Author Topic: Anyone using Affinity Photo?  (Read 513 times)

Offline sboerner

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Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« on: January 27, 2019, 08:04:51 PM »
I've been testing the trial version of Affinity Photo for a couple of days and wonder if anyone here has used it, and what you might think of it. I remember looking into it soon after it was introduced but not following up. Now, however, I'm interested in finding a good alternative to Photoshop so I can wean myself off of Creative Cloud.

Really impressed so far. Mainly I need good 32-bit support and Affinity's seems very solid. It has native support for multichannel EXR (no need for a third-party plugin) and ALL of the editing tools appear to work with 32-bit. (Including the curves tool, which among other tools goes AWOL in Photoshop when editing 32-bit images.) Converting 32-bit to 8- or 16-bit is instantaneous and looks to be accurate, no need to use anything like Photoshop's dreaded HDR Toning panel.

The application itself seems pretty deep and includes color management, nondestructive adjustment and filter tools, masks, all the usual stuff.

The license is only $50 and permanent. No subscription.

I've been a long-time Photoshop user (since 3.0, which I think was the first commercial version), and even taught it at the college level as an adjunct instructor for a few years. But as the years go by PS just gets more and more bloated, though the core toolset seems to be strangely neglected. Affinity seems to be the quick, lean, capable app that I've been looking for, but I'm curious to know what others might think.

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 08:10:26 PM »
I've heard really great things about Affinity, and as far as a company to invest in (and at a lower price point no less!) they seem like a much better bet than Adobe because their progress has been rapid and impressive since they debuted the software. So if there is something it doesn't have now that you want, it has a higher chance of getting it soon than Photoshop does, as you noted. My main reason for staying in Adobe's ecosystem for now is Lightroom actually. Nothing yet has an equivalent or better combination of DAM and Raw photo editor (there are better photo editors out there, but they don't have integrated DAM).

- Oshyan

Offline sboerner

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 08:28:09 PM »
I also use Lightroom 5 (pre-CC). Its correction tools are way ahead of Photoshop's, and it's nice to be able to store the basic image and output to any format and resolution, and add watermarks as needed.

What I don't like: No support for layers or non-RGB channels (not even alpha), or exr (any flavor). Converting 32-bit images to tiffs before importing into Lightroom is simple but the files are several times larger than exr.

But as you say Lightroom is really good for organizing image databases. I use it for all of my image archives (personal and clients'). Not sure what I'd do without that.

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 09:12:32 PM »
Yeah, Lightroom is very, very focused on photography, where all the things you're talking about pretty much don't exist (non-RGB channels, EXR). The lack of layers I agree is annoying, although Lightroom and Photoshop can at least work pretty seamlessly with each other, and I only occasionally need to use Photoshop and do layer-based stuff, so it's acceptable. But I definitely get that, if you're editing images from CG programs like Terragen, you'd want more support for all that kind of stuff.

Affinity is probably a better editor for you. I'm not sure if it's non-destructive like Lightroom is though, which I love. If you're willing to get really serious about all this, you might consider when it is time for you to switch to a full-on (probably node-based) compositing application, which will have full, highly flexible, powerful support for all the stuff you're talking about and more. Many of these are not cheap either (e.g. Nuke), but there are a few free options. You can look at Davinci Fusion/Resolve:
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/fusion

Or there is actually a full node-based compositor built-in to the free Blender, which is probably a good app to learn anyway as it is increasingly powerful:
https://www.blender.org/features/vfx/

There is also Natron, although its future is in doubt unfortunately:
http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/the-demise-of-natron

There is also Nuke non-commercial edition, though its resolution limits probably aren't compatible with your needs:
https://www.foundry.com/products/nuke/non-commercial
The retail price of Nuke, which you might want/need to ultimately upgrade to, is also quite prohibitive so I'd suggest learning one of the tools above instead.

- Oshyan

Offline sboerner

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 04:22:13 AM »
Thanks, Oshyan. I have the free version of Fusion and have messed around with it a bit. Like it a lot. I'm used to node-based editing so it makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately there is a 4K resolution limit in the free version, which is probably fine for video but not for print. May have to look into licensing it some day. I'll also check out the other applications you mentioned.

I'll probably license Affinity to give me more time to run it through its paces. (The trial period is very short, 10 days, but given the low price it's hard to complain about that.) My first impression is that its 32-bit editing toolset is superior to even Lightroom's, but that may just be me reacting to the program as a whole and its workspace, which is pretty clean.

Seems to me I read somewhere that Lightroom, internally, handles all editing in 16 bit. Do you know if that's correct? Photoshop's 16-bit format is integer-based; is Lightroom's as well?

Offline WASasquatch

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2019, 05:27:03 AM »
I'd say Affinity Photo has a long way to go before being anything Photoshop level. It's more like other Photoshop clones which were just as good until they were rendered inert by the giant. It somewhat reminds me of Pixelmator. It premiered with a heavy feature set rivaling Photoshop, as well as taking the GUI in a artistically-easing direction, and still hasn't gotten traction. Which is sad, I feel for all the people trying to get people to move over to it and all the talk at work.

Lightroom is a great program. I had to learn it years back and was pretty impressed, but I still found myself doing most of the work in Photoshop with image raw. You can achieve anything Lightroom can do, and unrestricted. Even Lightroom themselves have had a hard time really pandering to professional artists that rather just use Lightroom for importing large sets over Camera Raw, and than end up working in Photoshop. Above that, it just really has organizing features. Organization is great and all, but timestamped images and WDM is good enough too.

The split for Ipad is also a pretty heavy demand of development, and it seems that app is getting super popular too, which makes you wonder if they may abandon desktop based option for their feature-rich on-the-go option when demand against Adobe and others settles in over business cost.

Also there has always been the issue (at least for me) where Lightroom is very RAM dependent more than disk, making it slow on my laptop. If it utilized Adobe's Scratch it'd be much faster and lighter on the system. Even adobe asks for 12gb of ram (+4GB if running photoshop) for minimum requirements. Yikes. That's always been a drawback for photographers on the go. They're still having to "Go" to a darkroom, ie, a desktop. In PS all minimized/offscreen images are on Adobe Scratch and recalled from their compressed virtual HD rather than memory. Could have literally my whole scratch filled up (120gb), and no real callback time since the projects are usually in the 100mb+ range.

Note though my opinions come from liking raw editors and options as apposed to presets and sliders. It's one of the reasons I love Terragen so much, it's GUI everyone hates. Lol
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 05:44:10 AM by WASasquatch »
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Offline reck

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 12:52:14 PM »
I'd say Affinity Photo has a long way to go before being anything Photoshop level. It's more like other Photoshop clones which were just as good until they were rendered inert by the giant. It somewhat reminds me of Pixelmator. It premiered with a heavy feature set rivaling Photoshop, as well as taking the GUI in a artistically-easing direction, and still hasn't gotten traction. Which is sad, I feel for all the people trying to get people to move over to it and all the talk at work.

You say Affinity has a long way to go before being at Photoshop level and i'm curious what big ticket items are missing in your opinion to make it feel so far being Photoshop? Considering the amount of years Photoshop has been around and the amount of bloat it's gained there's likely to be some things that Affinity can't do yet, but these appear to lesser used or niche features rather than core everyday functionality that people absolutely require.

I've also heard nothing but praise for Affinity and the team seem to be doing an amazing job on it, and the price is insane for what you get. They certainly seem to be heading in the right direction and the fact that it's new application written from scratch using current technology means it's pretty fast, stable and responsive and forms a good basis for future functionality.

I'm not a big user of Photoshop myself so can't comment too much on that side of the fence but I hear it has terrible colour management, no 32bit EXR or mEXR support, severe instability when working in 2K+. memory leaks and no\limited multi-threading. The latter two possibility partly down to its age and bloat?

Honestly Adobe really need some competition in this space and I think Affinity are closer than anyone currently but happy to hear from more experienced users where they feel this isn't the case.

Cheers

Offline sboerner

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 01:49:12 PM »
Quote
Yeah, Lightroom is very, very focused on photography, where all the things you're talking about pretty much don't exist (non-RGB channels, EXR).

This is very true. One of the best things about Lightroom is that the development team has clearly defined its vision for the application and have remained true to that. There is no mission creep. Layers would definitely upset the whole concept of unique images and archival storage. I'm not sure the same is true with exr and RGBA support, but maybe I'm missing something.

I'm aware that part of Affinity's attraction is that it is the latest shiny new object. I live in Photoshop and have folders full of actions (macros) and other presets that are part of my daily workflow. Substituting Affinity for this right now is out of the question. (I'm not even sure if it's scriptable.) So my goal is a little more limited finding a good 32-bit editor that I can incorporate into my workflow for 3D post-process work. For that it might just fit the bill.

Offline WASasquatch

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 05:53:19 PM »
I'd say Affinity Photo has a long way to go before being anything Photoshop level. It's more like other Photoshop clones which were just as good until they were rendered inert by the giant. It somewhat reminds me of Pixelmator. It premiered with a heavy feature set rivaling Photoshop, as well as taking the GUI in a artistically-easing direction, and still hasn't gotten traction. Which is sad, I feel for all the people trying to get people to move over to it and all the talk at work.

You say Affinity has a long way to go before being at Photoshop level and i'm curious what big ticket items are missing in your opinion to make it feel so far being Photoshop? Considering the amount of years Photoshop has been around and the amount of bloat it's gained there's likely to be some things that Affinity can't do yet, but these appear to lesser used or niche features rather than core everyday functionality that people absolutely require.

I've also heard nothing but praise for Affinity and the team seem to be doing an amazing job on it, and the price is insane for what you get. They certainly seem to be heading in the right direction and the fact that it's new application written from scratch using current technology means it's pretty fast, stable and responsive and forms a good basis for future functionality.

I'm not a big user of Photoshop myself so can't comment too much on that side of the fence but I hear it has terrible colour management, no 32bit EXR or mEXR support, severe instability when working in 2K+. memory leaks and no\limited multi-threading. The latter two possibility partly down to its age and bloat?

Honestly Adobe really need some competition in this space and I think Affinity are closer than anyone currently but happy to hear from more experienced users where they feel this isn't the case.

Cheers

I never said it was getting hate? You seemed to write the entire article without really comprehending what I stated. This literally has already happened with Pixelmator 11 years ago. It too, launched just as favorably, with new technology, and better advertised features out the box.

You also make some wild claims about stability when it's known Affinity Photo is not as stable as Photoshop and has had some severe reports inhibiting photographers and artists. It's actually one of it's cons. It's still in development and relies heavily on RAM instead of safe scratch like most photo editing software that use HDD cache. Heavy RAM programs that aren't industry level with a huge development team always seem to suffer crashes it seems. Even TG. Also I seem to have no issue with 4k+ texture editing in PS, so I'm not sure what your issue is there. Maybe you're routinely launching 32bit or some other issue with the OS.

And what you think is bloat, is hardly the case... Adobe Phtooshop has hardly any bloat (only filters really). These are raw features to create most of what any image software out there can do. In fact, this is another con is Affinity Photo to most, is that AP is more geared towards preset editing, rather than raw customizable editing. It has a lot of presets out of the box for photographers and artists to use, and commonly use, but to achieve some of the more fine level and custom work, you'll run into some hiccups.

However they are remarkably similar, and is a great option to use. At the price, it's a great investment. I'm just not one to so quickly migrate to other software cause it's "cool". Because so far to pros with Affinity Photo are just preset editing, user interface, and nightlies. None of these features interest me.

As for your gripes about PS and file handling, this is exactly why they're modular based and allow plugins, for example OpenEXR. Adding 32bit EXR support native to Photoshop is counter-intuitive to it's Pixel-Based Photo Editing as that format is a standard in 3D. I'm pretty sure they have another software that is designed for this route of editing, though I have exclusively just used PS and Elements over the years.

I'll add there is no reason not to use Photoshop, still, and there isn't a replacement, yet. Not to mention there is nothing wrong with using photoshop and it's many free and paid plugins. Really, the whole issue with PS is just stigma and the industries involved and it becoming a verb. There is no real argument that can't be attributed to person style taste (GUI), easy of use (presets), and the ridiculous trend that nightly updates and weekly releases are actually generally a good thing and not just a gimmick to barely develop (seriously, this is the track record with sooo many "active development" projects...), and those developments are often moot "We fixed this bug and that bug that should have never left nightly betas, and we added this itty-bitty-tiny new feature!" lol
 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 06:20:02 PM by WASasquatch »
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Offline jaf

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 06:06:35 PM »
I use Affinity Photo and Designer to divorce myself from Adobe.  I haven't found anything of note that it doesn't do that Photoshop did, though maybe I'm not that advanced as a user.

I also replaced Lightroom with On1  https://www.on1.com/products/photo-raw/  I've heard that Photoline is also a good Photoshop replacement and some say it will do things PS can't. 

I haven't had a crash in the two years I've owned Affinity Photo and Designer (maybe having a lot of RAM helps?)

[edit] As far as "bloat", I'm not sure.  A lot of posts on the Allegroithmic and Lightwave forums claim PS is bloated and doesn't seem to be contested.  I don't really know.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 06:17:06 PM by jaf »
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Offline WASasquatch

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 06:21:20 PM »
See the last line I added to my post about PS. There is no replacement for PS if you are actually using what PS has to offer, really. This probably is a issue of software familiarity and user needs.

And remember, birds of a feather, flock together. Using competitors forums as a place of subjective discussion is... just not how it works. What is bloaty? Hmm? I've yet to come across any google search that defines this besides peoples personal opinions that don't even really constitute bloat, such as GUI menus. That's "clutter" if you want to label it.
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Offline WASasquatch

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 06:26:58 PM »
Even Terragen, if Matt decided to redo the GUI alone (nothing else) and turn to active public development, the software would explode in popularity just because of gimmicks alone while nothing in the software has actually changed feature/result wise. And if there was a competitor out there like "TerraCreator" lets pretend, that also was similar to how TG is now; people would recommend the new Terragen over this "TerraCreator", while not actually has changed when it comes to the softwares goal.

Gimmicks are a huge part of selling software now. They're all taking on similar looks and styles, just like when Web 2.0 emerged.
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Offline sboerner

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 06:37:04 PM »
Thanks, jaf. That's all good to know. I'll be looking into On1 just gave the link a quick glance and am intrigued to see that it includes digital asset management. Nothing wrong with looking into alternatives. As I mentioned above any new software will fill only a narrow slice of my work for now. But eventually I'd like to do away with the $$$ monthly payments to Adobe, so I'm keeping that in mind too.

Offline Kadri

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 06:37:49 PM »
For me the only reason to use Affinity Photo is subscription. And i really think Photoshop is good but overpriced.

Offline reck

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Re: Anyone using Affinity Photo?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2019, 08:14:49 PM »

I never said it was getting hate? You seemed to write the entire article without really comprehending what I stated.

I was just curious for an answer to this

Quote
I'd say Affinity Photo has a long way to go before being anything Photoshop level.

I was hoping you would list of all the things that are missing in your opinion that would warrant it being "a long way" behind Photoshop. It's possible some of these things are being developed or possibly already implemented but used in a different way.

A number of long time Photoshop users have moved over so it's enough for some already, I was hoping to find out what else is missing that would keep someone paying a subscription fee as I must assume Photoshop does a number of things Affinity can't to justify the ongoing continued payments?

 

anything