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Affinity Photo - Why we are keeping an eye on this possible Photoshop replacement

affinity photo beta

We have been trying out the Affinity Photo Beta over the last few days and we are impressed. It looks and feels like Photoshop, but it's built with new fast code and will be an outright purchase when launched.

There have been possible Photoshop replacements before, the $30 Pixelmator app being one of them. We've tried that and it's pretty good, a clean layout with robust backward compatibility with PSD files. It hasn't convinced us yet to blow away the Cloud subscription, but if we were forced to use Pixelmator alone for images, it wouldn't be a problem. Just a case of being very familiar with a piece of software and using it as it's the path of least resistance.

So we weren't first out of the blocks to download the Affinity Photo Beta when it was announced. We should have been as we now rather like this direct Photoshop competitor. 

 

Affinity are a company based in Nottingham, England. You may have already heard about them as they were runner up in Apple's Best of 2014 Apps with Affinity Designer. Designer is a $50 vector graphic application that has had rave reviews and has already had many converts from Adobe's Illustrator.

Back to Affinity Photo Beta and as the name suggests, the application is in a free beta test period at the moment. Not everything works, we have had a few oddities with opening PSD files, but it is a very slick application and the team behind it are pretty bullish.

“We’re delighted to be shaking things up with this exciting new app that doesn’t compromise on power and could make creative pros fall in love with photo editing and raster art all over again. Affinity Photo is silky-smooth, accurate at a professional level, and fully-featured — and the beta can be downloaded for free.” says Ashley Hewson, Serif’s Managing Director.

He continues “Affinity Photo also joins the award-winning Affinity Designer as part of a brilliant creative suite with seamless switching between apps, one file format, and a common Undo history. Even as a beta and with the suite still growing, there’s nothing else quite like it.”

affinity photo beta 2

 

Tony Brightman, Head of Affinity development adds “We directly targeted professionals when we dreamt up the Affinity range, making performance, reliability, pro-level tools and a slick workflow our top priorities. It’s early days for the Affinity Photo beta, but with the welcome help of our professional users during the test phase we’ll be able to fully deliver on these aims for launch and with free updates afterwards. I’m also very happy to say to all photographers and creatives, when Affinity Photo launches it’ll be a one-time purchase — we don’t do subscriptions.”

 affinity photo beta 3

 

On to Affinity Photo and Final Cut Pro X. The native file format isn't recognised by FCPX, but the PSD export should be. Importing the PSD export works, but there is no access to the layers at the moment even when we followed these Apple best practices.

We asked Affinity about this and they sent this reply:

Regarding PSD import/export, yes the intention is to maintain layers, our aim is to have the best PSD support out there. The devs are actively engaging with creative pros over at our Forum and are releasing regular beta updates to improve things further (regular updates so far for Affinity Designer beta builds anyway, they will become regular for Affinity Photo).

There are some differences between the apps; Photoshop can't do everything Affinity apps will do so there will be some translation, and Affinity apps don't do things the same way as Photoshop in all cases but the transport is pretty good already. And it's fast, we've seen customers tweeting that Affinity Designer opens a PSD 10x quicker than Photoshop itself.

 

So we are all rather excited about Affinity Photo and if Designer is a benchmark to go by, it will probably end up on the App Store for a one-off payment of $50. In the meantime we suggest you download the beta and put it through its paces. We think you'll like it.

 

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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