS if you make the base image a Smart object, the Nik layers can be re-opened and Adjusted. This flexibility is huge for me and a feature that Serif really need to address.

    Reply
    • I agree with the “locked” comment it is a major problem for me, I need a live filters so PS is my go to app with the “Robin Hood” .

      Reply
  4. Lack of competition leads to arrogance. And greed.
    • Price – Photoshop charging on time interval basis is based on corporate greed. This is founded upon Adobe’s confidence that it is invincible. Likewise, Kodak once upon a time felt it was invincible in the world of photographic film manufacture. What happened to Kodak has some lessons for Adobe.
    • Pirate versions of Photoshop CC – Is Adobe even aware that out there in the real world, there are copies of pirated Photoshop CC that have been cracked and used, without the users having to pay a cent to Adobe? If Adobe had not resorted to scalping its customers every month, some of those pirate copy users may have been happy to buy a one-time payment of Photoshop (which Adobe used to do a long time ago).
    • Terribly User Unfriendly – With each iteration Adobe Photoshop gets more unfriendly and mind numbing complex to use. It is the outcome of low quality programming, that does not respect the customer.

    Reply
    • The price for photographers bundle that adobe offers is WAY cheaper than most alternatives. You spend the same for ps and lr as you would for on1 and it’s half the price of capture 1

      I’m not saying the adobe products are better. But citing the subscription fee as a reason to avoid them is short sighted. They’re cheaper in the long run and are paid in monthly installments. And I’m a guy who HATES app subscriptions.

      Reply
        • I just had to say…YES! You are so right on..i too have LR 6 and Photoshop cs6ext and i use it as well as affinity….i just had to let you know…how right you are!

          Reply
      • They are not cheaper.
        I’ve had 2 versions of LR in 10 years at a cost of about £2.50 a month. Why should I now pay £10 a month? I don’t want PS at all. I’d happily pay £2.50 a month for just the LR develop module (I don’t use the library). But Adobe won’t let me. Hence I need an alternative to LR develop.

        Reply
  5. You forgot one thing Adobe Bridge. You can open RAW files from Bridge straight to Affinity Photo. Just don’t click open in ‘Camera Raw’ just click on open. The file will open in the Develop Persona. I use Windows 10 and set it up so Raw Files will open in Affinity photo by default. I use Bridge to Label and Rate my photos. However Bridge don’t open other files such as Jpegs and Tiffs only Raw files.

    Reply
  6. I am an artist and paint with oil paints. I was looking into buying photoshop for 2 reasons: 1) to make prints of my paintings. I take a photo or have my paintings scanned then adjust colors and contrast with photoshop and then make a print to sell.
    2) To draw ad paint with photoshop and ultimately give up actual paint, brushes and chemicals like turpentine. I might be slowly developing allergy to turpentine.
    In your opinion, will Affinity do the above?Thanks for all the help and guidance you provide.

    Reply
  7. Hi
    I bought 6 months ago Capture One 12 (over 500$cdn) mostly for landscape. I use it very often after replacing skies in Luminar 4. I also use ON1 2020 (adding “Plus 49.95$/year) for their best tutorials in ON1 and for general photography and luminosity mask . I also own a version of PS CS5 educational that I use rarely. I also use version 6.14 of lightroom for printing only on canvas. Like you I also use DXO Photolabs 3 (PRIME) +DXO Nikk plugins for landscape and particularly with my Nikon DX cameras. I shoot mostly with a Nikon D800 + Fuji X-T2 (14mm F2.8)
    Here are my questions:
    1- How would you rate Affinity Photo raw converter ? Please compare it to C1; DXo; LR;etc.
    2- Capture one is the fastest and best ‘jpeg” converter’ (raw-jpg), while ON1 is very slow in translating fron RAW to jpg. What are your comments on my statement ?
    3- I love LR 6.14 for editing, but I stopped using it, because I messed up my catalogs quite a few time, loosing hundreds of “Collections” ending with zero files showing on each. Is this a problem, that is currently happening to many users ? (my files are in directories, located on a different drive than LR). (windows 10 pro)
    regards,

    Reply
    • I currently use Luminar 4 (only) . I was thinking of Aurora or Affinity Photo . I shoot mainly portraits, fitness mainly including muscles, hence wanting that ‘extra’ detail/edge’ . Would you have a preferrence or recommendation to either of these options? Staying away from Adobe.

      Reply
  8. I’m not sure if this is available in the latest version of Photoshop but Affinity Photo also has live filter layers where you can apply filters in a non destructive way and you can even adjust them later like adjustments layers.

    Reply
  9. Great comparison, I have been looking to move away from my Adobe subscription and save myself some cash.

    I mostly do stuff for web design, which often includes logo work and modding and touching up various images, I have just DL’d the 90 day trial of Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, which are currently all on 50% discount so I a very tempted just to get the anyway.

    After reading a few comments and reviews like this one I am very hopeful that the Affinity products will work for me as I am one of those users that likely never uses that 5% extra that the Adobe products are able to do, heck I don’t even know what they are.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Reply
    • At least with Serif products they will all open each others files eg Affinity Designer will open .afphoto files. This is not the case with Adobe products. Makes for an easier streamlined workflow IMHO.

      Reply
  10. Does the Affinity program have text functions like photoshop?
    Does the program give you some included fonts?

    Reply
    • Hey Scott,

      Yeah it does, everything from Arial to wingdings. I’ve used Affinity for 3 years now, alongside Capture One Pro, as I’m a Phase Certified Professional. I found the switch from photoshop to affinity seamless. Its Macros are a bit underdeveloped compared to Photoshop Actions. So far I’ve saved 3 years worth of subscription fees, and used the money to buy Designer and Publisher. Hope this answer helps.

      Reply
  11. I learned Photoshop and used it a lot for work. Once you are used to its ways, it just seems easier to stay with it rather than take on something new. That said, I cannot justify the cost of Adobe for the odd thing that I do at home where I may want to adjust a photo or create a poster. I don’t believe in pirating software so I bought the Affinity bundle because it was good value and the programs are very capable. I hope Serif continues to develop new products (such as a competitor to After Effects) that will further the ability to divorce from expensive programs that one only uses from time to time but are still able to do the job well. I too have not been charged for any upgrades though I certainly would not mind an occasional small charge for major upgrades if that would keep the product improvements rolling along with perhaps investment in some new stuff.

    Reply
  12. Being a long time user of Adobe I was wary that anything else could touch them. Having a quick go on Affinity I was pleasantly surprised and shocked at how cheap it was. I am definitely going to consider the switch.

    Reply
  13. I am appalled by Adobe’s Creative Cloud, so much so that I am still using CS6. When I got an email offering me the wonderful opportunity of “saving” money by buying a discounted version of the Cloud, I replied, angrily accusing them of extortion. The Adobe applications I need are Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. None of the plans offer just those applications. I would have to pay $52.99 to get these applications month after month after month after… And then Adobe patronizes me by telling me that buying all 23+ applications, at least 17 of which I don’t want, is my “best value.” I have downloaded Affinity Photo, and am exploring it.

    My company uses the Adobe Cloud suite, and we have had issues with licensing, where the applications would not open because of supposed serial number issues. I can’t express how infuriating it is not having access to applications you have paid for because of Adobe’s greed.

    I’m considering buying a new Mac, and I’m pretty sure there will be compatibility issues between the OS on that machine and CS6, so I am seriously considering Affinity photo.

    Reply
    • Affinity Photo is amazing on the M1 mac. Smooth as silk. I am in the process of going to the Affinity suite. I am really excited about it.

      Reply
  14. I agree with the “locked” comment it is a major problem for me, I need a live filters so PS is my go to app with the “Robin Hood” .

    Reply
  15. Affinity photo might be lacking some features of Photoshop, but PS also lacks some features that AP has like FFT denoise (to remove paterns when restoring an old photo for instance) Some features just work better such as Lighting effects is much better in AP. refine selections, the content aware healing brush or equivalnet is much better. Heck, even the common clone tool works better. Btw, luminosity mask is complicated in PS, but the alternative methods like bland options (there are more) work better in AP. I also get more pleasing results in AP with the grad tool in an adjustment layer. The other thing is that AP might be a little slower with large files (although I don’t have that experience), it is not as much of a memory hog as PS that takes up at least twice as much RAM

    Reply
  16. I want to scan and reduce in size some old ink drawings, so I am looking for reduction that retains detail. I was interested in the capabilities of ‘Smart Object’ in Photoshop, having seen a demo on YouTube and it looks just what I need. My own copy predates this feature, Photoshop 6 – yes, that old! I have no idea when the smart object feature came in, whether I can actually buy versions of Photoshop with this feature or if there are other programs that have something that works just as well.

    Reply
  17. Hi, Excellent site and articles. I have been taking photogrpahs for close on 60 years, progressing from a wet darkroom through to digital, and various apps. I had settled on Photoshop and Lightroom, I still use the old version 6. Then I tried Affinity having dabbled with the earlier Serif Photo product. I find Affinity is great and works very well with Lightroom, which I use for all my main editing work, and then into Affinity for anything special etc.
    Adobe have long ripped people off and when they went subscription only that was the end for me, it is too expensive for the home user, its about time Photoshop was given real competition and it has that in Affinity. Adobe would have been much better following Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD practice, where they charge business users but non-commercial home use is free.
    Microsoft is another going down the Adobe route, I guess there products had got to the stage where people were no longer prepared to pay for small upgardes, so now they have them locked into a subscription service. Nothing but Greed.

    Reply
  18. Thanks for the article and these comments. I have been flip-flopping between PS and Affinity. I have the CS 5 version but many of the tools are crashing my efforts. Affinity seems to be moving ahead at the time.

    Thanks again for your efforts!

    Reply
  19. This is so helpful. I’m a keen amateur with Over 20 000 images. I’ve used Adobe for more than 10 years and all my importing and file arrangements and key wording is done through Lightroom. What alternative could I use for this if I moved to Affinity for processing? Would I lose all my present processing and file systems?

    Reply
  20. Hello from Paris, France,
    I found this site to be great and very well documented.
    I’m just an amateur photographer but have used Photoshop CS6 a lot. I do a lot of photo montages. I bought the expensive Photoshop CS6 software at the time. But in your excellent presentation, you forgot to mention this: Now that my Mac has switched to Mojave and Catalina, my Photoshop is no longer usable! A real scam from Adobe! So, just in case, I did a Copy Carbon of my High Sierra system before upgrading in order to use my Photoshop. But in fact, ever since I discovered Affinity Photo which can be bought for $ 30, I don’t touch Photoshop, which I don’t use at all anymore.
    Mainly, I find it great that Affinity Photo saves your undo history even after you close the image. And much more features.
    I can imagine quite easily that Adobe will not be able to continue to demand such outrageous monthly payments from amateur photographers. For me, Photoshop Elements is of no interest.
    So I say, long life to Affinity Photo!

    Reply
  21. I’m not going to defend everything in PS vs. Affinity, but one thing you list is that PS is faster with larger files. I think this depends on how you define larger. I find that Affinity is much faster for saves etc. than PS on larger files if larger means many layers. This is even if I turn off compression in PS etc. which not only is still slower on said files than Affinity, but results in the expected bloated whale of a PS file (in my case hovering around 15GB).

    I’m sure it can be debated though which is faster for fewer layers and very high canvas pixel sizes though, but for my needs in terms of layer count Affinity is much better.

    And please, before the PS preference jocks jump in with telling me to adjust the caches and undos and all that mess, I’ve tried it. A) doesn’t help enough to make it worth it B) it’s 2020, why in gods name am I having to mess with this crap?

    Reply
  22. Got to say as somebody who does family and portrait photography professionally I have not found anything that Affinity Photo can’t do that PS can. The frequency separation filter is excellent, and the blending options tool allows applying textures on portraits very easily without having to painfully mask off faces etc.

    I have found that I can follow most PS tutorials and replicate then in Affinity, eg Pix Imperfect YouTube channel.

    I know PS does 3D and video but as I don’t use these it’s not a problem.

    Coupled with Capture One they are a very powerful set of tools for any photographer, and their capabilities alone make them excellent alternatives to Adobe, irrespective of any price savings.

    Reply
  23. Give ACDSee a spin. It’s less complicated than Photoshop, and has all the features you might need. You pay for the yearly upgrades, so the overall cost comes out to about half of an Adobe subscription. If you’re a pro and use all the features of PS or Capture One, you might find it weak. I’m only a hobbyist, so my evaluation may not apply to pros out there.

    Reply
  24. I´m switching from PS5 to AF now. Most new things are complicated and i cannot compare with the latest PS as i still have a PS5, so i do not know what is the best. But
    I notice that the setups of AF forces you more or less to work in a non destructive way. There are a lot instruction videos and books available. This helps understanding AF and gives insight in the workshops. Only problem for me is that it is slow in converting and saving to tif and jpg starting from AF format. But fair chance that i have to change my PC or only processor and slow harddisk to solve this problem. The result compared with my PS5 is technically better looking photos against a lower cost for me as a hobbyist. The RAW module is OK for me but i prefer to start in Capture NX which is good for my Nikon NEFs.

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  25. very interesting. i have used photoshop for many years, but more recently i am working pastels and creating actual portraits. i still have the basic current version of PS and only use a few filters or options to set up my reference photos, and to scan the finished product. my version includes Lightroom, which actually, i never use. this looks like a no-brainer, especially since, as a senior, i have a limited budget which i am always happy to reduce. thank you for the information.

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  26. I am switching from Photoshop Elements after I noticed that it was producing ‘worm-like’ noise from raw files – apparently, tis is well documented for folk who use Fujifilm cameras with any Photoshop program. I’ve found that neither Affinity or Exposure X6 produces this artefact. Thus, I’ve been trying to use Affinity as my main program with Exposure X6 and Nik filters as plug-ins (both can be added to Affinity photo as plug-ins). However, the only 2 problems with Affinity are: 1. all raw editing is destructive; 2. the AFPhoto files are enormous – easily twice the size of PSD files!! For example, I can get 450Mb files no problem whereas they were only 120Mb with Photoshop (apparently Affinity like to keep more [unnecessary?] details). So, I’m currently considering using Exposure X6 for: 1. raw editing, then 2. adding presets and textures (Exposure X6 presets and textures are great). I can save (export) this file. If I then want to add Nik filters, I can open Affinity as the host and then apply NIK filters. (Unfortunately, X6 can’t plug-in NIK filters otherwise I’d use it for everything instead of Affinity!) Comments welcome.

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  27. I made the switch from Photoshop to Affinity and I’m quite happy with the results. There are a few things that still need polishing up, but it’s a killer replacement tool. I’m sick and tired of Adobe’s nonsense. Photoshop has become a sluggish, unworkable nightmare. I have what is, by all accounts, a monstrously powerful PC with a 16-Core CPU, 64GB of RAM and a 3090 GPU. I shouldn’t have to deal with Photoshop’s obvious code bloat. Affinity is lightning fast across the board, and its interface is easy to get the hang of after a week or so of switching.

    This is the start of a trend. I’ve already abandoned the nightmarish mess that is Premiere Pro for DaVinci Studio, to my great delight. If Adobe doesn’t start upping its game, rather than resting on its laurels while raking in boat-loads of cash from a subscription model that takes more than it gives, then it’s only a matter of time before the company experiences its own J.C. Penny moment.

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  28. I’ve used photoediting programs for a long time though this is not what I do day in and day out as I’m a software developer first and foremost. I’m also a long-time photographer. I don’t remember exactly when, but I got Photoshop back when Macromedia had it and I eventually go the full suite of products, upgraded it from time to time and was quite happy. Though I have to admit using Photoshop seemed to me overly complicated and non-intuitive. You were eventually just learning recipes to accomplish some task without necessarily know what was going on behind the scenes. Well Adobe eventually bought out Macromedia and eventually went from an upgradeable perpetual license model to a monthly subscription model. I have never really liked this model and for this reason, I have never subscribed though I still have my CS6 perpetual license installed which I still use, albeit rarely. Somewhere along the line I heard about Affinity Photo and purchased it. I’ve discovered I like it more than Photoshop. I find it easier and more intuitive and this has become my app of choice. I rarely use Photoshop any more. I find there is no compelling reason to use Photoshop but my needs probably differ from others.

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    • Can you please explain what you mean. Is it in general, that you mean that Affinity Photo cannot use Photoshop Brushes, or do you find that they just doesn’t work as well.

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