Affinity Photo vs Photoshop – Worth the Switch?


Affinity photo is a great alternative to photoshop but it was only available on Mac. It’s finally available on Windows and I’ll be testing the public beta. You can find out where to get Affinity Photo in the video description. I spent the entire day playing around with Affinity Photo and today, you and I will be exploring the features comparing the pros and cons between Photoshop and finding out if it’s worth to switch from Photoshop to Affinity photo. So, if you’re interested keep watching and let’s find out more about this Photoshop competitor. When you first use affinity photo, you’ll find that it’s very similar to Photoshop. The filters, adjustment layers, and even the keyboard shortcuts are mostly the same. But there are some great features that make Affinity Photo standout. Disclaimer, this is not a paid product review and Serif the company behind the software you’re about to see, they don’t even know that I’m making this video. What you’re seeing is my honest opinion. Also keep in mind, I’m using a free public beta released which just came out. So, I don’t have too much time to play around with every single feature. So, with that said; here’s my favorite things about Affinity photo. First, by default the layers act sort of like smart objects. In Photoshop for example you can resize them up and down without losing any image quality. You can also apply filters which are like smart filters in Photoshop. The layers remember any live filters that you supplied and you can always go back to change the settings or remove it. But unlike smart objects in Photoshop, you can actually paint in the layer if you want. You can do raster adjustments to the layers and layers act like both smart objects and layers at the same time. So, this is something that I wish Photoshop will have and hopefully eventually Adobe will see it. And will be like ok this is a great idea, we should put it in our product. Just a note, not all filters on Affinity photo can be applied as live filters or smart filters as we’re used to calling it in Photoshop. For example, the haze removal filter can only be applied as a regular filter which means that you should do it on a separate layer because you can’t remove it or change the settings. Speaking of the haze filter, that’s my second favorite feature. Haze removal is also available in Lightroom and Photoshop’s camera raw filter but they’re not the same thing. The haze removal filter in Affinity photo is way better, there’s more parameters to adjust. Such as the distance setting which lets you specify how far into the distance the haze removal should reach. For example, you can remove haze in the foreground but leave it visible in the background or you can go all the way and remove it from the foreground to background. The results are also better than Lightroom or Photoshop, There’s still some glowing or halo effect around the edges, but it’s not as pronounced as Adobe’s haze removal, and the colors are also a lot better. In Lightroom or Photoshop, if you push the haze removal too far, we get a lot of color artifacts in Affinity photo, it’s still there, but it’s a lot less. My third favorite feature in Affinity photo is the curves adjustment. You can change the mode from RGB to other colors like CMYK or lab, but unlike Photoshop you don’t actually need to change your document’s color mode you can access these in RGB mode. Now, I wouldn’t say this is a necessary feature but it’s definitely cool to be able to play with curves in a different way. And I think it will open up some new color grading techniques. There’s a lot more features in affinity photo such as the frequency separation filter and a really cool lighting filter. I really like Affinity photo and I think the developers did an amazing job creating this. But, there are some things I don’t like. First of all, Affinity photo has something called “Personas” which is a pretty ambiguous term. Personas are basically different workspaces. For example, we’re currently in the photo persona which is simply the main photo editor. There’s also one liquefied persona for liquefying your photo. A developed persona for the raw image processor, a tone mapping persona for the HDR stuff and finally an expert persona for exporting and saving your document. The problem of personas is that they don’t really make any sense, it’s not like in Lightroom where you have a library module, a develop module, etc and they’re all in sequential order to a typical workflow. Personas in Affinity photo are really just anything that changes the workspace. I mean couldn’t they just moved some of the personas into the filters menu. It’s totally okay for the filters to change your workspace temporarily. For example in Photoshop, the blur filter gallery does this. It changes your entire workspace and it works perfectly fine; and it brings another question. What if Affinity photo released this new filters that also use different workspaces? Are they really going to add more personas until you can’t fit anymore? I don’t know, personas to me seemed like a fancy term for something that’s unnecessary. Speaking of personas, the raw editor or develop persona isn’t nearly as good or as powerful as Adobe camera raw filter. It’s decent and it has all of the basics, but, don’t expect much from it. The last point I want to make is that a lot of minor cracks and some of them are not sure if they’re bugs or just something that they never really paid attention to. Like when you’re using the lighting filter and you moved the light to a different spot, then you make some adjustments, after making those adjustments your light will move back to the top left corner and you have to move it back in position again. So, I hope that’s a bug. I’m pretty sure that’s a bug but something that I’m not so sure it’s a bug is if you want to cancel out of a dialogue or window, you would naturally press the Escape key right? The escapee is just one of those shortcuts that we used so often and don’t even realize it. It’s in every software, it’s same thing as cancel. But there are some filters in Affinity photo where if you press the Escape key, instead of cancelling, it applies the filter as if you click the ok button. So I hope these are bugs in the Windows public beta and not something that’s actually in the stable Mac version. Time for the ultimate question, should you switch to Affinity photo? For most people the answer is No. First of all, if you use Lightroom CC and I’m not talking about Lightroom 6 by the way, those are completely different. Then you already have Photoshop CC as part of your subscription. Right now, Affinity photo isn’t as good as Photoshop and it has a long way to go before it can catch up. There are unique features in both; Affinity photo and Photoshop but overall, the additional features in Photoshop outweigh the additional features in Affinity photo. Photoshop also does a lot, more than people realize. For example, you can work with 3d models and do 3d printing. It has enough factor tools that you can create an entire effective project from it and you can even trim and color grade videos. But, it’s not always about the price. If you already have a Lightroom and Photoshop CC subscription, you might still want to buy Affinity photo for some of the stuff that it can do better and Photoshop. Like curves adjustment or the haze removal filter. So it all comes down to this, currently, Mac version goes for seven dollars. For what it offers, Affinity photo is very well price and is a best alternative if you can’t afford Photoshop. If you can afford photoshop and you’re deciding which one to learn, then stick with photoshop. It’s not that much harder if you’re professional photographer and you’re already making money from it, then you should still use Photoshop as your main editing software but maybe there are stuff in Affinity photo that you might find useful. Keep in mind that there are presets and plugins that costs more and do less, so for 70$, Affinity photo is still a great deal even if you don’t use all of it. Hey thanks for watching this video and I hope you found that useful. Now it’s just a very brief look at the Affinity photo but I want to know what you guys think. Do you think of Affinity photo is awesome or do you think it’s sucks? Let me know your honest opinion in the comments below.

97 Replies to “Affinity Photo vs Photoshop – Worth the Switch?”

  1. Watch my video on how Affinity Photo compares to Photoshop PERFORMANCE-WISE and why I highly recommend it for slower computers. Affinity Photo uses SIGNIFICANTLY less RAM and VRAM.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO_r-JX8fpE

    – Filters in Affinity Photo are generally faster.
    – Affinity Photo uses significantly less RAM and VRAM making it a suitable choice for slower computers.
    – Interface performance is fast on both. Affinity Photo has some tricks to make it "feel" snappier.

  2. What I fear in the competition PS against Affinity is that the latter does become
    so sophisticated that are used in becoming too complicated
    I had some time PS Photo subscription but it cost me in proportion to my
    work way too much money at the end of the year and it would cost me a
    fortune after ten years of utility.
    So I switched to Affinity and bought Lightroom 6 alone
    I love Lightroom for its ergonomics and management of its library.
    It is not unreasonable to think that a similar version has Ligtroom coming
    out soon and therefore this would make a strong competition for PS
    Photo Cloud.
    I am convinced that PS will have to review its pricing policy!
    I think a subscription at 5 dollars a month would be enough or even a
    formula "you pay what you use", with current technology this is doable I
    think

  3. Anyone that cancels their Adobe CC Photography Plan & buys Affinity Photo, I wouldn't blame them, especially if on a very limited budget as I am. I subscribed to the Adobe Plan in mid-2015. Cost was $9.99AU (no taxes payable). After having a lot of difficulty trying to learn Photoshop from scratch in limited time available, I decided to unsubscribe. The other deciding factor in that decision, was that the Australian Dollar went down from around $0.75+USD to around $0.64USD & 'due to currency changes' Adobe bumped the subscription price up to $11.99AU. Twelve months on, last month, I came across a discount that I could take advantage of; $10.59AU (including 10% tax -$0.96 now payable under Australian law), so I re-subscribed because I really wanted to get the updated features in Lightroom & thought I'd give Photoshop another go. The $AU is now back up at around $0.74US. Exactly four weeks after re-subscribing, I received an email from Adobe, stating that 'due to currency fluctuations', once my 12 month subscription has expired, the price will rise to $14.29AU (currently $12.99AU without any discount).

    Adobe have put the Subscription cost up when the $AU fell against the $US. Now, they're putting the cost up when the $AU has risen against the $US. Each time, they say it's "due to fluctuations in currency". Currency goes down = price rise, Currency goes up = price rise. Currency goes down then up, should = Prices go up, then down, NOT up, then up! Here in Australia, I think that's known as "Price Gouging" a legal form of Fraud.

    IF ONLY I'd heard of Affinity Photo for Windows a little over a month ago 🙁

  4. This a really good review I have to say. I have been using Affinity Designer for logo design and branding and I have been blown away by how incredibly useful the Personas are, especially the export persona.

    After I have designed the logo, it is standard procedure to share the logo with the client in different file formats and in different sizes. In the export persona, I choose the slices tool and in the slices layer I can choose the file format and location where I want to export it and for as many file formats as I want. It is so ridiculously useful, I can't imagine not having it. I completely get the idea for Personas

  5. I don't think anything can come even close to Photoshop, specially if you have all the Topaz Labs plug ins

  6. Was using photoshop elements but it wouldn't recognise my latest cameras Raw files. So, downloaded a trial of Affinity. What a surprise – far superior than Elements and on par with CC for editing. Ended-up buying the full version for £38.99 – call it 40 quid. In my opinion, the best buy yet. I was toying about upgrading to CC, but Adobe can go and take a flying fuck with their monthly subscriptions. A rip-off if you're asking me. I'm now as happy as Larry – whoever he is?

  7. Please spoil the price. Tell me if it's permanent price unlike Adobe's one!

    Though I don't want it. Priced!
    I still stick to GIMP. You?

  8. Affinity photo for iPad Pro is incredible. I am starting from having no photo editing experience so take that for what it is. It is very easy to learn however. Lots of tutorials for when I get lost. Very intuitive besides.

  9. for most people the answer is actually YES, switch!, because most people using Ps aren't pros and great numbers of them are using shady copies of Ps

  10. It's still lacking a perspective grid you can setup yourself – I've been requesting it from AF for years and they say they'll provide one but never do – until they do so it can't replace PS for digital painting at least

  11. If you need 3D modeling go get blender (free, open source and can compete with autodesk). the subscription thing is just a joke

  12. Of course it's worth the switch, if your work is such that Affinity Photo can actually get you through it. Obviously Photoshop is much, much deeper. Some of us need those extra tools and functions. I'd love to have one of these little programs save me from Adobe but so far that is out of the question.

  13. Should I switch? For a huge number of people the answer is YES! Its a freakin awesome piece of software and better in many respects to photoshop and remember, these are just the early versions, just give it a couple of years in the market to gather pro feedback and it will KILL photoshop unless Adobe change their subscription model.

  14. Actually, Gimp sucks. Affinity isn't so bad, at least for what I use it for.
    Adobe, on the other hand, is looking more and more like a gargantuan monster. I don't see that I need that many features, I don't want to see it take over my computer, it's designed by commitee and full of bugs, I've tried its support system once and got nowhere, and I don't want to pay for it.

  15. Seems like a great product for a reasonable fee. How is Affinity Photo going with new releases? Like CS 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 5 -> 6? Will you have to buy an upgrade or do you get every upgrade for free?

  16. As a web developer it looks like your presentation missed out on all of us. I think web developers will be scrambling to get rid of photoshop for affinity. Affinity is just awesome for the middle ground work. High enders I expect will stick with photoshop but the mid level image editor should definitely check out affinity photo and designer to replace illustrator . I dumped photoshop and picked up affinity along with lightworks for video editing (free) because strangely enough the video features were brilliant in PS for simple day to day stuff.

  17. Out of curiosity, does anyone here use Photo in conjunction with Designer. I use Designer to make drawings and I was wondering how well they cooperate (if at all).

  18. Interesting, thank you. What I would like to know is, given that the cost is roughly the same as Photoshop Elements (which is what I can afford and do currently use) how does Affinity Photo stack up against that – a similarly priced and sold product?

  19. Great but can you tell me where i can buy Affinity for windows? i don't see a way to order it on the internet and there is no shop in the Netherlands that even heared about Affinity. Adobe you can buy on line or i a shop but not Affinity!

  20. Affinity photo does the job for me. I've used GIMP for a few years and GIMP is alright but not good enough. Most of the tools in Affinity works much more smoothly than GIMP. Affinity has a good price and Affinity just saved me some money. Definitely recommend it as a Photoshop alternative.

  21. I totally understand that Photoshop has features that Affinity Photo doesn't has, but most of these are very special and won't be used by many people. Things like videoediting, 3D-modeling and 3D-printing all can be done in seperate programs more effectivly and aren't needed in an image-editing-program, so i don't see why it's an benefit to have these features. For vector-graphis Affinity has an seperate software, so this also isn't a Hügel downside.

  22. I downloaded it, installed it and I got frustrated, because it was in a period of much work and when I went to open the program to test, had been the 10 days and I could not see the work area of ​​Affinity. Little time to evaluate the potential of the program.

  23. I am a 3D artist and for what I need yeah screw this monthly crap I already lost the use of my plugins when I went the subscription route that is when you know adobe wants to screw you. Adobe has no more improvements to make so the best way to make money is to make you rent their software.

  24. All performance aside, one of the main reasons for Photoshop FOR PROFESSIONALS is how it is the industry standard. It has compatibility with the rest of Adobe suite which is more important and has more benefits than how "smooth" the program is. Not to mention the almost unlimited support you can get with photoshop from almost anywhere if you have a problem. The pricing shouldn't even affect a professionals decision considering that the $10/month will allow the program to be improved forever at no extra cost to PS users. Affinity could not support itself financially if everyone using it only had to pay $50 once. Look at Cyberlink PowerDirector, a competitor to Adobe Premiere which started off with extremely cheap software very similar to Premiere pro and only needed to be bought once. But every year the program got outdated and the price increased in order for the company to survive. I have nothing against competition and Affinity is great, as it will only force PS to improve but to say that Adobes pricing model is insane is wrong considering the benefits. Not certain, but I also did not see any video or 3D editing abilities in affinity that photoshop rules in.

  25. A lot of things you cannot do in Photoshop and for a 'professional' graphics package….. try using all the filters in Photoshop when working in 32bit colour……. hardly any work……. what a bunch of crap is that….

  26. I disagree with your conclusion – there is no way you can tell me that Photoshop is better when you can't work in 32bit most of the time in PS – hardly any of their filters work in 32bit…..

    Everything works in 32bit for AF and it is so fast, so light, so intuitive, so LIVE (you see things in real time, unlike PS, like BLENDING modes !) and it is VERY logical. They've designed it from the ground up and it wipes the floor with PS.

    My favourite thing AF can do is save the document WITH HISTORY ! PS can not touch any of that !

  27. To cancel the edit instead of Escape, wouldn't that be CMD+W? The window has a clear X on the corner so it should be closable with the universal shortcut, don't it?

  28. I pulled the trigger last month. Affinity has come a long way since this video was done. I really love how easy Affinity is to use. The workflow makes so much more sense than PS. And the easy Tone Mapping made my purchase even more valuable to me. I am saying goodbye to Adobe. Best $50 I ever spent. Now if we could only have a great tool to replace Adobe Premiere, I'd be really happy.

  29. i DESPISE adobe's creative commons bullshit monthly pricing aka money making model and will NEVER buy into it. f adobe for that. Good video though and cheers for that 🙂

  30. It's a great APP, there is no denying that. It has some great features and for the price it is good, but it's not Photoshop. Love it or hate it, Photoshop is the industry standard and being proficient with it goes a long way. Knowing how to use Affinity Photo is not going to add much to your CV. I don't know how many workplaces would use Affinity Photo. I don't pay for Photoshop, I use it at work and am able to have a copy on my home computer too. If I had to pay and and didn't want to risk using a cracked version then I would definitely choose Affinity Photo.

  31. I disagree as well with you.

    The Affinity Photo offers more features than most people needs, it is just overhyped to need the photoshop or even lightroom.
    If someone is good with a camera, they really don't need much editing. And if someone is great with visual arts, they will benefit a lot from Affinity Photo as they anyway use their digital images as only source files that gets heavily modified.

    The drawback of Affinity Photo is for those who doesn't get photographs right in the camera and requires heavy raw editing. That is the Affinity Photo flaw currently for photographers, but not for digital artists.

    What comes to photo management, what is the reason to own a lightroom, you get away from that if you know how to handle the files in the first place in import. Even a Windows knows how to write a EXIF data (but not XMP) like ratings and tags etc so you can find them later! It is after all just a simple file management (basic skill so many is lacking!).

    If you are a professional photographer who manages thousands of photographs per day, then a digiKam is better choice than a Lightroom for managing them. Then use a Affinity Photo to edit them (as they are ready as much possible out of the camera anyways).

    But currently before they can bring in 1.x series (soon to release 1.6x) with good raw converter and non-destructive so you can come back later to adjust it and you get easily updated lens profiles etc, it is the question can someone change for it.

    So far more complex edits like bracketing HDR or focus stacking and simple stacking are very difficult or impossible to do with the Lightroom, and even Photoshop has troubles with them. Unlike with Affinity Photo that has best or second best features for those. Everything that requires layers or multiple files, lightroom is loser compared to Affinity Photo, and everything that is really a photograph related, is lost with the Photoshop.

    But Affinity is coming out with their own Digital Asset Management at 2018 or so. So hold on for that time if wanted to get "all under one roof".

  32. I am Now trying out Affinity, I've been playing with it for a few days now and I'm Impressed to say the least!
    But….I'm also disappointed !
    I know its gonna take some time to get used to it and I get that!
    I have been using Adobe PS, Lightroom and PSE for Years…
    The one single thing I don't like about Affinity is there are no Libraries.
    If I want to look at a days shoot I would have to go back and forth for every picture or Highlight the Shoot and have to go after each Photo that's in Affinity after I brought them in just to view them….Right? I just tried to bring in 50 photo's and it caused my computer to crash. I have a jacked up computer so its not the computers fault!
    Am I missing something?
    As far as editing Speed goes…..I don't see the speed everyone else is talking about either ! (Windows 10)
    If I am missing something..Please let me know! I would really like to make this work, but as an Aspiring Professional Photographer…this would slow my workflow down way to much to be helpful!
    Help!

  33. I switched to affinity, cause i am so impressed how powerfull features Affinity Photo already have. Btw, i dont want subscribe, cause outside the subscribtion, i cant use my files and many new feautres i dont need in photoshop. Photoshop is oversaturated, why the put in Video Editing, 3D and so on.

    The fundamentals for photoediting are already established and to this point will Affinity Photo come fast.

  34. Thanks, great video ! I think Affinity is a great alternative if you cannot afford Photoshop. Enough of what you need.

  35. Not worth the switch! You get what you pay for, AP is cheaper, and it shows by it's poor performance. I have used both PS and AP extensively. I was really excited by AP, however, even though i have the current update, none of which has fixed AP's poor performance. The software freezes without notice, even crashing, erasing all of my editing work on a picture. Very frustrating. I have tried several AP/Serif recommendations to fix the problems,none of which has worked. There are impressive things the AP does do,but it matters nothing if AP/Serif can't stop the freezing problems. I actually spend more time fixing freezes than I can actually edit my photos. I have chosen to go back to Photoshop and Nikon's editing software,
    it is more expensive, but it out performs AP.

  36. I like both, however I use lightroom and photoshop on my computer, but affinity photo on my iPad is way better than lightroom on my iPad. So I like to mix and match.

  37. I've been using photoshop for 15+ years (8 of which professionally, meaning for my career).  Over the last couple of years, I've stopped doing it as a career, and it's become a hobby again. I can still see the reason why some users would use Photoshop. But that isn't me, I'm all in on Affinity. Photoshop just doesn't make sense for me and 90% of the market, anymore.  In the past, it was the only thing that could do what it does… now there are dozens of programs that can do more than what most people use photoshop for.  Personal preference, I'm putting my 15 years of experience aside, and seeing these programs for what they actually are, tools to accomplish a specific task. … that is all.

  38. First video I'm watching for this channel. I love your style and design of the videos. Going to subscribe now. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  39. I have a hard time finding a comparison of some fundamental features of Affinity Photo versus Photoshop: Does AP support 16bits/channel or 32bits/channel? What color modes does it support: Lab color, CMYK, multichannel? What color spaces and profiles does it support: ProPhoto RGB and other profiles the PS support? One of the most important aspects of PS is its vast and advanced ways of masking and making selections. How advanced is AP in selection/masking options and methods? Does it nearly reach the PS level in these regards?

  40. I disagree with you, but at least you pointed some flaws that Affinity Photo has unlike this other video I saw which only praises Affinity Photo.

  41. I'm a student and I can't afford Photoshop CC, is too expensive for me paying a subscription when I only use the software twice a month for some works. I hope Affiniy Photo have more features in the future. I'm considering install this product. 🙂

  42. Serif: Oh hey Adobe can i copy your homework i didnt do mine?
    Adobe: Yeah sure just change it so the teacher doesnt see you copied it.
    10 Minutes Later…
    Adobe: DUDE WHAT THE FUCK THE TEACHER IS MAD AT ME NOW WHY YOU DIDNT CHANGE ANYTHING?!
    Serif: Uhm well i have a colored workspace…

    Affinity Photo is photoshop for poor people.
    And its crazy that affinity is better than photoshop its just a fucking copy look at it.

  43. Just the fact that for 50 bucks I own it is great. I did like PS and LR in the sense that I could use it on all of my devices on 1 subscription, and Affinity is 50 buck per download. But overall, I like the Affinity better so far.

  44. Win 10, Ryzen 7 1700, 32GB RAM, GTX 1060 6GB. Affinity Photo is slow to the point of being unusable. Photoshop is mush faster. Also it doesn't have smart objects, therefore it's harder to step back and redo your edit. Working with 3rd parry plugins and using other personas rasterizes the layer. At this moment this program is a waste of time. Live preview with blend modes and brushes and also the brush stabilizer are good though.

  45. I am a freelance designer and illustrator who is looking for a much cheaper and subscription-less alternative to the Adobe Suite. Could the Affinity meet that need?

  46. I use Capture One for RAW editing then do the rest in Affinity photo. My only complaints of Affinity Photo is no CR3 support for Cannons most popular camera ranges so I have to use Adobe converter first Affinity say there are no plans to add it. My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/796i07

  47. AP:live brush, blend mode preview, built-in frequencies separation, significantly takes up less hardware acceleration than newer PS versions, easy object resizing, $50 for your whole life, no more stupid pricy monthly subscription…

  48. I am not sure what you meant when you said that you could not remover the dehaze application once applied. Does that mean I have to start over, or can I even start over. What about RAW files? Does Affinity maintain the RAW file after I have finished my work and turned it into a JPEG?

  49. Is it worth swapping. Yes Yes Yes. Before you touch the program, just consider the cost. Monthly subscription, never own the program, or one low cost and its yours. Yes dump photoshop.

  50. Affinity photo sucks, don't waste your money. Unless you want to jump through multiple hoops to achieve the simplest task and wade through forums at every turn.

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