Conclusion: To Affinity and Beyond

A screenshot of the Raw processing work space in Affinity Pro.

We tend to think of version 1.x software as its determined, but wobbly, first steps. The desire and technical achievement to bring it into existence are there, but usually the real muscle and balance arrives in versions 2.0 and later.

Affinity Photo is a bargain if you’re looking for Photoshop-style capability without a Creative Cloud price tag. For a lot of photographers, that’s more than enough reason.

With Affinity Photo, at version 1.5.2 (the latest release version available at the time I wrote this review), the software has sprung directly into a sprint. Every corner offers new discoveries – the Scope panel alone will make some editors’ eyes light up – and they’re all affixed to a strong image-editing core.

That said, I yearn for a future version when the application breaks away from the Photoshop way of doing things, such as the destructive-edited filters mentioned earlier. I can see what Serif is striving toward, and want it to get there as soon as possible.

That’s when I remember that Affinity Photo, in its current form, costs $50, which is a bargain if you’re looking for Photoshop-style capability without a Creative Cloud price tag. For a lot of photographers, that’s more than enough reason.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
  • Broad range of professional-level editing tools
  • Good selection features
  • Most adjustments are non-destructive
  • $50 price, no subscription
  • Good, but not comprehensive, .psd file support
  • Autotone feature in Develop module makes opaque changes
  • Auto adjustments are destructive

Who it's good for:

  • Photographers who want professional-level image editing at an inexpensive price.

Who it's not good for:

  • Photographers who need to trade .psd formatted files with others who use Photoshop.