You’ll probably know Serif more for its Windows-based editing software PhotoPlus X, but more recently Serif delved into Mac with Affinity Photo, creating what I think is a legitimate alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
In a relatively short space of time the software is now its sixth iteration, with version 1.6 launched earlier this month. Compatibility with the latest raw files is added regularly. The software has also been developed for iPad and for Windows too.
What is even more impressive is that the software costs a bargain one-off fee under £50. Not a subscription service in sight. That price is less than half the price of a year subscription to Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.
For those that have bought an older version of Affinity Photo, the latest one comes free. Free upgrades were meant to be a plus point for subscription services, so hats off to Serif for looking after existing users at no extra cost.
Being low cost is all very well, but people will ask if Affinity Photo is any good. Well, I’ve been using the latest version (1.6) of the software since its launch and are happy to say that Adobe should start to sweat a little.
When it comes to powerful photo editing software that is not chained to a subscription service, Serif Affinity Photo is up there with the best of them. Heck, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that Photoshop offers that you can’t find in Affinity Photo.
Affinity Photo even looks like Photoshop. A switchover from one to the other is quite painless. The only real difference is that Affinity Photo has five workspaces called Personas, each with their own set of tools, while Photoshop has a single editing workspace and an accompanying raw editor.
The missing link for Serif taking a bigger bite out of Adobe’s lion share is there is no cataloguing software, like Adobe Lightroom CC or Bridge CC. I’d happily pay another £50 should Serif launch such a software.
You can see my full review over at Photography Blog and I would expect to see a few more Highly Recommended reviews of Affinity Photo v1.6 in the coming weeks.
Here’s a quick rundown of why I like Serif Affinity Photo 1.6 so much.
Ten reasons I love Serif Affinity Photo v1.6
- A one-off £48.99 is an absolute steal - with free upgrades.
- Regularly updated with new features and compatibility with the latest raw files
- Comprehensive editing tools for raw and JPEG images - anything Photoshop can do, Affinity Photo can do too
- Largely speedy operation
- Easy to switch over from Photoshop because it’s all very similar
- Suitable for beginners and experts
- Edits made non-destructively in adjustments layers, with blending modes available
- Instant previews of edits, with split screen/ mirror screen that displays image before and after
- Highlight/ shadow blowouts can be displayed over the image
- Optional extras for single-click effects
What’s not to like about Serif Affinity Photo v1.6
- Serif does not have a cataloguing element to the suite yet - you’re restricted to editing single images
- Switching between Personas can get a little tedious
- One or two minor lags, like moving around an image displayed at 100% and lengthier lags when switching between Personas
- Some limits to editing like exposure corrections limited to ±2EV
- A lot of export options, however you’re limited with batch exports
Serif Affinity Photo 1.6: Pricing and further information
For more information and to purchase the software, which currently costs £48.99 if you don’t own it already, please visit the Serif website.
In addition, Serif offers a companion graphic design software called Affinity Designer, which also costs £48.99. Handily, both programs share the same file format.
A full list of features new to version 1.6 can be found on the Serif Affinity Photo website.