Affinity Photo

Someone had mentioned in one of their posts that Affinity Photo did a good masking job which triggered me to check it out. Its pricing was within my budget for additional software so I downloaded a trial copy and I am very glad that I did.
I’ve been using PSP since its inception, shying away from Photoshop because it was too expensive to keep up with and while this new software “rental” method is affordable, it’s not something I care to get involved with.

The terminology is slightly different in Affinity and there are some nuances that I’m not familiar with so I’m in the process of working through tutorials but there were enough new or improved capabilities that make it worthwhile for PSP users to take a look.


Thanks Eleanore. I have been using PSP since the Jasc days. The software is better than it often is rated in reviews but it is lacking just too many features for more advanced users.I have been thinking about Affinity, too. Maybe I will give it a try.

There are two things to consider before placing all of your eggs in one basket (Affinity Photo). (For the record, I do own licenses to the Windows version of both Affinity Design and Affinity Photo.)

The first is that the recommended AFPHOTO file format is a proprietary file format, and it is not (to the best of my knowledge) recognized by any other cataloging software or image editing software.

The second thing is that while you can open JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and other file formats in Affinity Photo, there are certain functions of that app that must be “flattened or rasterized” before the image is saved. Also (and this is purely hearsay as I’ve not yet experienced it), it may be possible to make some changes to an image that may not be recognized in another image editing application.

Again, these statements are based on previous research and I apologize if I in any way mislead the reader.


I was the person who mentioned that the masking is great in Affinity Photo and it is a robust and feature rich application for image manipulation … primarily because it is a modern application and therefore can implement additional features that legacy apps like PS can’t.

Blend options for adjustments, layers etc are particularly good where you can apply adjustments to selected areas of an image without masking…

Firstly PSD and layered TIFFS are Adobe proprietary file formats.

As well the fallacies about image formats, .afphoto images are compact compared to PSD, also you have to remember that NOTHING except Adobe apps will open layered PSD/TIFF with 100% accuracy. Affinity Photo does an excellent job in supporting PSD both opening and saving the adjustments as layers.

You should all remember that layered TIFF is an unsupported Adobe standard and, as TIFF is a public standard, may never be supported by other applications.

JPEG, TIFF and PSD images do not need to be ‘rasterized’, rasterizing refers to creating a pixel image from an image file … an image file is an external screen shot.

Be aware that there a inconsistencies with impleminting external Adobe plugins as ‘automation’, as found in products like ReMask, is ONLY part of PS as it is an internal PS implementation.

Affinity Photo is truly worth consideration as it is a complete pixel editor with exciting modern features. It also supports all that you can do in PS including HDR, Panoramas, Focus Stacking, Live Filters (Smart Objects), batch, etc., etc.

And, bonus, if you use vector editors Designer is a 100% integrated option unlike AI & PS.


I own the Windows and mac versions of Affinity Photo. I agree with all of the positive things @AiDon has said about the Windows version.

However, the mac version has some important differences - especially that it does not do a good job hosting plugins like Topaz. I hope this changes in the future, and if it does, I will be very happy if someone updates and corrects this post :smile:

You are absolutely correct — there is less compatibility on a Mac :slight_smile:

Well than…thank you for the head’s up Don…I wouldn’t have bothered to check the program out if not for your comment.

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I’ve found that no one application seems to be able to do everything “the best”… but some seem to do some tasks better than others. e.g. On 1 has had one of the best resizing capabilities of any application I’ve used to date. I’m not familiar enough with Affinity to make a statement on its shortcomings (not even cognizant of what some things are) but so far its better than the editor I’ve been using making corrections.

There, in a nutshell, is one of the best reasons for using it. :wink: :smile:

I apologize if I was misinterpreted, but I believe I made no claim about the AFPHOTO file format other than (again, to the best of my knowledge) no current cataloging application recognizes it. ACDsee is the only image editor that will at least allow you to see the thumbnail. Even ExifTool, at least as of version 10.38, does not read embedded metadata except for some basic file information.

Images may not need to be rasterized, but (again, to the best of my knowledge) any vector layer added to a PSD file in AP does before the file can be reopened in PS or the changes recognized in LR. [quote=“AiDon, post:4, topic:611”]
…Affinity Photo is truly worth consideration as it is a complete pixel editor with exciting modern features…

I wholeheartedly concur.

Thanks for this Don.
I made this ‘huge’ investment and bought a license. I am far away from getting my arms around this but watched a good number of tutorials and have to say I am impressed.
The only pity is that Affinity does not include an image browser. But otherwise it seems there are endless processing features and the masking tools are really top notch. Corel will have a problem if they will not update their features. I will still keep PSP but I think Capture One - Affinity - Topaz will be the route I will follow.

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Hi Peter,

Basically you have the same config as I do with Capture One, Affinity and Topaz … the only real issue is that the colors are not right in the plugins unless it is in 8bit mode … but the result is correct anyway if it is 16bit but they are aware of the issue.

I do occasionally use ON1 also and CS6 if I want to use ReMask.

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I’ve not found Affinity to be completely functional on a Mac, for me there’s still a lot of work to be done before it is viable. Also, keep an eye on saved file sizes if disc space is tight, they can be up to eight times the size of Photoshop.

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They have worked on this and v1.5 afphoto image sizes are less than either layered PSD or TIFF.

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OK, I’ll take a look sometime. Thanks.

Update: Took a Nikon raw file and edited it both in Lightroom/Photoshop and in Affinity. The Photoshop version came to 37.2Mb with both the .nef original and .info sidecar files. The Affinity .afphoto file came to 132.1 Mb.

So, Affinity is producing files four times the size of Photoshop.

I just bought Affinity Photo and will be using it as well as Photoshop, not in place of. What sold me on it more than anything was the ability to save “undo” history states when saving a file, and my biggest bug-bear with PS. Unbelievable how many files I have to leave open just so that I don’t lose the history. Topaz Labs is very important to my workflow though, so now I have to start investigating as to whether and how I can install and use them with Affinity.